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APC and End of Time Featured

Sunday, 29 November 2015 00:00 Written by  Published in Politics Read 587 times



Mustafa Folami cautions that All Progressive Congress (APC)’s internal cracks may consume the party’s otherwise enigmatic personalities in battles pitting them against foes that are below their ranks.    


In writing about Tinubu many personalities ran through one’s mind, butTinubu is not a personality. He has become an institution within the political dynamics of the Nigeria’s state. His metamorphosis in the last fifteen years within the political firmament is well documented. The question to ask at this juncture is why has Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu become a recurring decimal within the geo-locale called Nigeria.


In a research to study the human mind, led by Nick Clayton of the University of Cambridge, they set out to test a hypothesis that states that: “only humans can mentally separate themselves from what they are experiencing to envisage how they might feel about future events. To test whether this is so, Dr. Clayton and colleagues sought to tear apart some birds’ momentary desires from their planning for future needs. They let the birds eat as much of one food as they wanted, exploiting a condition called specific satiety-once the birds are full of one food, they showed preference for something different.


The birds changed their caching preferences on the very next trial. Even though they had just had their fill of the first food, they still cached it, presumably because they thought it would be their preferred choice later. It is this state of mind that gives birth to the unfolding rift rocking the All Progressive Congress. From the Saraki Saga to the ministerial appointees and the feuds with the Atiku camp, this trend gives credence to the question, what does Tinubu want?


In answering this question, two personalities leap out of the British history: Thomas Bickett and Captain James Cook. James Cook was one of the world’s greatest explorers. He sailed round the world twice. He was the first European to reach Hawaii and New Zealand, and he sailed further south than any European had ever gone. People marvelled over the places, people and things Cook described. Before Cook, nobody in Europe knew about penguins and kangaroos.


Cook was born in 1728 on a farm in northern England. At the age of 18, he went to work for a shipping Company. In 1775, cook joined the British Royal Navy. His ship was sent to Canada to make maps of land that Britain had conquered from France. In 1768, Cook sailed to the South Pacific Ocean, with artists and scientists. Officially, their task was to observe the planet Venus. But Britain also hoped that cook would find a mysterious “Southern Continent” that some sailors claimed to have seen.


Cook’s careful work caused a sensation when he arrived home in Britain in 1771. No other expedition had gathered so much information, so thoroughly and scientifically. Cook also won fame for keeping his sailors healthy. In 1776, Cook set off on a third voyage. This time, Cook wanted to look for the Northwest Passage. This was a possible sea route north of Canada linking Europe to Asia. Before sailing north, he explored several islands in the Pacific. He landed in Hawaii in 1778, becoming the first to do so.


From Hawaii, Cook sailed to North America. He was the first European to set foot on Vancouver Island off the coast of British Columbia. Throughout 1778, he explored the northwest coast of North America, but he failed to find the North West passage. In 1779, Cook returned to Hawaii, where he was killed in a quarrel with natives over a stolen boat.


In as much as we attempt to give this topic a careful dialysis, it is to Thomas a Beckett we turn.


In June 1935, the Bishop of Chichester commissioned T.S. Eliot to write a play for the Canterbury festival. In his thought, he chose for his subject matter the martyrdom of the most famous of all English Saints, Thomas Becket. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury between the years 1162 and 1170, when he was brutally murdered, on the twenty–ninth of December, in his own Cathedral. The Assassins were four knights, Reginald Fitz Urse, William de Traci, Hugh de Morville and Richard Brito. When they had accomplished what they had come to, they left the precincts shouting that they were the King’s men: in fairness to their bloody-minded and reckless feudality, it must be said they probably believed themselves to be acting in consonance with a half expressed wish of his in the matter, in a long drawn out but not entirely straight fight between Crown and Church on certain constitutional issues. To them, Beckett appeared an arrogant and turbulent priest, a traitor whittling away the rightful and reasonable powers of their supreme overlord, Henry II and his successors. To Beckett and his fellow monks, it was a spiritual conflict, an incident of eternal struggle of good and evil in which they happened to be all-important involved. To them Beckett was God’s champion, “Agnothetha Dei”.


In the above narratives, one thing is certain. The insatiable quest of man to actualise his worldly callings; be it in politics, economics, military or Bishopric entangles. It is from this angle of thought we intend to dissect the unfolding of an enigma. But before we delve into this, let us look at the various underpinnings surrounding this cataract of events.


 “What goes round comes round”. This was the submission of the seasoned journalist Dele Momodu in his column pendulum. He explained the Saraki Saga as a payback time for PDP, and they did so real good”. In 2011, when against the anointment of Hon. Mulikat of the PDP as speaker, the hand of Tinubu was seen in the emergence of former Speaker, Tambuwal. The PDP shouted to the heavens but the ACN said it was in the spirit of democracy.


What happened when the APC leadership decided to shoot itself in the foot by summoning a party conference with the president at the same time the senate was being inaugurated is now the object of intense speculation as to who, how, and why? What is clear is that this opening gambit played into the hands of the Saraki faction. Call it what you want, a coup, double cross, ambush, outflanking, outsmarting or any other nomenclature; this was surely a great military strategy at work. But whether true or false, it is not a justification to throw away the baby with the bathwater.


As Saraki was basking in the euphoria of been sworn in as the President of the 8th Senate, the Code of Conduct came calling with a baggage of misconducts of the Senate president while he was governor of Kwara state. And thus, the Pandora box goes on. Judging from the political manoeuver that culminated in the emergence of Saraki as president of the Senate, arguments had risen that the charges of corruption against him are targeted to get the Senate president to kowtow to his All progressives Congress (APC), but the substance of the argument is not holding, because even Saraki’s wife is also been investigated by the EFCC over allegations of money laundering and diversion of Kwara State government funds. The emerging scenario is what a columnist tagged “the war of the dynasties”.


In his reaction to the Saraki saga, Chief Bode George, the erstwhile garrison commander of the PDP in the South West said, “you know I predicted weeks ago that the APC is just a congregation of strange bed fellows.The most beautiful thing about what has happened is that Bola Tinubu’s political influence in Nigeria is coming to a sunset and it is about five minutes to midnight”. In as much as George’s assertion is weighty, it is not enough to determine Tinubu’s political firmament owing to his role in the formation of the ruling the party.


In his opinion, Osita Okechukwu, a chieftain of the party cautioned that the opposition should not meddle in the party affairs as efforts are been put in place to rectify the grievances. In his words, “efforts are been made in putting behind the disappointment of having persons other than the party’s choice as leaders of both chambers of the National Assembly and move forward”.


There is a conspiracy theory going round the mills that if Saraki’s jinni is finally bottled, the senator representing the Lagos Central federal constituency is warming up to take the hot seat of the senate president. How far this will play out is yet to be seen, with the G5 group spoiling for war and the PDP goons watching from the perimeter fence. This eventually lead to the popular phrase, “if you Tarka me, I will Daboh you”. This was a phrase that gained currency in the fall out of Middl-ebelt crisis of the first republic.


In all of this, the pendulum swings back to Tinubu. Like the monks who saw Thomas Bickett as their “agnotheta Dei”, the Jagaba is seen as “agnotheta terra” having a similar constitutional battle with the senate president, just like the refusal of a Bickett to crown the son of King Henry II. Against all persuasions, he left France only to meet his waterloo. Whether Tinubu wins the war or not is not the issue but he needs to constantly walk with trepidation so that like Captain Cook who conquered the world but ended up been hacked by a ragtag local on the island of Hawaii.


Mustapha Folami

Fulami Mustafa Olawole who hails from Lagos, Nigeria attended Surulere Baptist School, Lagos and Government College, Lagos. A graduate of University of Ilorin, Mustafa is married and presently works as a journalist in Kano.