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APC Crisis: ‘Nollywood Actors’ In The 8th NASS

By Victor Asianah
19 July 2015   |   1:01 pm
I HAD thought that only the United States has produced prominent politicians who at one time, were world-class actors. Late Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States of America, was a world class Hollywood actor for over 25 years. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former governor of the state of California, was a former American…

Buhari and OyegunI HAD thought that only the United States has produced prominent politicians who at one time, were world-class actors. Late Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States of America, was a world class Hollywood actor for over 25 years. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former governor of the state of California, was a former American motion-picture star.

Back home, Anayo Kanayo, a great Nollywood personality, is a politician. Kenneth Okonkwo, (Andy of the living in Bondage fame), a lawyer and a Nollywood star is a politician — a member of the PDP. Desmond Eliot, we hear, is now a Lagos State lawmaker. But these are all by choice. They are deliberately engaged in acting. They rehearse in mansions. They rehearse in the forest in deity-like scenes. They rehearse in typical Nigerian villages. They copy human behaviour. Comedies and tragedies are acted. We enjoy them — the emotions, sorrows and joys they elicit.

The 8th National Assembly (NASS) members and their party leaders, by their actions before, during and after the election of the senate president and his house of representative counterpart, now unconsciously, appear to be out-shinning the professionals in the business of acting. There were unconscious rehearsals and recorded actions. Yes there were. Let’s look at them

Among these political actors are the Biblical ‘Goliaths’ and the ‘Davids’’ of APC. In Part One, scene one, the Goliaths did not know that there were not a few ‘Davids’ lurking at the corner and prepared to use their catapults to strike them. They were used to getting all they asked for. Once they sneezed, the grossly underrated Davids would catch cold. But little did they know that when one gets a protracted cold, he could become immune to it. They wanted a particular presidential candidate. They got it. Yes, before the APC presidential primaries, Buhari had been anointed (sorry endorsed) by many directive-following governors. Atiku and Kwakwanso merely completed the number of contestants for the plum job in that primary. And you want to tell me Atiku was very comfortable with losing the presidential candidacy. Just like that? You mean he left the PDP to play a second fiddle? You must be joking. How about the Chairmanship of the APC? Tom Ikimi is now in limbo. He had been hit below the belt after spearheading the historic coordination of the ‘amalgamation’ of the parties that brought APC into being. Ikimi fumed and fumed.

But who cared? But let’s not forget that the amalgamating parties have their respective identities and their interests. Pretending to be firmly glued together is self-deceit. It is height of political naivety on the part of the APC chieftains, not to have nosed into where their ‘’recalcitrant children’’ should be at the time they were feeling good in the conference centre? Poor judgment indeed!

The president did not come to the conference centre after all. Reason, your guess might be as good as mine. As the APC lords were there, the election of Saraki had been completed. To add salt to injury, Ekweremadu was elected his deputy. And there were PDP governors on hand to congratulate him and their lost brother Saraki. Anyone who watched the loving embraces, the celebration and show of solidarity would know that a successful political mutiny had occurred. And APC chieftains were gnashing their teeth. For me Saraki is 50% APC and 50% PDP. Ekweremadu’s emergence as deputy president will for the next four years remain a pain in the neck of and a migraine, to the APC. Did anybody watch David Mark at the background? He was enjoying the folly of APC. He was all smiles saying, ‘’we made a mistake and we lost the presidency, they have made theirs and we have taken advantage of that.’’ A draw you would say. Impeachment of Saraki and Ekweremadu? Forget it. APC cannot summon the liver. Attempt will spell doom.

In part two Scene two, those at the conference centre got wind of what happened at the NASS and they ran as though they were pursued by Boko Haram. One could hear Lai Mohammed fuming and shouting blue murder. He acted very well. He called it dishonesty. He called it treachery. He called it antiparty activity. He called it the worst disrespect any party member can show to his party. And more irretrievable angry words were flowing profusely from the mouths of APC chieftains. Gbajabiamila was early enough at the other end and lost gallantly. He congratulated Dogara but refused to be his deputy. Did anyone look at Tinubu’s wife when she walked up to salute the senate president as her colleagues did? She refused to salute him.
How about the rest of the principal officers? In part three, the APC delivered the directive. It sent a letter to Saraki and Dogara spelling out those who must occupy the remaining principal officer positions. Saraki and Dogara refused bluntly to read the letters in their respective chambers. Saraki and his like minds made their choice and actualised it. There was a free for all fight in the green chamber. The world watched the embarrassing melee.

Part two, Scene two saw the election of principal officers (or principal actors) of the senate and the house of representatives. A political war had ensued between the ‘like minds’ loyal to Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Dogara on one hand and the ‘Unity forum’ loyal to Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon Gbajabiamila of the house of rep on the other. But the APC leaders had made a pronouncement. The party must dictate and had dictated the officers of the red and green chambers. They conducted a mock primary during which only their anointed sons Ahmed and Gbajabiamila participated. Naivety indeed. When a father of two sons from different mothers glaringly show love and preference for one to the other, the rejected one will one day show his father that he is not as bad a son as he perceived him to be. Remember that Bukola Saraki politically fought his own late father Olusola Saraki (the strong man of Kwara State), when the latter insisted that his daughter must succeed his son Bukola as Kwara State Governor. Saraki the son, won the battle. So, who then can he not fight to his knees? He has a sound political pedigree. And he has the enabling deep pocket to do what it takes. Now keep in mind that, President Buhari had said he would work with anyone or group that emerges from both chambers, as if he is apolitical. I refuse to believe, he meant every word of that statement. Keep in mind too that Saraki and Dogara were former staunch members of the PDP. If you were a PDP senator, won’t you vote for your lost brother and probably lure him back? Just natural. APC is in a mess. Reason? Selfishness, ego and high level ‘’ambitiometer reading,’’ to copy a mantra of this writer’s University of Ife years.

In part two scene one, I trust we all now know that our tallish, six footer senate president cramped himself in a small car in the NASS car Park to escape kidnap. That was historic action towards achieving a planned goal. Beautiful scene indeed! He stayed there watching who and who were passing into the red chamber and watching when the clerk would pass! Do you know something? If you watch television keenly and with rapt attention, you would have seen APC Leader, Bola Tinubu, smiling away, and backslapping his ‘boys’ at the International Conference centre. There was the APC chairman and Lai Mohammed, its spokesman. Some inside and some in the corridor waiting for president Buhari to deliver the ‘order’ to Saraki and Dogara to immediately step down for Ahmed and Gbajamiabila without delay. Time for election in the Senate chamber was 10 am. The whole world knew this. And yet the APC chieftains were so sure that no ‘David’ on the face of the earth could dare ever think of challenging the supreme directive of the party. But they were totally wrong. There were too many defiant Davids. They were confident. They were ready for battle. Their utterances demonstrated it. They had convincing argument. And Tambuwal had done it in the past in the house to PDP, and went away with it. Tinubu et al applauded it. They were ready to replicate it. They did not bother whose ox was gored. And the president kept them waiting. Meanwhile, Olusola Saraki from his vintage position in that small car in the NASS car park had seen the clerk pass and immediately went in. But plots and counter plots continue. There are plots to remove Saraki and Ekweremadu. There are plots to remove the APC chairman Oyegun-Odigie whom the unity forum men accused of not handling the whole saga well. But he, Oyegun, also has his avowed supporters.

The APC internal war promises to be a fight of the titans. The Atikus and the Tinubus are already making calculations for 2019 even when Buhari has no ministers yet for his first term. This must have been triggered by the suspicion that he may not go for a second term. And of course Buhari said recently that he would have wished he was younger to tackle much more effectively, the rigours of managing the affairs of state. If Buhari attempted four times at presidency why can’t Atiku, a younger political guru, do even more? And how about Tinubu? El-Rufai who appears now to be speaking APC’s mind at every forum he finds himself, just told Nigerians that NNPC is a parallel government and must cease to be so. Mr. President is also watching with his own team. Too many intrigues. Too many squabbles. Too many interests in the APC. Haba Is this the change Nigerians voted for? PDP is keenly watching and enjoying the drama unfolds.

Fellow Nigerians, surely things are fast falling apart in the ruling party, the APC. And the centre is not holding at all. Can someone advise APC to allow this tiny sleeping dog lie or it will soon experience a catastrophic political implosion. Let someone advise the APC leaders to at least ‘pretend’ that all these squabbles are for the interest of ordinary Nigerians and not self-seeking and self-serving? No doubt the ‘Nollywood actors’ of the 8th Assembly still have more drama in their kitty to show Nigerians, who will be the worst for it, if not arrested now.

• Victor Asianah – A keen watcher of Public affairs, writes from Port Harcourt.