Politics is very much in the air and everything is in a state of flux. In 24 hours, permutations can favour some and the tide can swing against the anointed in another hour. And in a highly fractured and contentious environment like ours, the observations above can’t be truer. As things stand today, only the president and his cabal hold the ace. They determine who gets what and who becomes what. Determining those who will become what, may be a little bit difficult, but it is not so with those who are likely to be dispensed with in view of the events that will certainly unfold before the 2015 election. Former Vice president Atiku Abubakar, as I observed last week, was prompt enough to have taken a timely decision to pitch his tent elsewhere, having realised that he could not find accommodation; or he would not be accommodated under the PDP’s colourful umbrella. Not so, with so many others, because by the time reality dawns, they would have become political orphans or political liabilities. Here is a short list:
Vice President Namadi Sambo is leading the pack. Though amiable and said to be a gentleman, he still does not have the clout to turn things around. In the 2011 election, he lost his ward. His party managed to win the governorship election in controversial circumstances in Kaduna state; and after then CPC rank was thrown into confusion over accusation of inciting people into post election violence. The victory someone emboldened the VP and endeared him (?) to his boss, Mr President, but not for too long. His unalloyed loyalty to the president notwithstanding, the VP’s weak media team and political structure plus his inability to serve as a rallying point for the PDP in the North, to the extent that the party’s rank and file is depleting everyday, is a sign that he can be done away with. Sambo is a lame duck. He has no constituency and does not have the capacity to withstand the APC storm. The region he represents thinks of him as a leader not representing their interests, and who does not have the ears of his boss, and incapable of attracting developments to it.
Ex-governors Ibrahim Shekarau and Attahiru Bafarawa, who have just decamped to the PDP are at best seeking to reinvent themselves, having lost out in their former party and states. If the PDP loses power in their states and at the centre, where will they run to? Even if the PDP wins at the centre, as long as they are not able to win their states, the president can still dispense with them. Never mind the ongoing romance between the president and the duo. Who would not enjoy 15 minutes of fame on the podium, if the most powerful president in the world and leader of the biggest party in Africa would raise your hands up to show off as a big catch?
I foresee the same fate befalling Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger state and to some extent Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa state. Having been part of the renegade New PDP, before he backed out, perhaps because of his personal ambition, the presidency will be well advised to use a long spoon if it has to dine with that man. He has so talked himself to irrelevance and made his ambition an open secret that he had to quickly retrace his steps to the PDP in order to curry favours from Jonathan. Now, he can neither be trusted by the PDP hierarchy nor the APC leadership which he once flirted with.
The tsunami sweeping across the political firmament, will also carry with it some after-thought politically expedient matters. One of such is the National Conference which was initiated on impulse to serve the president’s purpose of creating jobs for the boys, and whose outcome may be used as a tool for Jonathan’s second term ambition. Most of the members will be selected by the presidency. The conference will be a guided one, and the conferees will at best do the presidency’s biddings. Its resolutions will most likely clash with the constitutionally recognised National Assembly’s and once the document is subjected to their whims, most likely it will go the way of Obasanjo’s third-term motivated confab. Seven billion Naira would have gone down the drain. It doesn’t matter though; it’s oil money, it comes from the president’s backyard and however it is spent by him is immaterial.
There are tokenisms that will certainly become victims of politics, because they were never conceived in the nation’s interest. All the probes reports concerning the president’s men (and women)—the revelation by the CBN governor on the scam going in the NNPC, the noise about Diezani Allison Maduekwe’s absolute powers, the Stella Oduah armoured scandal and the probe resolution by the House of Representatives on the Director General of SEC, Arunma Oteh, all of which have somehow indicted the Jonathan government and are equally impeachable offences, will be discarded at the appropriate time, and especially when the president gets his second term.
Another likely victim of the Presidency’s game is FG/ASUU agreement. It was only in December that ASUU called off its six-month industrial action. Already there are concerns about the FG’s seriousness in the implementation process. In this paper’s Monday, February 10, 2014 edition was a story about the current state of that agreement. Dr. Ademola Aremu, the national treasurer of ASUU, said in Ibadan that the FG is yet to start the implementation of the MoU and has, therefore, not released the first tranche of N270 billion to the union. “In as much as we do not want another strike as time wasted is life wasted, we are urging Nigerians to prevail on the FG on the implementation of the MoU”, Dr. Aremu said.
Last but surely not the least, in my list of politically expendables is the South East/Ohaeneze Ndigbo’s agitation for a shot at the presidency. I’m surprised the group has been quite these days. In 2011, it had a dream that Jonathan was going to hand over to the Igbo in 2015. Has anybody heard a whimper of presidential chuckles from the East now? Or maybe the joker is yet to come into the open. We wait, but for all we know, the Ndigbo agitation for the presidency is one issue that can easily be written off, not for lack of merit, but because of the insincerity and deception behind it.
Readers, let us read about your own list of those who will be consigned to the dustbin of irrelevance after the 2015 election.