At this point, it may be difficult to unravel some nerve-wracking developments about the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). But after its sojourn in power, and when the story of the party is fully compiled, told, some tales would leave many people flabbergasted- why in the first place some things happened, or were left to drag far too long. And to what end. Certainly, the ordeal of Bukola Saraki will prove to be an interesting research for students of politics to study.
It is politically unfathomable, and indeed difficult to comprehend that the most persecuted man in the government of the APC, is also by dint of hard work, doggedness and patriotism the most committed and visible party man, virtually working day and night to salvage the fortune of his fumbling party. Dr. Saraki is the President of the Nigerian Senate, and the leader of the legislative arm of government in Nigeria. He has been maligned, ridiculed, abused and made to go through a needless trial by a government he laboured very hard for its victory.
His ordeal is akin to a literal interpretation of a Yoruba proverbial saying: “he (Saraki) is sending rabbits to them (to have as meat), but they are sending snakes to him (to hurt him).” So what else can a man offer? He has done virtually everything to please them (the executive), including actions that drew massive criticisms from the people against the Saraki-led Senate, like the $5.5bn loan approval. But it appears those who are after his fall, have sworn and entered into a wicked covenant with a vicious god of “bring-him-downat-all-cost.”
Saraki is in a commanding position to fight back: go after his traducers; hinder the government of the day and damn the consequences. But so far, he has elected to continue to reject the option of a tit-for-tat. He has consciously armed himself with the greatest virtue any human being can posses to overcome intractable challenges: ‘strategic patience with a sense of responsibility.’ Saraki has remained focused, dedicated and unperturbed in conduct, unwavering in the discharge of his tasking responsibility, he has consistently pursued the path of wisdom and peace, and most assuredly used the sterling performances of his office to silence his traducers and enemies.
He is the number three man, but has yet demonstrated an unparalleled statesmanship in the legislative business of government and beyond. You will definitely love to have a performing leader as your President. Saraki’s endearing leadership style has won virtually the entire Senate over to him with hardly any cantankerous opposition. He succeeded as the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, he is also succeeding as the number one legislative-citizen of Nigeria. These are no mean feats, that have come to define him as a goal-getter.
Students of politics will have a lot to learn from Saraki on how to effectively use political wisdom and strategic patience to overcome leadership challenges and strong political enemies. By the time the political trajectory of Nigeria is fully interrogated, the place of Bukola Saraki can never be diminished. Here is a man who was given barely three months to last on his seat, but now gradually clocking three years and waxing stronger. By every standard, glaring records and verifiable achievement, Saraki is still the best of APC. He is the blazing star of the APC.
In spite of the persecution and distraction, Saraki has put in an unprecedented performance as the President of the Senate, leading the 8th Senate to pass a record of about 130 bills in 30 months, while about 90 petitions were cleared during the same period. How he does his job, attends to guests, meetings, politics and still able to juggle everything together, beggars belief. This is the kind of energy, brain and output that a developing nation that wants to succeed should seek. He is a a complete man, wise, tall, knowledgeable, successful and blessed.
We will like to ask him one day, how he was able to circumvent the slippery path of daring slay-queens – ladies who could go to any length to have such a handsome and powerful man. Bukola is like that man described in a Yoruba folklore: “a man that every woman meets on the way and says if this man cannot be my husband, let him just be my concubine.” So far, no scandal and not even any slight of it in the rumour mills, fake or imagined. But when you view it from another angle, it is equally difficult to have a Toyin Saraki, such a rare priceless jewel, paragon of beauty, elegantly built woman, and not be contented. As a matter of fact, behind a successful Bukola is a Toyin. The Sarakis are truly blessed.
The array of guests that graced the wedding ceremonies of their daughter, further attested to the essence of a goodwill message sent to the number three man, by President Muhammadu Buhari on his 54th birthday last year. He described Saraki as “one of the most influential politicians of our time who has made tremendous impact on the country.” Truly, the impact of Saraki’s contributions to the APC and the nation is tremendous. His leadership sense and reach is growing and spreading, grooming several young Nigerians like the highly cerebral Omoluabi Bamikole Omisore, Barrister Oscar Obi and many more.
For the record, the needless appeal by the federal government of a Code of Conduct Tribunal’s judgement which had earlier discharged and acquitted Saraki, will henceforth be to the disadvantage of the APC, as we move into 2018, a crucial year that will significantly decide 2019. Saraki cannot be oppressed forever. That a federal government which had previously withdrawn a serious N2.2bn fraud charges it filed against the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr. Ahmed Saleh, and others, “for strategic reasons,” is bent on prosecuting an inconsequential case against Saraki amounts to political perfidy. There is no wisdom in this. None.
It is good to note the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been able to surmount its numerous challenges. The party is back and waxing stronger by the day. As it is today, any APC’s loss or misdeed will automatically translates into PDP’s gain. And subsequently, it will be difficult to continue to ridicule a Saraki without suffering the electoral consequences. For the record, Saraki’s stronghold, the North-Central is the only zone never lost by anyone who has won the Presidential election since 1999. This is wisdom for a party and people that can think.
By the time political parties kick-start their 2019 campaigns, the reality will dawn on the APC-led government that the Buhari-led executive is void of champions and low on tangible electoral gains, without flaunting Saraki’s achievements in the Senate. Not even Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will be able to cover the huge gap, without Saraki’s support base. Saraki has nothing to worry about, the chicken will soon come home to roost. Time will tell
I wish Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the President of the 8th Senate happy 55thbirthday. Igba odun odun kan ni sir. Seek the mercy of God and aim for the best always.
Atoye contributes this piece from Abuja via firstname.lastname@example.org