Issues in Saraki’s travails, by Abdullahi Yunusa Profwills

Daily Nigerian
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Abdullahi Yunusa

It appears President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki is the most talked about political figure in our present political clime. He is about one of the very few public figures that have remained consistently consistent in the news media since 2015, when this current democratic dispensation began.

There is hardly a day that we don’t get to read or hear about him in both the traditional and new media. Even though his position as the number three citizen naturally puts him in public glare, the frequency at which he gets media mention calls for some contemplation, especially when such media exposure are in his favour.

I often pity his media handlers and team of strategists who are daily saddled with the responsibility of either issuing press statements or drawing up strategies to counter and shatter unfavourable commentaries about their boss. Indeed, the hardest part of any image or reputation management job is to have a boss who is always in the eyes of the storm. Even though Dr. Saraki isn’t new to controversy, his travails in the last three years far dwarf whatever trouble he had in his eight years reign as governor of Kwara state.

Truth is, Dr. Saraki has parried more than enough political punches in the last three years as President of the Nigerian Senate. Just when you think respite had finally come for the Ilorin-born Medical Doctor turned politician, then he plunges into a fresh trouble. But Saraki, like the proverbial cat with nine lives, has literarily refused to die. Quite surprisingly, he emerges out of each trouble stronger, wiser and with renewed vigour to fight on.

 

The ongoing alleged false asset declaration case against him which began at the Code of Conduct Tribunal is one out of the many troubles confronting Saraki. While some would want to read political meaning to his prosecution at the CCT, outcomes of investigations into the charges made against have revealed that he has questions to answer.

The story of how Dr. Saraki cleverly outsmarted his party, the All Progressives Congress and its leadership to emerge as President of the Senate in June 2015 is still very fresh in our memory. Saraki scuttled his party’s quest to put in place a national parliament that wouldn’t pose any threat to the Buhari led Executive following his resolve to seal pact with his colleagues from the Peoples Democratic Party. By this very act, many felt he betrayed the party.

Frankly speaking, the 8th Senate under the leadership of Saraki is yet to prove to Nigerians that it has their interest at heart. The substantial time it often allots to debating trivial issues at the expense of more pressing national challenges clearly speaks of a chamber that never wants the best for Nigeria and Nigerians.

Saraki is leading a team of individuals who are more interested in what they extract from the system than what they put in. We are not unaware of the humongous and unearned allowances that each Senator takes home monthly. These allowances are outside their monthly and quarterly constituency funds which run into millions of naira. Saraki as a person may mean well for Nigeria and Nigerians, but the current Senate which he presides over is made up of people who care less about the ordinary man on the street.

Now to the deadly Offa bank robbery attacks. Mind you, the Nigeria Police Force in its press statement never accused Dr. Saraki of either partaking or having fore-knowledge of the deadly attacks which claimed 33 lives, including 9 serving police personnel. The Police only requested him to clear his name following discovery that, some members of the gang know and work for the President of the Senate. The Police couldn’t have directly accused him of taking part in the Offa robbery.

The snag is, a number of politicians, both within and outside the APC are hiding behind Dr. Saraki to unnecessarily attack the President Buhari led administration. Senator Saraki’s body language is not helping matters either. People see him more as an opposition figure than a member of the ruling party that he claims to be.

From the foregoing, especially as it relates to Dr. Saraki’s unhealthy romance with the opposition, it is simple to conclude that Saraki and his men in the Red Chamber are not on the same page with the Buhari administration. Both teams are working at cross-purposes. This is responsible for the needless face-offs we often read about in the press.

Truth is, you cannot claim to be a loyal and supportive party man and at the same time conspiring with opposition elements to frustrate the agenda of your party.

 

Mr Profwills can be reached via: [email protected]