In effect, the major issues in the polity set to spill over from 2013 are mostly wrapped around the PDP and the raging broom revolution championed by the APC that is taking over in a grand style.
The Obasanjo-Jonathan Rivalry
No doubt, the exchange of letters between former president Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan capped all political intrigues this year. Obasanjo, who played a momentous role in the political life of the president, had on December 2, 2013, written a vitriolic letter to the nation’s number one citizen.
Among other things, the former leader alleged the training of snipers by the seat of power to witch-hunt perceived political opponents. He took Jonathan to the cleaners, labelling him an insincere leader whose body language was at variance with indications that he (Jonathan) would run for only a term and hand over to someone from the northern part of the country.
Similarly, issues of corruption, party (PDP) crises, poor handling of the nation’s security challenges and others were raised in the letter, which, understandably, elicited a somewhat “indecent and indecorous” response from President Jonathan, to borrow the conclusion of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
Unequivocally, the effect of the letters from the two leaders to each other is likely to resonate beyond December. This is more so as the PDP has been rattled by the turn of events between two of its leading lights.
More interesting, however, is the possible effects of the letter war on the politics of the South-West region, Obasanjo’s political enclave, as most of the former president’s followers, LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered, are on the verge of defecting to the APC next year.
APC convention on hold until 2014
Already, it is obvious that the election of a substantive national leadership of the APC will have to wait until 2014. There has been anticipation that the APC’s national convention would hold to usher in a full-fledged leadership. But events in the party lately are apparently because certain things need to be put in place, especially as there are issues of proper integration seeking attention in some flashpoint states.
At its formative stage, former national chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bisi Akande, emerged as the interim chairman of the party, while Tijjani Tumsah of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) was adopted as the interim secretary of APC.
Also, the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) nominated Sadiya Farouq from Zamfara State as national treasurer. Others from the CPC are former speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Bello Masari from Katsina State as deputy national chairman and ex-minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mallam Nasir el-Rufai from Kaduna State as deputy national secretary.
Lai Mohammed is the national publicity secretary and the national woman leader (NWL) is Mrs Sharon Ikeazor from Anambra State. Abubakar Lado from Niger State is the national youth leader, General Aboki from Nasarawa State is national vice chairman (North-central), Muiz Banire emerged as national legal adviser, while Mr James Ocholi from Kogi State emerged as deputy legal adviser. Hon. Muniru Muse from Lagos State is an ex-officio member, while the national deputy auditor is Capt. Bala Jibrin from Bauchi State.
Also, the ANPP named as vice-chairman (North-west) Salisu Fagge, while Alhaji Yemi Sanusi is an ex-officio member. Welfare secretary is Emma Eneukwu; national financial secretary, Alhaji Shaibu Musa and zonal chairpersons are Senator Sule Garo (North-west), Umar Duhu (North-east) and Yemi Sani (South-west).
Election of the interim officers, which became a thorny issue, was a major prerequisite for registration of the merged party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Governors, Lawmakers’ Defection
Just a few days to the end of 2013, 11 of the lawmakers from Kano, 10 from Sokoto, eight from Rivers, six from Kwara and one each from Katsina and Bauchi states defected to the APC from the PDP.
The development brings the total number of APC lawmakers in the lower chamber to 172, while the numerical strength of the PDP, which hitherto was 208, has been depleted to 171 members. Other opposition parties have 16 seats.
In 2014, the speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal may toe the line of his colleagues from his state (Sokoto).
The defectors, in a correspondence read out on the floor of the House by Tambuwal, justified their decision to decamp on the basis that the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP was riddled with crises.
The correspondence dated December 18, 2013 reads: “We the undersigned members of the House of Representatives elected under the platform of the PDP wish to inform you that we have joined the APC.”
To date, no PDP senator has formally declared his membership of the APC, but there are strong indications that they will in 2014.
Along with five of the G-7 governors from the PDP – Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Abdulfattah Ahmed (Kwara) - who defected to the APC, more governors will join the opposition party next year.
By Leadership's Donald Ojogo