Why Bukola Saraki Must Not Be Senate President (Part 1) #Beekhaybee

Editor’s note: Ini Akpan Morgan, Naij.com constant guest
columnist, elaborates on the mediocre drama scripted
and acted by Bukola Saraki, the Senate president, in
furtherance of his budding ambition to ascend the seat of
the Nigerian president, having led him, however, to the
court, not to the distinguished post.
The self-proclaimed president
Senator Bukola Saraki may not know where his
continuous clinging to the Senate presidency will land
his depreciating reputation and political desirability,
especially now when his career is under investigation.
The demonstration of his stoning on the Ilorin Eid praying
ground, even though denied, was just the tip of the
iceberg – it was an act of paying him back in his own
coin. You can fool some people some of the time, but you
cannot fool all the people all the time.
The signs are obviously pitching 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 heritage, being clearly unable to
sustain his father’s political magic over the people. He is
surely taking the present Nigeria for the one of his
childhood; I pray his ignorance would not rob him of a
humble spirit that should guide his decisions at this time.
It will not take too long until Nigerians unite to demand
his retirement from the Senate presidency for the good of
the country’s universal image. I have been following
Saraki for a long period of time, and I know how quickly
he starts exploiting relationships to his personal
advantage. He laid the foundation and delineated the
direction for how Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the erstwhile
governor of Rivers state, “broke up” with the Nigeria
Governors’ Forum as the chairman under the previous
administration: we all know it was a disaster.
What the ambitions may come
Bukola Saraki must realise that the primary mandate that
saw him to the Nigerian Senate was that of the people
from Kwara Central Senatorial District, not of all
Nigerians. He ascended the seat of the Senate president
through deceit, bribery and the continuous artful dodging
of his responsibilities; we are all aware of the effects that
have taken their toll both on the politics and the people. If
Saraki was a wise man, he would realise it would be
more beneficial for him and for the people he represented
if he remained in the Senate as a “mere” senator. Let me
quickly point to the insinuations by some Nigerians who
still insist on comparing Saraki’s emergence as the
Senate president to Governor Tambuwal’s emergence as
the House Speaker in 2011. They quickly connected
Saraki’s present travails to a “witch hunt” resulting from
his pulling the Senate presidency rug from under the feet
of the APC. However, nothing can be farther from the
truth, because the issue had been overtaken by the
current events: Saraki is the Senate president. His
present travails result from from his past misbehaviour
that the present has unearthed. Tambuwal, as the
Speaker, has also paid for his irregular carpet-crossing
from the PDP to the APC.
We can still recall how the gates of the National
Assembly were shut for Saraki on the instruction of
Suleiman Abba, the then inspector general of the Nigerian
police, and how he suffered from the teargas when he
finally entered the premises – a practical demonstration
of impunity. Thanks God that the rule of law is prevailing
now. Saraki is lucky that he is facing the law courts, not
the police. It is like coming to equity with clean hands: if
Saraki’s hands are clean, then he has nothing to fear,
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-profile?
The experience of the American counterpart
Unfortunately for Saraki, these are not the times to ignore
the obvious and practical reasons why the change
philosophy must embrace the world best practice and the
relative lessons offered by the notable world leaders as a
mirror for character building and morality. The Senate
president is expected to follow them, and be morally-
learned and properly instructed; he should be concerned
about how the whole world views Nigeria. So Saraki, in
his adventures or misadventures, as long as his position
as the Senate president demands a certain level of
morality and good conscience from him, should reflect on
the recent response of John Boehner, the Speaker of the
US House of Representatives, to the turmoil that troubled
the House he led – Boehner announced his decision to
resign on the day he welcomed Pope Francis on the
American soil.
How can we neglect such example of political fairness
and lose the opportunity to improve our political system
and participatory principle? The tradition of a leader
sitting tight in office and seeking ways to wriggle out of
taking responsibility in the face of criminal indictment is
corruption as it is. I expect Saraki to realise the political
damage he caused us by allowing the office of the
Nigerian Senate president to be sullied in the judgment
hall of the Code of Conduct Tribunal. He should have
resigned to answer for his misconduct. Only responsible
people are eligible to hold the office Saraki is holding;
and the act of spotting the office of the Senate president
was very irresponsible.
The obvious difference
What were the John Boehner’s sins that made him to
resign from the most prestigious House of
Representatives in the democratic world? The numerous
reports state : “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” . As “insignificant” as it may seem to
us Nigerians, such issue surely indicates how far we are
still to go as a people, how many lessons we have to
learn, and I think the time to start the journey 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. Actually, we are bound to find
out that Boehner’s “sins” bore no adverse effect upon the
US people as Saraki’s did upon Nigerians. With no doubt,
Saraki has overstayed as the president of the Nigerian
Senate.
How far will Saraki’s National Assembly go with its
national assignments? Why has the National Assembly
been on holiday for so long? Are Nigerians all fools?
John Boehner resigned because most members of his
political party felt he was too representative of the
Democrats; where lies the integrity of Saraki, who only
enjoys bloated and fluctuating patronage and support in
the Senate he heads? It is enough that three senators
have distanced themselves from the recent “vote of
confidence” passed in his favour: this is the Senate
Saraki paid to be the president of, and he is still forcing
their support by anticipatory roll call. Will more senators,
who were on hajj, join them is a matter of time.
John Boehner resigned because his party men in the
opposition felt he romanced too much with the ruling
party. Saraki finds pleasure in collaborating with the
opposition against his own (ruling) party, defiling the
protest of his party men by ascending the seat of the
Senate president. The similarity and difference between
these two scenarios are just too clear to be ignored.
Saraki must go!
Bukola Saraki cannot continue imposing himself on
Nigerians just because a few of his type in the Senate,
like Godswill Akpabio, Theodore Orji, Danjuma Goje, and
Ahmed Sanni Yerima Rufai (the name-changer), think
that if his present dilemma is allowed to root, they also
will not be spared. Their solidarity with Saraki therefore
indicates their resistance to change , and henceforth
Nigerians must view Bukola Saraki and his like-minded
senators as the enemies of the Nigerian political
progress. Yes! They must grasp our collective resolve
not to allow the recent ugly slide in the political fortune
to continue: we almost were at war before the last
elections, and impunity must finally stop.
This is the time to halt all political rascality and
irresponsibility. The Buhari’s 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 them. I
am convinced it must be clear to President Buhari that
Saraki cannot be trusted.
This is the first part of Mr Morgan’s message. You can
find the second part here .

saraki

Ini Akpan Morgan for Naij.com
Ini A. Morgan is a Port Harcourt-based architect, writer
and public affairs analyst. He is married with children.
This article expresses the author’s opinion only. The
views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily
represent those of Naij.com or its editors.
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One Comment

  1. Ridwan says:

    The change Nigerian s are yawning for will only come to reality when we collectively sacrifice out mindsets towards the movement of this country. Senator Bukola Saraki has brilliantly driven and still driving the 8th assembly towards a fruithful destinations coupled with a proactive development.

    God bless Nigeria.

    Like

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