By Francis Ezediuno
This is a season of fights amongst politicians in the two biggest political parties in Nigeria. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (APC) have never fared better but while the PDP is fast recovering from this, their relative is inheriting what they have done away with.
I have always told those amongst my close circle of friends who care to listen to my lone “voice in the wilderness” that of the two most popular political parties in Nigeria; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (APC), the latter is as my Ile-Ife born prince friend Tope Eluyefa always put it more adapt to ‘rofo rofo fight’ than the former.
Now, you may not want to agree with me on this but taking a look at our political history right from May 29, 1999, we will discover that every time and election is conducted in this country and these two political parties head to the tribunal, the APC has had most wins than the PDP.
The PDP was more adept at defeating itself at in-fighting than defeating these monster opposition party called the APC.
Typical examples are the celebrated cases between Rotimi Amaechi and Celestine Omehia in Rivers State in 2007 and Timipre Sylva and Seriake Dickson in Bayelsa State in 2012.
Except for the 2019 General Elections where renegade governors Ibikunle Amosun and Owelle Rochas Okorocha of Ogun and Imo States went AWOL for reasons best known for them.
Initially, governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode wanted to play the truancy game but the acclaimed ‘Lion of Bourdillon’ quickly put him in check and like the obedient son, he quickly fell in line.
The APC had never been known for in-fightings. Their strength lied in fighting outside than inside while the opposite can be ascribed to the PDP.
In comes the 2019 General Election where this ‘rofo rofo’ fight came into play again and the dynamics changed totally. The APC which had been immuned from in-fighting became a victim of its own successes.
Rewind to the 2015 General Elections and the events leading to it. There was a gale of defections and change of party allegiances.
A mighty gale swept across the political parties and notable names crossed from one party to the other. Typical of the kind of switching of sides when people lack ideologies.
Dissatisfied politicians and those who lost in the political power play that preceded the 2015 polls especially in the PDP left the mother party to form the nPDP. The ‘n’ standing for new.
Names like Atiku Abubakar, the most corrupt and adulterous politician out of Nigeria and Bukola Saraki, the strong man of Kwara politics due to his ambitions of becoming Senate President and then President of the Federal Republic were welcomed into the APC with open hands. The APC being selfish due to its ambition to dominate Kwara politics for once.
While Saraki was eyeing the nation’s top political job, the APC was planning to snatch Kwara away from him. We all know how it ended!
The anger and animosity continued and on 29th of May, 2015, the APC candidate, Muhamadu Buhari was sworn into office as President.
Saraki’s coup for the moment was hatched with a little success as he became the Senate President.
Finally, had the ‘Lion of Bourdillon’ been defeated? The quarrel was taken to the public space when the wife of the ‘Lion’ refused to shake the hands of her husband’s arch enemy right there in the ‘red chamber’ and in the full glare of the world press.
Back to my point of discussion. The APC had always fought successfully from the inside and the PDP the other way round but elements of the PDP had crept into it and polluted it from within.
The nDPD elements in the APC quickly became a cancer that four years later has caused so much damage due to its metastasis of hate and betrayals.
I have always been a stranger to politics in Nigeria but I can’t cease from enjoying the macabre dance being demonstrated by these set.
Politics is a game in saner climes but in Nigeria it in the words of the Owu born general and two time Executive President of Nigeria; Chief Aremu Matthew Williams Okikiola Olusegun Obasanjo aka Baba Iyabo, “do or die affair”.
The political landscape in Nigeria has been turned into a bloody battlefield where every four years some blood must be spilled to satiate the ‘god of election’.
As the 2019 election was approaching, the nPDP elements in the APC began to kick again and ran back with tails between their legs to their home, thereby presenting a formidable opposition.
Many flashpoints to the upcoming electoral battle presented itself. Kwara was on the spotlight, Kano was not left out, Kaduna was flashing, Adamawa was joining the fray, and Lagos was not left out too.
At the end of it, Lagos was retained as the traditional stronghold of the APC, Oyo was lost to the PDP mainly due to the arrogance of the ‘constituted authority” governor, Kwara was won and lost as local power changed hands from the PDP to the APC.
The “O To Ge” slogan finally won as the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai ‘lie’ Mohammed edged out Dr. Bukola Saraki of the PDP. Quite interesting to note that not only did the Saraki lose his hold on Kwara politics by loosing there but he will not be returning to the Senate and his ambitions of ruling Nigeria for now may be on hold.
So goes Saraki out of the picture. The in-fighting spirit they imported from the nPDP into the APC finally consumed him when he went back ‘home’.
Lie Mohammed was the ‘long knife’ the APC used to cut his grip over the Kwara people. The grip that has been in existence since the days of his father, the Oloye of Kwara politics, Dr. Olusola Saraki, the Senate Majority Leader during the truncated Second Republic which coincidentally the current president supervised its abortion on the night of December 31, 1983.
In Kaduna, another importee from the PDP is giving the APC a hell of a tough time. I am talking about the diehard Buharist, Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
He’s been having a running battle with Senator Shehu Sani who incidentally had to leave the APC and paid a heavy price for his deviant and uncompromising stance.
Shehu Sani did not just have a good name before his governor and therefore did not appease the gods.
A diary of ‘rofo rofo’ fights you may say and so many giants have fallen. I wonder how many more giants would fall before the magical year 2023.
In comes in the Waziri Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku ABubakar who in my estimation is the only politician in this generation who every Nigerian loves to give a kick in the back side.
How should I describe him? I will have to start somewhere anyway.
This is a man who abandoned ship towards the tail end of the presidency of his boss, Balogun owu, Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo and vanished from the public space only to appear as the presidential candidate of the then Action Congress (AC) in 2007.
After he lost calamitously, he found his way back to the PDP
Towards 2015, the Waziri was gearing up again for another shot at the Presidency under the PDP when internal wrangling and in-fighting saw to his exit again thereby seeing him pitch his political tents with the dissident nPDP members who found their way into the mega APC.
The Turaki Vanguard which was his campaign vehicle threw its weight behind the presidential of General Muhamadu Buhari aka Mr.Integrity and he was a major financial backer of this project and one of those who frustrated the vice presidential ambitions of Bola Ahmed Tinubu aka ‘Lion of Bourdillon’.
I am sure all these worked against him in the run up towards the 2019 General Elections.
Adamawa became another battleground both for many reasons. The wife of Mr. Integrity, Hajia Aisha Buhari is from the state and despite her saintly miem, has eyes on installing her brother as state helmsman.
The battle now was between Hajia, her brother, the sitting governor (Bindow) and the Turaki political machinery. The battle is still raging and I sincerely hope a solution will be found now that Turaki has lost again to her husband.
After the alleged Dollar party of a PDP Presidential primary in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, I wonder what would be racing through the minds of our Turaki?
We should not forget in a hurry that the Ahmed Kadaria presidential debate did not in any way help Turaki and his running mate, Peter Obi whose dirty underpants were exposed for all to see. As one of my lecturers in the higher institution always said, “Until the wind blew, we never knew reverend fathers put on shorts”.
So for the soft spoken Peter Obi, the wind blew and we all saw the type of shorts he was wearing and how dirty it was!
Before Owelle Rochas became governor in 2011, he had been a philanthropist but secretly planning and eyeing being the ‘landlord of Aso Rock’.
On many occasions, he had tried getting there on the ticket of several political parties but not given the chance but when out of frustration perhaps he switched ambitions from the presidency to the gubernatorial, he had his first taste of political success.
After eight years in the saddle, power and corruption has gotten the better part of him as he wanted to foist his son in-law, Uche Nwosu on the people of his state.
How can the people of Imo State, a well read breed, serve both master and servant? It became an issue that even the local APC did not allow and in frustration, his son in-law left and pitched tents with another party.
We must remember from my opening lines that the APC was never good at fighting itself but excelled when fighting their enemies. That area of specialty was best left for the PDP. In-fighting in the APC is as a result of the creeping in of elements from other political divides.
While I am not a supporter of the APC and what it stands for, I am just stating facts from my own point of view, so I need to carry on.
Okorocha’s insistence has made him to be the looser in this. His son in-law lost the election woefully to the PDP, he was suspended from his party. Remember that he was originally of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) stock and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) allege that he announced his victory at the as a Senator of the Federal Republic under duress.
An allegation that INEC is not letting lie low which had prompted the electoral umpire to withhold from issuing Okorocha with a Certificate of Return.
Anyway, the “my people, my people” governor has added a humorous angle to the twist by saying INEC was planning to issue him with the certificate in a private ceremony.
Same story unfolded in Ogun State where the APC governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, whose fight with Olusegun Osoba, the local party warlord nearly cost the nation an embarrassment that was not needed.
In front of President Muhamadu Buhari, the crown when berserk and if not for the timely intervention of God and observant people, who knows.
For his defiance and stand, the long capped governor was handed a suspension from the APC.
Anyway, Amosun’s anointed candidate decamped from the APC and lost in the ensuing electoral contest. Albeit, Amosun won and he is going to the Senate unlike his contemporary in Oyo, Isiaka Ajimobi who chose to offend the powers that be.
Ajimobi lost and he is not going back to the Senate being a former Senator.
What did he do? He became arrogant. Power corrupted him. He declared himself the “constituted authority” in the state. He fought the Olubadan and he being an Ibadan son was rejected by his own people for that.
In his quest to destroy High Chief Rashidi Ladoja politically, he stepped into forbidden waters. He stepped on sacred toes by creating lesser kings in Ibadan therefore destroying the age long tradition of ascension to the revered Olubadan stool.
Not done yet, he paid the ‘Tungba’ maestro, Yinka Ayefele a courtesy call that was not friendly. He attacked the soul of Ibadan entertainment on an early August Sunday morning. A day that will forever remain in the bad books of Ibadan people.
People had not yet recovered for the sacrilege on the Olubadan and now he was attacking a ‘cripple’. This was too hard to bare. The ‘consitiuted authority’ forgot that the day of accountability was nigh at hand and it came. The people of Ibadan rejected him and Oyo State rejected his party. Isiaka was now on his own and the PDP is now celebrating with a victory dance.
He did not learn from Otunba Christopher Alao Akala who betrayed his boss, Rashidi Ladoja as his deputy and also squared off with the Alaafin Oyo, Iku Baba Yeye,Igbakeji Orisa, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III and lost out. The pugilist king devoured him with a technical knockout.
Change of compass direction to the North West and the APC’s Governor Ganduje aka Gandollar of Kano illuminates this write-up.
Kano State became a big flashpoint for politician during the campaigns for the 2019 General Elections due to the event of the state governor being videotaped bribing some people with US Dollars and instantly the nickname ‘Gandollar” stuck.
This is the state where the political power puncher Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the Kwankwasiyya movement was instrumental to President Muhamadu Buhari’s (PMB) victory in the 2015 polls.
The APC saw to it that Kwankwaso and his Kwankwasiyya movement were edged out in Kano paving a way for their own man, Gandollar.
Gandollar fumbled and it is costing the APC in Kano State as the vote of the people has swung in favour of the PDP.
In the aftermath of the election, the states deputy governor was arrested for electoral offences and in order to save face, rumour mills went about that spreading fake news that the Commissioner of Police for the state, Mr. Wakili has been removed. Mr. Wakili is still in Kano and the APC is fast loosing the state.
APC failed to learn that the sympathy they enjoyed in 2015 was as a result of the quarrel between the Ijaw man President GEJ and Prince Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, after the latter was sacked over the noise of the missing 20 Billion Dollars.
The PDP lost it in Kano after the sacking due to the sympathy they owed their son. Then Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was governor and he promptly made the Prince the Emir of Kano.
For the acts, the people of Kano rewarded the APC with their votes but now their allegiances have shifted. It seems they follow Kwankwaso wherever he goes?
There is also the part of the comrade former governor who is better known for his “go to hell” comment than for the works he did as governor of his Edo State.
Adams Oshiomhole has always been accused of being the teeth of the big cat of Bourdillon. His ascension to being party chairman is dramatic and since his ascension, the fortunes of the party have never remained the same.
It has been from one problem to the other as a result many people have resorted to taking political cover in other political party and the PDP has been the greatest gainer.
I will relish a scenario where the “Lion of Bourdillon” will square off with the comrade governor. Until then, it will better to watch events as they unfold.
Now back to my question; between The PDP and APC, Who Does It Better?
I will leave the answer for you to answer.