The crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has continued to generate divers visible and invisible simulations by party leaders to outweigh opponents. More significant has been the tool of intimidation, harassment and blackmail. The beneficiaries of the status quo in the ruling party are yet to conceive the need for negotiation and consensus building; rather the conflicts are being accentuated to warfare.
Leaders of the two Chambers of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Right Honourable Yakubu Dogara, on Wednesday, were victims of intimidation and public opprobrium of ill-conceived invasion of the legislature’s territory by suspected hired civil society groups who disguised to be propagating anti-corruption crusade.
Many stakeholders of goodwill in the Nigerian project were perplexed watching the self-acclaimed coalition of civil society groups embarrassing the National Assembly, calling for the resignation of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives at a time when the country is going through the agony of massacre of Nigerian citizens by Fulani herdsmen while the President watches with minimal actions to contain the pogrom. The protesters displayed high insensitivity to the agony of Nigerians over the unrestrained massacre of citizens across the country by the herdsmen, essentially, the massacre of over 200 persons by Fulani herdsmen in Plateau State on Sunday, June 24, 2018.
The self-acclaimed coalition struck when the new Peoples Demotic Party bloc in the APC where Saraki, Dogara, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and others, have been playing prominent roles, was concluding consultations on the decision of the future of the faction in the ruling party. Accordingly, the self-acclaimed coalition which lacks clear identity in civil society community in Nigeria was widely perceived to have been assigned to intimidate and harass the Senate President and the House of Reps Speaker than genuine fight against corruption.
Coincidentally, the coalition struck on Tuesday before the Wednesday declaration of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) establishing parallel structures to the mainstream APC in Abuja.
The protesters led by Adodo Solomon, in their misplaced priority, disconnected themselves from empirical incidence of genocide by Fulani herdsmen breeding intractable insecurity and threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria.
National Daily monitored the activities of the protesters from Lagos in which the leader of the groups, Adodo Solomon, demanded the resignation of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, accusing them of alterations of the 2018 budget and budget padding.
The protesters argued that the constituency projects injected into the budget by the lawmakers were for self-enrichment.
The protesters defied the orders of the Police trying to regulate their movement. Some of the protesters were observed attempting to climb the main gate, and others violently shaking the gate vigorously to forcefully gain access way into the premises.
The degree of confidence for lawlessness, violence and resolve to combat the Police, clearly raise suspicion of sponsorship of the unruly behaviours as well as guaranteed source of support and covert protection.
Unfortunately, the attack on the National Assembly leaders failed to prevent the famous declaration of the R-APC on Wednesday which splinted the mainstream APC. After the factional split, APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, still proceeded to hold consultation meetings with the Senate President Saraki and Speaker Dogara and other lawmakers.
Senate President Saraki, however, expressed that on the floor of the Senate that he knows the Ministers and Governors who sponsored the protest against the National Assembly. He observed that funds for constituency projects are not given to lawmakers but the executive implements constituency projects.
Saraki had declared: “For Nigerians being used – people are taking advantage of the poverty in the country and what is saddening about it is that those who are doing this are those who are part of government. This does not help the unity of the arms of government.
“Mr. President needs to investigate this and call these people to order – there is no secret in this. If you go out there, those boys will tell you where they are collecting the money from; the minister giving them the money, the governor that is giving them the money and these are governors, ministers in the same ruling party.
“So, I rarely don’t understand how they will promote unity with these kind of things. There is need for these kinds of activities to stop. If they keep weakening this institution, it will hurt us down the line when we need them. Those showing, rascality and irresponsibility should be called to order because they are taking advantage of these young ones.
“If there is something wrong with the implementation, it is the executive. We don’t award the contract, we don’t release the money. Those behind the protest should desist; we know who you are, it is not in the interest of the unity of this country.”
Invariably, the Tuesday protest reflected more of the extension of the internal conflicts in the ruling APC which party leaders pushed into government to discredit National Assembly leaders.