About two weeks ago, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the appointment of former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, as the person charged with the responsibility of bringing together the various fighting persons and groups in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Saturday Tribune therefore sought the views and opinions of some prominent Nigerians over the issue. All the respondents declared that there are strong obstacles on the path towards attaining true reconciliation within the party.
APC reconciliation efforts cannot work —Junaid Muhammed
Dr Junaid Muhammed, a federal lawmaker in the Second Republic and prominent northern leader, said he did not believe in the reconciliation committee, as set up by President Buhari, adding that the committee may end up not achieving its objectives.
Heaping the blames of the hydra-headed crises rocking the APC on the president himself, he said Buhari deliberately kept quiet for so long before seeking for solutions to the problems and added that Tinubu is too vulnerable to be able to bring together the broken pieces of the party.
“First and foremost, I don’t believe in anything being done about reconciling aggrieved APC members. The system is vicious. We have a president who is the Chief Executive of the country. As the Commander-In-Chief, he is the Chief Security Officer of the country too.
“By virtue of his position, President Buhari is the defacto leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He must be held responsible for anything that is happening in the party; he should be held responsible for anything bad or good happening in the party.
“Buhari has never been known to be a listening president. He is too arrogant and full of himself. But now, he has come to accept that so many things are wrong with a party in which he is the leader. Why is he seeking for reconciliation now? The man has refused to listen to genuine complaints from aggrieved members of the party in the past,” he said.
The former federal lawmaker also gave his reasons why the Senator Tinubu-led reconciliation committee may eventually fail, noting that the various economic and political interests of the former Lagos State governor made him highly vulnerable and unfit to effect any positive change within the party.
“The reconciliation committee set up by President Buhari and headed by Senator Bola Tinubu will not work. Tinubu is a highly vulnerable person and he is well aware of this. The man is vulnerable in terms of his several economic and political interests.
“Buhari is not known to be a man who respects or rewards loyalty. He has always believe in himself and anything that may affect only himself, his family and his friends (and they are very few). He does not believe in loyalty and Tinubu should be very aware of this.
“Tinubu may not have any other choice than to toe the line of Buhari and take up the appointment as the chairman of the APC Reconciliation Committee. He himself has been involved in an alliance with someone, the president, who is not known to be loyal, but only so fickle-minded.
“Tinubu is a smart person but he must be careful in handling the responsibility given to him. He must go into the assignment with his eyes wide open, having formed and been in an alliance with somebody like Buhari.
Tinubu was appointed to mend APC’s broken pot of soup —Kunle Olajide, YCE secretary general
Secretary General of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr Kunle Olajide, described the appointment of Senator Tinubu as the head of the APC Reconciliation Committee as an effort by President Buhari and the party leadership to mend a broken pot of soup.
This was as he advised the former Lagos State governor to be wary of the appointment, admonishing him to extract a strong commitment from the president and the APC leadership that the committee would be placed above any selfish, ethnic and clannish interests.
Olajide said he received the news of the appointment with mixed feelings, adding, “A feeling of satisfaction that a friend of mine, an astute political leader and a good administrator has been appointed to come and perhaps reconcile or heal the wounds of APC.
“But again, I had a feeling of disappointment that they had to wait for this long when the pot of soup has been broken into pieces before remembering Tinubu, a solid leader, to come and put it back together.
“When they got into government newly, it appeared nobody remembered him. In fact, at a point, they said he should no longer be referred to as the national leader, but just as one of the chieftains of the party, after he had laboured so much to put the party into power. Now that the pot of soup is broken into pieces, they now remember his political wizardry.
“I only hope that Tinubu will extract strong commitment from President Buhari and the leadership of his party that they will put Nigeria and Nigerians first above any ethnic or clannish consideration and that the party would put behind it the ineptitude of the past.
“But, honestly, I don’t think it is right or proper for the presidency or any of the aides of the president to make a pronouncement of such an appointment. That is why I said it earlier that the pot of the party has broken and they are now looking for Tinubu to come and put the broken pot together.”
It is an appointment to pacify an aggrieved party leader —Honourable Oduyoye
Honourable Babatunde Oduyoye, a former member of the House of Representatives, said the appointment was part of a ploy to pacify and silence Senator Tinubu, describing him as “an aggrieved APC leader who has not been fairly treated by President Buhari and the party leadership.”
Speaking with Saturday Tribune, Oduyoye said the appointment would have made sense, if Tinubu had been fairly treated by the president and the APC leadership and if he was not aggrieved.
The former federal lawmaker also disagreed with the circumstances surrounding the appointment as he said, “Secondly, it is the party that should make such an announcement and pronouncement. It is not the duty of the presidency or the media aide to the president, Mallam Garba Shehu.
“Thirdly, Tinubu once asked the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to resign after leveling certain grave allegations against him (Odigie-Oyegun). I think the appointment is an attempt to pin him down.”
APC’s death imminent —Onuesoke, PDP chieftain
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, said the appointment of Senator Tinubu as the head of the APC Reconciliation Committee, would signify the beginning of the end of the ruling party.
Speaking with Saturday Tribune, Onuesoke, a former PDP governorship aspirant, averred that Tinubu must play along to avoid the wrath of President Buhari .
“It is a pity that APC has degenerated to the bottom line of appointing Tinubu as a mediator to handle the internal disputes of APC. It is so sad, I must say. It is a shame Tinubu is accepting the offer only after former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who brought them to power, told Buhari to resign.
One thing I know, if APC can appoint Tinubu as a mediator, that calls for an immediate invitation to quest for the final burial ceremony of APC before their pseudo convention. With the appointment of Tinubu to head the panel to solve the internal dispute of APC, I already know the panel is dead on arrival,” Chief Onuesoke noted.
Tinubu is part of the APC crises —Okeke Arum
Dr Okeke Arum, a university lecturer based in Enugu State, said the appointment of Senator Tinubu as the head of the APC reconciliation committee would not help to change the fortunes of the party, declaring that the former governor is part of the problems within the party.
“My view is that Senator Bola Tinubu is part of the problem in APC. So, making him to head the reconciliation committee of the party will not help matter either. APC, as it is, is different from President Muhammadu Buhari. What President Buhari should do is to pave the way for the younger ones to take up the mantle of leadership of the party.
“I think Buhari wants to use it (the job of heading a reconciliation committee) to capture Tinubu for the 2019 general elections, knowing full well that he never won the South East and he will never win in Igboland. So, he needs the South West.
“The idea is that the first attack (against Buhari) came from the Tinubu’s South West zone. So, he needs an equally powerful voice from the zone to keep those who still believe in him from the zone. If you allow former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s voice to remain unchallenged, it will be politically disastrous for him.
“I think the president used the appointment of Tinubu to tell Nigerians that all is not well with APC. It was not really in public domain that the crisis in APC demands intervention from the Presidency. Now that he has intervened, it has made it obvious that the crisis in APC is great.
“I also feel that the crisis arising from herdsmen attacks across the country might have prompted the president to send a message of peace through his party so that people can see him as a peacemaker.
“However, whether the appointment of Tinubu is in order or not depends on the party faithful and you know Tinubu is one of the founding members of APC and currently the leader of the party,” Okeke said.
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