The Oasis Reporters
August 9, 2018
1. Tinubu had schemed to make Oshiomhole the APC Chairman. They happily kicked Oyegun out and put him there.
2. Oshiomhole took to the job aggressively with the aim of establishing party supremacy over everybody in government except the President. It was clear that he was going to attempt to use his position as party Chairman to grab governmental power. He began fighting everyone in sight, while pictured repeatedly with Buhari, to indicate he has a blank cheque from Aso Rock.
3. He started by attacking Dr Chris Ngige and Hadi Sirika over some board appointments in their Ministries, declaring that if the President allows indiscipline and insubordination, he won’t tolerate it. He gave them a 7-day ultimatum and threatened to expel them from the party. In other words, he was trying to establish himself as a co-head of government with the President by virtue of being APC Chairman.
4. He also thought with his arrival, he would be able to stop the impending defection of some APC Lawmakers and Governors to the PDP. He couldn’t stop them and that dented his ego considerably. His reaction was to begin to hit out at all the defectors, talking volubly and contradictorily, but still meeting the President daily to scheme on what to do next.
5. He began to plan with APC National Assembly [NASS] members on a plot to remove Saraki and Dogara. This plan was afoot when the President travelled to London. As part of the plan in the night before the invasion, Oshiomhole met with 30 APC National Assembly members and the now disgraced DSS chief, [Lawal] Daura, to plan the crude removal of Saraki and Dogara. Oshiomhole was planning to impress the President by presenting a ‘victory’ over Saraki and Dogara to him on his return. He told Daura he would be calling the President once the show was on to know who he’d want as Senate President. It is not clear if the President knew the detail of what Oshiomhole and Daura were doing, but he sure has given Oshiomhole the impression that he can do anything to protect his interest and the interest of the party.
6. Oshiomhole felt he could use Daura for the purpose because he is the President’s relation and kinsman who is more or less a law unto himself in the administration. He felt the DSS can carry out this action without any order from the Acting President, whom he kept out of the picture. In his calculation, the Acting President is not a problem. Again, whether the President knew this or not is unclear; but it’s obvious that the Acting President was not aware.
7. But, the PDP legislators got wind of the plan and decided to get to the National Assembly to forestall any plan to crudely remove their leadership. They got there early, while the APC legislators were holed up somewhere supposedly at a caucus meeting from where they were to move en masse to the National Assembly once secured by the DSS. The idea was to swoop on the leadership at 12:00 mid-day when they were supposed to be at the meeting Saraki called for the day and effect their plan. But, the PDP Senators were already there early, calling attention to what was happening, even as they were refused entry by the DSS. At this point, the APC plotters knew they’d been rumbled. They kept away knowing now the plan had been foiled.
8. An alarmed Osinbajo was watching all this like the rest of Nigeria on TV. He had a call from Tinubu who wanted to know if he gave the order for the DSS to blockade the National Assembly. He said he didn’t. Tinubu let him know that the world isn’t happy with what they’re seeing and that if they are going to lose the election, this would be that moment things turned against them. On Tinubu’s advice, the Vice President called Daura and the IGP to a meeting to find out what was going on. The IGP said his men were not part of the blockade at the National Assembly and Daura said he acted on the order of the APC Chairman and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
9. Whether the Vice President sacked Daura after consultation with the President is not clear. But what is clear is that he did it knowing that it was the most obvious damage control measure to take considering the national and international uproar the incident had generated. At any rate, Tinubu and Osinbajo know that the President cannot reverse the decision to sack Daura because he needs Tinubu to stand any chance of winning the 2019 election. Buhari cannot therefore afford to annoy him now. Tinubu and Osinbajo were also confident that they could convince him it’s in their interest for Daura to be the fall guy following the national and international uproar.
10. There is nothing in all this that indicates the President does not know what happened with the deployment of the DSS to the National Assembly. What is obvious is that he has been working closely with Oshiomhole, Kyari, Daura, Idris and Baru of NNPC on a plan to remove Saraki and Dogara before he left for London.
11. What is now clear is that this is the beginning of a fight between Oshiomhole and Osinbajo with the latter backed by Tinubu who must now be having a buyer’s remorse over his support for Oshiomhole for the party Chairmanship. The President is caught in their middle. Whether he knew or didn’t know of Daura’s sack before it happened, he can’t reverse it now because he knows how costly that would be for him politically.
What we have now is a divided government, a government run by cartels. Something must give. The ants that will eat up the APC are embedded inside the APC now. What we will see from now till election day in 2019 will not be for the fainthearted. Hurricane Oshiomhole is here to help bury the APC. They happily sowed the wind and now they must reap the whirlwind.