Linking the Content and Relational Messages of APC Formation Part I
By Seyi Oduyela/Washington, DC
I started with questions about the formation of APC and it seems President Jonathan was reading my mind he answered some of the questions with the replacement of the service chiefs today.
The formation of the leaders of APC shows the caliber of people who have held leadership position in Nigeria- Buhari was a former head of State, Babangida, Obasanjo, Atiku all have been at the top level and as Vice. They know how powerful the Nigerian President is so they have to come together to fight the president.
In Nigeria, service chiefs are appointed by the president, Inspector General of Police , appointed by the president, Federal judges including Supreme Court Judges all appointed by the president. The only appointments subject to Senate confirmation are those of Ministers. At that, appointment of Special Assistants, Senior Special Assistants and Advisers are excluded from Senate confirmation. The appointments of State Electoral Commissioners too are by the president without the Senate confirmation.
The preparer of the 1999 constitution did it with a mindset of the military governance where all powers are concentrated in the hands of the Head of State. Unfortunately those who worked to adopt the constitution were far more interested in political game without serious attention to that part. Nigeria is a Federation running a unitary system of government.
In a decent and sane democracy, there is equal share of power among the arms of government- Yes there is separation of power and there is also the checks and balances. In Nigerian case the President is absolute!
It makes it difficult for these appointees to perform their constitutional duties without fear of being removed by the president.
The appointment of the Service Chiefs, Police IG, and Judges should have been subject to the Senate confirmation thereby protecting these officers from being removed anytime by the President. How can a sitting president who is running for an election appoint officers that will conduct such elections?
In 2003, few days before the Governorship election of April 19 or call it 419/2003 (though he will deny it) Governor Osoba approached the Ogun State Electoral Commissioner for his help but the man told Osoba bluntly that no amount of money (according to an unconfirmed source, Osoba offered the Commissioner N50M) can save AD in Ogun State, that “baba has decided and it won’t change.” Professor Maurice Iwu, in a chat with me in 2008 told me that as the Chairman of INEC he has no control over the Electoral Commissioners because they are President’s appointees.
What is interesting is that no one in the National assembly has thought of this as an issue. This is more serious than the Rotational Presidency but since everybody is more interested in power, the issue of decentralization makes no sense.
Most of those who ran to APC ran because they are afraid of losing their seats, they are insecure and would go back to PDP if Jonathan assures them of not losing their seats.
I will start next by running the profile of members of APC- Top members in a bid to show that as we say in the kegites club the formation of APC is like an abortion before pregnancy. What brought them together is what will scatter them.
If you pay close attention, you will see that the association is like a new born baby on life-support.