By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
For a country deeply enveloped in an economic crisis that has put political hanky-panky to the backwaters, the week ending today has undoubtedly been exciting for political commentators.
The week started with the bomb laced missive from All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to the party’s national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and was followed by the one year suspension of Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin from the House of Representatives and was ending with the victory celebration of the APC in the Edo State governorship election.
Tinubu’s letter to Odigie-Oyegun was perhaps the leader’s reaction to the series of political intrigues that had been directed at pulling the carpet from under his feet after his celebrated role in framing the political platform that did the unimaginable—wrest power from a ruling political party.
The stinging letter from the party leader was itself an embarrassing one for some in the APC given the fact that Odigie-Oyegun emerged as party chairman upon wings of the Tinubu Tendency in the party. Not many would forget the bridges that Tinubu cut to empower Odigie-Oyegun as chairman, including the equally embarrassing missive between Bourdillion and APC chairmanship aspirant, Chief Tom Ikimi.
The spat between the chairman and Asiwaju may have been instigated by the fallouts from the Ondo State APC governorship primaries in which a former Tinubu associate, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu emerged as the winner against the desire of his former benefactor.
The gist is that those who want to demystify Tinubu’s political clout in the Southwest saw an opportunity in Ondo where they reportedly clubbed together to thwart his interest to the advantage of Akeredolu.
It is noteworthy that Odigie-Oyegun’s decision to waive the report of the party’s appeal committee which recommended the nullification of the party primaries came about the same time that another associate of Asiwaju’s, James Faleke lost his political aspiration to become governor of Kogi State.
The two reverses for the political leader some said could not have been ordinary, as some commentators believe that it could have been programmed to cut down one of Nigeria’s greatest political giants. A phrase in Asiwaju’s communiqué helped to convey the possibility of a conspiracy. Asiwaju had said:
The consequences of what he has done are more expansive than a man of his scope can fathom. There must is a powerful and sinister arm at work to compel a man of Oyegun’s age…..
That the national chairman of the ruling party would so publicly fall out with a national leader of the party was bound to raise concerns, and it was not surprising that some concerned stakeholders were worried enough to mobilise some governors including Governor Aminu Tambuwal to wade into the matter.
Meanwhile, another crisis involving leading APC chieftains in the House of Representatives climaxed on Wednesday when the former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Jibrin was slapped with a one-year suspension. Remarkably, the motion to adopt the report suspending him was moved by Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, the House Leader who some thought was quietly backing Jibrin.
In sending Jibrin on suspension on Wednesday, and sealing his office in the House Building the following day, some of his foes would think that they may have silenced him. The fact of that, however, would be confirmed in the days to come if his caustic tongue is tamed.
Jibrin joins a unique club of lawmakers or former lawmakers including Senator JKN Waku, Senator Arthur Nzeribe, Senator Dino Melaye, Hon. Sidi H. Ali among others who have suffered the ignominy of being suspended by their colleagues from the legislative chambers.
Sidi H. Ali was the first legislator to have been suspended since the introduction of the presidential system of democracy after he was found to have pulled a toy gun inside the chambers of the Second Republic House of Representatives.
It is a unique club that no legislator ever aspires to join as was seen in the speed with which those who had voiced support for Jibrin kept mum when the Jibrin matter was considered on Wednesday.