Since the exit of former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in May 2015, I have been wondering if President Muhammadu Buhari is the same military dictator who landed with the late Tunde Idiagbon, at the sports field of the now the University of Uyo in 1984.
At the time, undergraduates of the then University of Cross River State, an institution whose foundation was laid by the late erudite Prof. Donald Ekong, as its pioneer Vice-Chancellor, shunned lectures to welcome the ‘revolutionary’ Major General Buhari as Nigeria’s military leader then.
Though the 60 suite cases of the time nearly rubbished the messianic Buhari military dictatorship of the time, the feudalistic and nepotistic President Buhari of today appears to be in sharp contrast with the Buhari of the mid-1980s some of us witnessed. The Buhari of the time was a talk and do phenomenon who did not pander so much to ethnocentric sentiments, a nationalist leader who wanted to recreate Nigeria.
With his own emerging testimonies, it seems, the post-Jonathan President Buhari was under a spell by political potentates who wanted to pocket the affairs of Nigeria in perpetuity. As we are seeing it, the life span of the spell on our dear Buhari appears to be expiring. The hitherto no-nonsense Buhari on Thursday alleged that former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s diabolical double-cross cost Chief Bisi Akande, the All Progressives Congress (APC), chieftain his second term aspiration.
Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige, who is also the leader of APC in Anambra State, and the candidate of the party in the just-concluded governorship election, Andy Uba, are at daggers drawn over who wields more influence in the party. While Ngige today in his Abuja residence, is billed to be hosting the party’s state caucus meeting, State Party Chairman, Basil Ejidike, sponsored by Uba, will on the same day holding the same meeting at Maitama in Abuja.
There are fears in both factions of the party over which of the meetings will be attended by caucus members. There has been a running battle in the party in the state with some members of the party having been sacked.
While some members of the party had affirmed the sack of Ejidike as the chairman of the party in the state, he had dismissed it, while also engineering the recent sack of the secretary of the party, Mr Chukwuma Agupugo.
Agupugo had been accused of anti-party activities, while a source in the party told newsmen that he was found to be loyal to Ngige, who is opposed to the leadership of the party. The genesis of the crisis in the party had been accusations against Ngige, who was said to have been opposed to the emergence of the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the last election, Uba.
A member of the party and the media and publicity director of the Andy Uba campaign organisation, Afam Ogene, accused Ngige of attempting to return as the leader of the party, after having worked against its candidate in the last election. ‘’You cannot abandon your troops in wartime and seek a return to lead this same beleaguered people in peacetime,” Hon. Victor Afam Ogene a former member of the House of Representatives said.
Sources said the number of state caucus members who attend any of the two meetings would go a long way in determining where the leadership balance will tilt.
The now smoking President Buhari however said Obasanjo’s diabolical acts ended Akande’s governorship aspiration. The president disclosed this at the public presentation of the autobiography of Akande, titled: “My Participations,” in Lagos State.
“It is common knowledge that Akande was the victim – along with other AD Governors – of a diabolical double-cross which ended his gubernatorial career. Only the steadfast Asiwaju Bola Tinubu escaped the electoral massacre masterminded by Obasanjo.
”Desperately disappointed though he was, and being a good Muslim, he accepted this setback as part of the trials of life. He looked to the future of service to the country,” he said, and described Akande as a ‘‘perfect public officer” and the type of person he could go into the jungle with.
He explained that the APC chieftain retained his ‘‘inflexible integrity,” in and out of public office, never accepting or offering bribes.