By Jide Ajani
“God grant the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the ones we can and, above all, the wisdom to know the difference”
The dislocating effects of defection from one political party to another can be debilitating.But it can only be debilitating in so far as the losing party is not sure of itself.“Indeed, that is what the All Progressives Congress, APC, is throwing at the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“And because form can always fluctuate while class remains what it is – class – the mind games going on between these parties sometimes create comic relief in a polity of clashing interests.“Block all executive bills, APC thundered.It is a devilish call, PDP responded.Yet, as the gale of defection continues to sweep through the political field, there is something inescapably petty going on. Whereas the APC is hinging its call to turn its members in the National Assembly into professional filibusters over the reign of impunity going on in Rivers State, a call that is a contingent one, the response of the PDP has been nothing but one of needless panic.
“In which part of the world has there not been clear, sharp divisions across party lines? Added to the above question, what majority would form the pole on which the APC intends to hoist the flag of its threat?“Is it with the just near-equal numbers in the House of Representatives or with the yet to be equalled numerical strength of the PDP in the Senate? Still, it must be recognized that most of those who jump into the arguments for and against the APC threat either understand next to nothing about how democracy works, or are content with trading reason for filthy lucre or both.
The first simple matters to clear are:“Does the APC have the majority? No. Not yet.“Is it humanly possible to block all executive bills in either the House of Representatives or the Senate? Yes and no.Yes, because in the House of Reps, where young, hot blood flows in the veins of its members, there has been an established form of angst against almost everything from the executive – you can trace this to the history of the emergence of Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, against the grain of Aso Rock’s intention.
Worse still, a few members in the House who survive purely by widening the gulf of difference between the House leadership and the executive, continue to mislead the Presidency on how best to engage the House and, therefore, ministers rarely enjoy decent welcome in the House.
A clear example, not purely on sound moral grounds, is the treatment meted to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, by the House Committee on Finance. Not purely their fault too, Okonjo-Iweala appears to have perfected the art of sticking her foot in her mouth regarding policy directives and her sometimes false and timid“defence of same.
For the Senate, the PDP is still in the majority and, therefore, the threat remains nothing more than a fool’s errand. So, if the APC had planned to excite its members with an illusory sense of self-importance, it may have succeeded.
Unfortunately, however, the type of arguments being put forward by the leadership of the PDP and those who have kicked against APC’s threat all the more present Nigeria to the world as a country where deep thinking is a very scarce commodity.“A storm or a tsunami in a tea cup!“What APC wanted achieved has already being achieved in part.
Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State addressed his crowd in Bori, penultimate Saturday, and the police did not disrupt the gathering.
The tough but vain rhetoric of Joseph Mbu, the state police commissioner, has been toned down.The PDP leadership needs some coaching. And like Atiku Abubakar said at breakfast last Thursday, the problem of the PDP and the Nigerian polity goes beyond forcing resignation of one Chairman or who gets the presidency. It is about internal democracy at all levels.
This relates now to the issue of the strategies of politicking. Should Nigerians fold their hands and continue to watch prostitutes masquerading as politicians to continue to assault our sensibilities and sensibilities? Can Nigerians change their fortunes in the hands of these bands of prostitutes?
Therefore, all Nigerians must fight this war.“For war to be just, there is required a just cause, so said Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century.
According to scholastic appreciation of Aquinas’ position, without prejudice to the pacifism that Christianity preaches, it was sometimes necessary to preserve or restore peace in the face of aggression, and there must be conditions precedent”.
Aquinas called these conditions jus ad bellum (right to war) which were different from the jus in bello (the rules of just conduct in war).“For a just war to be hinged on a just cause, it must have rightful intention, authority of the sovereign and the raison d’etre
The Nigerian people must rise and determine how their future would be. With the rascality of defection from AD to ACD to ACN, APC to PDP and back to APC and again to PDP, nobody should be surprised when some vagabonds in babanrigas, kaftans or three-piece suites go to INEC seeking the registration of Action Group, AG, or Northern Peoples Congress, NPC, or NCNC just to hood unsuspecting Nigerians that the spirits of Obafemi Awolowo, Sardauna Ahmadu Bello or Nnamdi Azikiwe are the driving force behind their parties.
“In conclusion, Nigerians need to engage this war with their eyes wide open and not to get carried away with the buccaneering antics of some politicians whose only leverage is being associated with a government at the centre or some old wine in new skin being excited by a new phenomenon.“
READ THE FULL STORY IN TOMORROW’S VANGUARD