December 31, 2020

Some political events that shaped 2020

Insecurity: We can't afford to disappoint Nigerians ― Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

By Omeiza Ajayi

The Year 2020 came with a lot of surprises in the various spheres of national life. From the economy which is currently in recession, to security which has assumed a frightening dimension and, politics where players have been trying to outdo one another, 2020 has been one hell of a year.

In the political sphere, we highlight a few of the events that shaped 2020.

  1. Oshiomhole’s sack and dissolution of APC NWC

Though Oshiomhole’s travails started in December 2019 when some executives of his Ward 10 announced his suspension, the former APC national chairman remained in the saddle until March 4 when a Federal Capital Territory FCT High Court sealed that suspension.

Since then, he was on and off following series of legal fireworks, until June 25 when the National Executive Committee NEC of the party announced the dissolution of the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee NWC.

That dissolution paved way for the emergence of the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC.

  1. Disqualification of Obaseki

On June 12, the Oshiomhole-led NWC disqualified the Edo state Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki from the party’s governorship election primary.

Obaseki who was instrumental to the suspension and consequent sack of Oshiomhole had been at loggerheads with his former godfather.

Obaseki would later resign from the APC and pitch tent with the Peoples Democratic Party PDP which gave him its ticket.

  1. Edo/Ondo elections

Both elections conducted on September 19 and October 10 respectively were seen as a pre-2023 battle among political forces seeking to reposition themselves.

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For instance in Edo, it was said to be a test of power by those seen as anti- and pro-Tinubu forces.

  1. Reappointment of INEC Chairman

First appointed on October 21, 2015, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu was reappointed for a second term on October 27, 2020.

Since the advent of democracy in 1999, Yakubu would be the first electoral umpire to be so reappointed.

His reappointment which was widely hailed across various divides, however saw a few pockets of resistance from political forces who used proxies to issue statements against the Professor of History.

  1. Gov Dave Umahi’s defection

When the Ebonyi governor announced his defection from the PDP to the APC on November 17, it was no longer a surprise as the issue had long been a matter for public discussions.

His defection however raised issues as to whether he was eyeing the presidential seat or he simply wanted a place where he could bargain a “fair deal” for his people, seeing as he had accused his former party, the PDP of marginalizing the South East.

  1. Gov. Bala Mohammed versus Yakubu Dogara

2020 is the year that the Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammed fell out with one of his strong allies, Yakubu Dogara, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The development forced Mr Dogara out of the PDP and back to his former party, the APC.

Within the year, there was also the arrest of Obadiah Mailafiya, a former presidential candidate and retired central banker which generated a lot of ethno-religious tensions; the probe of suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Ibrahim Magu and of course the #EndSARS Protest which some partisans said was aimed at regime change.

There were also deaths of some political players. While the crisis of leadership persisted in the APC, the Deputy National Chairman, South, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi who should have temporarily filled the vacuum following the suspension of Oshiomhole, took ill and died.

President Muhammadu Buhari also lost his then Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, a development which many analysts believe may have altered some political equations. For instance, there are analysts who are of the view that if Kyari had not died, Obaseki would still have remained in the APC and he would have won the governorship for the party. They also believe that his mediating influence could have saved Oshiomhole from being sent packing.

Vanguard News Nigeria