By Mansir Lawal Kaware
From all indications, the Senate President Bukola Saraki is chewing more than he can swallow. Because of his lust for power, probably in an effort to prepare himself for the presidential contest he opened the eighth Senate with Trouble on his head.
Indeed, Saraki deserve to be praised for navigating through troubled waters challenging those considered to be old in the game and yet showing his head above the water. Like the Hausa renown Singer Late Dr. Mamman Shata says in his song that “Matsoraci Baya Zama Gwani” “A Coward cannot excel” this can fit Saraki in the present political atmosphere because he defied all trouble and forged ahead. However, I wish to refer him to another Song of Dr. Mamman Shata titled “Sidi Mijin Hotiho”, where he said “Idan an Hura Wuta Bari Shiga, idan dan kana ganin Hotiho, Wata rana ka tafi ka bar ta nan”. That is to say no matter the odds avoid playing with fire, otherwise one day it will consume you”
Having won the senate President election under a confused atmosphere, Saraki fell into another trouble for alleged false declaration of assets which caused his being dragged to Code of Conduct Tribunal as early as 2015. He was equally accused in April 2016 of using Kwara State money to settle his personal loans. He was equally fingered in the EFCC claim that 3.5 billion Paris club funds was embezzled. His ally Sa’ad Alanamu was also dragged to court by ICPC in September, 2017 over 5 million naira corruption matter while the wife of his aide who lived in US is said to be in the payroll of National Assembly bearing a name Abiola Joy. Aiyegbayo as alleged by Olarewaju Surajo in May, 2018.
The reader might remember when the news filled the air of missing 310 million naira April, 2017 belonging to Saraki in a controversial circumstances alleged involving his security aides and a Bureau-De-Change dealer which was denied by Saraki.
Similar trouble was around Saraki’s neck in March, 2017, when customs impounded his Suv Range Rover worth 298 million naira to which he denied ownership. In March, this year Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu were equally accused of possessing some assets in UK and other countries alleged to be acquired through illegal means.
In what could be tagged fighting a battle of survival, the Senate President Bukola Saraki influenced the suspension of Ali Ndume and that of Omo Agege from the Senate. While Ali Ndume served his suspension for calling attention on the said Suv Range Rover as on the pages of Newspapers Omo-Agege succeeded in reversing the Senate decision in court over the election sequence controversy. Saraki has deployed so many ways of threatening. President Buhari by way of intimidation as per the powers of the National Assembly in relation to the Executive Arm headed by the President. Saraki survived the trouble shooting against the President because Buhari is an easy going person who wants to play the game according to the rules. If it were during the turbulent leadership of Obasanjo, history would have forgotten about Saraki and his position of Senate President. In the eight years of Obasanjo as President 1999 – 2007 he worked with five Senate Presidents namely, Evans Enwerem, Chuba Okadigbo, Anyim Pius Anyim, Adolphus Wabara and Ken Nnamani. The same story goes with the party leadership as the party had seven National Chairman that worked with him within the said period. Those who side with Saraki are saying that he has survived many impeachment attempts, but if it so, then it may just be a trial and error by some men around the President. But had the President wanted the head of Saraki in this context of African Politics, the deed would have been done long ago.
Consider what the Senate President has been doing to the President and the Executive Arm in the area of delaying budget, refusing to clear some relevant nominees on flimsy excuses, assigning people like Dino Melaye, who has no respect for anybody, the Edo Senator Mathew Uroghide who landed himself in trouble for sponsoring impeachment motion, Ike Ekweremadu to disband Buhari Senate support Group among others all in an effort to show his supremacy in the political tug of war. The over protection Saraki gave to Dino Melaye in the wake of his tango with the police and the recent rush of the Senate President to Buhari over Kwara cult suspects is a proof that Saraki and Dino Milaye are birds of the same feather. Saraki may need to read a story about a Zambian soldier who shot his wife dead for having an affair with his superior officer, but when he was told that Police were looking for him, he also shot himself. This is to know the sweeping powers of the Police in today’s world and could be wiser for Bukola not to interfere in the Police affairs. His action has indicated that he might have skeleton in his cupboard, otherwise why the rush? This could also mean the recall of Dino Melaye failed not because of his popularity but because of people in that constituency only refused to come out because they fear for their lives, if they were identified to have opposed him.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu has dismissed the nPDP ultimatum as an empty threat sponsored by Bukola Saraki through Kawu Baraje. Although they said they had no intention to leave the party, let them know that they are not as united as in 2015. The circumstances of 2015 are no longer as they were hence those thinking of moving would be deceiving themselves. Even if they go, not all their people would follow them. Kwara and Sokoto States may have 50 – 60% that may follow them. This is because Saraki has total control on Kwara Governor while Tambuwal and Wammaka can also be on the same page. The statement made by Sultan of Sokoto at Arewa House on 9/5/2018 has indicated that he is also part of them. The trio can really affect the chances of Buhari in Sokoto State but he will still make a good showing. It is on records that the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar challenged the Present Security situation and advised Muslims not to vote on party line but vote for candidate who can protect their interest.
As a retired Army officer, we cannot deny the claim by Sultan, we, however, want to believe that there is great improvement in terms of security compared to what obtained before Buhari took over in 2015. Therefore, it is our considered opinion that even if Kwara and Sokoto leadership abandoned Buhari, he will still get across. If we go by the 2015 election figures, Kwara gave Buhari 302,146 votes, while Sokoto gave him 671,926 votes, giving a total of 974,072 votes out of the total he polled i.e 15,424,921 votes. There is the need to also note that elections are won by one Vote, while the rest are only re-inforcing a candidates acceptance to the electorates. By the will of God Buhari would make it because the Nigerian masses are still with him.
As for Saraki, I wish to advise him to turn his attention to the fact that he is racing against time. He wants to take so much revenge but time is running out. Let him check the records of Aminu Masari and Ken Nnamani as leaders of National Assembly, it will help him to see how they were able to survive decently despite throwing spanners in the Obasanjo’s bid to go for third term. Although Obasanjo took his pound of flesh on Masari by scuttling his ambition to become the Governor of Katsina State in 2007, as God may have it, today Aminu Bello Masari is the Governor of Katsina State.
Therefore patience is needed in everything no one goes beyond what is destined for him. Being cunny is one thing, reaching the goal is another.
Mansir Lawal Kaware writes in from Katsina State.