By Yusuf Mohammed |
President Muhammadu Buhari has been receiving kudos for his neutral stand in the just concluded National Assembly elections for both the upper chamber and the green chamber.
On the other hand former governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been criticized by most Nigerians for his overbearing influence on the National Assembly matter.
Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, popularly known as ABS in Kwara state defeated Senator Ahmed Lawan in the Senate while Hon. Yakubu Dogara from Bauchi state defeated Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila in the lower chamber.
According to reports, the two winners are not the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In order to show their support to Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, Mock primaries were conducted by the APC. The results of the, mock primaries favoured the two candidates endorsed by the APC.
The outcome of the election left a sour taste in the mouths of Saraki and his counterpart in the lower chamber, Yakubu Dogara. Dogara’s group stormed out of the election venue dissatisfied with the process. They called on the party leadership to create a level field and not take anyone’s side.
However, it was a different story on Tuesday as Senator Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara emerged leaders of the 8th National Assembly. Buhari has reacted to the outcome of the National Assembly by saying he will work with the new leaders of the National Assembly.
He said he stood by his earlier position that he would work with whoever the lawmakers elected as their leaders.
The President, however, said he was of the view that constitutional process “has somewhat occurred.”
Buhari’s position was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina
Hallmark learnt that Buhari’s reaction has angered those loyal to Tinubu within the APC.
According to an APC member who doesn’t want his name mentioned, things turned out the way it did because Buhari is not like the average politician. He said, “This is what happens when you elect someone who is not a politician as President.”
Activist and social commentator, Japhet Omojuwa is of the view that Tinubu was the architect of the National Assembly crisis. He advised that Tinubu should know when to draw the line.
He said, “Tinubu is as much a source of strength to the APC as he could easily be an impediment to the party. Others within the party might not be as powerful and godfather-esque as Tinubu but they are powerful in their own right. The lawmakers who defied the party were in a rebellion against a man not a party”.
He also urged Nigerians to call a spade a spade irrespective of whose ox is gored. “Some people are trying to exonerate Tinubu from all this but they are not being true to themselves”. He said
He hailed Buhari for not getting involved due to the myriad of problems he needs to face as a President.
He said, “The president, Buhari chose not to get involved because he has other issues on his table to deal with.
Bode Goerge, the embattled chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who has been at loggerhead with Tinubu for a long time is of the view that, “the emergence of Bukola Saraki as the Senate President marks the end of Asiwaju Tinubu’s political career”.
According to Kayode Ogundamisi, “APC should move on and accept defeat. Lai Muhammad’s Press release affirming APC disagreement with the result goes to show that one man in particular is not happy. Well, some of us are now happy with the how it turned out but the lawmakers have spoken and Buhari has spoken and that should be respected”.
Alhaji Abubakar Rajab an APC chieftain from Kogi is of the view that the President is a true democrat.
He told Hallmark that, “what happened at the National Assembly is good for democracy. Buhari said he belongs to everybody and he belongs to nobody. He stood true to his words and history will be kind to him for that”.
According to a source, Buhari was in support of what transpired at the National Assembly.
“In what appeared like a brainwash, they warned these people not to allow Tinubu to form a ring around the President. They even attributed some concocted statements to Tinubu to create a gulf between him and the President to influence him. And these propagandists spoke with those who have the ears of the President”.
Hallmark learnt that Buhari was advised by those who have his ears within the party, not to attend the ICC meeting so that he wouldn’t look like Tinubu’s stooge.
Some top members of the APC have been working round the clock to reduce the influence Tinubu had on the party. They saw the National Assembly elections as the best opportunity to execute their plan.
Senator Shehu Sani, however, advised the party leadership to appease aggrieved members.
The activist turned politician said, “For now all APC legislators must work together and court support from the opposition; and must not engage in anti party activities; the party’s decision must be binding on all. We must work towards the success of the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“President Buhari’s dreams for Nigeria can only come to reality with a parliament that truly shares and reflects his vision, while balancing the need to continuously affirm and assert its statuary independence”. He said.

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