by Alexander O. Onukwue
It is instructive that the motion to recognise Bukola Saraki as Acting President was moved by a Senator of the People’s Democratic Party.
As the main opposition, the PDP has not had much joy over the past two years in trying to make Governance difficult for the ruling party. Intra-party fractions have caused rifts within, resulting in the emergence of a breakaway party, the APDA. Former key figures and members of previous administrations who have exhausted their political capital, like Doyin Okupe, opted to call it a day from the party.
However, those who have remained with the party’s system are taking courage from the faltering of the Buhari Government, especially of Buhari himself. They see this as the opportunity to repay the narrative played out by the CPC in 2010 on the matters of Yar’Adua’s ill health, demanding a handover to Goodluck Jonathan.
The only difference this time is that they don’t want just a usual handover, from an apparently incapacitated President to his Vice President. The body language of Senator Abaribe’s point of order tends to the suggestion that they would want to enact a skip, transferring power to the third in line, an ‘Old Boy’ in the person of Bukola Saraki.
Going by daily news and what is observable, the PDP may not have issues with the current Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, himself, but his heritage from Lagos. The APC marriage of two camps has barely withstood the pressure of splits these two years, and when it now seems like the terms of the union are set to be disturbed half way into the first term of the Government, schemes are in place from different groups to engineer a breakup.
This would be the way to understand the apparent consensus that greeted the Abaribe-Marafa motion before it was toned down by the Senate President. They have managed to blur the lines of partisan interests in the Senate, with Saraki comfortable at the top of the leaderboard. The choice of Saraki to become Senate President was an affront to Bola Tinubu, and it appears Saraki’s colleagues won’t mind doing another number on him.