Indeed, I have no business with commenting on matters before any court of competent jurisdiction. Professionally, morally and as a man that draws a lot of wisdom from the Throne, I have been so guided not to dabble nor make even commentaries considered by the public to be fair, on matters being heard in courts. The same wisdom equips me to readily determine issues and under currents of any such matters and report on same.
The alleged persecution of Senate President Bukola Saraki of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC for instance easily arises here.
When the Senate President told the open court that he was being persecuted because of his headship of the Senate, it became an eye opener as to the diabolical and dangerous dimension our politics has assumed in the current dispensation. Yes, it has become dangerously diabolical; some may add, demonic.
Just when you think the country has discarded its image as a people with dysfunctional institutions where bizarre things can happen, the government manages to find a way to vindicate those who say Nigeria is a country where wonders shall never end. The charging of Saraki to the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT on alleged false declaration of assets dating back to 2003, when he was governor of Kwara State has no better raison d’être than persecution to define it.
Like the emergence of the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, the political manoeuvres that culminated in Saraki’s emergence as Senate President obviously unsettled many in his party and the presidency. We all can still recall the factional senators that went into the pre-session’s convening by the Clerk of the National Assembly last June and how Saraki emerged president against the expectation of his party’s leadership and the wish of some groups and persons outside the Senate.
For the Senate President to now be charged for an offence he allegedly committed 12 years ago, it certainly is an unimaginable coincidence which only the office of the Attorney General of the Federation can explain. For a fellow Nigerian, who has been in active politics and thus, public domain all these 12 years progressing from Government House, Ilorin to his second term in the Senate, to be suddenly reminded of some alleged offence he committed when he state governor, suggests a shameful vendetta.
Simply put, the fact that Saraki assumed the Senate presidency against the directive of his party, the APC with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP giving him full backing, threw him up for his present predicament. Tried as it could, the anti-Saraki senate presidency elements could have thought that dusting up some alleged crimes of the high-flying Kwara politician committed over a decade ago would checkmate him to either resigning as senate president or causing him to be impeached by his fellow lawmakers. Whoever the persecutors of the senate president are, one thing they must know is that the very fabric of the country that has so far bind all of us together is being toyed with when animalistic and barbaric tactics like is being employed against Saraki become the hallmark of their antics against any one that does not swing along with them.
This is too bad for a country that daily calls on God to “guide our leaders and our youths the truth to know…”
And the travails of Saraki coming after the humiliation of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki by the Directorate of State Security, DSS is a sad commentary on due process, in addition to being the shame of a nation. For, all things considered, neither the fight against corruption nor that of purposeful leadership would be served; a tragedy Nigeria can do without.
Behind the news
Against the foregoing background, it becomes logical as it is quizzical for anyone to agree with the Senate President who did not mince words right inside the dock of the Code of Conduct Tribunal yesterday that he was being persecuted for his being the president of the Senate.
After all, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Joe Igbokwe on Monday, blamed Saraki for his troubles. In a statement he issued, Igbokwe exuded confidence while admonishing Nigerians not to feel sorry for Saraki who he alleged was working against the party by his actions. But his position ran counter to the weekend statement by APC’s deputy national publicity secretary, Timi Frank, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to interfere in the matter to stop Saraki’s arrest.
Hear Igbokwe: “Saraki ignored 51 APC Senators who were in a meeting and went to do business with 49 PDP Senators, a party APC just defeated after sixteen years bloody struggle. Senator Saraki bribed his way to the clerk of the Senate and cajoled him to proclaim a Senate that is incomplete. Saraki and Ekweremmadu criminally changed the Senate rules in order to carry out the open robbery we saw in the hallowed Chamber of the Senate of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Because of the inordinate ambition of one man and lust to be the Senate President by all means Saraki ignored the president, the Vice President, APC governors, Senators, House of Reps members etc to sacrifice the unity of his party. Senator Saraki compounded the problems of APC, and mounted a major road block for its smooth take off considering that it is just coming to power after sixteen years in opposition. This man put spanners in the works and initiated a serious internal crisis within the ruling party that nearly made Nigerians who massively voted for APC to begin to lose hope.
“Saraki and his gang of forty thieves devastated the master plan of our great party to choose the right people to serve as the principal officers in the National Assembly. Since July 9, 2015 when this shenanigan took place in the Senate and the huge dust it raised, Senator Saraki has remained adamant to disobey the Party’s directives and step aside rather he has continued to run from pillar to post to sustain a stolen seat. The lust for power, rapacious greed, avaricious tendency, and slave to public office have pushed Bukola Saraki to continue to work with PDP in order to weaken APC.
“But will Bukola Saraki succeed? Impossible. APC does not want Bukola Saraki as the Senate President and neither does APC want Ekweremmadu as the Deputy Senate President. Saraki has caused enough implosions within the party. He has brought public opprobrium to the party, he has slowed down the party’s machinery from taking off smoothly, he has portrayed us as a weak party.
“Now is the time for him to go. Saraki has no choice than to go otherwise he will have himself to blame. Again if Bukola Saraki feels his hands are tightly glued to the exalted seat of the Senate Presidency and therefore cannot be removed, APC may be compelled to tear or cut his hands off, so that the National Assembly can move forward. No man is an island, and none can claim that he is the final word in APC.”
Thus, not only has the Saraki leadership of the Senate split the APC, it has since been garnering support from party members and indeed Nigerians from the larger society outside the APC.Expectedly, the controversy has excited intense public recriminations, with many unanswered questions; not the least of which is the timing: why it took 12 years for the CCB to realise Saraki made false assets declaration.
The move against Saraki is inauspicious, almost puerile and in a way showcases a certain pettiness at the highest level of APC’s leadership. Quite predictably, the APC and PDP have continued their war of attrition and slanging match with the APC discounting claims by the PDP that the ruling party is out to emasculate the legislature and install a dictatorship. The Presidency has come out strongly to deny any involvement, saying the 13-count charge bordering on corruption and alleged false declaration of assets, levelled against Saraki is purely a judicial process. On this score, the office of the AGF which filed the charges before the CCT, have a lot of explaining to do for Nigerians to believe that the charges are not politically-motivated.
And since delay defeats equity, as the rule goes, methinks the time for the APC to be good and willing students of the intricacies of politicking in this clime and yet getting the best out of it for the greater good of the people and nation is now. Common sense dictates that at the end of the day, the Saraki saga is a key factor that would determine what will eventually become of the party.
The Senate president may just be one party member; but from known precedents, he must have sizeable and very loyal followership and support base that the APC can count on. And being a scion of the notable Saraki political dynasty of Kwara land, the man may just have the nine lives of the proverbial cat. If this is true, then his persecutors, individual or group, must begin to count their teeth with their tongues for before long, the need to determine how are left there inside their respective buccal cavities would arise. A stitch in time……