President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria’s Loud Antecedent Conditions For Change In 2019

(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-When in 2015, the music of change was blaring all over Nigeria, those who were carried away by the euphoria of office and could not correctly read the handwriting on the wall were caught napping. Like a hurricane, the wind of change suddenly came and blew most of them away while a few managed to survive, and in some cases, with bruises.
Incidentally, in our own part of the world, people forget easily that change is a permanent feature of life and only those who can discern and act responsibly are able to move with the times, while the complacent are left behind.
Three years after capturing power, the ruling All progressives Congress, APC, in Nigeria appears to be drifting into the same trap of complacence that brought the 16 years reign of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to an abrupt end, and the signs of imminent change are appearing on the political horizon.
Three years into the four year administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria, there is restiveness among the citizens because of the increasing insecurity and emergent culture of killings with impunity by herdsmen. The situation is worsened by the seeming inability of the security agencies to stop the provocative killings and destruction of homes and farms of law abiding Nigerians. Before now, Boko Haram had been an issue; then nepotism, in fragrant disregard for federal character and the feelings and aspirations of Nigerians from other parts of the country.
Meanwhile, since political parties began to restrategise ahead of the 2019 elections, the infighting in the APC had been very fierce across the country as political gladiators battle for the control of party structures. In spite of efforts by the APC national secretariat at finding solutions to the disputes, uncertainty still looms in states like Rivers, Lagos, Oyo and others where the situation appears complicated.
Then, the lingering battle for supremacy between the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim and Senate President Bukola Saraki. At a time, the senate was inviting the Inspector General of Police to appear and explain why the killings are continuing across Nigeria, among other issues; and suddenly, it is the police that is now inviting the senate president to appear over some alleged implicating statements made by the leader of Offa Bank robbery about him and Kwara Governor A. Ahmed. Well. for reasons best known to them, the police later asked for a response in writing from the senate president instead of appearing in person.
With increasing discontent over the failure of the Federal Government to fulfill the legitimate expectations of Nigerians, things have started falling apart and the centre, being controlled by the APC appears not to be holding any longer, an indication of a possible change in 2019.
A joint session of the National Assembly, on Tuesday, has threatened to invoke the Constitutional Powers of the Legislature against the Executive arm of government if it fails to address their concerns over unbearable insecurity situation in the country. They are alleging harassment of legislators and other politicians who hold opinions seen to be contrary to those of the executive arm of government; discriminatory fight against corruption and disregard for constitutional authorities by Idris Ibrahim, the Inspector General of Police, who they rejected with a vote of no confidence.
The National Assembly is therefore demanding that security agencies rise up to the challenge of stopping the killings and protect the lives and properties of Nigerians. They are also demanding an end to using the police and other security agencies to harass politicians and other Nigerians with contrary opinions, as well as adherence to rule of law at all times. The federal lawmakers are insisting that the president must be held accountable for the actions of his appointees and must be seen to be disposed to sanctioning those whose actions threaten the peace any part of the country.
The joint session also demanded for sincerity in the fight against corruption, protection of the sanctity of the National Assembly and prosecution of those who invaded the Senate to seize the mace as well as appointees that have cases of corruption pending against them. In the overriding national interest, members of the National Assembly are also calling for competitive and inclusive democratic elections that is devoid of intimidation; curtailing of the growing level of poverty and unemployment in Nigeria, while expressing their commitment to working with civil society organisations, trade unions and NGOs as well as international organizations such as the IPU, the APU, ECOWAS Parliament, Pan-African Parliament, EU, US Congress and the United Nations to secure Nigeria’s democracy.
In a related development, the senator representing Kaduna Central district, Shehu Sani has observed that failure of the All Progressives Congress to organize credible congresses across the country is a reflection of the crises within the party.
The senator, who was speaking in a Television programme on Monday said:
“The party was supposed to demonstrate that it is a good and better alternative and that it can control its members and carry everyone along.
“But the reality is that the APC as a party has failed to organize congresses…All that they did was simply to pretend that there was one and at the end of the day, write lists in a hotel and submit it to the headquarters as the list of delegates”, while predicting trouble at the end for APC if the observed irregularities are not addressed.
When all these issues are considered vis –a- vis recent opinion polls that favoured Nigeria’s former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, from an opposition political party, ahead of President Buhari, you would realize that the nation might be heading towards another change in 2019.

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