Some historians will tell you World War I began because of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria- Hungary. This may well be true. But, the German seized the opportunity to fight a war of territorial expansion. In the same vein, Oshiomohle and Obaseki’s fracas may have started the war in APC. But, the war has been hijacked by factional leaders of APC.
For the past one week there has been rumble in APC’s jungle. So far, no victor or vanquished has been declared. Still, the political bloodletting has been major. It is the first of several internecine wars that will be fought within the party before 2023 presidential election. Though major gladiators are behind-the-scene, yet by the names & faces of their proxies we know them. This is politics played with bearest attempt at civility. Injuries & misgivings have been lodged deep into the hearts & souls of the sparing parties.
It is unlikely APC will return to normalcy.
I wonder who in his right senses will support Obaseki. The man’s treachery stinks to high heaven. There is no reason to support his action against Oshiomhole when APC rode to victory with the same pact he entered with Oshiomhole. Practical politics is like horse-trading: it’s all about give & take.
So, for those who think Obaseki is fighting Oshiomhole for altruistic reasons or for the sake of Edo people they are in for a ride. This is because there is no way Obaseki will survive this trial & go on to clinch a 2nd term without attempting to hand-over to his hand picked successor. Therefore, Obaseki is not fighting to end godfatherism in Edo State he is fighting to replace Oshiomhole as the political godfather of the state.
Obaseki is not entirely useless to the cause.
Like Archduke Ferdinand, Obaseki is a harbinger of war. So, if he has no qualms betraying his benefactor then he shouldn’t be pitied for (stupidly) allowing himself to be used as canon folder for arch-gladiators in APC. Some people may argue that he has left APC for good & no longer concerns himself with happenings in the party. That may well be true. Yet, his rift with Oshiomhole has rocked the foundation of party & will hurt it in time to come. I
In their bid to seize the soul of the party: this war has pitted one faction of APC against another. However, before I go on permit me to attempt to decipher all the factions in APC:.
Tinubu faction: is the most influential faction in APC & has Oshiomhole as its arrow head. Ali Modu Sheriff is also a behind-the-scene power-broker in this faction. However, if APC shuns zoning Sherif & Tinubu will likely find themselves on collision path.
Ameachi faction: it is build around the Minister’s longstanding political relationship across zones & tribal lines. He will also rely on his powerful charisma & bullet-proof relationship with Buhari to charge hard for APC’s presidential ticket. Though he is of the South-South geopolitical zone, Ameachi is from Obima a border town between Rivers & Imo state, which technically makes him an Igbo man. Hence, should APC zone its presidency to South-East Ameachi is in a strong position to clinch its presidential ticket.
El-Rufai faction: is founded on the Kaduna State governor’s desire to frustrate Tinubu presidential ambition at all cost. El-Rufai also is willing to pair with a Southern presidential candidate (other than Tinubu) for APC’s V.P slot. However, should APC discard zoning El-Rufai will gun for the APC’s presidential with fury. Many progressive Northerners are behind him. His friendship with Buhari coupled with his alleged closeness with Aisha Buhari puts him in good stead to be a major player in 2023. Incidentally, El-Rufai’s fiesty personality & tendency to ruffle feathers will dampens his appeal as a Vice presidential candidate.
Rochas Okorocha faction: it is build on the premises that APC will zone 2023 presidential ticket to South-East. The stupendously rich Igbo politician has solid political contact in the North & seems to enjoy the goodwill of Northern masses.
John Fayemi/Rotimi Akeredolu faction: this faction is built specifically to provide counter-weight to Tinubu’s absolute control of South-West politics. Fayemi seems to bear a grudge against Tinubu for picking Osibanjo instead of him as Buhari’s V.P. While the highly independent Akeredolu distastes the idea of lurking in Tinubu’s shadow. Fayemi also is eyeing APC presidential ticket however Tinubu will make a mice meat of him in the South-West if he dares it.
Lone-rangers & marginal players: these a mostly Igbo politicians who want to corner APC presidential ticket to themselves that is should the party zone its presidency to the South-East. Orji Uzor Kalu, Ogbonna Onu & Dr. Chris Ngige are the most significant players in this category. However, without a powerful force behind them their 2023 presidential ambition will be dead on arrival. Kalu has what it takes to bid for APC’s presidential ticket. However his long hiatus from politics & corruption charges against him has reduced his appeal. Though not an Igboman, Goodswill Akpabio equally falls in this category. Several attempts have been made to hang corruption charges on him. In addition, the size of his ethnic base will not give his quest for presidency desired momentum.
My take on the ongoing factional war in APC?
Accusing fingers have been pointed at Ameachi for orchestrating this recent saga in APC. The Yoruba press have demonize him for it. However, we shouldn’t buy into that trash! No single individual has waged a war of attrition within APC more than Tinubu. If as alleged Ameachi masterminded this saga, we should be reminded that no one has waged more internal wars in APC than Tinubu. It was Tinubu who pushed out Saraki, Dino Malaye, Dogara & Ambode from APC.
Since he is not the only one instrumental to APC’s victory in 2015,
Tinubu can’t be allowed to fluff his pride in the party like a peacock forever Though, he has APC’s structure in his palms, still when the chips are down, someone like Ameachi who is acceptable to nearly all the factions in APC (except Tinubu’s faction & factions led by Igbo politicians who see him as threat, he has all it takes to do the fancy footwork that will garner him huge followings across the country.
Tinubu’s quest for power is barbaric. It is a disease crippling APC & it needs to be cured. His lack of political sportsmanship is equally appalling. Maturity entails there should be other consideration beyond one’s ambition & thrill of the chase. For a diverse country like Nigeria the need for fairness & equity can’t be overemphasized. Yet, Tinubu is bent on ignoring this fact.
The North ruled the country briefly through Umaru Yaradua whose tenure was cut short by untimely death. Currently the North through Buhari is about to complete its first eight-year tenure since the Fourth Republic. The South-West has ruled Nigeria for eight years through Obasanjo & still has a hold on power through Osibanjo (Tinubu’s proxy). So, what else does Tinubu want?
Morever, if the South-West through Obasanjo was handed power to make-up for Abiola’s death, South-East should also be given power to compensate for 3 million Igbo’s who died during the civil war–through circumstances not entirely of their own making.
Tinubu has already been overcompensated for his rule in helping Buhari win election in 2015. There is nothing he has asked from Buhari that he has not been given. Dispite, Buhari’s current aloof posturing he is not entirely happy 7with the crisis rocking APC & Tinubu’s role in it. He pleaded with Tinubu to allow Ambode go for 2nd term to no avail. He was also in support of Obaseki running for 2nd term under APC, yet Tinubu & Oshiomole declined. Moreover, the duo by insisting on pushing out a sitting governor who has 50% chance of winning his 2nd term bid (for sake of their ego) technically have engaged in anti-party activity.
It seems Tinubu doesn’t understand the way Northerners think.
Northerners can’t give you everything! They can’t give you money, influence, considerable power & you will still want more. Tinubu modus operandi is to wage war of attrition–forcefully push out everyone in APC opposed to his presidential ambition. Hence, Tinubu’s resolve to tighten his grip on APC: by chasing away those opposed to his presidential ambition & ensuring he is the only viable candidate available to clinch APC’s presidential ticket is also an attempt to arm-twist Buhari into backing his him. Since there will be no other strong candidate available for the top job. However, moving foward I don’t see Buhari still trying to appease Tinubu. When the time is right Buhari will cut him to seize.
However, while we wait for this to happen, it is said that: heaven help those who help themselves. Caging Tinubu will not be easy. Except his effort to have absolute control over APC & his intention to unjustly ensure he is the only viable candidate available to clinch APC presidential ticket is frustrated, Tinubu will have his way. To deepen our democracy & to broaden the choice of candidates APC presents during its next presidential primary we must support those (Ameachi inclusive) fighting to reduce Tinubu’s strangulating hold on the party; or else he will be the lone voice clamouring for our support during the next APC presidential primary.