The practice of democracy has gradually become an evasive commodity inside the federal republic of Nigeria particularly under the presidency of the former military dictator and current civilian commander of the armed forces, President Muhammadu Buhari – where the tenets governing the ethics of democracy has lost its footing.
Information available to 247ureports.com gathered from a consortium of knowledgeable sources in and around the presidency indicate the national ruling party, the All Progressive Congress [APC] has adopted borderline unethical arm twisting tactics against ranking members of the main opposition party in the country – the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] – with the primary aim of forcing a conversion from PDP to APC against the electioneering exercise of 2023.
Prime targets for the forced conversion had been PDP State governors. But the national leadership of the ruling party, the APC working in tandem with the presidency had adopted a soft carrot on a stick approach to persuade selected PDP state governors into dumping the PDP for the APC. The governors of Enugu, Abia, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Anambra and two other PDP governed States were pencilled by the presidency. For the south east geopolitical states, Senator Ken Nnamani was dispatched to negotiate and/or convince the governors into abandoning their parties for the APC. Promises were made to the respective governors ranging from APC presidential ticket to ministerial positions. Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi took the bait and decamped. He was promised the number two position to deputize a presidential candidate.
The case of Bauchi State was peculiar – where the former federal capital territory minister, Senator Bala Mohammed holds sway as the Governor. Numerous agents were dispatched to persuade the governor ranging from personalities from the private sector to political leaders such as the interim APC national chairman and governor of Borno State. The presidency and leadership of the APC took particular exception to Bauchi State – being that it was formerly an APC State that was converted to a PDP State by the coming Senator Bala Mohammed. The Bauchi governor refused to take the bait – recalling the role he played during the transition of the then acting President Goodluck Jonathan into becoming the substantive President of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Repeated efforts were made by the presidency and the leadership of the APC. None yielded the desired result.
The APC acting with backing from the presidency decided to adopt new tactics. The type utilized partially during the Olusegun Obasanjo’s civilian regime when the foremost anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] – was used to intimidate political opponents into submission. The then President Olusegun Obasanjo and the then top boss at the EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu harassed and arrested members of the opposition and/or any opposing voices or opinions.
The APC leadership opted for blackmail against the PDP Governor of Bauchi State.
Authoritative information received by 247ureports.com reveal that the leadership of APC in Bauchi State visited the President [Muhammadu Buhari] at the presidential villa recently to present the case of the Bauchi State governor – on what available options – removal from office or launch a campaign against his administration in preparation for the elections of 2023. The President rebuffed the idea of possible impeachment citing that “I hear the boy is working in Bauchi”. But the displeased leadership of APC retorted – in their attempts to dissuade the President – that the Bauchi governor was running a corrupt government and that his family is corrupt.
The President remained unmoved.
Unrelenting, the APC group led by the former speaker house of representatives departed the Presidential villa and returned to the drawing table. They commissioned agents and/or investigators to scrap for incriminating information against the Governor. It was not an easy task – as the EFCC had already opened an active eagle watch over the activities of the governor since his ascension to the seat of governor. Unable to scrap incriminating information, the APC group moved to the family – the wives and children.
The intentions of the APC group is to put together a petition against Governor or his family and then submit the document to the President and onward to the EFCC. With the receipt of the petition, the APC group hopes to begin a campaign to tarnish the Bala Mohammed administration. The campaign is slated to take off at the 2year marker of Bala Mohammed administration.
The same is the case in Abia State where the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu had been in talks with the APC regarding his entry into the national ruling party. Sources tell 247ureports.com the Abia State had already accepted to dump the PDP for APC before developing a cold feet at the 11th hour through the intervention of his kinsmen who pointed to the membership of the former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu in the APC as potentially detrimental for his [Ikpeazu] survival in the party.
Through this, the APC leadership on the national level have inundated the presidency with volumes of petitions requesting for the arrest and prosecution of members of the Abia State executive cabinet. For reasons unknown to this news medium, the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies have yet to act on the petitions. It is uncertain whether the contents of the petition rises to level of actionable.
The politics of 2023 presidential elections may appear calm to the untrained eye not knowledgeable of the intricacies of the Nigerian unique volatilities. To the trained eye, it is not.
The APC understands the dismal performance of the Buhari administration will certainly result to the APC losing power to any formidable opposition party – likely the PDP. For this reason, the likely would-be presidential aspirants in the APC find themselves in desperate mode stuck between a rock and a hard place. To ensure the APC retains power beyond 2023, the movers and shakers within the PDP must be checkmated.