The federal government has made some moves lately that get many analysts of Nigeria’s politics wondering what President Muhammadu Buhari is on about.
They might just stop wondering.
The National Daily gathered that the next 10 days will witness a flurry of strong-arm activities that will leave no one in doubt Buhari is out for blood.
The cover story for the renewed onslaught is the APC government anti-corruption fight. But deep down is hardball politics between the APC and the PDP in readiness for the 2019 election.
The administration has made the PDP, based on its 2015 legacy, into something other than a party: corruption itself.
“[And so] corruption is desperately fighting back so that they can come back to into power,” said V.P Yemi Osinbajo in Akure on Thursday.
“God will make it impossible.
Obviously, the PDP and other perceived enemies of the state, sources close to power told the National Daily, are already on the hitlist. Likewise 31 former governors. Many of them in the comfort zone of the PDP caucus in the Senate where they have been lying low.
First to have a foretaste of what is in store for them— largely the PDP stalwarts, on the looters list—was AIT’s owner Raymond Dokpesi.
His US travel visa has been rendered invalid. Uche Secondus, Femi Fani-Kayode, ex-Govs. Attahiru Bafarawa, Sule Lamido, and other politically exposed persons that shared in the 2015 $2.1 billion arms vote largess will experience similar treatment across all embassies.
That makes it difficult for them to bail out–for medical or other reasons– in the heat of things. Prosecution, among other weapons to be used, will soon be on a large scale in few days’ time.
Osinbajo might have dropped the hint when he said those discrediting the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption war should get ready for more action.
“They said we have not been able to convict anybody. We are not bothered, ” said the vice president.
“We will continue to put them on trial even if they are not thrown into jail yet.”
So far, the arrowhead of the anti-graft war, the EFCC, has made hundreds of prosecutions, convicting 189 in 2017 alone.
A tiny figure of those convicted are PEPs. Critics worry why this category of financial crime suspects–enemies of the administration—wriggle out always.
And there will be some who will escape the looters dragnet that will soon be cast far and wide, especially in Rivers, Ekiti, and other states that matter in 2019
But the escape won’t take away much from their enemy status. They are either against the APC or with it.
Some of these enemies–the ones within—are already going through the hoop for their sins.
APC Kogi West Sen. Dino Melaye is a known critic of the government he is part of. He is also a loyalist to Sen. President Bukola Saraki, another perceived threat to the government.
For all his anti-Establishment legislative activism, according to many, he is now being hammered down by the police.
A stockpile of charges and allegations await the sick senator in Kogi and Abuja courts as soon as he’s out of hospital.
Delta Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi had a slice of that too at the EFCC where he was caged, on court order, for days over a N322 million fraud allegations for which he was arraigned in Lagos days ago.
He petitioned his colleagues at the Senate, urging them to nor allow a “rollback of the dark days of military rule”.
No help came until he got bail.
Everybody, it appears, will have to fight his own battle.
All other pro-Saraki lawmakers have to brace up too.
There is, however, a harbour in the gathering storm.
The National Daily gathered that as a strategy, the hitlist is going to be used to help those who don’t have the nerve to fight make a decision–to sink or swim.
Some of the arms-deal looters are already hopping in to the APC. And the storm night just have been over for them.
The ruling party is then certain to welcome more defectors in coming days.