RE: WHY SENATOR BUKOLA SARAKI MUST NOT BE SENATE PRESIDENT
Senator Bukola Saraki may not know where his continuous hanging onto the Senate Presidency will land his depreciating reputation and political desirability; especially at this point in time when his political career is most vulnerable to a review; and open to questioning. The demonstration of his stoning at the Ilorin Eid grounds, even though denied, was a “tip of the iceberg” – it was an act of paying him back in his own coin. You can fool some people sometimes, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
The signs are obviously pitching Senator Saraki’s antecedence against him for Nigerians to judge if he is a reasonable man, or a fortunate spoilt brat who sees the politics of Kwara State as his inheritance: yet clearly not been able to sustain his father’s political magic over the people. He is surely mistaking the present political-Nigeria for the one under which his father nursed him; and I pray his arrogance would not rob him of a humble spirit that should guide his decisions at this time. It would not be long until Nigerians unite to demand his vacation of the Senate presidency, for the good of our universal image. I have followed Senator Saraki’s antecedence so well that I know that he quickly exploits relationship for personal advantage. He laid the foundation and delineated the direction for how Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, erstwhile governor of Rivers State, faired with the Nigeria Governors Forum as chairman in the last administration: we know it was a disaster.
Senator Saraki must realise that the primary mandate that saw him to the Nigerian Senate was that of the people of Kwara Central Senatorial District, and not the mass of Nigerians. How he also ascended the seat of the Senate Presidency through deceit, bribery and the continuous artful dodging of his responsibilities; the resultant effects these have tolled on the polity and people are not lost to us. If he is a wise man, he would realise how it will be more beneficial for him, and for the people he represents, if he remains in the senate as a “mere” senator than to set himself up, as he is presently doing, for his early retirement from popular political participations, by insisting on being Senate President.
Let me quickly point to insinuations by some Nigerians who still insist on comparing Senator Saraki’s emergence as Senate President to Governor Tambuwal’s emergence as House Speaker in 2011, by which they quickly allude Saraki’s present travails to a “witch hunt” resulting from his pulling the (senate presidency) rug from under the feet of his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC): nothing can be farther from the truth because the issue of his Senate Presidency had been overtaken by events: he is the Senate President. His present travail is from his past misbehaviour, which the present has unearthed. Tambuwal, as Speaker, also paid for his irregular carpet-crossing from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.
We can still recall how the gates of the National Assembly was shut against him on the instruction of Suleiman Abba, the then Inspector-General of Police, and how he suffered from teargas when he finally gained entrance into the premises; a practical demonstration of impunity. It is better now that the rule of law is prevailing and Saraki is lucky that he is facing the law courts rather than the police. It is like coming to equity with clean hands: if Saraki’s hands are clean, then he has nothing to fear in all that is happening to him, because the onus of proof is on his prosecutor, even if it is the Federal Government. The anti corruption war must start somewhere, and why should it not be high-profiled?
Unfortunately for Senator Saraki, these are not very pleasant times to ignore obvious and practical reasons why the “change” philosophy of this era must embrace world best practice, and the relative lessons offered by notable world leaders seen to be adopted and practised, as a mirror for character building and morality. Senator Saraki is expected to reflect on these, and be morally-learned and properly instructed. This is in the overall interest of all Nigerians – the interest on how the world views Nigeria; he should also be concerned about this.
So Saraki, in his adventures or misadventures, as long as his position as Senate President demands from him a certain level of morality and good conscience, he should reflect on the recent response of John Boehner, Speaker of the US House of Representatives to the turmoil that troubled the House he led, which was leading to a government shut down in the US, on how he resigned his speakership and offered to vacate the House on a latter date, especially after listening to Pope Francis question certain policies of the US government as it concerns the people.
How can it be that we should neglect such example and lose the opportunity at deepening our political system and participatory principles? This tradition of a leader sitting tight in office and seeking ways to wriggle out of taking responsibility in the face of criminal indictment is a facade for corruption. I expect Senator Saraki to know the political damage he caused us by allowing the office of the Nigerian Senate President to be docked with him in the judgment hall of the Code of Conduct Tribunal. He should have resigned that office to answer for his misconducts. Only responsible people hold the office he is holding; and the act of allowing the docking of the office of the Senate President with him was a very irresponsible act.
What were John Boehner’s sins that warranted his decision to resign his Speakership of the most prestigious House of Representatives in the democratic world? According to reports, “He (a Republican) was too willing to compromise with President Barack Obama (a Democrat); and he relied too frequently on Democratic votes to pass crucial legislation”. Therefore, members of his own political party (the Republicans) found him guilty of romancing too much with the Democrats, QED!
As “insignificant” as that is in our politics views, such issue surely indicates how we have a very long way to go, many lessons to learn from, and I think the time to begin that journey refine our moral indignities and elementary political behaviours as a people is now! Let us compare the two scenarios based only on the internal matters of both houses: the US House of Representatives and the Nigerian Senate, apart from any issue of misconduct, and recognising that Boehner’s sins bore no adverse effect upon the people of United States as Saraki’s does Nigerians; we would see how he has over stayed his welcome upon the seat of the Nigerian Senate President.
How far has Senator Saraki’s National Assembly gone with their national assignments? Upon what grounds has the National Assembly, under his leadership, been on holiday for this long? Are Nigerians all fools? John Boehner resigned because majority of members of his political party felt he was too representative of the Democrats: where lies Saraki’s integrity who only enjoys a bloated and fluctuating patronage and support in the Senate he heads. It is enough that 3 senators have distanced themselves from the recent “vote of confidence” passed in his favour: this is a Senate he paid to be their president, and he is still forcing their support by anticipatory roll call. How many more senators, who were on hajj, will join this refutal is still been expected.
John Boehner resigned because his party men in the opposition felt he romanced too much with the ruling party, Saraki found pleasure in staying put on the Senate Presidency after collaborating with the opposition party in Nigeria against his own (ruling) party, defiling the protest of his party men in the way he ascended the Senate Presidency: the similarity and difference between these two scenarios are just too clear to be ignored. They push for good reasoning.
Senator Saraki cannot continue to impose himself on Nigerians just because a few of his type in the Senate think that if his present dilemma is allowed to root, they also would not be spared: people like Godswill Akpabio, Theodore Orji, Danjuma Goje, and Ahmed Sanni Yerima Rufai (the name-changer). Their solidarity with Saraki therefore indicates their resistance to the “change” we have been offered, and henceforth Nigerians must view Senator Bukola Saraki and his “Like Minds” senators as enemies of Nigeria’s political progress. Yes! They must be clear about our collective resolves not to allow the recent ugly slide in political fortune we suffered to continue: we almost were at “war” before the last elections and impunity must stop. Resisting the law in any guise is a misbehaviour against (and consequential to) the rule of law.
This is the time to halt all past political rascality and irresponsibilities. The Buhari presidency has clearly shown how Nigerians have taken an unshakable stand to define for themselves the direction in which the country should head from now on, and who should lead us aright. President Buhari has much to see for himself of the person and character of Senator Saraki from what is going on. He just cannot be trusted.
When I contemplate the current drama scripted and acted in the “Senator Bukola Saraki Assets Declaration” drama, I am quickly reminded of an adage which says “the guilty are always afraid when nobody is pursuing them”. Hallucination is a psychotic condition which torments the victims with sighting things from imaginary, paranoid, and exaggerated perspective: observing things only they alone see; and as much as they try to persuade others to whom they point their illusions, they end up revealing more to the fact that they are mentally challenged.
The behaviour of Senator Saraki, with his gang of “witches”; and his opening approach to the invitation extended to him by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, headed by Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar, to answer for discrepancies observed in his assets declaration, only reflected a man who lives under anticipatory delusions: no wonder he faced a 13-count charge for breaching the provisions of the Code of Conduct through “anticipatory” assets declaration.
From all points of view, I do not see anything wrong in a public officer been invited to answer questions raised by information he personally released, not under duress, to a statutory body mandated under law to receive, document, investigate where necessary and forward for prosecution any breach of the codes stipulating the public conducts of public officers. It matters nothing how pro-establishment lawyers see this, we are used to their legal dynamics for official patronage and their their love for pecuniary settlements.
If I were Senator Saraki, as a decent Nigerian who associates with our present “change” philosophy, I would have first of all honoured the invitation of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and answer to the charges levelled against me without questioning it; and where I observe that justice would not be served, I would then take a further step by approaching the Court of Appeal, the court to which decisions from the Tribunal can be reviewed, if the need for a review arises and not to quickly approach a court of coordinate jurisdiction to delay and deny justice. It was therefore an ambush for our “unfortunate” Senate President to allow himself to be misled by his lawyers to seek an injunction to stop the Code of Conduct Tribunal from doing their statutory duties.
How would Senator Saraki, as Senate President, feel if he summoned a pubic officer for questioning before the Senate and such officer quickly approaches a court of competent jurisdiction to halt the oversight duties of the Senate instead of first honouring the invitation, and before he has any reason to seek judicial protection? Judicial protection must have what it bites on and this must not be imaginary. How can Nigeria make impressionable progress with this kind of people sitting in the saddle of leadership in “high places”?
I feel sincerely vindicated by my earlier position on the Saraki Senate presidency, under the subject herein referred and published on Naij.com news. I have never trusted the ambition of Senator Saraki as that of a mere aspiration to serve in a higher capacity. I saw his scramble for the senate presidency as his invented strategy, nursed criterion and the only available prerequisite for him to use that office as cover to shield himself from the searchlight of the marshals of the present administration’s war against corruption, and a pedestal for a hold on the presidency, which he desires so much and for which he has shown clear unmistaken signs, attesting to the fact of the matter.
At that time I only desired to see him answer for his alleged infraction in the handling of the funds meant for the people of Kwara State while he ruled over them, which has remained protracted with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) since 2012; and now this? He surely has a lot of political gabbage to clear.
Before I go further with Bukola Saraki’s misadventure in the office of the Senate President, let me draw my readers’ attention to another article I wrote, published on Naij.com news, bordering on the legal aberration in the inauguration of Governor Ezebuwon Nyesom Wike as Governor of Rivers State. In that article, I complaint of how our legal practitioners, certainly and pretentiously oblivious that our laws are written in English language, easily exploit the porousness and vulnerability of our extant laws for pecuniary gains.
It is undeniable that the Nigerian constitution has in itself more work to be done to enhance and solidify its grounds with appropriate norms upon which we can build a virile nation, and sustain an egalitarian society. Our lawyers and our judges have not help us in the development and deepening of our jurisprudence, instead they keep ridiculing our judicial system while they smile their ways to the bank. It was upon this same ground that I wonder why Senator Saraki’s lawyer would advice him to seek legal protection in a “Court of Record”, which has coordinate status as the Code of Conduct Tribunal: the very reason why the Federal High Court vacated his plea for protection against prosecution by the Code of Conduct Tribunal? My problem here is, how much money his lawyers made from this unnecessary and deliberate distraction from a judicial process.
Nevertheless, though the resolve of both the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court defended the status of the CCT, it also proved that all of that drama, rather than aim at strengthening our jurisprudence, was just an “academic exercise” for which money was spent and some lawyers multiplied in their personal finance. It is not a hidden fact that our lawyers flourish in delaying the dispensation of justice and rewarding themselves with good bank balances. This is wickedness and it is time we expose these legal demons militating against the advancement of our jurisprudence.
It is better for democracy that Senator Saraki is been confronted with the law and not with arms.
It is not enough for Senator Bukola Saraki and his gang of “witches” to cry “witch hunt”: it is impossible to hunt witches where there are none; and what is wrong with witch hunting where there are vivid witches to hunt? Are witches good people, should they be allowed to parade themselves with normal and ordinary people? In the times of old, witches were stoned when caught, and of recent Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State had advocated this treatment for looters of our commonwealth. It was therefore interesting to watch the colony of “senator-witches” sitting in solidarity with Senator Saraki, the “chief witch” inside the judgment hall of Justice Danladi Umar, where he was docked for alleged public misconduct.
I understand he advertised himself as “I am the Senate President” when he should have answered a question put to him: saying this in dock legally committed that reverred office to his indictment. In my opinion, Senator Saraki wears the Senate Presidency as a status symbol than apply the office as an avenue of and opportunity for service; and therefore should, in the face of all I have pointed out in this article, resign his Senate Presidency and save Nigeria and Nigerians the international embarrassment of watching the despicable drama he scripted, which he is now acting out, for the sake of our common good.
He should realise quickly that we know about his ambition to be Nigeria’s president, the reasons he scrambled for the senate presidency, and why President Mohammadu Buhari cannot be impeached or intimidated: the Nigerian people are solidly behind him and pray that God will guide him to change our national fortunes as a people who have suffered a continuous political rape and bloodsucking by political witches that have invaded us. Long live Nigerians.