By Stephen Ubanna
There appears to be no end in sight to the struggle for supremacy between, president Muhammadu Buhari, a one -time military Head of State who is well groomed in jackboot politics and the National Assembly.
Many believe that history is about to repeat itself after about 33 years that Buhari was edged out in a Palace coup by the same system that threw him up into prominence to become the country then military of State on December1, 1983.
This is because same political forces that ganged up in 2015 to prepare the ground that facilitate the defeat of the President Goodluck Jonathan of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are at work to unseat him in the 2018, Presidential election. This is evident by the alignment and realignment of forces in the National Assembly, forcing the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, to lose its lawmakers to the opposition PDP, thus losing its control of the Senate.
This may have paved the way for the National Assembly to take decisions in the recent time and get the required majority vote to pass it. Take for instance the recent resolution passed by the joint session of the National Assembly to evoke its powers against Buhari over” systematic harassment and humiliation of perceived political opponents”.
Another resolution that was said to have been passed with ease at the floor of the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives presided over by the embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker was a call on the President to give a ”matching orders to Ibrahim Idris , the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to call his men to order, including other security agencies to curtail the killing of Nigerians across the country, particular, Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa and Zamfara by the dreadwd fulani herdsmen armed to the teeth.
The Lawmakers believe that the rule of law, which is one of the basic principles of Democracy has been abused under the present dispensation. I t is therefore not surprising why Saraki and Dogara, the Senate President and Speaker of the House, respectively allowed the resolution calling for ”strict adherence to the Rule of Law protection of life and property by Buhari and his political appointees to be passed with an overwhelming votes.
The Lawmakers may have sent a signal to the President is no longer going to business as usual when they made it clear to him that he would be held accountable for the actions and inactions of his political appointees They may have had at the back of their mind the crisis in Rivers state in which scores of people have been killed, forcing the Nyesom Wike, the governor of the state to cry out that his life is under threat.
Wike has failed to blame Rotimi Amaechi, a one time governor of the state, and now Buhari’s minister of Transportation for using Federal might to precipitate the cris. The governor had claimed that that the minister had created the atmosphere for the crisis in the state because of his desire to plant Dakuku Peterside, his political son and now Director, General, National Maritime Administration and Safety agency as the next governor of Rivers state, to still give him the clout to control the affairs of the state. The Lawamakers also may have had at the back of their mind Ekiti state, where Ayodele Fayose, the PDP,governor of the state had accussedKayode Fayemi, a former minister of Mines and Steel Development and now APC, governorship Candidate of introducing ”violence into the body polity of the state, with the intention to frame him up.
More worrisome is the Law is the Lawmakers loss of faith in Buhari led government anti- corruption war which is described as being very selective. They could not understand why politicians identified with other political parties, who had held political office are been hunted by the Ibrahim Magu led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, while those in the ruling APC, indicted in their various states are regarded as the Mr. Cleans.
the fallout was that many politicians in the then crisis ridden PDP had crossed over to the APC to escape the harassment of the EFCC. It is not surprising why the aggrieved Lawmakers had appealed to the Buhari led government to”. show sincerity in the fight against Corruption instead of being selective’.
Perhaps, what should worry Buhari and his political appointees in the resolutions adopted by the Joint session of the National Assembly was the one that had to do with the sanctity of the of the National Assembly to avoid the unguided interference of the Executive. The Lawmakers argued that the upper and lower legislative bodies have never had it so bad where its functions had been eroded since the return of Democratic rule in the country in May 29, 1989 than under the Buhari led government.
” The santity of the National Assembly should be protected and preserved by the government by not interfering in its day to day running of its business and prosecuting those who invaded the Senate recently to seize the mace ,” the Lawmakers had said. The mace is a symbol of it Authority in the Senate. They are not happy that the President had not shown any level of seriousness in tracking the suspects , fueling speculations that it was Civilian Coup to weaken the leadership of the National Assembly.
Political analysts see the recent travails of Saraki, the Senate President and his political son, Abdulfatah Ahmed governor of Kwara state in the hands of the police over their alleged link in the April Offa Bank robbery which claimed scores of lives as part of the ongoing war to humiliate the leadership of the Senate by the Executive
iT would be recalled that the Senate President had been trial in the Code of conduct Tribunal headed by Justice Danladi Umar over alleged fraudulent declaration of Assets at the instance of the government. the humiliations of the leadership of the Senate by the government because of his alleged Presidential ambition and outspokenness may have forced the National Assembly to fight back to prove that it can bite by making use of its enormous Constitutional powers to Check mate Executive.
Given the absence of cohesion between the National Assembly and the Buhari led government, their fears in both official circles that it may affect the socio-economic development of the country. if the watchword of Ibrahim Babangida, former military President in August 27, 1985 is anything to go by , ” it has become clear that that positive actions by the Lawmakers and the policy makers had been hindered as the body polity lacks a unity of purpose. He had said that ”the concept of collective leadership had been substituted y stubborn and ill-advised unilateral actions and effort made to advise Buhari, who was then the Head of State was met with stubborn resistance and viewd as a challenge to Authority and an act of disloyalty to his Administration. Between December 1, 1983 and now, nothing appeared to have changed in Buhari style of leadership going by the unending crisis between him and the leadership of the National Assembly since May 29, 2015 and now.