Bolaji O. Akinyemi.
Since the beginning of this Republic in 1999, the preference for People’s Democratic Party by the people of South Eastern Nigeria has been proven time and time again!
Their rejection of APC’s Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 was almost total which invented the 95% 5% political formula. It denied the Region of Senate Presidency because the region practically had no representation in 8th Senate. If not for bigandry of power, 2019 would have followed the pattern of 2015!
Opposition is the grace that beautifies democracy. Its dynamism saw APC to power. No one can take it away from APC. They provided the most informed opposition laced with media propaganda to push PDP out of power!
Reflecting on the Attempt by PDP led administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to remove petroleum subsidies and how the then National Leader of ACN and Now President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu provided inspirational leadership to tackle PDP on its betrayal of people’s contract from which PDP never recovered, is of essence to all PDP Senators to guarantee the survival of Nigeria as one, united country and at finding the way forward for their party to come back to power in the future!
Successful removal of subsidy practically on the first day of Bola Ahmed Tinubu in office shows the impotence of opposition politics in Nigeria presently.
The docility of PDP as the leading opposition party since the advent of APC to power in 2015 is very disturbing! In fact, some political pundits are of the opinion that the PDP is too elitist to play the role of opposition while some APC top brass believe the most opposition recently have come from the so called Obidients.
Some other individuals have provided better opposition to APC administration than PDP as a political party!
This doesn’t augur well for the development of democracy and its institutions. PDP therefore owe it a duty to democracy; having the leading number of opposition Senators, a trust the electorate has conferred on them to hold sacred this responsibility. Will they let it slip to LP or get on the game to provide opposition; galvanise LP, APGA, NNPP and others in the Senate for the sake of protecting Democracy!
Inevitably, positioning for proactive and pragmatic opposition is more importantly for all PDP Senators now and they should make that their primary responsibility!
PDP Senators should put in context the solo effort of BAT in the regionalized pump price of PMS against what is available in OPEC nations.
Making a case for this administration as far as subsidy is concerned is double speaking and no man of conscience should have a part in that.
This subsidy removal is a remote assurance of a successful tenure. To hail any successful outcome of this Government at the end of 4 years with the luxury of subsidy removal allowed her which was denied others will be unfair. Let this be on record.
The future of PDP as a party hangs in the balance, the side to which this will tilt is entirely up to PDP Members in the National Assembly, they either trade their personal aggrandizement for the future of their party, or eat up their political careers through blind pursuit of avarice.
My interpretation of the body language of the judiciary through the ongoing election petition suggests a judiciary system functioning from a bat right side pocket.
Letting BAT have his way at putting the NASS in his left pocket through interfering in the politics of who and who emerges as their leaders will prove to be a costly mistake if ever allowed to happen!
Sentiments are snares in politics, but could be an effective ace at pushing odds through, in any political engagement if employed by strategy.
I stand to be corrected, it appears to me that the new Government is already showing signs of authoritarianism which if not checked will end our democratic experience in a one party system or end it finally.
It will be a disservice to Nigerians and to democracy if the Government is allowed to successfully edge us towards the path of a failed democracy.
The choice of Akpabio by BAT is hinged on the contract that saw him step down for BAT.
While it is okay for BAT to reward Akpabio, should it be with a decision that is exclusively the right of 108 members of the Senate to make?
It is quite considerate for APC to zone the Senate Presidency to the South East or South South, but micro Zoning it Akpabio is nothing other than exhibiting impunity of power over the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and taking every single Senator elected by the people for granted!
My trip to Umuahia to witness the inauguration of Dr Alex Otti as the Executive Governor of Abia state brought me face to face with the reality of the need to immediately and deliberately integrate the region into national structure of Government in the interest of giving the people of South East the opportunity to see prospects in one, big and united Nigeria.
I cared less where goes the Senate Presidency provided it’s not tied to the apron of BAT led presidency, but not after my historical trip to Umuahia. The vortex of political conflagration in the region is capable of destroying our dream of one united Nigeria.
I will write of my experience in an article to be titled, “Biafra; a Republic within Republic”, but for now, let me present to the PDP Senators the urgent need to reassure that region and suck them in. The military occupation of the South East is embarrassing to the spirit of democracy, which abhors a police state, not to speak about militarization of social and public space.
The event of Otti’s inauguration was a flicker of hope to democracy. My road trip from Lagos to Umuahia was like travelling through a region at war to see the enthronment of democracy. The crowd at the stadium was unprecedented. All gates to the stadium were shut few hours into the programme to prevent the sea of heads on all the streets leading to the stadium, from gaining access, which of course could cause a stampede.
The crowd were however content with being around the venue and remained on the streets till the event was over! A big endorsement for the people’s Government and their Governor. No doubt, Otti is who they voted for. And what they ordered, Democracy delivered!
Amazing however was waking up to the intimidation of the celebration of Biafra Day on Tuesday 30th of May. I was to leave Umuahia that day with my wife but couldn’t because banks were closed and we were advised not to leave Umuahia for Owerri as we have to pass through Mbaise which is among pockets of communities in the South East hosting the minority IPOB sympathizers against the wishes of the majority for democratic participation in a one big and greater nation proven by what we witnessed at Otti’s inauguration!
May I appeal to Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the 10th Assembly to put their country Nigeria first, and consider South East for Senate Presidency. This may be needed activation of a suck in process of the Republic within a Republic.