The President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, last week, threw in the towel on his struggle to claim the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yobe North Senatorial District ticket from Bashir Machina ahead of the National Assembly (NASS), elections in 2023.
We selected two other stories that unfolded in the NASS within the week under review.
1. Is Lawan set for political oblivion?
On September 29, Lawan said he would not appeal the ruling of a Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State capital, which recognised Machina as the authentic APC candidate for Yobe North ticket.
“After due consultations with my political associates, supporters, and well-wishers, I have decided not to appeal against the judgement. I accept the judgement,” he said in a statement.
Lawan’s defeat reaffirms the belief that it is near impossible to eat one’s cake, and still have it. It was foolhardy of him to have assumed that a so-called placeholder would play game in the mould of what had happened at the APC presidential primaries.
Lawan may have shown that he is a respecter of the law, but in our climes politicians can never be trusted with their next moves. So, it could be hasty to describe the sitting Senate President as one headed for political oblivion.
The lesson learnt is that now politicians have a better appreciation of the place of law, even in their political machinations. With Lawan’s experience, it sure reminds his ilk that they cannot eat their cakes and still have them.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“What should occupy the APC’s mind is who can defeat the presidential candidate of the PDP. Who is the man that can pull the same kind of votes as Buhari? Who is the man that can catch that number of votes from the North.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
2. Elumelu-led caucus lamentation
The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives, on October 1, claimed that Nigerians had passed through their most difficult period in the last seven years.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Caucus’ leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, to mark Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary.
“In the last seven years, Nigerians have passed through the most harrowing period in our national history during which they have been subjected to life-discounting experiences including the erosion of personal liberty and freedom, in defilement the very essence of Independence under a democratic framework,” the Caucus stated.
Making a meal of the perceived failures of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is not totally unexpected. The opposition basically exists to hold the ruling party accountable at all times.
While the Caucus may be absolutely right in its assessments, it must be stated that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has hardly done enough to constitute itself into a government in waiting.
This is essentially so because it has spent most times mouthing its reservations than it had done proposing concrete alternatives to mitigating the challenges of the country.
Indeed, the criticisms this time, coming in the season of 2023 political campaigns, yields to the popular argument that the opposition party is simply riding the winds, and leveraging the moment to enrich its campaign strategy.
3. As Dogara dares Lalong
On September 28, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, dared the Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, to a debate on his position as the Director-General of Bola Tinubu Presidential Campaign Organisation.
Dogara dished the challenge in a statement issued by his media aide, Turaki Hassan.
“In any case, as the campaigns get underway, we challenge Governor Lalong to organise a public issues-based debate at a place of his choosing anywhere on the Plateau for us to thoroughly canvass our positions on national politics, most especially on the stale meat he begged to hawk for his ilk to buy,” the statement reads.
Politics is in the air and Dogara’s posturing is understandable. He must find reasons to call out Governor Lalong and continue as well to press his opposition to the APC Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket project.
Nonetheless, Lalong must not be denied his right to freedom of association and expression of his views. All said, having an issue-based debate on national politics is good for the nation’s democratic growth.
Answer: Senator Rochas Okorocha
Okorocha made the statement, on June 1, when he featured on a programme on Arise TV. He represents Imo West Senatorial District. He is also a former Governor of Imo State (2011-2019).
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