Of APC, FG And Defections


Last week Tuesday, about 13 Senators and 37 House of Representatives members put to rest months of speculations across the political spectrum amid heightening tensions in the nation’s governance structure when they dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and two other parties.
The lawmakers, in separate letters to the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, said that, “after due consultation with our constituents and stakeholders,” they have resolved to dump the APC. They cited Section 68 (1g) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended and the factionalisation of the APC as the key reason for their defection.
The defectors are said to be the first set of aggrieved National Assembly members, who have often expressed dissenting voices over the APC leadership’s lack of focus, impunity and failure to meet the expectations of Nigerians.
But the gale of defections in the National Assembly was not the only nail on the coffin of the APC. On the same day, majority of the Kano State House of Assembly members on the platform of the APC decamped to PDP. Barely 24 hours later, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, at a meeting with local government chairmen and state House of Assembly members, also announced that he was dumping the APC for the PDP, despite a series of conciliatory parleys with APC top leaders in Makurdi, the state capital and the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
Even as those developments triggered anxiety in the ruling party, Sokoto and Kwara State Governors, Aminu Tambuwal and AbdulFatah Ahmed, respectively, hinted of plans to leave the APC for a better focused party in days, mainly due to factionalisation and lack of internal democracy. News filtered yesterday that the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Kwara State Governor have defected to the PDP.
We particularly condemn the commando-style siege on the residences of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, as an act of impunity taken too far. In fact, that the police, and indeed, the executive arm of government tried but failed to undermine the open expression of distaste and lack of faith in the APC-led Federal Government through the instrumentality of the security agencies is enough sign-post to what the ruling party should expect in 2019.
Instructively, The Tide reckons that the spate of massive defections from the APC constitutes a clear signal of the populace’s dissatisfaction with the APC-led Federal Government. This can evidently be deduced from the speeches of the defectors, who claimed that they took the decision to dump APC after painstaking consultations with their majorly underserved constituents across the country. We agree no less.
Indeed, we note that Nigerians are honestly tired of the many excuses why the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government cannot deliver on its avowed campaign promises, anchored on the ‘Change’ mantra. We feel that this is a justification of the ruling party’s crass incompetence, cluelessness, inept administrative malfeasance and mismanagement of the people’s commonwealth.
That Nigerians are now hapless and desperately yearn for true change in the governance framework is not only an altruism, but a total reflection of the people’s angst towards a government that has turned the blood of thousands of innocent Nigerians, who are massacred daily by never-identified gunmen, to mere rhetoric; just as the nation has shamelessly become the world’s epicentre of extreme poverty at a time they urgently desire visible dividends of democracy from their leaders. For us, it is a total reflection of the negative impact of the massive anti-people style of administration which the APC-led Federal Government has wrought on the globe’s largest black nation.
This is why we think that the massive defections are an indication of a clear vote of no confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari, his convoluted and disconnected cabinet and the APC.
Given the confluence of momentum already achieved in the anti-Buhari pitch, we expect that in the next couple of weeks and months, more politicians in strategic positions and their supporters in APC may leave in droves, in a political tsunami that has never been witnessed in the annals of Nigeria’s democratic history. Against this backdrop, we charge Buhari to take responsibility, for once, for the overzealousness of the security agencies, especially the police, personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), whose attempts to muzzle the opposition’s efforts to strengthen democracy and entrench good governance in Nigeria are manifestly obvious.
Put succinctly, we urge the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces to call anti-democratic elements in the security agencies to order to avert a repeat of the scenarios of the ugly past, which could lead to a break-down of law and order, unmitigated violence and anarchy, and threaten the stability and sustenance of our hard-fought democracy.
That is our clarion call to all men of honour, character and integrity within Nigeria’s political firmament.