The last bye-election held in Osun State that produced Senator Ademola Adeleke who is the brother of former governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) senator in the state, Isiaka Adeleke under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform has added another twist to the politics of 2019 in the country and how actions of some national leaders may impact fortunes on the APC led administration. It has also signaled a strong warning to the consistently crumbling empire of Ahmed Tinubu. HEAD POLITICS DESK, MUMINI ABDULKAREEM writes more on the issue.
Last week inside the hollowed chamber of the National Assembly, the Senate President and Chairman National Assembly, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki expressed admixture of happiness and sadness over how his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has regrettably handled some party issues at the Osun state level.
Saraki while swearing-in the brother of Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke, the former Governor of Osun State and later APC Senator, Ademola Adeleke, a PDP member, begged him to return to the APC from where he left, citing alleged lack of internal democracy as problem.
Adeleke had opted for the opposition party after alleging a conspiracy by the Osun State leadership of the APC in connivance with a national leader of the party, Ahmed Tububu to deny him the party’s ticket in favour of Mudashiru Hussein, an ally of Governor Rauf Aregbesola who eventually lost the election as the candidate of the APC.
Adeleke won the bye-election in nine of the ten local government areas that constitute the senatorial district while Hussein prevailed narrowly in one on the platform of the APC to fill the seat made vacant by the sudden death of his elder brother, Isiaka, who had been a member of the APC Senate caucus.
Saraki expressed sadness that Adeleke was coming to the Senate as a PDP member in an election the APC would have won on a platter of gold if he had contested on the platform.
In a press statement on Wednesday captioned: “Welcoming Senator Ademola Adeleke To The Red Chamber,” the Senate President expressed disappointment over the events that pushed Adeleke into the PDP.
“I was filled with emotions today as I swore in the brother of Late Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke as Senator representing Osun West.
“I’m sure that my late friend, his family, good people of Ede and Osun West Senatorial district are delighted that the legacy of “Guv” can continue. I’m sure my departed colleague will, in his grave be happy and filled with joy today and always.
“My only sadness is that Senator Adeleke is not coming as an APC member. This is the result of mishandling of the pre-election matters by our party.
“I hope Senator Ademola Adeleke will very soon, return to his natural fold, the APC, where he rightly belongs. I hope this development will serve as an eye opener to our party at all levels that the will of the people must always be respected. We all have a good lesson to learn from this. I congratulate Senator Ademola Adeleke and I hope he will live up to his brother’s expectations and further uplift the legacy established by their late father, Senator Ayoola Adeleke”, Saraki added.
But with Adeleke’s victory, political analysts sympathetic to the ruling APC have accused it of not only lack of internal democracy but politics of imposition which has seen the party lose hold on many fronts in the state and national levels. But unlike other imposition that has seen the beneficiaries still within the APC amidst widening internal gulf between leaders and members, this has given the opposition party a semblance of hope for 2019 especially coming few days to the Supreme Court victory sacking the Ali Modu Sheriff national leadership for the care taker executives of Ahmed Makarfi. If the APC perchance lose the 2019 to the opposition, the Osun scenario will no doubt be considered as the political catalyst to that change just four years after it lost power to the opposition.
Already, the PDP is already talking tough following the ‘change’ agenda in Osun and the apex court judgment.
According to the former director of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan campaign organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, the new leadership of the party under the Senator Makarfi will kick the ruling government out of power in 2019 general elections in the country.
Speaking on channels Television programme ‘Politics Today’ monitored by this medium in Ilorin, the former Aviation Minister, described Sheriff as a mole planted by the APC government to cause distraction for the party in the coming 2019 poll.
He added that members of PDP are now ready to put the party back on track, adding that APC government has nothing to offer the country than the hardship and starvation their emergence in government was characterised with.
He said, “now APC is terrified because their plan is to decimate the party against 2019 election, but God is always on the truth. PDP is one again, we will kick the ruling government out of power”.
Although the APC National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, has said that the party is not threatened by who becomes the National Chairman of the PDP adding that it would be wrong for anyone to insinuate that the unity of the PDP was a threat to the APC, especially as it had nothing to do with the case, a position that was corroborated by the newly appointed North-East National Vice Chairman of the APC, Mustapha Salihu, that the PDP failed when it was in power and had the opportunity in government, many analysts believed that the APC must halt the trend of loses it has suffered as a result of alleged imposition since 2015 that climaxed with the protest vote in Osun instead of leveraging on the sympathy of late Adeleke to win the election.
Other Tinubu’s many lost battles
Since Tinubu alongside other equally influential members that formed the APC historically dislodged the then ruling PDP, he has vehemently fought but equally lost many battles, all in an attempt to consolidate his hold on the party against many of the hawks he offended that are bent on devouring him. They have succeeded in firing many shots against Tinubu immediately after they formed government. Most of the shots have allegedly hit him with precision.
The first was the Senate Presidency affair which saw the defeat and humiliation of Tinubu’s preferred candidate for the position. This also incorporated the battle for the House Speakership which produced Yakubu Dogara against his choice, Femi Gbajabiamila. He was dealt a heavy blow when most of his key nominees were not considered for ministerial appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari who instead filled the slots with his (Tinubu) political adversaries.
Even the appointment of Lai Muhammed from Kwara State, which “many erroneously believed was his choice and nominee for Minister of Information and Culture, was reportedly not his making as Tinubu reportedly nominated Dele Alake, his former commissioner for Information in Lagos State for the position. Also his nominee for the finance portfolio who also was his ex-commissioner for Finance, Wale Edun, was rejected as Governor Amosun’s candidate, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, got the job instead. According to some commentators, “this went on across board and was a terrible humiliation for him.”
Also cast your mind back to Kogi State with the issue of James Faleke where it was agreed by the real landlords of the APC in the core north that Tinubu must not be allowed to gain a foothold in the North central zone by getting his Yoruba kinsman and candidate to be elected as governor of that state. “Faleke who was dropped sadly lost the case in court when the Supreme Court affirmed Yahaya Bello as Governor recently. Even his former commissioner for Justice in Lagos and incumbent vice president, Osinbajo has allegedly been reduced to “not just a spare tyre as VP but also to a very flat one”.
According to a former member of the party, Fani Kayode, in his piece on the crisis, “Rather than being allowed to participate in the crucial decision-making processes on vital and critical issues of state and governance as any vice President should, Osinbajo has been kept in the dark about virtually everything and he has little or no power to effect anything. When such decisions are to be debated, discussed and made the vice President is never invited into the room and neither is he even aware that there is such a meeting going on. Worse still he is constantly being directed to represent the President at official functions all over the country as if he were more of his Personal Assistant, Special Adviser or Minister rather than the vice President of the country. Osinbajo’s crime is simply that he is loyal to Tinubu and he has refused to dump or betray him”.
Then, there is the issue of party hijack against Oyegun considered as the most devastating shot that has removed the APC machinery away from Tinubu. For those still wondering about influence of the position, the crisis in the PDP will give a semblance to that. No wonder Tinubu never waited for the defeat to simmer before he reacted in a very uncommon manner.
Another significant loss for him was also that of the Board of Trustee (BoT) regarded as the conscience of the party where Atiku was deployed to purportedly checkmate him. To this day, the party is yet to decide properly on how to handle the issue.