UZOR MAXIM UZOATU e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
These are very interesting times for our ever exciting country, Nigeria. No thriller writer could ever have plotted the twists and turns of the power play of the old country. The inauguration of the 8th Senate and House of Representatives yesterday added another dimension to Nigeria’s reputation of surprise and unpredictability. Ordinarily, one could have guessed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would have its way in the election of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
As the old knowledge goes, the minority can have its say while the majority will have its way. The APC of course boasts of absolute majority in the Senate and the House, and in its mock elections the party picked Senator Ahmed Lawan from Yobe State to superintend over the Senate while Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila of Lagos was chosen to head the House. Senator Bukola Saraki of Kwara State and Hon. Yakubu Dogara had other ideas that stood the party’s verdict on its head.
It needs to be remembered that the APC’s plot to effect change by winning the March 28 presidential election could only be achieved with the defection of some members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) into its fold. On the current issue of the National Assembly elections, the PDP made bold to announce to the world that the party has chosen Saraki as Senate President and Dogara as House Speaker.
How can a minority party dare to call the shots in this season of change? Nigerians waited with bated breath for the outcome of the battle royal. In Greek mythology there is the ready lesson of the Trojan Horse which explains how the PDP upstaged the APC in the election of Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President. In Ancient Greece there was the Trojan War in which the Greeks needed to penetrate the city of Troy in order to win the longdrawn- out battle.
For ten years the soldiers of Greece laid siege on the city of Troy without success. Then the Greeks initiated the plot to construct a huge wooden horse inside which they hid a select force of determined soldiers. In a classical case of subterfuge, the remaining number of Greek soldiers made a withdrawal from the battle scene, leaving the horse behind.
The Trojans celebrated that they had triumphed over the Greeks and pulled the horse into their city as a trophy of victory. The Greek soldiers hidden inside the horse waited until the night before creeping out and opening the gates of the city of Troy for multitudes of their fellow soldiers to enter. The Greek army that had come back under the cover of night entered Troy and completely destroyed the erstwhile impregnable city.
Through the use of the Trojan Horse Greece comprehensively won the war over Troy. It stands to reason that the PDP stalwarts that defected to the APC were akin to Trojan horses. Certain elements of the North had on the pain of death and war canvassed for the presidency to be returned to the North. This was achieved through the election of President Muhammadu Buhari. With that dimension of the plot achieved, it was time for Saraki to come to his mates of the PDP as a prodigal son to clinch the esteemed post of Senate President.
In a sense, the Trojan horses of the PDP have somewhat snookered the ruling APC into playing the thankless role of the opposition party as things are. The Trojan Horse is a stunt that makes a victim to allow the enemy into a securely protected bastion. The range of the Trojan Horse has extended to a malicious computer programme which tricks users into willingly running it.
The APC has thus been caught in the web of the Trojan Horse that allowed Senator Bukola Saraki to be elected unopposed by 57 Senators as the Senate President. Bolaji Adebiyi, a President Goodluck Jonathan aide in the last dispensation has this to say of the development: “Although I am a firm believer in the principle of majority rule, I think our politics is maturing. This is intriguing. The PDP wing of the APC has taken control of the Federal legislature, while the ACN and the CPC wings are in control of the Federal executive. President Muhammadu Buhari will have to get the best hands around him to work with this formidable coalition in the legislature.
Is this good for Nigeria? I think so.” The hope is that Nigeria and Nigerians will become the ultimate winners. President Buhari had earlier said that he would not interfere with the elections in the National Assembly as he is ready to work with the elected ones. There was the report that he was due to meet with the National Assembly members of the APC on the morning of the inauguration but the meeting never held.
There were even reports that APC Senators were waiting for President Buhari for the proposed meeting when the loyalists of Saraki went ahead with the election. Be that as it may, Saraki ended up getting the needed majority votes that would have made any other contestant a clear loser. The issues arising are many. The change that APC promised cannot be crowed about with Saraki and his antecedents as an albatross.
There are so many pending cases with the EFCC on corruption. There is the question of the huge ego of the Kwara supreme that may lead to a clash of egos instead of helping Nigeria to move forward. Given that Saraki does not hide his presidential ambition, there is the fear that the run-up to the 2019 presidential election may become an endgame. For now the Trojan Horse has done its bit and we can only wait to see the full result in the womb of time.