I may sound like a prophet of doom but the political realities favour my prophecy. Agreed that the beauty of democracy is the plurality of views, unity of purpose, however play a more vital role especially when charting a common cause.
Last year, precedence was set in our legislature when the then speaker, Aminu Tambuwal’s action affirmed that the leadership of the legislative arm of government is not exclusive to the ruling party. Having said that, the path becomes clear for the any member of the house who can muster enough votes to vie for, and be installed as the president of such a house.
Now in APC as a party, there has been very bitter and deep chasm on who emerges as both house speaker and senate president. Their major undoing here being that they do not have a clear majority in numbers to sideline PDP nor are they united enough to make up for this inadequacy. Easily, one can see the extent of this division in the tussle between Senators. Bukola Saraki and Ahmad Lawan whose groups are at the thick of this tussle. In their recent primary polls, each scored 32 and 34 votes respectively. Now aside such plurality of opinion which shows the making of a very robust senate, that is the point where it ceased to be good for the party.
PDP in the Senate has 49 members who are united and willing to vote en bloc. This means that if PDP should present David Mark again, then it will require just 6 votes poached from APC. Conversely, any of the APC contenders will need a minimum of 23 PDP votes to emerge. In political terms, that is a whole lot! The terms and objects of concession will be distributed to go round these 23 senators. One will be left with the simple question: are there enough concessionable items to distribute among these 23 without direly upsetting the balance within APC which hangs tremulous on the precipice at this point? Marinade on that for a second….
Now if David Mark should emerge, managing 6 concessions will be a whole lot easier and no matter how far it goes, will play out in favour of PDP. Reason is simple: PDP by such acts builds a bridge in the ruling party while being in control of the upper legislative body. And who will be the likeliest midwife to this arrangement? Tinubu and the Retired Generals from the north west.
I explain again. So far, these men, events have shown, may be unable to rein in President Buhari. The last option will be to deny him control of the legislature which will be their bargaining chip. One may recall here that Ahmad Lawan is strongly favoured by the president and if he has his way, would have politically caged his godfathers. Tinubu, IBB, TY Danjuma et al must have an insurance policy to keep the President in check. David Mark is a tested and trusted General who can, when the going gets tough, deliver to his fellow generals and comrades in service. There is, again, a tacit trust in Mark to be able to fave his fellow General and tell him the bitter truth if need be, without feeling overawed or short in his face. The odds here clearly stacks in favour of David Mark.
Mark’s emergence through Tinubu’s help will be the tonic needed to force PMB’s hands on his ministerial list (Since Senate approval will be required. The Senate under mark and in alliance with Saraki can keep rejecting the list till Tinubu’s demands are met). The Generals thru Mark can also force the president to drop some hard line stand which may be a source of ’embarrassment’ to them. In all, PDP sneaks in through the backdoor to still run things.
Lastly, while it might be easy to assume that the party can amicably resolve the impasse it faces, it is very doubtful that it pays the power brokers who midwifed the emergence of PMB. The choices are down to either the president getting his way or the powers-that-be doing so, thus emasculating the president. No one will want to lose… Not in politics. David Mark therefore represent a victory for a greater majority across party lines against a linear and limited power structure.
His Eminence The Archcardinal