Umar Ardo, Ph.D
The most critical takeoff point leading to the APC merger and Buhari’s subsequent candidacy and victory is the suit of CPC in the 2011 Presidential Election Tribunal and its fallout. What makes the 2011 tribunal critical is that its institution altered Buhari’s political stance and its fallout made easy the merger for APC. Recall that on Wednesday 13th April, 2011, when rounding up his presidential campaign, Buhari said, among other things, that if he lost the 16th April election neither him nor his political party would challenge the outcome at the presidential election tribunal, and that the 2011 presidential election would be his 3rd and final time in ever contesting any elective office. He wouldn’t leave politics, he had said, but he won’t ever contest again.
On April 16th the presidential election took place and on the 18th Prof. Attahiru Jega announced the results and pronounced Buhari and his CPC defeated. Going by Buhari’s 13th April avowal that would’ve been the end, yet, CPC went to tribunal to challenge the outcome of the April 16th election, and Buhari contested in 2015 again, meaning that Buhari’s vow had been reversed. The rational questions are: what happened? Why and how did the CPC go to tribunal? Why and how did Buhari contest again in 2015? Until these questions are asked and answered, any narrative and analysis of the APC merger, Buhari’s contest and the defeat of incumbent President Jonathan will be incomplete and defective. I did not yet see these questions asked and answered, and l did not see the narrative and analysis of the presidential election tribunal and its fallouts, mainly the sacking of Justice Isa Salami, in the politics of the merger and the 2015 presidential election made in the analyses of the election. With this vital missing link, it’s natural to fall into misperceptions, misconceptions, misrepresentation, and even mischief in accounting for Buhari’s mystical political turnaround in 2015.
The real and rational explanation is that the APC merger and Buhari’s victory were made possible by Jonathan’s removal of Justice Salami as President of Court of Appeal because that act effectively ended the secret alliance between Jonathan’s PDP and Tinubu’s ACN. More importantly, it threw Tinubu’s ACN into the arms of Buhari’s CPC for the APC merger. The reason is, of the then six ACN controlled states, only Lagos was by INEC’s pronouncement; the rest was by tribunals’ pronouncements headed by Justice Salami as President Court of Appeal.
So Salami’s brazen removal obviously was a serious affront to the ACN. The causal causation is this – without CPC going to tribunal, Salami wouldn’t have been removed; without Salami’s removal, ACN would not have been thrown in the arms of Buhari, without which there would be no merger, and without which incumbent wouldn’t have been defeated. So the person responsible for getting CPC to go to tribunal is responsible for Buhari’s fourth attempt and victory. Without that person APC would not have been formed; and Buhari would not have been president. That’s the person Buhari needs to first appreciate and pay back.
As God Almighty said in the Holy Qur’an “Haljazaaul ihsaani ilal ihsaanu”. The fulfillment or otherwise of this ayah is the guide and guarantee of Buhari’s success or failure as president.