Comrade Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, sure knows how to handle kids. I am sure his children received the best of disciplinary lessons while they spent time at home even if daddy was busy shouting: ‘aluta continua’ all over the country.
My fear is that the comrade governor who now serves as chairman of the All Progressives Congress [APC] does not seem to know the difference between politics and comedy. Oshiomhole could be living in a world of his own. I watched him on television when he talked about ‘winner takes all’ following his party’s disputed victory in the just concluded elections. This is a country with diverse interests and presently struggling with a lot of burning issues. Comrade went further to dictate to senators-elect and their counterparts in the House of Representatives his choice of principal officers. I mean his choice because he has been faulted for not making wide consultations before foisting his dream on the elite politicians. The ninth Senate will consist of 109 members representing three political parties. The APC leads with 64 senators, the Peoples democratic Party [PDP] has 42 while the Young Peoples Party [YPP] won one seat. A new senate president needs just 55 votes to emerge. It is a mixed pack. There are many former governors, some ex-ministers, a few ex-deputy governors and experienced politicians. Many of them joined active politics at a time Oshiomhole was busy organizing road rallies as a trade unionist. More than a dozen became governors when the comrade was haggling fuel price with the Federal Government. House Speakership: North-East APC aligns with South-East, adopts Onyejeocha These are the same people who are being led like pupils of Dennis Osadebay Nursery and Primary School, Government House, Benin. Suddenly, the former Edo State governor has assumed the position of a head teacher. At 67, I think our Khaki comrade may be reliving his child hood. In 1959, when he was a mere six-year-old, the first senate had at least 56 appointed members. The appointments were made by the governor general, the three regional governors and commissioner of the Cameroons. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe emerged as the Senate president and I am sure we all remember that our country was a colony of the British. Under that dispensation, Oshiomhole would have made a very good colonial secretary. On January 12, 1955, Sir Frederick Metcalfe became Speaker of our House of Representatives. His appointment came from the colonial office in London as he was an ex –Clerk of the British House of Commons. It was only on January 12, 1960 that our own, Jaja Anucha Nwachukwu, became the first Nigerian Speaker of the House of Representatives. These were colonial appointments which were geared towards independence. I am sure that is where Oshiomhole and those who think he is doing great, got their inspiration. Unfortunately, I know they are dreaming and must wake up now. This is 2019. Well, if those who are packaging this headmaster/pupil deal were kids in the first Republic, they were not exactly toddlers in the Second Republic. The National Assembly at the time was not fed from Chief Adisa Akinloye’s bottle. Akinloye was chairman of the National Party of Nigeria [NPN] which enjoyed a simple majority. NPN did not brag even if they were not as comfortable then as the APC today. The party went into negotiations and earned a working agreement with the Nigeria Peoples Party [NPP]. Those politicians of the second Republic had Nigeria in mind. I doubt if some of our politicians in APC think Nigeria. On October 9, 1979, Clerk of the Senate, Gidado Idris, called for nomination for the position of President of the Senate. Dr. Olusola Sraki who was Senate Majority Leader, presented Dr. Joseph Wayas, representing Ogoja-Obubra-Obudu-Ikom Constituency of Cross River State. Saraki said: “ Dr. Wayas is a man of many parts, a true Nigerian, who speaks the three main Nigerian languages: Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba…” That did not stop the Unity Party of Nigeria [UPN] from nominating Senator Franklin Atake, representing Bendel Delta. He was nominated by Chief Ephraim Akpata [Bendel Central]. Boko Haram: Senate urges FG to expedite action on Leah Sharibu’s release Wayas polled 53 votes to defeat Atake who got 42 votes. For the post of Deputy Senate President, John Wash Pam, NPP [Jos North] defeated Alhaji Sabo Zuwo [PRP] Kano, 51 votes to 43. It was a pan Nigerian arrangement which calmed nerves. Wayas and Pam were from the minority groups. The Hausa Fulani had produced President Shehu Shagari. Head of the Judiciary, Justice Atanda Fatai-Williams, was Yoruba as well as Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. General Alani Akinrinade. The Igbo had no reason to complain. Edwin Umezeoke, NPP, representing Nnewi became Speaker of the House of Representatives. With 245 votes, he beat Malam Hamza [Biu North] of the Great Nigeria Peoples Party [GNPP], who got 201 votes. The beauty of the whole thing was that Umezeoke was nominated by Yunusa Kaltungo [NPN, Tangale Waja South]. The nomination was seconded by Lt.Col. Patrick Amadi [NPP, Owerri North]. It was obvious that the parties had common grounds of agreement. And all through the Shagari years, there was relative peace in the National Assembly. Unfortunately, the Second Republic was truncated when soldiers foisted Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari on Nigerians just as 1983 petered out. Today, under President Muhammadu Buhari, we are seeing an entirely different picture where the leadership of the ruling party does not want fair play. And this attitude of neo colonialism calls for concern. Oshiomhole and Aso Villa want Senator Ahmad Lawan from Yobe State as the next Senate President. They want Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos as Speaker, House of Representatives. This is injustice. National unity has been stabbed frontally. And there are protests from within the APC. Senator Ali Ndume is fighting this clear imposition. Yet, the APC says, ’shut your trap.’ 9th Assembly : APC setting another quagmire for itself – Senator Hunkuyi The Igbo have been completely schemed out of the equation even with a Senator- elect, Orji Kalu, who was a member of the House of Representatives in 1992. There is also the experienced Nkiru Onyejeocha in the House of Representatives. Even if the National Assembly was a crèche, Oshiomhole would fail woefully as a teacher.