The Oasis Reporters
February 1, 2018
The political landscape in Nigeria can be likened to a large cemetery where many a political party have their remains interred.
Some of those political contraptions have their places of burial marked by tombstones while many others lie in unmarked tombs.
The notable ones with tombstones and epitaphs include the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), Action Group (AG), Northern People’s Congress (NPC) and Late Mallam Amunu Kano’s Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU).
These were the major political platforms during the First Republic.
Not long after independence, the military in their big boots came marching and just within a few days the first generation political parties were consigned to the morgue.
Our own Baba Iyabo had the responsibility of enthroning the second republic and in the effort, the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Unity Party if Nigeria (UPN) , Nigeria People’s Party (NPP), Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP), and Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) came to life.
These were also short-lived, and their undoing again, the military.
The Ibrahim Babangida regime after many political abortions, compelled many strange political associations into collapsing into either the National Republican Convention (NRC) or the Social Democratic Party (PDP). Clearly, the ‘Evil genius’ as he was later to describe himself, had the bogus dream of transmutung from a military to a civilian president but he was constrained as to the strategy of achieving this feat.
In due course, time rather than his evil machinations ran out on him and he had to quickly arrange the Ernest Shenokan illegality which itself quickly got asphyxiated by its own internal contradictions.
The dark goggled one came aboard, he too was not spared of the effect of power in uniform and plans were afoot for him to succeed himself (Remember the ‘whom the cap fits’ parody of a campaign of those years).
The struggle for the actualization of the Moshood Abiola mandate had not been completely abandoned but as nature would have it, both Abacha and Abiola in rather mysterious circumstances, passed away and power passed onto ‘Triple A’.
Before this, the letter writer cum pontiff, our own Baba Iyabo was cooling off in some detention facility somewhere in a safe distance from the seat of power.
In trying to pacify the South West in the light of, and the injustice done to Moshood Abiola, the letter writer and now political pontiff was dredged up and arranged to the presidency.
In his inaugural speech, he sounded tough much unlike when power accidentally passed to him after the unfortunate demise of General Murtala Mohammed.
In his inaugural speech, he appreciated and thanked all those who played different roles in his becoming president and quickly followed with a warning to anyone who might want to think because of the roles they played they might want to make a stooge out of him.
Baba Iyabo’s first term was dominated by behaviour reminiscent of a garrison commander in a democratic set-up but because most if the membership of the National Assembly were novices, not even a motion for impeachment was raised.
The second term was not any different from the first and our man began to tinker with the idea of a third term and there was talk of amending the Constitution to accommodate the dubious third term bid. He met a tough opponent in his vice president who had his own dreams but as payback, he ensured that his vice president lost out in the power equation.
In short the PDP had a field day running the show, whichever way they wanted until in the 2015 general election when that party kept the appointment with the iceberg formed by a coalition of parties that fused to form the All Progressive Congress (APC) which won the general elections.
Thus far after 3 years in power, it is evident that the APC is itself afflicted by the same virus that was the undoing of the PDP.
In any case this should not be surprising as the APC itself is made up of earlier decampees from the PDP.
As this post is read, we are very clearly in an omnibus political situation which does not give a clear picture of what lies ahead politically. A wise politician will need to carefully observe what is going on particularly the innuendos while biding his time. Such will not have to wait for long as the next 3 months will give a clearer picture of what political groupings will play important roles in next year’s elections. It is this unclear picture that Baba Iyabo has been trying to make poltical capital out of which obviously informed the long letter he penned to President Buhari. The man after publicly tearing his PDP card and leaving the party is up to some mischief again by trying to midwife yet another coalition to contest next year’s elections.
Something tells me that he is desirous of pulling the carpet from under the feet of both the APC and what is left of the PDP. He has in the meantime suggested a name for the expected baby, Coalition Nigeria (CN ).
We are all aware of some of the dividends which could accrue from the formation of a coalition. The first is obviously the fact that the chances of a better performance in elections will receive a boost.
We know too that coalitions have very short lives essentially because they usually will be made up of strange bedfellows.
Looking at the parties that collapsed to form the governing party in this country, an observer comes away with the thinking that their goals were limited to simply capturing political power. The All Progressive Congress did capture power but fault lines are already visible within only 3 years of managing that power.
I worry a lot about the motives of Baba Iyabo for the simple reason that he has turned into a political comedian. The man to my mind may be masquerading as a patriot but I think that his meddlesomeness is targeted at protecting an interest/s. If this man is fair to this country, it is far past time he remained the elder statesman he eminently has qualified for. Even if the coalition he is thinking of and may actually be building does come alive, I have doubts if it can survive its internal contradictions much in the manner of the APC.
What Baba Iyabo is attempting to do is to try smuggling the now jaded and languid PDP back to power. I thought that the time has now come for PMB to invite all former presidents and Heads of State to something like a retreat at which he will present Nigeria before them and to genuinely and dispassionately seek ways of moving the nation forward.
The major impediment we have in this country remains the fact that personal interest is usually presented as national interest. To a large extent, Baba Iyabo’s Coalition Nigeria is not well thought out. The Baba simply wants to remain an actor in the politics of this country even when he appears to be struggling against time. He needs time to rest. Let Baba rest well and let other actors get on to the political stage.
This is just a personal viewpoint.
Written by Gora Dauda.
Gora Dauda is a retired armed forces personnel and writes from his home state of Kaduna in North west Nigeria.