By Robinson T. Sibe
The early signs that President Jonathan’s tenure was in for a rough ride manifested almost immediately after he won the 2011 elections. Against his party’s zoning arrangement, the opposition inspired the emergence of Aminu Tambuwaal as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Although he was of the ruling party, an alliance with the opposition and the minority of the ruling party, produced a new majority, to unsettle the predefined arrangement. Speaker Tambuwaal became a honorary minority, within the majority.
By failing to work out a counter strategy to thwart this, the then ruling PDP opened themselves to an attack from within. Your Captain cannot be taking advice from the opposition coach, and you expect him to play to your instructions. As it turned out, like they say in local football parlance, “his wing leaked badly”. That action allowed the opposition free access to PDP’s 18-yard box (apologies Mr Abels) for the entire duration of the tenure. Aminu Tambuwaal, while still a member of the ruling party, wrecked maximum havoc from within (from the political point of view), before decamping at the last minute to team up with his benefactors, the opposition. The rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward to 2015. Smarting from a historic win, the stage was set for the APC to start strong. No, that didn’t happen; they had a worse start. The now opposition PDP, dusted up the strategy book of the APC in 2011, and swung in to action. It worked; they went for the jugular and decided the leadership of both the Red and Green Chambers. Not only did they produce the Senate President from within the Majority, they reserved the Deputy Senate President for themselves. The PDP were minority by numbers, but with majority impact. As it turned out, history repeated itself as both Sen. Saraki and Dogara, “Tambuwalled” them. The rest, as they say, is history. The APC became a victim of their own strategy in 2011. How on earth did they not shred their strategy book after they won the elections?
Rewind to 2014; the year preceding the last General Election. Some forces from within had moved against the Party Chairman of the ruling party, Bamanga Tukur. Perhaps, they may have seen him as too grand for the fierce politicking ahead. You may have recalled that the call for his resignation was also a key demand by the group of Governors that defected earlier to join the APC. Bamanga Tukur eventually resigned in 2014, and was replaced by the more energetic and younger Adamu Muazu. As it turned out, the younger and more vibrant Chairman could not deliver; the ruling party lost the general election for the first time.
Fast forward to 2017; the year before the next general election. As it was with the PDP in 2014, some powerful forces moved to replace the Party Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun. Following intense pressure, the decision to elongate Oyegun’s tenure was reversed. Perhaps, like Bamanga Tukur, they thought he was too grand and gentle for the battles ahead, and needed a vibrant and younger Chairman that would enforce party discipline. Adams Oshiomhole was the choice. Four months after the vibrant former Labour Leader took over, and the party is more divided than he met it; with just about 4 months to the election. Under his watch, the party produced arguably the most chaotic primaries since the 4th Republic. Chief Oyegun must be smiling at the Thisday headline this morning: “President’s Men, Governors Plot Against Oshiomhole”. Reminder: He’s been in office for just 4 months.
I could go on and on with several re-enactment of history, but let me stop here. The APC seem to be so much in love with history, that they appear fixated on re-staging events. It appears they are so in love with the mistakes of the former ruling party, that they have sworn to ensure a repeat; albeit with more comical histrionic. After all, like they say, if a song is good, you play it twice. History has proposed to the APC, and the party graciously accepted. From the 2019 outlook, there might be another concession; whether voluntarily or with a heavy heart. History is taking minutes.
Robinson T. Sibe is a software engineer, geospatial expert, poet and political strategist.