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Saraki the scourge

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By Yinka Odumakin

PAINTING a grim picture of the Federal Government under the weight of unitary burden about two years ago,I said that if it is given garri, water, pot, gas cooker and lighter, it would not be able to deliver a bowl of eba.


I recalled a reader writing in to further expatiate on the lack  of consensus in the land and that what would happen is that instead of making eba, Fulani will take the garri  away, Yoruba will carry the cooker, Igbo will abscond with the water, Urhobo will take hold of the pot and Ijaw  will walk away with the lighter.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has now stepped in to show that the current Presidency lacks the capacity to take the ingredients from the front door to the cold fireplace in an empty kitchen in the many encounters he has worsted it in the last three years.

That the Presidency lacks strategists,thinkers and sufficient sagacity to contain a well honed and intelligent political grandmaster cut from the old cloth like Saraki emerged clearly on June 9,2015.Those in the leadership of the APC who  thought the Sai Baba mystique with which it won election was all it needed to reign called a meeting at the International Conference Centre in Abuja at  the time the National Assembly was to be inaugurated. 51 out of 108 Senators sat at the venue  waiting for the President to come and pronounce Ahmed Lawan as Senate President and Femi Gbajabiamila as  Speaker before their eventual coronation.

While the crowd naively gathered reciting “Sai Baba”, Saraki and 56 other Senators were where it mattered (the Senate Chambers). With majority in attendance, they elected Saraki as Senate President and Ekweremandu of PDP as his deputy. When those on naivety  Safari rushed back to the NASS complex sweating like Ileya Rams, the deed was done. Even in the House where they still met the action, the more subtle Yakubu Dogara already pulled the rug from   under their feet.

If there were strategic thinkers in this Presidency, what should have been done was to happily embrace Saraki and Dogara, retreat quietly to the drawing board and strike when they didn’t  expect .

My father taught me the ancient wisdom as a child about the hawk’ s  preference for chicken   meals instead of the duck. The hawk  had sent out two of its own to go and pick a chick  and a duckling. When they came back, the hawk asked how their parents reacted when they snatched them. It was reported that the chicken was running all over the place and scattering every available ground while the  duck just maintained a dignified mien on a spot.The hawk said they should take the  chick to the kitchen as the mother already did all she is capable of doing but that the duckling should be returned as they didn’t know what the duck was up to.

The Presidency chose to behave like the chicken.It spat in the air  and its face received the drops. It went on a frenzy. Saraki was soon charged to the  Code of Conduct  Tribunal and put in a cage. The dexterous politician went through the process like the duck. He fought in every available court in the land until the apex court  ruled in his favour. It was a disoriented and confused Presidency that had to do an anti climax with its tail  between its legs as the President declared:  ” I have  seen instances where individuals and groups seek the destruction of the judicial institution in the foolish thinking of saving their skin, instead of going through the painstaking process of establishing their innocence.

“In the case of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, I have seen him take the tortuous path of using the judicial process. He persevered, and in the end, the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court, says he is not guilty as charged.

“This is what I have done in the three elections in which I was cheated out, before God made it possible for me to come here the fourth time I ran for the office.”

Before now, the Presidency led by a man who successfully toppled a whole elected government in 1983 staged a failed coup against Saraki when thugs ostensibly loyal to the powers that be stormed the Senate on 18th April and made away with the mace. Saraki was airborne at the time and his deputy was presiding. It was said that the plan was that they calculated that the Senate -in-Session would disperse and their loyalists would return with the mace and elect a new President. They were shocked the session continued and an alternative mace surfaced.The thugs quickly abandoned the stolen  mace under some bridge in Abuja where the Police “found”it.

The last of the shenanigan cards was the July 24th not so smart move, an attempt to prevent the Senate from sitting after the belated peace moves with Saraki expectedly hit the rock.The residences of Saraki and Ekweremandu were sealed up by police with an invitation to Saraki to report over the Offa robbery for which he had been accused of complicity.”Again,while the police  laid siege on an empty convoy at Saraki’s residence, he  was already seated in his office at the Senate. Thus, foiling the alleged same script of removing him in absentia  by Senators loyal to the Presidency.

He not only made a mess of their alleged plan, he went on to inflict the maximum harm from which the Presidency may not recover until polls day by reading a letter from 14 Senators decamping from the ruling APC in one day in what is largely  seen as first batch. Dogara complimented the hit by reading similar letter from 37 Representatives who also dumped the ruling party.

The uncoordinated Presidency and the newly elected undertaker of the APC went into panic mode. They began to issue contradictory statements. While the Emperor of the party who has been issuing sack threats to ministers  and passing a vote of no confidence on the President as a man who cannot command respect of his office said he would not loose any sleep over “big masquerades without electoral value”, it appeared the Presidency was not sleeping as it made attempt to woo the defectors. It succeeded with two  Senators.

The only card now left for the regime is the Offa robbery where investigation of crime has seemingly been abandoned for political inquisition and we now wait how this also will end .

This column holds that the emergence of Saraki and Dogara as leaders of the National Assemby is heaven’s coup against brute force unleashed. Their emergence had saved this country  from what could have been if the Presidency  had succeeded in planting its pliers at the helm. Perhaps , we would have  had summary executions of citizens by now !

But with a bit of hindsight, the greatest benefit the polity has derived from the confrontations between this Presidency and its scourge(Saraki) is the removal of the illusion that there is a government in the real sense of the word in place. Nigerians can now see why the security agents are still “racking their brains” after three years of killings in the land. How much can brains  that Saraki who has no weapons has worsted these three years do against Shekau and  terrorists at large ?  What  intelligence is available to those who laid siege on an empty convoy while Saraki was comfortably seated in his office?  A security apparatus that cannot trace the movement of the Senate President is the one we now expect to track down the Lords of Sambisa?

The major affliction of this administration  is sacrificing merit for nepotism which led to Dr.Junaid Mohammed’s lamentation some months ago  that it is the worst in the history of Nigeria and indeed Africa.

It is obvious it was not guided by Robert Greene’s counsel for  a larder to keep his friends for friendship but to work with the skilled and competent. The problem with using or hiring friends is that it will inevitably limit your power. A friend is rarely the one who is most able to help you; however, when all is said and done, skill and competence are far more important than friendly feelings.

Gen T.Y Danjuma said some months ago  that if Nigerians expect security  forces  under this present  arrangement to protect their lives,  they would all “die one by one”.

Any one still in doubt.

Re: Here comes the best of the north and South

DEAR egbon!

I am actually on my second reading of your latest article as I send you this mail. And it is indeed revealing. My take on it is that, most of our dear ‘men of God ‘ must be careful when sharing their revelations. They don’t own the monopoly to God and what he decides to do. They ( the men of God)should learn to accept confrontation at times, even if it is open.

I appreciate your tact in removing yourself from the scheme of things as at when due, but maybe our confusion as a nation at the moment would have been avoided if you had let the cat out of the bag then.

I will suggest your memoirs be released and published on time so that a clear path can be made for the nation. Lastly,  personally, if there is anyone I feel and fear for at moment is the number 2 man of this country. I just can’t fathom what he is bottling up inside of him. I pray the good Lord grants him the grace to sail through this tenure. Do keep up the good works sir! Godspeed.

Kayode Olusola.

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