By Stephen Ubanna
When Vincent Ogbilafor, a one-time minister of Economic matters , during the regime erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo and who incidentally was also the Chairman of the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, boasted that the then ruling party, will rule Nigeria, for 60 years in 2015.
Ogbolafor, may have been carried away because of the party large size, compared to any other party in Sub-Sahara Africa and its 16 years of uninterrupted rule in the country. He got it wrong. This is because Nigerians were yearning for a change in government through the ballot box because of the apparent Collapse of the economy and the inability of the party seen itself to fix the power sector. The then Opposition APC, may have seen itself as an alternative party waiting in the wings to take over the government.
The Opportunity came arty during the country’s Presidential election in 2015. The APC, which was the then Opposition may have done its homework that it warm itself to the heart of the people that they were ready to support it to vote out the then President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP.
It was not surprising why President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, into won the 2015, Presidential election and repeated the same feat in 2019 elections. Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President and the party Candidate in the Presidential election cried out that he was rigged out and mobilized his Lawyers to head to Court but that was how far he could go. Bala Mohammed, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria and now governor of Bauchi state north east Nigeria, may have alluded to this recently when he said that the 2019, Presidential election was manipulated in favour of the APC.
History appear to be repeated as Mai Mala Buni, the governor of the north east state of Yobe and acting Chairman of the APC, had said that the party will rule for an interrupted 32 years. The Yobe state governor had said at the party recent Extra- Ordinary meeting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, that the party is working towards retaining power for at least 32 years’’ to Consolidate on the delivery of the dividends of democracy, described by the PDP as insecurity and hunger. He may have exposed how the party intends to achieve the dream by revealing that ‘’the strategy and Contract Committee, which according to its Constitution has a responsibility of making the ruling APC, a strong party that will stand the test of time have been given the mandate to ensure that the party rule the country for an uninterrupted 32 years.
But the Opposition PDP, may have cashed in on the country’s security Challenges which have been made worse with the emergence of the Islamic State Of West Africa, ISWAP, a splinter group of the Islamic Fundamentalist group, Boko Haram, which Bashir Magashi, a retired army General and minister of Defence had said had been involved in attacking troops and military bases in Borno and Yobe states, particular, two states , in the north east Geo-political region to turn the heart of Nigerians against the party in 2023 and beyond.
Th emergence of the armed bandits in the north west states of Zamfara, Katsina, Buhari home state and Kaduna as well as the uncontrolled use of sophisticated weapons like AK, 47, by suspected Herdsmen to allegedly to guard their Cattles in the forest which had been turned against Innocent citizens in order to ask for ransom, like the Boko Haram and ISWAP, fighters who have been involved in Kidnapping over the years, may have given the Opposition PDP, the ammunition to scuttle the party plan to rule the country for an uninterrupted 36 years.The recent attack on Samuel Lorarer Ortom, a former minister of Trade and Industries, during the Administration of ex- President Jonathan , by suspected arms herdsmen at Tyo Mu, along Makurdi-Gboko road on his way to his farm, in the state speaks volume.
The incident may have been an Opportunity the Opposition PDP may have actually waiting for to launch the final death blow on the APC, in the country. The Katsina born Nigerian President may have known that the planned attack on Ortom, the noth central state governor, was a bad advertisement to the party that may affect its fortune in the country’s elections in the future, that he cautioned against the politicization of the incident. , had cashed in on the attack on the Benue governor to take the Katsina state born Nigerian President and the APC, to the cleaners, forcing the Nigerian President to warn that that no one should politicise into the attack on the governor.
Despite the warning to Nigerians not to politicize the attack on Orton by suspected herdsmen, Obadiah Mailafia, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, may have further prepared the ground for Nigerians to reject the APC, in future elections in the country. The CBN, former deputy governor had told those that cares to listen that the last six years of the APC, rule, had turned out to be the worst in the history of Nigeria, an indication that the remaining two years of the Administration may not be different because of ‘’the killings and destructions everywhere’’. He had said that ,’’if the governor of a state, with all the security details, citing Benue, cannot feel safe to go to his farm, how will the ordinary people who have no access to security operatives to watch over them feel going to their farms, an indication that security of the country of the country have collapsed.
Appearing on Channels Television recently, he had said that the country’s security Challenges had been worsened because ‘’ certain forces empower some people from a part of the country with heavy weapons which they carry into the forests and the ancient Savanah to kill and rape women’’.
Mailafa, had alluded to the fact that the world powers, particularly, the British were the architect of the Nigerian security problem. They were said to have created on the impression the ‘’Fulanis were born to rule’’. Even, Obasanjo, a former Nigerian President had made reference to this born to rule agenda in the past of the Fulanis, that they had held tenaciously to it.
Many believe that the Nigerian President had not helped matters in his lopsided appointments which favour, the seven north west states of Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna and Katsina, which the Opposition PDP, is using to work against the ruling APC. But Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and National Leader, of APC, who need the support of the retired army General may not have seen any wrong in Buhari style of Administration that he had made a personal donation of N50million to victims of the Katsina and Zamfara Central market fire when he could not make donation to other victims of fire disaster in other parts of the country , including states in the south west, his own region, in the recent time.