Ghali Na’abba’s politics of ‘go and chop’
The recent departure of one time speaker of the house of representative, Alhaji Umar Ghali Na’abba from the Action Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party reminds me of the late Sage, Chief Bola Ige’s statement of politics of ‘come and chop’. According to the late Chief, while he was invited to serve in Obasanjo’s government because of his credentials, some were invited to come and chop. This is, unarguably, not far from the truth.
Just recently, I read a cartoon in one of the national dailies describing the frosty relationship between Buhari and his party, ANPP. Buhari standing aloof in the cartoon uttered: ‘Over my dead body, I can never be part of this evil called Government of National Unity’. The ANPP walking towards PDP gesticulated: ‘If we follow this man’s principle, we are going to die of hunger’. This is equally not far from the truth. The said cartoon summarizes the mind of most members of ANPP and other political parties who are jostling for the Government of National Unity. Therefore, this talk about ‘national interest’ is just a ruse. No one should be deceived. It is all about personal interest.
Umar Ghali Na’abba’s issue is no different from the others. This is a man who left the PDP in search of alternative platform after he was frustrated out of the party. He wanted to be imposed on Kano Action Congress as its gubernatorial candidate against the wishes of other members. This is the same crime he accused his former party of committing. That is, the undemocratic way of doing things. From the moment he lost out in the Kano guber contest, close watchers knew that Na’abba’s days in the Action Congress were numbered.
Ghali’s relevance to the Action Congress in his home state was of inconsequential value. In fact, the only value he added to the Action Congress was no more than the tag he carries about i.e. former Speaker of the House of Representative. Unfortunately, this does not translate to into electoral relevance. He was accommodated in the Action Congress for the time it lasted in order not to cause a stir.
The argument above can be supported by the fact that not much impact was made by Na’abba during the last electioneering campaign by the Action Congress. People like Audu Ogbeh, Abubakar Rimi, Tom Ikimi, Yahaya Kwande, Solomon Lar, Titi Ajanaku etc were visible everywhere the Action Congress went. Na’abba could be excused on the ground that not everyone is endowed with oratory speech that such occasion demanded. But the question must still be asked, what was his contribution to the growth of the Action Congress?
Another angle to the whole episode is the fact that Ghali Na’abba is always in perpetual need. Business is not moving any longer. Grapevine has it that the former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had been sustaining him. Now that Ghali’s benefactor is enjoying his leave in far away United States, the ‘dough’ has not been flowing steadily. For someone like Na’abba the most logical thing to do is to look elsewhere. Man has to survive. Not a matter of principle. It is a matter of survival. Pure and simple.
I am not in any way criticizing Na’abba for the sake of criticism. He is free to do what he pleases as long as he does not trample on the right of others. But the facts must be set aright. It would be recalled that Na’abba was already offering himself for PDP even when no one was interested in him. He is regarded as a political liability rather than an asset that he thinks he is. He was merely shopping for where to go and chop rather than waiting to be called to come and chop. This is the point where I have a grouse with the former speaker.
Fortunately for Na’abba, the predicament of the Peoples Democratic Party in the present dispensation has forced them into accepting all manners of people into the fold. That is the dilemma of legitimacy. When a government is battling with legitimacy, choice of members is the least issue it would bother itself with. So, honourable Umar Ghali Na’abba I wish you a good ride while it lasts.
Mohammed Ali Jnr.
Plot 225, Golf Course Close
Ungwar Rimi Road