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Tinubu and APC internal division



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THE denied rumour that the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was contemplating the floating of a new political party has been courting controversies across the political divide. The Nigerian political terrain is full of surprises. When President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as leader of this embattled nation after sixteen lacklustre years of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the one single individual who was hailed as the architect of that historical victory was Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The media was quick to raise him to the totem pole of our democratic renewal. He was praised for deploying experience, wisdom, money, material resources and sound political intelligence into the struggle to wrestle power from the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. He became our man of the moment and, by extension, our hero.
We gathered that six months into the victory of APC at the poll, Bola Tinubu as leader of that party has become a victim of internal political manipulations of a party he bankrolled, singlehanded, into a formidable winning machine.
What really went wrong? Is Bola Tinubu a victim of his own over-arching ambition? Is he a victim of his own success? Has the blinding twists and turns and the unpredictable nature of our politics consumed the mystique of this enigmatic figure? Is there any internal disarray in the hierarchy of APC? Is Tinubu becoming disillusioned with Buhari’s politics and his presidency? Has the Daura or Kaduna mafia reined in Buhari in a classic case of Fulani clannish over-reach? Is there a dissonance in their common goal? What may have gone awry?
Who wants to disrobe Tinubu’s mantle of philosopher king of the APC? Who gains in this war of feather-ruffling with a sphinx-like figure like Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaban of Borgu?  We are constrained to ask these questions, but the sweep of our analysis will hang on APC’s internal disharmony, Tinubu’s ambition, Buhari’s craftiness, the machinations of Daura’s mafia and the dynamism of our politics.
First, we gathered that the implosion of the APC party is imminent. The reason given for this apocalyptic outcome includes the current wrangling with the way and manner President Buhari has been conducting appointments to his cabinet. It is being alleged within the party’s grapevine that the north has already gobbled up 80% of the appointments made by Buhari so far. And these appointments, according to our sources, are made up of cronies, party stalwarts and other recommendations from Fulani/Sharia personalities.
Meanwhile, Tinubu is alleging that he is being sidelined and excluded by President Buhari through the rejection of his own candidates for ministerial positions. Such upmanship by Buhari is considered an affront and insult to the political clout, prestige and power of Tinubu among many of his loyalists.
Secondly, there is also the importation of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s factor into the political saga that is engulfing the APC. Obasanjo, it must be recalled, began his romance with the APC prior to the completion of the general elections, and has, ever since Buhari’s victory, has been hobnobbing with him in an attempt to further entrench his reach and influence among the main actors of the present government.
Far from being an honest broker, Obasanjo has been casting himself in the role of the Devil’s Advocate, advising President Buhari on who goes into his cabinet. We gathered that Obasanjo was instrumental in the rejection of Tinubu’s choice of Wale Edun for the Finance Ministry.  There is also the insinuation from reliable source that Tinubu’s spirited attempt to frustrate the inclusion of his former protégé ex-Governor of Lagos State, Raji Fashola into Buhari’s cabinet fell on deaf ears. Tinubu suddenly realised how powerless he was when Buhari went ahead and included Fashola among his selected ministers. Obasanjo, it later emerged, is having the upperhand over Tinubu and this perceived sense of maginalisation is brewing an oasis of disharmony in the APC party.
This sense of direct impropriety towards Tinubu is said to be keenly felt by the southwestern elements within the party and many are aggrieved by such injustice. Tinubu has a right to private outrage if, at the end of the day, all the facts as stated above are true. Also, President Buhari’s craftiness in the conduct of his presidency especially against those who were in the trenches with him when all seemed lost during the election is counterproductive.
We also have to condemn the Southwestern elements within the party who are bent on interpreting APC’s internal misunderstanding as tribal acrimony between the Yoruba and the Fulani.
Tinubu is reputed for building bridges across tribes and political divides and this antecedent has made him a formidable politician. If, however, the need to float a new party arises, it should, as a matter of fact, be a broad-based party of differing tongues and tribes and be nationalist in orientation to eliminate the domination or marginalization of any tribe within its fold as currently being alleged by the Yoruba against the APC.
Yoruba’s current image as faint-hearted people within the APC is unfortunate. This is the reason why this nation urgently has to stop the drift of reducing our political parties into an extension of tribal personalities, where the Yoruba, Fulani and Igbo and other nationalities line up behind their tribal leaders, all of whom wave different tribal flags within the same party!

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