The saying that ‘revenge is a meal best served cold’ aptly applies to the Senate President as he battles to save his political career. As President Buhari prepares to transmit his ministerial list to the Senate for screening and possible confirmation, DOZIE EMMANUEL looks at whether Senator Saraki will use the opportunity to avenge his persecutor


The Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki is currently fighting the biggest and perhaps the toughest battle of his political career. Since his emergence as the 8th Senate President on June 9, 2015, the former governor of Kwara State has been faced with trials and tribulations. His perceived persecution is not only coming from his political adversaries, but also from the Presidency and leadership of All Progressives Congress, APC.
While many have strongly argued that the embattled Senate President deserves what is coming his way, others are quick to point out that he is being prosecuted unjustly by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB. The embattled Senate President is currently facing 13 count-charge bordering on alleged corruption and false declaration of assets leveled against him by the CCB.
After frantic attempts by his lawyers to stop him from appearing before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Saraki, who has come under serious political attack, finally succumbed and appeared before the CCT where he pleaded not guilty to all the charges. According to the charge sheet No. CCT/ABJ/01/15, Saraki was also accused of operating an American Express credit card account during his tenure as governor, where he allegedly wired at least $3.4 million to a Nigerian account.
Of course, keen watchers of political events in the country have said they had long seen the hand writing on the wall when the former Kwara governor defied the party’s directive to contest for the senate presidency. It is on record that no politician has ever gone against the wishes of the party in power without some measure of consequences. For instance, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and now Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, was voted as Speaker when his party had already settled for another candidate from the South West. He never really had a peaceful tenure as speaker.
Similar fate has befallen Saraki who has incurred the wrath of his party. First, he emerged as Senate President as against the wish of his party and also superintended over the emergence of Senator Ike Ekweremadu of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP as the Deputy Senate President.
This drew the ire of his political enemies who swore to frustrate him out of office by all means. The first missile they threw at the Senate leadership was to come up with an allegation that the Senate Standing Rules that brought the leadership of the 8th Senate into office was forged. The Senate Unity Forum, the arrow head of this allegation, went to court and even petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase to investigate and prosecute.
Moreover, the APC Governors’ Forum was sharply divided when Saraki won the seat of the Senate President. Some of the governors argued that the Senate President should apologize to the party at a meeting, while others differed on grounds that they should await the decision of the Ministry of Justice on the police report on the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Orders 2015.
It is obvious that the dragging of the Senate President before the CCT has left no one in doubt that the Presidency and indeed the leadership of the APC have declared total war on the Senate and its leadership. The relationship between Buhari and Saraki has not been cordial after the later was aided by PDP Senators to emerge as the Senate President. Even some big shots in the APC such as Bola Tinubu, Bisi Akonde, Ogbonnaya Onu, among others, have all deserted Saraki. The calculation is to put him in a tight corner and see how he can wriggle out of the trap.
Even while denying all the charges brought against him, Saraki alleged that he was being persecuted because of his emergence as the Senate President. His associates have also alleged that his trial is politically motivated.
The President has since denied instigating the ongoing corruption trial of the Saraki. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu, said that the President vowed to respect the rule of law and this is what he is doing by staying out of this matter.
As the Department of State Services, DSS has finalized the screening of the ministerial nominees sent to it by the President, the President is expected to send the list to the Senate for screening and possible confirmation any moment from now.
But will Saraki take his pound of flesh during the ministerial screening just to get back to the President and the leadership of the APC? Is he likely to team up with his loyalists in the Red Chamber to frustrate Buhari’s administration? Or are we going to see a scenario where the legislature and the executive will be at loggerheads over the current political persecution of the Senate President?
Having been docked as an accused person, harassed and humiliated, it appears that the Senate President is now up against Buhari and the leadership of the APC in what many have termed “titanic political battle”. It has been rumoured in some quarters that the Senate President will likely take his pound of flesh when the National Assembly resumes next week to screen Buhari’s ministerial nominees.
All eyes will be on the National Assembly, especially the Senate, as the parliament resumes plenary on Tuesday next week. Already, many anxious Nigerians have been predicting what the atmosphere will look like when the lawmakers return for the business of legislation. Amidst his political trials, a good number of senators and former governors hitherto stand in solidarity with Saraki. Perhaps, this explains the usual gloomy atmosphere that descended on the National Assembly complex on the day of his trial. No senator was seen at the premises; even the car park was virtually empty.
Analysts have argued that as the Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, Saraki is in a better position to frustrate the administration of Buhari as the President cannot work in isolation of the legislature. This school of thought is of the firm convictions that since Saraki and Yakubu Dogara are from the nPDP stock, they can work against the government of Buhari if they are not accorded their rightful place in the scheme of things. They went further to illustrate that both of them defied the party to emerge in similar fashion and so could go to any length to protect their new political dynasty.
Are Nigerians likely to see more political dramas and intrigues in the days and weeks to come? Will the Senate President overlook the humiliation and persecution he has suffered in the last few days and carry on with his job diligently? All eyes will be on the Senate President to see how he deals with his current political travails.

Are Nigerians likely to see more political dramas and intrigues in the days and weeks to come? Will the Senate President overlook the humiliation and persecution he has suffered in the last few days and carry on with his job diligently? All eyes will be on the Senate President to see how he deals with his current political travails.

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