Bobo Chicago Bola Tinubu, the former Lagos State mobster and APC kingmaker, is having his considerable influence eroded since the (s)elections.
Most observers expected him to be calling the shots at national level since Buhahari became president. But as we wrote before the (s)elections, Buhahahari has slowly been isolating Tinubu and his stooge the dimunitive vice president Yemi Osinbajo.
Tinubu’s next hope for exerting influence was through control of the National Assembly, filled with many legislators, including his wife, Oluremi, that owed their seat to his patronage, especially in Lagos State and some parts of southwest Nigeria.
Tinubu-backed candidates for senate president and speaker of the House of Representatives Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila yesterday shockingly lost out to Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, with the collaboration of PDP legislators on a day of intrigue and skulduggery.
The president made an apparently neutral statement about the outcome, implying that the National Assembly should be independent of interference from the executive. However, our source has claimed that the president is very pleased with the situation as it means that the possibility of Tinubu playing a significant role in the executive’s agenda has been further curtailed.
Tinubu does not see eye to eye with new senate president Saraki, who is a former PDP governor of Kwara State, and the deal that resulted in Saraki’s elevation involved signing up to PDP senator Ike Ekweremadu retaining the deputy senate president position. Tinubu’s wife, representing Lagos Central senatorial zone, refused to shake hands with the new senate president when she was sworn in.
It appears that Buhahahari would rather work with PDP members and ex PDP members than Bobo Chicago loyalists. The Lagos mobster is said to be “bitter” about this.
What this means for the diverse group of greedy interests that make up the APC remains to be seen. But the seeds of discord have been sown in the ruling party.