IT all seemed surreal. We had just come from a drama of the courts. Now, we were back there. Something startled where we thought we were safest. We were trying to murder the court. We were trying to turn it to a toy, a diabolical trump card of our body politic.
Enter Imo. Enter Bayelsa. Enter the courts. Exit the people. Is it the new way out of logjams now? If Imo and Bayelsa states fell because the courts say so, are we now a conclave of technicalities? The APC is trying to show us a new tapestry of justice. We saw that last week in a tussle to oust its warrior chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
For less than 24 hours, a coup boiled over. An Abuja court gave its order, its national secretariat yielded to a military-era barricade, and Adams’ foes could not rein in their ecstasy of celebration.
They want Adams’ apple. Like Tantalus in the Greek myth, the fruit has eluded the groping hands. It has been a game of tease.
Adams responded like a lone and martial fashionista with grenades hanging like beads all over his body, a sort of political Schwarzenegger with a flaw. His roar was at once beaten and defiant.
Meanwhile, many wondered why Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, promptly had the president’s audience. To make it a fait accompli or to plead the president should stay out of the fray?
Then came a counter-punch. Outside Abuja, the court noted that the Fayemi crowd, clever as they thought, did not have lawyers who thought deeply enough about a basic Nigerian law.
Abuja court did not have federal powers. So, the Kano court struck for Adams, and we returned to the status quo ante, as lawyers say glibly.
It was Adams’ turn to meet with the president. In a self-deprecatory moment, Adams quipped at reporters, asking them if they felt sorry for him.
The two faces that have shown prominence in this drive to oust Adams are Adams and Governor Fayemi. This essayist had reported earlier of those who had hands in this plot to unseat Adams, and a prominent name was Governor Fayemi.
The other coupists included the Abacha sympathiser and money man, Governor Bagudu of Kebbi State, who never stays at home to govern but he is like the pathetic and peripatetic Mai Sunsaye of Cyprian Ekwensi’s Burning Grass.
The other is the fellow from Jigawa State, who many say does not know how to say thank you to a party that has done so much for him. All he thinks is to subvert its leadership.
Strangely, the squat fellow from Kaduna who just turned 60 has been uncharacteristically quiet. Does it indicate a turn towards remorse, or an unobtrusive recalibrating of his position?
As for Fayemi, he has not blushed about his fear and loathing of Adams. During former Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s 70th birthday in Ibadan, I was just ruminating over a text message he had sent me objecting to my column reporting his dig at Adams.
He saw me at Ajimobi’s party and waved me over, and I sat beside him for a moment. Other governors were at the table, including the BOS of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State.
Fayemi pointed out that in my earlier piece, I had rightly indicated that he was with Adams in a meeting to reconcile him (Adams) with his successor Godwin Obaseki, who remains a gubernatorial drag and nettle on this democracy. Then he referred to my piece about his (Fayemi) plot to dethrone Adams.
He raised his voice and said, “Adams does not have the temperament to run a party.” I poked back, “Is this not about a 2023 ambition?” He denied it was about 2023, adding that he knew that was what some people are insinuating.
I wanted to roll out what Adams had done for his party and wondered why anyone wanted him removed. But the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum was getting a little agitated, and I told him I had to leave, because we were in a party mood, so it was not a forum for polemical exchanges.
I suspected the other governors were paying attention to our conversation. I shook hands with Sanwo-Olu and Abiodun and had a no-contact fist-pump with Aketi(Akeredolu) because his seat was far away, and left.
In a meeting held over a year ago for Southwest party mavens, Fayemi had openly opposed the characterisation of him as a budding Akintola of this era.
He must be conscious of that image, and that mystifies me why he still decides to hold positions that portray him as a politician who loves power play for personal aggrandisement.
Especially the view that he wants to be president or vice president, and that he is ready to play Judas to his fellow Southwest politicians in order to swaddle a second-tier place for a northern politician.
It is the buzz out there, and it is in his interest to tackle this viewpoint that is gaining increasing traction, especially now that he has railed against the choice of his former governor colleague Ajimobi for the deputy chairman of the APC.
Right now, nothing seems clear about the future of the party because of what started as an effort by the upstart Obaseki to turn his new-found privilege into a tapestry of betrayal against his anointer, Adams.
This is the man who took over a party under the inept Oyegun, worked it to win the presidency in a fraught election, won more governors than the opposition, secured the legislative chambers, including the positions of Senate president, speaker and deputy senate president.
Did he make mistakes? Of course, we cannot forget Zamfara State, Bayelsa State and the juvenile rumbles in Rivers State.
They say he governs without recourse to governors. There is no evidence that Fayemi and Obaseki have most governors beside them. The APC, including the President, must be wary of the party crumbling under the aggressive hubris of a few.
Not when Obaseki has turned himself into an emperor with contempt for the constitution, banning rallies and meetings, growling and perspiring over an Adams, who routinely ignores him. He even hounded a fellow who wrote an article for a newspaper against his infantilism in office. A tear for Godwin!!
The president should watch out or else the party will crumble in his hands. His opponent, the PDP, are only gloating in silence. For an APC fall means a PDP takes advantage.
Or maybe, a new party is in the offing, and we don’t know it? Already, even within his cabinet there are charges of fifth columnists, some of them taking cases in disguises to court to challenge the government actions of Muhammadu Buhari.
From the start, the party has been a hodgepodge of interests and egos. It takes a perceptive leader to harness them. It worked twice in 2015 and 2019. The question is, how long will it last?
CREDIT: THE NATION