Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
He was a member of the ruling party, but he was never accepted to its inner caucus. He played a prominent role in the formation of the All Progressives Congress but was never seen as one of those considered good enough to be trusted with any important position within the government that the party formed or even in the party.
Though considered as an ally during the campaigns and meetings that preceded the formation of the government, he was considered to have become unwanted to the top hierarchy of the party and the government as soon as the APC transformed from the opposition party to the ruling party. No one in the top hierarchy of either the government or the party shared in his dream. They wanted his dream to die with him. But he was determined.
For the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, the last three years has indeed been traumatic. Though in office as the number three citizen of the country, he is actually believed not to have really enjoyed the office. The crisis that led to his ascendancy to office has never waned for one day. While those that worked against his assumption of office never relented in their determination to plot his downfall, those that supported him in becoming the President of the Eighth Senate also stood by him and worked against his fall. Clutching to the support from his colleagues at the Senate and his political associates, Saraki was able to withstand the pressure that was associated with his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal to the Supreme Court, where he triumphed against all odds and to the astonishment of his traducers. His triumph at the highest court in the land was enough boost to embolden him to face his future politically.
With the roles he played in helping President Muhammadu Buhari to defeat former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, Saraki would have thought that he would be a hero in the APC government. He would have thought that he would receive the blessings of the President and members of his kitchen cabinet to fulfil his ambition of leading the Senate. But he was wrong, as neither the President nor his party believed that his usefulness to the party transcended being a mere supporter and mobiliser.
But now, Saraki, after surviving his asset declaration trial, has decided to take his political fortune in his own hands by dropping the APC’s broom and taking cover under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party, from where he came in 2014. In defecting, Saraki did not leave alone. He is leaving with his supporters. Already, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, who succeeded him as the governor of Kwara State more than seven years ago, has also dropped the APC’s broom. The majority of the known politicians in his home state are also expected to join him in taking cover from the unwarranted harsh weather from the APC to the PDP umbrella.
But there may be more battles ahead for the man who is now wearing the garb dropped by his late father, Olusola Saraki, as the Waziri of Ilorin. Though the Senate, which he presides over is on vacation, his enemies are regrouping and waiting for the reconvening of the plenary to raise their voices against him for defecting to the opposition party. Said to have been backed by the Presidency and the new leadership of the APC, the aggrieved senators would be expected to question the morality behind his continued leadership of the Senate as a senator representing the opposition. He would have to explain to them why he would still need to keep his position.
But Saraki fought many battles before, is expected to soldier onto the end, giving the support he gets from the majority members of the Senate, particularly from the now stronger opposition. It is, however, left to be seen if he would be relevant in the next dispensation. But for now, Saraki has taken a walk from the house he helped to build, but to which he remained a tenant to the end. Nigerians await how useful he would be in his new abode.
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