Without any reason that is reasonable enough to warrant any reasonable intervention from the country’s reasonable President, members of a fading group within the APC that call themselves the New PDP (nPDP) have recently resorted to blackmailing and intimidating both the APC leadership and the Presidency that they would pull out of the APC if certain unreasonable demands of theirs were not met!
And what are the unreasonable demands? One, that the APC has been marginalizing them in the party; that the party and the Presidency should address it or they will leave the party! Two, that the federal government should drop all charges of corruption and criminal allegations against Senate President Bukola Saraki and other colleagues of theirs!
Senator Saraki actually became President of the Senate against the wishes of the APC. But the party has already moved on by accepting it as fait accompli. In other words, if the APC had chosen to behave like the PDP has been ruling between 1999 and 2015, the APC would have raided both the CBN and the NNPC to pull out billions of naira to remove Saraki from that office!
Even at that, Senator Saraki, being a PDP man with all of the party’s DNA well enshrined in his personality, actively sabotaged the APC by making sure that the seat of the Deputy President of the Senate was retained by the PDP in a Senate with APC in the majority, which is akin to the PDP occupying both the top leadership positions of the Chamber! Besides that, he also divided committee chairmanships equally between APC and PDP senators, something that the PDP has never ever done, and will never ever do, for any party! In other words, Senator Saraki chose to empower his (former?) party the PDP at the expense of the APC! So, who is marginalizing whom in this context and how has he been of help to the APC?
We are not even talking of the fact that since Saraki connived with his PDP to shortchange the APC in the Senate, they converted the Senate into a tool for sabotaging the war against corruption, crime and economic waste. So, of what benefit has Saraki and his nPDP gang been to the APC and the administration of President Buhari? Absolutely nothing!
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara lended himself to be the leader of the delegation constituted by the so called nPDP to meet with the Presidency over the unreasonable demands their unreasonable group made (as listed above), which simply means he also agrees that the nPDP which he belongs to has been marginalized by the APC. And I wonder what kind of marginalization is it when the nPDP alone has both the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives while at the same time conceding the office of Deputy President of the Senate to their (former?) party?
In any case, when Hon. Yakubu Dogara became Speaker of the House that is made up of about 240 APC members and about 120 PDP members, he shared committee chairmanships equally between APC and PDP members exactly as his nPDP partner Bukola Saraki did in the Senate, which was something the PDP has never ever done, and will never ever do! In other words, while almost every PDP member of the House is either a Chairman or Deputy Chairman of a committee, so many APC members in the House are mere committee members.
So, both Saraki and Dogara merely rode on the wings of the APC to get into power in order to clandestinely empower their party, the PDP, and having done so to their satisfaction for three years, they now decided to come out openly to blackmail the APC administration with flimsy and unreasonable demands. Or better still, they must have been enjoying the marginalization they did against APC members in the National Assembly and the sabotage they have waged on every noble programme of the Buhari administration so much that they now want to occupy the positions of President and Vice President, otherwise how on earth could they now claim they are being marginalized when they have been the ones marginalizing and sabotaging the APC?
In fact, if you are a fair minded person, the more you go through their unreasonable demands the angrier you get, especially when you see that almost all of them who were chased out of the PDP by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and his gang are now either state governors or senators or House of Reps members or even ministers on the tickets of the APC. So, what else do they want if not sabotage, blackmail and the desire to force this administration to run Nigeria like the PDP has done, a method through which they robbed, plundered and destroyed Nigeria for 16 solid years?
For example, if Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is having a political feud with his successor Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, who then is marginalizing whom in their own case since both of them are of the same nPDP stock? Is it an APC governor marginalizing an nPDP senator, or is it not a feud between two nPDP gladiators with one attempting to dominate and control his successor in the Kano State Government House on the flimsy and untenable basis that he helped his successor become governor?
If these so called nPDP “activists” are not drunk or foolish or both, who among them has any reasonable reason to claim or play the warped song of marginalization when in actual sense they have gotten much more than they deserve and have even used what they got to sabotage both the APC and its administration in spite of the fact that it is the APC that gave them the lifeline to revive their dying political career?
When the Goodluck Jonathan camorra hounded them out of the PDP through all manner of threats and intimidations, their political capital was very down. And it coincided with the moment the whole nation was ripe and ready for CHANGE on the wings of General Muhammadu Buhari, which became very convenient for them to ride on his coattails to seek elective offices, and which they got. But these charlatans are now strutting themselves like some political heavyweights without which the APC and General Buhari couldn’t have gotten power whereas even when they were in the PDP with all their so called political clout and usual “PDP machineries”, Buhari has always won the places or areas they consider as their primary places of power and influence!
In fact, as a matter of national duty and patriotism, President Buhari should not balk at the duty of ordering the arrest and prosecution of anyone found colluding with armed robbers or cultists or any other criminal gang, or anyone overtly or covertly sabotaging the war against corruption and other noble programmes of government. They cannot ride back to power on the wings of CHANGE in 2015 and then be openly clipping the wings of that same CHANGE in preference for the ways and methods they used to destroy Nigeria from May 1999 to May 2015!
And by the way, for any person or group to ask the President to direct the withdrawal of criminal charges against any person or persons is tantamount to urging the President to commit the crime of obstruction of justice, which is equally an impeachable offence! And it also amounts to undue interference in the legitimate functions and duties of another arm of government, or do they think we are operating a monarchical system of governance instead of democracy?
Faliya Cham is National Coordinator, Vanguards for the Protection of Democracy in Nigeria