Opinion

Abu Bello And His Failed Coup Against Buni

Mai Mala Buni

By David Adejare

I have long stated to whoever cared to listen that the All Progressive Congress (APC) harbours some very despicable elements, those that know next to nothing about democratic tenets. Yet, they rode on the tidal wave to elective positions in the country. It was ordinarily expected that these people would align themselves with democratic tendencies. However, they have instead elected to display acts of brigandage in a most embarrassing manner.

The supposed leadership change in the APC brings to the fore the very issues that have been threatening the foundation of the party in the buildup to the general elections in 2023. Consequently, I wasn’t alarmed when the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, stormed the National Secretariat of the APC, declaring himself as the “acting” chairman of the party.

I was also not surprised because the case of Governor Abubakar Bello didn’t come as a surprise. After all, coup-plotting runs in his family. As Commanding Officer of the 81 Battalion in Kaduna, his father, Colonel Musa Bello, was a part of the 1975 coup. He was rewarded as Military Administrator of Kano state. This is a topic of another day.

Back to the crux, it is shameful that Governor Abubakar Bello displayed complete arrogance when he claimed acting chairmanship of the APC. His actions are not just an insult to the sensibilities of lovers of democracy; it also sends a strong message to concerned stakeholders in the APC regarding the future of the party and its preparedness for the forthcoming general elections in 2023.

Even though I am not a lawyer, I could still place the illegality of such actions and how such tends to lead the party astray before the general elections. It goes further to highlight the fact that since Governor Mai Mala Buni assumed leadership of the party, his notable efforts at stabilizing the party were not appreciated by a segment that desired to entrench impunity and division in the party further.

However, I am glad that the cat has been let out of the bag with the action of Governor Abubakar Bello. And Nigerians don’t need to look further in identifying the brains behind the crisis in the APC. The demigods of the APC have revealed their identities with this palace coup they have been nurturing since the time of Adam Oshiomohle. They wanted the soul of the party by all means necessary, including sponsoring factions at the state level.

They grace the pages of the newspapers as faithful and committed party members, while they hold nocturnal meetings on ways to destabilize the party. Have we wondered why these goons are after Governor Mai Mala Buni? The answer is not farfetched. Governor Mai Mala Buni braved the odds to restore normalcy in the party since he assumed leadership as chairman of the caretaker committee.

I knew his actions at repositioning the party ruffled some feathers, and they would have none of it. They consequently schemed for him to be replaced but had no tangible evidence to achieve their dull ambition. Not until now, when the president is away and Governor Mai Mala Buni. In the words of Governor Abubakar Bello, he stated that “I have been acting chairman for a while.”

The above statement is indeed loaded and an indication that all the while, the goons have been working underground to undermine the successes recorded by the Mai Mala Buni led caretaker committee. They have been ferocious in their scheming till recently when they struck to the bewilderment of genuine lovers of democracy.

To say the action of Governor Abubakar Bello is an act of rascality would be an understatement. It is an exhibition of ignorance and bitterness. It remains unfortunate that he allowed himself to be used to affront our democracy makes it more worrisome for the future of the APC.

It is not as if he has been a worthy example in governance in Niger state since he was elected governor in 2015. What can he boast of as an achievement in the state? And what qualifies him to assume leadership of the APC? This is indeed a shame, and I fear for the future of the APC as we move towards the 2023 general elections. However, I am glad that the chicken has come home to roost. How Governor Abubakar Bello and his goons would turn the party’s fortunes for good remains to be imagined.

I am confident that this illegality won’t stand. The efforts of members of the party that have toiled night and day towards building the party shall not be in vain. The likes of Governor Abubakar Bello and his coconspirators must come to terms with the realization that what they have done is a coup against democracy by all ramifications.

This is indeed a clarion call to all well-meaning members of the APC to resist this coup that spells doom for the party on the heels that the national convention is some weeks away. I can’t say more because legal luminaries in the country have questioned the legality of the action of Governor Abubakar Bello. And they have been unanimous in their position that the action is indeed a rape on democracy to the embarrassment of the party.

This is indeed a failed coup, and Governor Abubakar Bello and his goons must retrace their steps and give peace a chance. That it worked for his father doesn’t mean it would work for him as times have changed. My two cents.

Adejare is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja.

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