COUNTDOWN TO 2019: How Buhari's Destiny Is Tied To 8th National Assembly
2019 is barely 136 days away.
The openly sour relationship between the executive and legislature may be the defining factor for which party emerges as national champions on February 16, 2019.
There is barely enough time to make any significant change as far as socio-economic policies and implementation are concerned.
Nigerians have spent long hours on queues desperate to get their voters cards.
There are more discussions about people trying to get their PVCs than there are about the gallivanting aspirants and known candidates.
Does he still have the joker?
Defections in search of personal goals and interests may try to blindfold the electorate but one popular question being asked on Nigerian streets has been "What's the real difference between APC and PDP?"
Over the next couple of weeks, Bounce News will bring to you in-depth and revealing facts and permutations about the role of federal lawmakers in shaping Nigeria's democracy ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The 8th NASS has provided it's fair share of intrigue, drama, illusionists, invaders, heroines, musicians and in some cases magicians.
Do the people always come first?
At this point in Nigeria's political history, it would be unwise for any serving president to wave away the influence and growing popularity of green and red chairs.
Homecoming or Fresh Battle Ground For Friendly Foes?
Apart from the 13 senators and over 30 house of representatives members who defected from the APC to various parties on July 24, governors Samuel Ortom, Abdulfatai Ahmed and Aminu Tambuwal also left the ruling party to the PDP.
Friends or foes?
Senate President Bukola Saraki who also defected to the PDP also has presidential ambitions like Atiku and Tambuwal.
Rabiu Kwankwaso, senator representing Kano central, is seen as a heavyweight, whose move from the APC to the PDP may affect the votes President Muhammadu Buhari may get from Nigeria's official most populated metropolis.
Although, the defection of Godswill Akpabio, senator representing Akwa Ibom north-west, to the APC from PDP was seen as a boost to the ruling party, many argue that Saraki's defection was a "greater loss".
Horse trading or not; it is believed that Akpabio defected because there is incriminating evidence being dangled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Is there anything impossible in modern Nigerian politics?
One is of N1.4 billion gift he gave to a new generation bank during his tenure as a Governor from 2007 to 2015.
Another has been linked to a school owned by his wife, to the tune of N108 billion.
Was he "coerced" to garner more political win in the South-South region for the APC in 2019?
Does Akpabio fancy his chances of becoming Senate president in 2019?
When Majority May Not Be Enough
As it stands, the lawmakers from the two major opposition parties argue on who holds the majority at the National Assembly.
The Senate President has allegedly ‘hijacked’ the seat of the third citizen, being a member of the PDP.
In a bid to retrieve their 'crown', the APC has been seen making frantic moves on Saraki's impeachment.
Is 52 enough?
They had earlier presumed his purported defection, immediately giving directives to security agencies to lay siege at the residences of the two Senate principals.
Another failed move took place in the National Assembly during their recess when APC Senators gathered to "sneak in" and conduct an impeachment process.
Incumbent Senate leader, Ahmad Lawan, APC's initial 'legitimate' candidate's has been suggested to be Saraki's replacement and Hope Uzodinma to serve as his deputy.
Defection and practical struggle for the leadership in the upper chamber also sparked exchange of heated words between the leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu and Saraki.
Once upon a time
Tinubu, who appears vexed on the movement, said the President of the red chamber decamped because he could no longer achieve his "selfish political ambition" in the party.
Saraki lashed back saying, Tinubu would rather "support a Buhari on the hospital stretcher" in order to achieve his Presidential ambition in 2023.
Although, both of them seem to nurse secret desires for the Presidential seat, Saraki recently opened up and said, "I am consulting and actively considering it. I believe I can make the change."
Meanwhile, the political realignment has reconfigured the federal legislature, Senate Majority Leader, Senator Lawan, insists that in spite of the defection, the APC is still in control with 52 senators to PDP’s 50; APGA three; and two vacancies.
Determination on who owns the battle ground in the National Assembly remains quite fluid because it is impossible to decipher how far these lawmakers will go to retain their seats.
Calculations Behind The Cloud
If the APC can successfully woo more lawmakers to their side, this might consequently weaken Saraki's chance to maintain his position at the 9th Assembly.
Monetary inducements have been used to sway lawmakers' decision, recently indicated by the House majority leader, Femi Gbajabiamila.
"I have heard and even ashamed to say it that members are being offered mouth-watering figures in terms of cash and I say mouth watering and members have reejcted those cash.
"Mr Chairman, not only are they being offered mouth watering cash, they are also being given automatic tickets."
If the PDP earns two more seats and it's 52 on either aside, then Nigerians should prepared for a long impasse of nothingness and empty speeches till a simple majority overrides the law of two-thirds - which would most likely never happen.
Unlike previous legislative elections, all eyes will be on those who will make it back to the National Assembly Complex in 2019.
The role of the lawmakers has proven to be quite crucial if the people are to find the lost dividends of democracy in the land of the living.
The masked DSS men that were challenged by the now trending heroine of democracy, the decision of the US government to close its Abuja Mission and Buhari's 800 meters Long Walk To Fitness are some pointers of what to expect in what promises of be an unforgettable 2019.
What can a serving president in Nigeria achieve if the federal lawmakers say "NO"?
By the way do you know the three Senators representing your state? Let's start from there.
Find out who they are and if they deserve to sit pretty during plenary. If you enjoyed this piece do share with your colleagues and friends.
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