Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Lion of Bourdillon, the Generalismo of South West politics, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has come again. He has thrown challenge to lawmakers elected on the platform of the APC, to either abide by whatever the party had decided, or leave the party.
Tinubu was speaking at the backdrop of the decision by the APC to impose Senator Ahmed Lawan from Yobe State on the legislators as Senate President, and Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos State as Speaker of House of Representatives respectively. He insisted that the lawmakers elected on the platform of the APC should either leave the party or abide by the party’s decision.
No compromise. The great Jagaban has spoken and that is final. It is like “God’s case, no appeal”. Who can challenge him, not even those liliputs in the Natioanal Assembly. As alternate President of Nigeria, whatever Tinubu says is law, and nobody can challenge it.
Look at how Tinubu and co. had dealt with Governors Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha of Ogun and Imo states respectively. He told them to either drop their senatorial ambitions and have their preferred candidates as governors, or vice versa. But the two men refused listen to him. They decided to carry the two loads at once, and the result was catastrophic.
Tinubu had earlier woken up one morning to tell his once favourite son, Akinwunmi Ambode, not to venture going for second term as Governor of Lagos State. The man thought it was a joke until he pulled the rug under his feet. Not even the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari could save Ambode.
With his eyes on 2023 Presidency, Tinubu would not want to take anything by chance. He must make sure that every obstacle on his way is removed. That was why he used Adams Oshiomole as APC national chairman to deal with Amosun and Okorocha, two men who most likely could stand on his way.
The plan to impose Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila on the Natioanal Assembly as Senate President and Speaker of House of Representatives respectively, by Bola Tinubu, did not start today. He attempted it in 2015, but the duo were roundly defeated by Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara respectively, with the combined efforts of elected PDP lawmakers.
This time around, the lawmakers are becoming wiser and they will ensure that somebody somewhere will not be telling them what to do and what not to do. The legislature is a separate and independent arm of government. It has the right to regulate its operations, including electing its principal officers without waiting for outside interference, just as the executive branch does not wait for any outsider to dictate to it who to work with.
It does not even make sense that the legislature should be a rubber stamp of the executive branch or of the political party in power because that will not make our democracy to grow. The essence of having the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive as separate and independent arms of government is for them to serve as checks and balances to one another.
Depending on what plans President Muhammadu Buhari has now and in future, it is not even advisable that Bola Tinubu should be allowed to control the legislature, when the Vice President is already his boy, and he will now have the Speaker of the House of Representatives, also as his boy. He could do and undo.
While the permutations may be going on, and with the intrigues and the issuing of orders and directives, the Ultimate Decider may be somewhere watching and waiting for the appropriate time to strike.
Before June 9, 2015, nobody believed that Bukola Saraki could be Senate President, nor Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, and not even Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, House of Representatives. But before our very eyes, it all came to pass to the chagrin and embarrassment of APC leaders. Let’s wait till the time comes.