The last is yet to be heard about the fallout of the crisis trailing the refusal of the National Working Committee (NWC) of All Progressive Congress (APC) to uphold the results of the party primaries conducted across the country. The unresolved crisis which polarized the rank and file of the ruling party at all levels has resulted in defections of aggrieved APC members to various opposition parties. Aside some of the aggrieved governors who should naturally be instrumental to the success of the ruling party in the presidential election scheduled for February 2019, the exodus of key stakeholders drawn from various Local Governments, State Houses of Assembly and National Assembly remain a source of concern. Just last week, three APC lawmakers namely: Salisu Garba and Akinlade Adekunle dumped the ruling party for SDP and Allied People’s Movement (APM) while Mohammed Kabir Ajanah from APC moved to PDP.
Of course, the development will also impact on the ruling party’s potency in the South west geopolitical zone of the country where APC has largest support base. Of major interest is the decision of Akinlade who hails from Yewa, who lost the APC gubernatorial ticket to Prince Dapo Abiodun during the controversial party primary conducted in Ogun State, announced his defection to the Allied People’s Movement (APM) on the floor of the House. Akinlade who was the anointed candidate of the incumbent Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun is expected to contest the 2019 governorship election on the platform of his new party. It was alarming when I read the report of
the defection of the Majority Leader of Ogun State House of Assembly, Yinka Mafe and the Chief Whip, Idowu Olowofuja, as well as two state legislators defected from the APC to APM.
The other two lawmakers are Tunde Sanusi, representing Obafemi-Owode state constituency, and Ganiyu Oyedeji, representing Ifo II state constituency.
No thanks to the internal crisis rocking the ruling party since the assumption of former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole.
It is interesting as well to see the Peoples Democratic Party thriving at all levels with the transition of federal lawmakers to the lead opposition party in recent times, to the extent that some of the APC Governors may eventually pitch their tents at the dying minute to the 2019 general election, that’s my prediction.
Some of the key legislative activities that took place on the floor of the Lower Chamber during the just concluded week include the presentation of the following bills: ‘Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill, 2018 (Executive)’; ‘A Bill for an Act to repeal the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and Establish the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Commission; and for related matters Second Reading.
However, the House resolved to step down the debate on the ‘Bill for an Act to Repeal the Environmental Impact Assessment Act, Cap. E12, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria , 2004 and enact the Environmental Impact Assessment Bill to set out general principles, procedures and methods to enable prior consideration of Environmental Impact
Assessment on certain public or private projects; and for related matters’ slated for Second Reading, for further consultation.
The Bill for an Act to Repeal the Raw Materials Research and Development Council Act, Cap. R3, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Raw Materials Research and Development Council Bill to provide for reduction in the membership of the Council and the payment of all monies received by the Council into the Federation Account in accordance with Section 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; and for related matters also suffered the same fate, when it was mentioned for debate.
Also at the Thursday plenary, the House deferred the debate on a motion which seeks to ‘Investigate the abandonment and non-utilization of 60, 000 tractors worth N600 billion bought by the Federal Government for some States across the federation, due to the absence of Abbas Tajudeen, sponsor of the motion.
As captured in the Order Paper, “Federal Government, in conjunction with YTO China – Africa Machinery Corporation, a Chinese Company, plans to import 80, 000 tractors worth N960 billion for distribution
in Sokoto, Zamfara, Adamawa, Katsina, Niger, Jigawa, Taraba and Ebonyi States. The sponsor of the motion also observed the synergy between Federal Government and Katsina State Government to purchase 225 tractors worth N1.6 billion for agricultural mechanization, all of which ought to ensure self sufficiency in food production and boost
the country’s foreign exchange earnings. Unfortunately, little or nothing is being done to articulate critical policies and programmes such as agriculture and solid minerals where Nigeria has its comparative advantages.
I do not think Federal Government is putting its best to the diversification of economy policy looking at these variables. Of course, the prosecution of these policies and programmes should be done through deliberate actions and setting up of Task Force within the parastatals and bureaucracy with timelines, if any meaningful will
eventually come out.