Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
Is APC Ready for Leadership? By Olusegun Adeniyi

By News Express on 05/11/2015

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 2,073


To be sure, we are all aware that there was no way President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) would have been able to wrestle power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) without poaching from members of the then ruling party. But now that the APC is in government at the centre, it is not too much to expect that the party would begin to forge its own distinct identity. From the way things stand, however, no such thing is going on. If anything, the PDP is gradually but steadily imposing itself on the polity, essentially because nature abhors a vacuum. There is nowhere that has become more apparent than in the National Assembly.

In most democracies across the world (whether parliamentary or presidential) once a political party becomes the majority in the legislature (even if by just a single vote), its members would assume the chairmanship of standing committees. The essence of that is not only to compensate for victory but indeed to also push the agenda of the new ruling party. But in Nigeria, legislative committees are seen as booties to be shared by the presiding officers with the “more juicy” ones reserved for friends and allies regardless of their competences or lack thereof. It is within that context that one can understand the recent composition of the standing committees in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

It must be pointed out that the “political hybrid” in the National Assembly did not start with this administration since minority parties have always been given some committees to chair. But it has never been this pronounced though I will blame it on the way the new ruling party mishandled both the election of presiding officers and its eventual fall-outs. In the present circumstance, since APC members are not united by any shared ideals, it is easy to see why, in the House of Representatives, virtually all the committees that are important for reforms of certain areas of our national life have been handed to the opposition PDP members by the Speaker, Hon Yakubu Dogara, who is evidently more interested in shoring up his support base, in the absence of any coherent policy direction by his party.

Against the background that the United States House of Representatives with more members than Nigeria’s (435 to 360) has 21 congressional committees, 20 standing committees and one select committee, does it make sense for Dogara to establish 97 standing committees? But then it is understandable: In our country, every speaker comes in and creates his/her standing committees in what has become a patronage system so as to keep as many members as possible happy.

The same thing is happening in the upper chamber where the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, yesterday released the composition of the standing committees. Whereas in the United States, the Senate has only 20 committees, our own Senate has 65 committees! And the spokesman (chair of the Information committee) happens to be a member of the opposition party!

Now back to the House. Of the 97 committees, Dogara gave the chairmanship positions in 49 of them to APC members while ceding the chairmanship of 44 committees to the opposition PDP. But the devil is in the details. The four most critical committees in the petroleum and power sectors were handed to the opposition PDP members: Power; Gas Resources; Petroleum (Downstream) and Petroleum (Upstream). The Speaker also ceded the Banking and Currency committee to the PDP at a time the value of the Naira has become a subject of international debate. Some other committees chaired by PDP members include Public Accounts; Army; Works; Capital Market and Institutions; Public Procurement; Information, National Orientation and Values; Niger Delta Development Commission; Foreign Affairs; Climate Change; Aviation etc.

I am not in any way blaming Dogara for rewarding those who helped him to the position of Speaker, especially in the absence of any institutional support from the APC to rally their members behind him. The situation is the same in the Senate where Saraki has to accommodate PDP members with important committees. What else can he do when he is daily being fought by the leadership of his own party? But the challenge remains that of the APC that has refused to learn the lesson of internal cohesion and how to maximise its majority to push its agenda (assuming there is one!).

However, the problem goes far deeper as there is a lingering unwillingness by the two leading political parties to graduate from mere acronyms to serious platforms as neither the PDP nor the ruling APC is defined by any set of beliefs. Their membership is recruited by vested interest of a most crass definition. It is therefore no surprise that vital committee leadership and membership positions in the legislature would be allocated on the basis of balancing the interests that produced the leadership of both houses. Yet in all these, what baffles is that the APC seems intent on subverting its own hold on power by the way and manner it has encouraged the crisis in the National Assembly to fester as a result of its own internal contradictions.

What the foregoing says most loudly is that there is an embarrassing lack of focus on the part of the APC. No one has cared to define the 'change' mantra that President Buhari and other leaders keep talking about. The party has not, even in its very structure and approach to its own affairs, indicated an intention to change the behaviour that underlies Nigeria's sorry political culture. More regrettably, President Buhari has so far conducted the affairs of state in a manner that does not signal a definite political direction. Since this is a burden he bears as a result of the incoherence of his party, it is either he nudges the APC to go along with him or the party will squander his personal integrity which is still all that he has going for him. That choice will need to be made sooner than later. 

The urgent task on hand is to couple the president’s reformist zeal to an enabling political party platform that works and has a clear policy thrust. That synergy between president and party is embarrassingly absent at a period there is also no sign that the presidency and National Assembly are on the same page. In a situation in which its major operatives are being undermined, it is understandable that the APC principal lawmakers will also keep empowering the opposition to stay afloat. Even worse, the leading lights of the APC in the National Assembly are behaving in a manner that tempts the conclusion that they are still all PDP people.

Perhaps it is just as well that President Buhari is starting with a retreat for the ministers who are yet to be assigned portfolios. He should go further by resolving whatever the problems are within his party in the National Assembly, following the election of principal officers more than five months ago. If the president does not know, then he must be told very clearly: self-subversion cannot be a strategy either for working towards improving the welfare of the people or for sustaining a ruling party in power.

•This piece by Adeniyi (shown in photo) originally appeared in his column “The Verdict” in today’s edition of ThisDay. Adeniyi can be reached via olusegun.adeniyi@thisdaylive.com

Source News Express

Posted 05/11/2015 1:25:45 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25 minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...

 

You may also like...
Paris refund: Abia commences payment of workers

CBN clears the air, says no Nigerian bank...

Military working towards ending Boko Haram terrorism in...

Apprehension over Buhari

Wives, children of Boko Haram terrorists intercepted

The $1bn ‘Christmas’ fund to fight the ‘degraded’...

Of wailers, counter-wailers and Buharideens, By Olusegun Adeniyi...

Enugu pensioners honour Ugwuanyi for good governance

Benue Assembly approves State Government’s request to borrow...

Crisis hits APC over sharing of National Assembly...

COREN warns Nigerians against quacks

Bishop Kukah extols Obiano, makes case for cleaner...

 

Latest News Oshiomhole, 19 others elected at APC Convention World Cup: Football fan slips into coma while celebrating Super Eagles’ victory APC Convention: Drama as Oyegun’s security detail barred from Eagle Square HURIWA to world leaders: Intervene and stop crackdown on opposition in Nigeria Ekiti Guber: INEC, APC preloading card readers — Fayose Suspected herdsmen kill 18 in Adamawa village APC National Convention: Gov. Sani-Bello optimistic of peaceful, rancor-free exercise Prophet to Obasanjo: Seek forgiveness over June 12 Cholera: 24 new cases recorded in Adamawa APC loses members to PDP in Edo Lai Mohammed faults CPJ, says no journalist is in detention in Nigeria NHRC must push for quick investigation into Bukhari’s murder, end to impunity — SAMDEN

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (352,948 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (352,759 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (280,877 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (230,540 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (209,375 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (209,298 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (182,182 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (164,372 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (154,107 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (148,966 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (144,143 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (135,875 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (50) Business & Economy (3,266) Business Verdict (44) Columnists (871) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (507) Features (607) Global Business Monitor (284) International (2,050) Interview (155) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (124) News (36,439) Opinion (1,005) Pidgin (10) Politics (5,322) Religion (772) Sports (1,560) Stock Watch (30) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner

 

 

NEWS EXPRESS TV

Nigeria vs Iceland 2-0 All Goals & Highlights

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement