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Does APC Politicians understand Parliamentary Procedures?

By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

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As of now both the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House are members of Peoples Democratic Party, a party whose majority status is not clear. It seems that APC has been shut out of the Legislative leadership. Both the deputies are also from PDP.

How Come?

It appears that the leadership of APC is always outmaneuvered by the seasoned PDP leadership. After the 2016 elections APC had overwhelming majority in both Houses. The Senate President and deputy and the Speaker and deputy ought to have come from APC.

APC leadership had a list of who would hold these positions but for reasons yet to be understood by Nigerians, the leadership “forgot” the time schedule for the elections in both Houses as they called a different party meeting outside the legislature.

Oshiomhole by warning and demanding that Saraki resigns his senate president’s position or be impeached shows how little he understands parliamentary protocols. APC needs 2/3 majority to impeach a number it does not currently have.

PDP exploited the loophole and managed to elect Saraki and Dogara as President and Speaker and as compensation elected their members as the deputies. APC was not pleased but lacked the parliamentary skills to change things.

It was OK at the time since both Saraki and Dogara were on paper APC, even though not in the main stream. PDP had elected very skilled and tried legislators as deputies and they were able to influence parliamentary events to PDP’s liking.

Recently the politics of APC leadership (Mr. Buhari and Mr. Oshiomhole) have forced both Saraki and Dogara into PDP’s open hands thus giving PDP the leadership of the legislature which they failed to win in the last election.

Mr. Oshiomhole by warning and demanding that Mr. Saraki resigns his senate president’s position or be impeached shows how little he understands parliamentary protocols. APC needs 2/3 majority to impeach a number it does not currently have.

What to do?

1.   APC should lie low and hope that Mr. Saraki’s outsize ambition (the presidency) would force him to over play his hands. This is possible but after nearly 4 years he seems to have competent advisers and have been kept under wraps. He is yet to make a mistake.

2.   APC should create a constitutional crisis. The first attempt to close the legislative Houses by armed DSS officers was both crude and very unconstitutional and received worldwide condemnation. But for the wise and forceful intervention by the Acting President Osibanjo, APC would have been written out of Nigerian political equation.

3.   Shop around for senators/legislators available for purchase. This seems to be the most possible solution.

APC has around 56 members now which means to get to 73 they would have to buy about 20 senators, a tough and expensive proposal. In Nigeria it is doable, but relying on hired mercenaries is not the best way to go into a war.

4.   Give up.

What APC needs the most now is a most dramatic change in leadership. They have to sacrifice both President Buhari and Mr. Oshiomhole. They both have failed their party.

PMB should give up his quest for a second (actually 3rd) term and Mr. Oshiomhole should resign and let Mr. Tinubu replace him, he is a steady hand.

But who would tell them? Who should bell the cat?

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

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