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Playing Perfidious Power Politics

The coalition of ACN, CPC, ANPP and part of APGA, the alphabet soup that got Buhari to power may not matter much in the end now that coveted power has been garnered

UZOR MAXIM UZOATU e-mail: maxim.uzoatu@theunion.com.ng

Only recently the one mantra amongst the politicians of the Change Brigade was the clear and present need to oust then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan from the seat of power in Aso Villa, Abuja. Now that Jonathan has been successfully dislodged these politicians are no longer in any sense united; they oppose one another as though their lives are only fit for opposition politics. The only settled matter as things stand now is that President Muhammadu Buhari is today ensconced in Aso Villa. Every other issue is bogged down in controversy. It’s such a pity that people covet power so rabidly without ever giving much thought to the ends the power would be put to serve.

Let’s recast the lyrics of the reggae band Third World, to wit, “Now that you’ve found love, what are you gonna do with it?” The poser that confronts the ill-assorted Nigerian politicians of the current dispensation stares all in the face: “Now that you’ve found power, what have you got to do with it?” The controversies attending to the whodunit elections of Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara may not subside in the foreseeable future. Large numbers of the champions of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) cannot fathom the perfidious power politics being put to decidedly dangerous ends, as they allege.

The old geopolitics that dogged the country’s every step after the attainment of Independence in 1960 are manifesting everywhere, driving a diabolical wedge against the attainment of proper nationhood. It has passed the stage of whispers as sundry commentators and social media tigers are up in complaints over the putting of effective power in the hands of three Hausa- Fulani personages, namely President Buhari, Senate President Saraki and Speaker Dogara. The one southerner marooned within the troika happens to be Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, but then everybody knows that a vice-president in the presidential system is neither here nor there.

The fear is that it is even the APC rather than the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that will upset the apple-cart. The bitterness amongst the ranks of the APC can be no longer wished away by denial. APC National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is generally seen by his followers as a leader betrayed. Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is poised with talk that no force can stop his support of the Buhari presidency. The unmentioned facts lost in the details can be deciphered through the body language that power is back to base and cannot be compromised on the altar of any so-called helper from outside. The licking of wounds has started in earnest.

When certain APC stalwarts were shouting mad that the party cannot accept the zoning of offices they did not reckon with the perfidy waiting in the wings. To make matters even more damning for the APC change-agents, a redoubtable PDP man, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu, had to be shoed in as the Deputy Senate President, a post he held when the PDP was in power! Things have really fallen apart for the party puritans. People have been used and dumped, as can be seen in the utterances of some of the politicians. A cynical friend of mine who earlier had so much faith in the bandwagon of change is now ruing his lack of gumption in surreptitiously helping “the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) to gain power.”

It does not make for pleasant reading when the APC is substituted with the ancient regime known as NPC! Of course it is too late to cry when the head has already been cut off. There is in due effect the talk of repositioning in preparation for 2019 politics. Even at that, the knife and the yam are in the hands of the landlords of power who on the pain of death would swear never to ever allow power to depart from their pristine shores. It is akin to waiting for Godot to ever expect another Jonathan to manifest elsewhere with the uncanny act of conceding defeat.

The race for current relevance is of course on, as diverse political pressure groups are struggling mightily to be in the good books of President Buhari. The buck duly stops on his table, and it is incumbent on him to guard his presidency jealously after three failed attempts. He is not exactly in any hurry to please all-comers, taking all the time in the world to even constitute his personal staff. He cannot but be waited on.

The stalwarts who deigned earlier to get him running from the very start are so startled as to be lost for words. He is not even interested in pleasing the crowd, as can be seen from his refusal to declare his assets publicly as he had promised on the stumps. Four long years of President Buhari will definitely have a far-reaching effect on political realignment within the country. The coalition of ACN, CPC, ANPP and part of APGA, the alphabet soup that got Buhari to power may not matter much in the end now that coveted power has been garnered.

These are indeed very interesting times, and one cannot but marvel at the rude awakenings every giddy new day. The aspect I cannot stomach is President Buhari making excuses at every turn. Now he is full of verbs and nouns about inheriting a virtually empty treasury. If he’s so afraid of meeting an empty treasury he ought not to have contested the election in the first instance.

He was given the job by Nigerians to conquer these problems troubling the land, not forever giving a thousand and one excuses about the selfsame problems. This is what is known as “Appeal to Pity”, which is also called “Argumentum ad Misericordiam” or “the Galileo argument”. Buhari should knuckle down to do the job at hand, not making outdated arguments and excuses.

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