Peter Claver Oparah
This certainly is not the best of times for Senate President, Bukola Saraki. From all seeming indices, he is living in borrowed times and the debts he has to pay for pushing his ambitions so vauntingly as he did in this dispensation far outweighs the benefits he might have gained from that effort. He has been kicked, shoved around, boxed and chased around as much as he had boxed, bitten, schemed and plotted to promote his interests. These are normal accoutrements of power and its pursuit, you might say, and nothing is wrong with that. Oh yes, Bukola Saraki is taking a normal course. It is his due right to nurse, promote and pursue his ambition as it is the rights of those that he feels are against him to stop his ambition, if it impinges on theirs. So why the heck is he making an issue of this?
To be frank, I don’t have personal distaste for Saraki, not that it matters though, but I have serious reservations about the means he employs to pursue his ambitions especially his present position as Senate President. I am galled that Saraki has to practically reinvent the Italian Social Scientist, Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, in his bid to become Senate President and he never minded if his party implodes in the process. Sure, you have the right to adopt any tactics that suits you to drive your ambition but where it poses great danger to the platform that even made you what you are, it becomes a cardinal sin. As long as you deign your means right, nothing gives you the impetus to question the means your opponents employ to deal with you. If all is fair in battle, there should be no prisoners on every side.
So I wholly disagree with Saraki’s monotonous effort to raise outcries that his present trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal is the handiwork of his political enemies. I seriously question his scruples in politicising what is clearly a criminal breach. But even if we agree with him, which law says that his political opponents have no right to exploit his indiscretions to do him in? Which law verifies what is acceptable or not in prosecuting political battles? Did such law also vet the amoral way Saraki became the Senate President? On my last check, Saraki has not ceased being a politician so why is he making deft efforts to run away from what he terms the politicisation of his corruption charges when all he needs to do to clear every fog; political, criminal or otherwise, and to satisfactorily prove his innocence on the charges raised against him? At least, the charges are clear and cadent or is he oblivious of them? But Saraki is a politician; a consummate one for that matter given the way he emerged as Senate President. Sso why is he afraid of political battles?
But then, my original thoughts after the Saraki emergence as Senate President was that Saraki would have deployed wisdom and tact in playing himself back to the party he badly hurt by his act of betrayal. Lo and behold, he displayed the worst case of political naïvety any politician of his cadre has ever exhibited. Possibly drunk from his victory, Saraki rubbed the salt further on a festering injury by his conduct immediately after his emergence and to date. If today, the plank he is leaning on to evade a most horrific case had collapsed, how can any person mourn with him when he tossed a golden opportunity to mend the fences he callously pulled down enroute the satiation of his ambition? Saraki must have been goaded by the rabid urge the PDP provided for him to overreach himself but he showed himself a horrible student of power and history. His cloning of Machiavelli was a default act that rather worsened his woes than sooth them.
But peace, let me ask Saraki some questions as he sweats to find ways to dodge an impending eclipse. What was on your mind when you went impudently against your party’s decision to pick one of your APC contenders to the Senate Presidency through an internal election, to be its choice of Senate President? What was on your mind, Bukola Saraki, when you formed an illicit cohort with a hurting, bitter and mischievous PDP that was desperate to play the role of spoiler to APC’s rightful choice for legislate leadership? What was on your mind when you cut your nose to spite your face by conspiring with PDP to rob APC of its rightful dues?
Bukola Saraki, what exactly was on your mind when you made an evil deal with PDP to share out top legislative positions that ordinarilyy belong to the ruling party in exchange for supporting you to emerge Senate President in clear denigration of your party APC? What was in your mind as you teamed up with malevolent PDP to spit on your party and taunt it by emerging in an exclusive election that involved the full cahoots of PDP senators and a sprinkling of APC senators who are your loyalists? What was on your mind when the majority of APC senators were schemed out through such dirty means as you and your gangsters employed, to corner the senate leadership?
Bukola Saraki, what was on your mind as you proceeded to further rub shit on the face of your party by ignominiously refusing to accept your party’s choice for Senate key positions, in preference for your own lackeys? What was on your mind when you and your lackeys, with obtrusive backup of the sly PDP, insisted on refusing good counsel and defying the party’s preferences for positions they have exclusive rights over? What was on your mind as you danced so alluringly to the drum beat a distressed PDP was beating for you and mocked your party in an astonishing display of political foolishness?
I ask you, Bukola Saraki, what was on your mind as you turned Father Christmas to a distressed PDP, dishing out critical senate committee leadership to your PDP cohorts, to the sorrow and chagrin of your party leaders and senators? What was on your mind as you became the official leader of the PDP in a house with the majority APC senators? What was on your mind as you robbed APC to pay PDP in a manner that rankles decency? What was on your mind as you made your party the enemy and the opposition party, the ruling party in the senate? What was on your mind as you became the patron of the PDP and swerved debates to ridicule your party in your senate?
Let me ask you Bukola Saraki, what was on your mind as you slyly sent your man Friday and quaint bogeyman, Dino Melaye, to raise the funny allegation that N25 billion was stolen in the Treasury Single Account when you knew it was a gregarious bogey? What was on your mind as you teamed up with PDP senators to launch a wild goose chase aimed at rubbishing the Presidency in your false charge that those who you see in your dreams as impediments to your magisterial reign as Senate President, own Remita and were collecting tens of billions of Naira for TSA operations when you knew it was false? By the way, Bukola Saraki, what happened to that your panel you set up to prove your own lie? You should be decent enough to avail the nation of its findings and tender unreserved apology to whoever you have besmirched by that infantile prank.
Pray, what was on your mind, Bukola Saraki, when you launched the hullabaloo of ‘Missing budget’, ‘Stolen Budget’, ‘Replaced Budget’ etc. and sought to rub soot on the presidency, with full support of your fellow PDP senators over the 2016 budget proposal? What was on your mind as you twirled and sought to announce to the nation that the presidency ‘stole’ the budget it delivered to the senate and that you and your senate will only deliberate on the original (stolen) budget as delivered by the presidency? What was on your mind when you were pulling these indecorous stunts? What was on your mind when you descended from the Olympian height of senate presidency to the low of a common trickster with a ready mob of tutored hirelings to please?
Certainly, I don’t believe you, Bukola Saraki, was thinking that APC would have sat back, sucked all your insults and atrocities and congratulated you as the smart kid you feel you are and allow you to continue poking your fingers ceaselessly into its eyes. If you have elephantine scruples that could be exploited to shove you aside, what makes you to think it is wrong to employ it to deal with the nuisance you have sworn to constitute to your party and its government? What you must realise is that a palm oil vendor is the wrong person to cause commotion in a market. The charges against you are entirely criminal and your exculpation lies only in proving convincingly that you were wrongly charged. If your political opponents exploit these misdemeanours of yours to shove you off a stool you stole, you have no reason to complain because they operate on a higher moral pedestal than you that connived with enemies to steal and covet what rightly belongs to others.
I asked these questions because you have sought to evade the real components of your corruption trial to make it look like a political witch hunt. I even shudder at which person has acquired so much power to politically dust a whole Senate President so badly that he has turned you to a cry baby. You see, you are more politically experienced than the House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, who was guilty of the same offence as you but who has managed his own liabilities so well when you are increasing your own.
By now, it should be obvious that you, Bukola Saraki, have exhausted your options to evade your shadows. Whatever was on your mind as you kept turning the table over yourself in your queer management of power has not served you well. You have jammed the door so violently to your own face. You have aimed at your big toe and dropped the spear. You have burnt your bridge. You have wasted a golden opportunity to show you have gained real experience in politics and power management. You see, it takes next to nothing to enter into an illicit alliance with a rolling stone, which the PDP became after the March 28, 2015 election, employ such mischievous alliance to snatch the leadership of the Senate as you did, proceed there to share out positions amongst your conniving cahoots but it takes quite a lot to manage such power and stay afloat. By now, Bukola Saraki, you just have realised the futility of an overwhelming vote of confidence your colleagues brazenly cooked for you. They take nothing to concoct. By your next date at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, you would have realised that you are patiently waiting at the doors of jail and not even a global vote of confidence by all legislators in the world will save you from this self-inflicted certainty for you are a failed student of power.
—Oparah wrote from Ikeja, Lagos. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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