When two ‘political elephants’ tussle

When two ‘political elephants’ tussle


The Hausa people have a saying that the stick used to chase off the first wife will also come in handy when displacing the second. Nowhere is this saying more evident than in the Nigerian political sphere where fidelity is fickle and loyalty to individuals, agreements or ideals, where they exist, are, at best, capricious. The brewing dispute between the ruling party’s stalwarts President Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu had always seemed inevitable the closer 2023 drew. Even if the personality of the two men and the harmony of their interests seemed to suggest this might not happen, the machinations of those in the two men’s camps would see that it does. The brewing dispute between the ruling party’s stalwarts President Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu had always seemed inevitable the closer 2023 drew. Even if the personality of the two men and the harmony of their interests seemed to suggest this might not happen, the machinations of those in the two men’s camps would see that it does. The brewing dispute between the ruling party’s stalwarts President Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu had always seemed inevitable the closer 2023 drew. Even if the personality of the two men and the harmony of their interests seemed to suggest this might not happen, the machinations of those in the two men’s camps would see that it does. What is undoubtedly behind the scheming causing Buhari and long time-ally Tinubu to butt heads is the posturing for the 2023 elections. Buhari is phenomenally nonchalant about interests outside his immediate concern. The dramatic collapse of his Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a party he founded, while he blindly charged towards a doomed 2011 presidential campaign, is a pointer. Tinubu, on the other hand, while also driven by his own ambition, has the shrewdness to build and maintain a network to propel this interest-to be president-hence the rise and rise of his Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the hold he had over the party and a chunk of the country. The merger in 2013 of the two parties, alongside fragments of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, the self-styled New PDP to form the now ruling APC presented a great front to challenge then incumbent Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP, which had held sway since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999. The problem with that arrangement was that the merger was not built around any ideology other than the ouster of the PDP and the acquisition of power, and once that was achieved in 2015, it became clear that the APC had not planned to manage its victory. Tinubu’s plan has always been to succeed Buhari; and in posturing for this, strategically planted his men in Buhari’s government. Buhari’s plan was simply to be president and not be troubled by much else. For some time it seemed Buhari had no objection to passing on the baton to Tinubu in 2023. The ruthless efficiency with which he dismantled Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s nascent ambitions of becoming president in 2023 seemed to favour Tinubu and was in keeping with the “gentlemen agreement” the two men had when the APC was formed. Now that scheming for 2023 is well underway, it is clear other interested parties are determined to worm their way between Buhari and Tinubu and benefit from the fallout. The situation is still fluid, and there is no telling yet which way the tussle will swing. The permanence of interest in politics will always trump the permanence of enmity and the two bickering allies may reconcile before 2023. Or maybe not. However, another huge uncertainty is the fate of the APC, which, like the CPC, was set up to make Buhari President. Now that it has served that purpose, what would become of it at the end of this wild skirmish?

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TUNSLA TECH 25 Jun, 2020 18 views