OF APC, Senator Saraki And Nigeria’s Democracy
By Bamikole Omishore
There is perhaps no gainsaying the fact that the political cauldron that metamorphosed into the behemoth called All Progressives Congress (APC) was a hastily conceived incongruous amalgam aimed at securing power by all means possible.
In the face of a bitter, acerbic campaign the then opposition Party, APC made a lot of promises to the people during the 2015 electioneering campaigns but it has failed to fulfill the promises. They had promised that if they win, they will revive the economy and address the problems of insecurity and corruption. Sadly, the Party has failed woefully on those Cardinal promises.
Today presents perhaps the exact opposite of what the APC promised. Nigerians have continued to witness despair across the length and breadth of the Country. In just over three years, it has become quite clear that both the APC and President Buhari have demonstrated that they were not prepared to rule because they had nothing to offer.
The goodwill and the messianic perception that brought President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to power has waned because of the Party’s obvious inability to hold down its promises.
The good side is that the ongoing implosion within the APC is at best a political “hara-kiri” as the Party is unravelling from within. Evidently, the recent wave of defections which started at the National Assembly has shown no sign of abating as it has now spread to Benue, Kwara and Kano states. It is expected that more defections will follow in the coming weeks.
While we cannot deny the gradual descent from glory to infamy occasioned by the glaring failure of the Buhari administration over the last three years, it is glaring that the new National Chairman of the Party might just be an unwitting undertaker destined by fate to send the Party to berth in a ‘disastrous and pestilential aqua’ (credits to Patrick Obahiagbon).
Oshiomhole’s impulsive flippancy, loquaciousness and high-handedness have exacerbated the current crisis within the Party
Despite the ignominy that has characterised the APC leadership, one cannot deny that the National Assembly especially the Bukola Saraki led Senate has carried itself creditably well and is above board.
Under Saraki’s leadership, the 8th Senate has been one of the most stable, peaceful and result-driven Senate in recent times.
In terms of legislative duties, the Senate has made over 200 legislations (bills and constitutional amendments) including the Not Too Young To Run Bill.
Others bills passed include The Anti-Torture Bill (2016), National Child Protection and Enforcement (2016), Corrupt Practice and other Related Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016, National Road Funds (Est, etc.) Bill, 2018, Digital rights and freedom bill, 2018(HB490) and the New Company and Allied Matters Act 2018 to mention but a few.
As a lawyer, I am excited that the new CAMA will help legal practitioners experience new frontiers in the art of corporate practice.
In addition, the Saraki led Senate, has in the discharge of its investigative and oversight functions, uncovered the infamous “grass cutting” scandal that eventually led to the removal of the erstwhile Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.
On the political front, the Senate President was able to provide political stability and resisted the pressure to commence impeachment proceedings against President Buhari when he travelled to London for medical care during which he spent about 50 days and 105 days respectively.
He also maintained a dignified silence throughout his travails at the Code of Conduct Tribunal until a vindication of his innocence was given in a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court.
He ensured that through it all, the relationship between the Executive and the Legislature remained harmonious and demonstrated respect for the Judiciary even in the face of persecution.
As Dr. Bukola Saraki crosses over the threshold to the Peoples’ Democratic Party for reasons he has so lucidly articulated, we must respect his inalienable right to freedom of association.
We must continue to work our democratic system with respect for the rule of law and the tenets of constitutional democracy.
As Dr. Saraki himself puts it:
“I have tarried for so long and did all that was humanly possible, even in the face of great provocation, ridicule and flagrant persecution, to give opportunity for peace, reconciliation and harmonious existence.”
Again, he notes:
“All governance principles which were required for a healthy functioning of the party and the government were deliberately violated or undermined.
“And all entreaties for justice, equity and fairness as basic precondition for peace and unity, not only within the party, but also the country at large, were simply ignored, or employed as additional pretext for further exclusion.”
Sadly, this is the sorry state that our democracy has sunk to under President Buhari. Nigeria can clearly not survive another four years of this kind of high-handed and draconian tyranny masquerading as a democracy.
We must give Nigeria back to the people. We must pull back our democracy from the verge of relegation and place it on top of the elite league of advanced democracies.