Sunday, August 1, 2021 2:00 pm
By Festus Adedayo
Sometimes, the writer could wear the apparel of Nostradamus. In a May 2, 2021 piece I entitled, Buni and APC’S 40 years in power grandstanding, I sounded a note of warning that unless Yobe State Governor and All Progressives Congress (APC’s) Interim National Chairman, Mai Mala Buni, excused himself from the atypical dual office he holds, his party could be digging its own grave. Since he came on board the party in June, 2020, riding on the crest of a welter of condemnations against erstwhile party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, whose garrulousness had assumed unbearable notoriety in the party, Buni has worn on his lapel the oddity of his dual offices.
I wrote in the said piece: “Buni’s choice unsettled so many party bigwigs. The main cause for worry was why a sitting governor would be chosen to superintend over the affairs of a party which had so many worthy party faithful to man that position. Since then, the implication of Buni being in office for the overarching party interest has been subjected to acute grilling. Even the PDP called on the Yobe governor to resign his dual positions as governor and APC’s Interim National Chairman, citing a pronouncement of the Supreme Court which labeled the leadership of the party “irresponsible and reckless.
“Two major states have fallen in the Supreme Court as a result of technical discrepancies. While Zamfara State’s APC, on May 24, 2019, fell to the intra-party dispute in the party, Bayelsa was to follow suit later. On the Zamfara issue, the court had held, among others, that the APC did not hold valid primaries preparatory to the 2019 general election. It thus voided the APC’s erstwhile victory in the 2019 governorship election, while making a consequential order which directed the party which had the second highest scores in the election to step into the office. In Bayelsa as well, the Supreme Court, on February 13, voided the APC victory just a day to the governor’s swearing in.
“With the casualty that the APC has been facing, rather than a boastfulness of its staying in power for the next 40 years, what the party ought to have safeguarded was its continued hold in its 19 controlled states, which is under serious threats. Methinks that putting its house in order by showing Buni the door should have been the most pressing decision on the card of the ruling party. Recently, APC escaped being axed by the whiskers when the election petitions tribunal sitting in Ondo State said it had no jurisdiction to remove its elected governor. This should be a wake-up call for the party. If the tribunal had granted the prayers of the PDP, by implication, every action – and they are plenty, including the recent registration exercise – taken by the APC since Buni became caretaker chairman would have been voided, thus ending Buni’s peacock claim of the party being in government for the next 40 years. Unless it wakes up from its self-inflicted slumber, shows Buni the gate and reorganizes itself, a stitch in time may not be able to save the boastful APC from the catastrophe to come.”
The judgment of the Supreme Court last week which the APC government in Ondo State won by the whiskers, in a suit instituted by the PDP’s Eyitayo Jegede and the hoopla that has surrounded it, are perfect indications of the arrogance of power that threw Buni up and same that is sustaining him in the office, in a party that is apparently filled with perhaps even more capable persons. Already, the Anambra APC candidacy for the governorship election is dangling on the precipice, imperiled as well by the arrogance of Buni being the nominator. Even with the cacophony of calls for him to relinquish the chairmanship or be relieved of it by learned lawyers who are also APC faithful, Buni and his travelers in the same accursed boat have obstinately held on to this prone-to-snap twine. I pray this won’t be a case of who the gods would destroy that they first make mad. In my own inflection, those the gods want to destroy, they first take away their ears.
*Dr Adedayo is a journalist and lawyer