By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah
The All Progressives Congress (APC) made history as the first party to unseat an incumbent at the centre and that’s where it ends. I have never seen a party so at loggerheads with each other. The APC holds the enviable record for being in power and at the same time in opposition.
APC was an amalgamation of different parties with the sole aim was of ousting former President Goodluck Jonathan from power. The performance of the PDP administration made the task of APC easier. After their victory, they have been finding it hard to manage the different interests in the party. The election of the leadership of the National Assembly exposed the tiny thread holding the different interests in the party together .The leadership of the party failed to nip the crisis in the bud and the APC today is on the brink of implosion.
The biggest critics of the president in the National Assembly today are APC members, with the way the senate opposes most of the president’s policies and requests, you will be forgiven to think that the senate is dominated by PDP lawmakers. Most of the APC lawmakers we all know are wolves in sheep’s clothing- APC in the day time and PDP at night. The PDP lawmakers don’t even need to play the opposition in the senate as their APC counterparts are doing it for them.
You marvel at the way APC lawmakers in the senate criticise the president, something which is unheard of in the PDP era. I don’t imagine a PDP Senator in the era of David Mark criticising former President Jonathan openly in the senate.
The biggest critic of Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el- Rufai in his state is his fellow APC member, Senator Shehu Sani, the same goes for Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar whose number one critic is the Speaker, House Of Reps, Yakubu Dogara, the number four in the APC hierarchy. In Kano, there is no love lost between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso. In Kogi, Senator Dino Melaye and most APC lawmakers in the National Assembly from Kogi are the biggest critics of Governor Yahaya Bello. In most APC states, the story is the same.
Right now, the APC is divided into three factions fighting for the soul of the party. The Buhari faction with people like Babatunde Fashola, Kayode Fayemi, Adams Ishiomiole, Ibukun Amosun while Bola Tinubu’s faction has people like governors of Lagos, Osun, and with some former ACN members. The Atiku faction has the Senate President with former new PDP decampees.
So far, the chairman of the APC, John Oyegun has not provided leadership, he prefers to play the ostrich and expect to see the problems fizzle out on their own. Most of the party members don’t even respect the party chairman. Oyegun has no clout as the party is grossly underfunded. The party secretariat in Abuja most times is deserted. Imagine the secretariat of a ruling party, which is supposed to be busy with activities with visitors thronging in, looking like a graveyard. Something is wrong somewhere.
Imagine in two years the leadership of the party has not met with the party’s caucus in the Senate with the constant bickering between the legislature and executive. The Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan has visited the Villa just once since he was appointed and the leader in the House of Reps, Femi Gbajaimila hardly visits the Villa. These are supposed to be the link men between the National Assembly and the presidency. Two years on, the president has not filled appointments into boards and agencies and the ones he has made, governors and senators are complaining that they had no inputs in the appointments.
The meeting between the APC and the Senate caucus is belated but it’s still a right step in the right direction. They need to get their acts together as they are right now playing the role of a party in power and in opposition simultaneously.
Governor Yari’s Faux Pax
Cerebrospinal Meningitis has been ravaging some parts of the country for some weeks now with Zamfara State the worst hit. As at last count, over 400 have been reported dead with Zamfara accounting for 215 of those deaths.
The federal government has been slow in taking action against the epidemic and the Ministry Of Heath disclosed that Nigeria needs $1.1 bn to procure vaccine.
Just when the country is thinking of how to contain the scourge of the disease, Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari had an epiphany, a kind of eureka moment.
According to the governor, the ongoing outbreak of Type C Cerebrospinal Meningitis is God’s way of showing his anger against Nigerians for turning their back on him.
He spoke to State House Correspondents in Hausa on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after meeting with President Muhammdu Buhari.
He said, “What we used to know as far as meningitis is concerned is the type A virus. The World Health Organisation, WHO, has carried out vaccinations against this type A virus, not just in Zamfara, in but many other states.”
“However, because people refused to stop their nefarious activities, God now decided to send Type C virus, which has no vaccination.”
“People have turned away from God and he has promised that ‘if you do anyhow, you see anyhow’ that is just the cause of this outbreak as far as I am concerned.”
“There is no way fornication will be so rampant and God will not send a disease that cannot be cured.”
“Our focus as a state now is to continue treating those who are infected with the disease, but as for vaccination, it has an international dimension.”
“We have information that Nigeria will get the highest percentage of the 5 million doses available now. Apart from WHO, other International bodies such as the Bill Gates foundation and UNICEF are also currently focusing on how to tackle the outbreak,” he said.
The governor should be given a Nobel Prize for coming up with this answer to why Meningitis is ravaging the country. In fact, a monument should be erected in his honour for this brilliant answer.
With this brilliant answer, at least we know why we are where we are right now in this country.
But will you blame him? If a man of letters, former special adviser on Media to President Jonathan, Reuben Abati blamed the poor performance of his boss and former leaders on the demons in Aso Rock, then we are doomed in this country.