President Muhammadu Buhari, a predictable man who neither conceded defeat nor congratulated his opponents broke his own world record when he recognised the election of ‘rebel ‘ national legislators in his own party (APC) who emerged the all-important Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives. Most intriguing as millions of people have expressed is the agreement brokered between the triumphal renegades and the opposition PDP which returned a PDP man as Deputy Senate President , and another as Leader of the Senate.
Perhaps, the president was buoyed by the gentle spirit of his predecessor who demonstrated an unusual courage and sportsman attitude strange to African politics. Jonathan’s political philosophy, devoid of do or die has raised the bar for his successor. For Buhari to find a place in history, he must find a way of charting a new course for himself, away from his ad hoc partisan colleagues in the APC. The latter were motivated to align in order to capture the presidency and control governance.
Each ally has an underlining interest which the political godfathers are dead serious about abrogating. It was the said interests cum dimming prospects that induced rebellion in the erstwhile ruling party (PDP) which benefitted the APC hugely. While the APC leaders were in cavort of now being the ruling party and trying to suppress the elements who made their Eldorado possible, the underdogs were busy scheming a way to curtail their greed. What the APC leaders forgot is that theirs is a party rooted in merger of different political parties, and the lid could be blown open when least expected, and individuals could head back home where they’d be received like the prodigal son. For a political party who owes its making chiefly to the actions of renegades of another political party, APC lost the moral authority to rein in those same people who now carry the badge of APC renegades. And if it tries, the desired result will not land.
Democracy is still alien to most observers and analysts who hold the opinion that the APC should wield a big stick on the offending party members by overturning the National Assembly elections which produced the principal officers.
By the way, to clinch the Speaker position, Hon. Yakubu Dogara received 182 votes against Hon. Gbajabiamila’s 174 votes. Conversely, Senator Bukola Saraki was elected unopposed by 57 of 108 senators. 51 senators were absent. How would the APC annul the elections and walk over the voters to elect its favoured officers without destroying its fragile house? If Nigeria is practicing democracy, one wonders why undemocratic measures should be advocated against clear democratic choices in which majority in both houses decided on whom to entrust the daily affairs of the national assembly.
In his inaugural speech as the elected president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari toned: “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.”
It probably underscores his recognition of the multi-party structure of the country and readiness to work with all within and outside party politics. His recognition of the leadership of NASS is in keeping with that inclination. Buhari may be seeing the light by staying aloof from those who want to make him their dummy.