LAKOJU: APC Took A Lot For Granted
Dr. Tunde Lakoju, a politician and public analyst, represented Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003. He spoke to ALEMMA-OZIORUVA ALIU on the challenges confronting APC.
As a former member of the House of Representatives, what is your view regarding the situation in the National Assembly? IT has not violated any law in this country, neither has the constitution been violated.
What the constitution says is that members will elect a leader — a Speaker or Deputy Speaker, a Senate President or Deputy Senate President — as the case may be, from among themselves.
It did not say any party, so, technically, that is the reality, that is the letter of the law, all that we have been reading are sentiments on morality. But the reality is that what happened is in consonance with the laws of the House. Even, there is no law stopping the emergence of an opposition member as Deputy Senate President.
The House acted within the law. The problem is that the ruling party took a lot for granted, instead of building a party, which was hurriedly put together, members were busy making so much noise, and the publicity secretary was just saying all sorts of things.
The party had enough time from March 28, when the Presidential and House Election held, to the time of swearing in, for the party to heal its wounds. But nothing of such was done. They waited until the day of inauguration.
The President had properly sent a proclamation to the Clerk, and was directed to read out the proclamation at 10am and he did and after proclamation, you don’t sit down waiting for anybody, things have to start happening and they did happen quickly, and that is why they were able to take advantage of what was on ground and what happened.
If the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wanted to get the Presidency of the Senate, they would have got it, because you remember that distinguished Senator David Mark had said that the PDP would not disrupt the apple cart, and therefore, would not field any candidate for the Senate Presidency, and they didn’t, but if they had gone ahead to do so, they would have won, but the reality is that APC did not put its house in order.
It is very ridiculous that on a day when you were supposed to be sworn in, and at that time, you were somewhere else, holding another meeting, which is a violation of the law of this land. It is even a disregard for the Nigerian people, because that was not expected from the ruling party.
A ruling part that cannot put itself together before that time, I mean it is a question mark. What does this portend for the party? You see; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) administered this drug on PDP via Tambuwal, so, they should be in a position to swallow the pill now.
If PDP did not disintegrate and PDP accommodated what happened under Tambuwal and did not do anything to hurt him, I think what has happened now is to serve a notice that you don’t leave precedence that you cannot accommodate.
They should stop making noise and calm down, possibly, look at how they can work with the party that has emerged, especially, now that the president himself has said he is prepared to work with anybody that has emerged, whatever the decision of the National Assembly.
I don’t think the party should bother itself about continuing a fight because if they do, the danger is that they will force those people to take very drastic and radical decisions, which would affect the party very adversely.
Can we say the APC is not knitted as one yet? Of course, APC, as it stands now, can be likened to a bowl of salad that has no cream, you can pick out the cucumber, you can pick out the onions, you can pick out the tomato, that is how APC is now; they hurriedly put it together not too long ago, and it rolled on the wind of time, and that is why they won the election, as it were. Now that they have won, they are not prepared to offer leadership, because they didn’t think that they would win.
They need to quickly go into their laboratory and come up with a proper plan on how to rule Nigeria, otherwise, they will just mess everybody up.
What are we expecting from the PDP? At the National Assembly, obviously PDP will dictate what happens there, there is no doubt about that because with the number they have; about 140 in the House of Representatives and about 49 in the Senate, nobody can get two third there to do anything that they don’t want, therefore, PDP at the National Assembly is healthy, and at the larger society, the party must look inwards and correct all the ills that characterised its losses at the election so that the party can move forward, we need a more radical, more visionary kind of leadership to take the party to the next level.
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