By Nnamdi Nwigwe
With the settlement of the office-sharing brouhaha in the Federal House of Representatives, there is now peace at the “Western Front!”
Spokesmen of the All Progressives Congress, APC, particularly those from West of the Niger, are jubilating over their Pyrrhic victory of knocking out the South-East geo-political zone completely from being accommodated in the allocation of more than six principal offices available for the majority APC party to share.
The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, in his wisdom, had earlier distributed the offices in a manner that allowed each zone to get one position. Hon Chike Okafor from Imo State was given the post of Majority Deputy Chief Whip. But this apparent act of equity did not go down well with some ‘leaders’ of the party who believed that they could dispense with South-East and whatever political value they claim in APC.
Pressure was so piled on the House leadership by the barons of the party that even President Muhammadu Buhari who had earlier declared he would not interfere with the National Assembly members in the choice of their management team, appeared to have changed his mind. He called an exclusive meeting of only APC MPs in his Aso Villa where APC Chairman and other NWC members also showed up.
The meeting reportedly lasted for less than half of an hour. Only those that were present can best say what Buhari told them. One or two of them who were accosted by the press, talked from both sides of their mouths. Nevertheless, what we heard next was that Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, who had been anointed to be the Speaker, but lost to Dogara, was compensated with the office of the House Majority Leader. He and his “party supremacy” backers had to eat the humble-pie of pan-Nigerian politics.
An MP from the South-West, while discussing on Television the goings-on in the House, had averred that Gbajabiamila was no longer interested in any post again and wanted to be ‘just an ordinary member.’
Apparently bowing to party supremacy, he obediently accepted to be Majority Leader, a position he now sees as “possibly the most important office” in the House. The MP earlier referred to, said on the same TV programme that all was well and okay in the lower chamber after the ouster of an APC MP of South-East from the House leadership. His words:”there are no problems any more. Everyone is happy.”
A classical description of the word ‘HONKY-DORY.’ Now we come to the title of this piece: Is the APC a wrong prescription for the South-East? Please permit the pun which is deliberatively used in exercise of the poetic license of the author.
Until the emergence last year, of the political party APC, the initials had always served as name for a popular pain and fever-relieving medication which was given to children who had high temperature. It was either APC or Aspirin. Doctors say APC actually stands for “ASPIRIN,PHENACETIN and CAFFEINE.”
So, was it wrong for some nationalistic politicians of the South-East to have joined others in creating a big party to counter the insufferable arrogance of power that the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was progressively manifesting?
Methinks that Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, was being commonsensical in pulling his faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, into the converging group of ANPP, ACN, CPC and the rogue New PDP to birth the APC. How could a major political party have been formed in Nigeria without the participation of Nd’Igbo who constitute the South-East? The attempt to sideline the South-East in the present dispensation could prove very costly to APC/ACN hierarchy . Their gloating for now is only comparable to the Igbo axiomatic question to the crab rolling over in jubilation of having fought his way gallantly from the crab trap: Where are your legs?
The man who said his South-East colleagues should wait for “juicy” Committee appointments will one day explain why he and his I-no-go-gree group did not go for such appointments instead of causing shameful crises in the polity.