T HOSE who are familiar with my style of writing will definitely be taken aback by the title of my essay this week. I have tried as much as possible never to be drawn into partisan political discussions on this page. What I mean to convey is that I have never allowed my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to becloud the views I express here in favour of my political party.
I am not claiming to be an angel but I have tried to ensure balance of views on my comments on men, matters and events of politics in Nigeria. I am compelled by circumstances of events in Nigeria today to write on Dr. Bukola Sakari and his ordeals in the hands of President Muhammadu Buhari and his party people in the All Progressives Congress (APC). I sincerely and honestly believe that some elements are attempting to dampen the political image of this youngman (Dr. Bukola Saraki) and attempt to paint him as an evil man before the world – (very unfortunate indeed).
Though I am a good friend of Bukola’s father, the ‘Oloye’ himself, the late Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, I am not an enthusiast of his son, Bukola.
Although Bukola was once a fellow member of the PDP before he led some of his political comrades out of the party into the APC, I never liked the way he carried out the exercise. It is not news that Bukola and his fellow clubmates, in defection to the APC, eventually nailed the political coffin of the PDP in the 2015 elections. It was very painful and harrowing. This is for another day, particularly when we realise the fact that Bukola and his colleagues believed that they had been forced out of the PDP by the party’s leaders in government. This is now a story told.
It is historically true to equally state that the initial political stability within the APC after the 2015 elections came as a result of the decisive political actions of “Bukky” and his brother governors who had defected from the PDP into the APC.
True, Bukola Saraki and his friends had outsmarted the APC in the elections to the Presidency of the Senate, the later actions of the APC leaders to destroy Saraki and his friends can never be defended in whatever way one looks at the event.
Dr. Saraki won the Presidency of the Senate election on the basis of a plot by him (Saraki) and his friends in the APC, to ally themselves with Senators of the PDP. The PDP Senators were able to turn their votes in favour of Saraki, who had refused to raise a finger against the popular choice of Ike Ekweremadu’s choice as the Deputy President of Senate.
As was to be expected, the APC senators and their colleagues immediately went into a state of frenzy as a result of the victory of Saraki and Ekweremadu. The APC leaders outside the National Assembly were equally furious at the Saraki victory. The result has been the childish harlequinades of the APC in constantly scheming to remove Saraki as President of the Senate. It has been a laughable spectacle. We now have a situation where the APC Federal Government is now attempting to criminalise Bukola Saraki and Ekweremadu for ever having the courage to contest the National Assembly positions in the first instance.
Good men and women of Nigeria now witness silly shows of shame where attempts are being made by the APC leaders to drag Dr. Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu into a criminal charge of forgery in the way the young men emerged as President and Deputy President of the Senate. Why this silly show of shame? Why must Dr Saraki be destroyed and politically liquidated for testing his democratic rights by ever attempting to contest the Presidency of the Senate?
The APC men must realise that they have succeeded in whipping up sympathy for Dr. Saraki and his Deputy, Ekweremadu. I knew Kwara State fairly well. The Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) led by Immortal Awo had a good outing in Kwara State during the Second Republic. Despite Oloye’s dominance of Kwara politics at that time, the leader of leaders, Papa Obafemi Awolowo, was very highly-regarded in Kwara State. The PDP in its appearance in 1999 in Kwara State was an amalgamation of the UPN and NPN of the Second Republic. The father of the current Governor of Kwara State was a strong Awolowo supporter from Shaare. Dr. Ahmed remains fondly a strong leader of his father’s political interest in the state. He (Ahmed) was equally a member of the cabinet of Dr. Saraki during the first PDP government of the state from 1999-2003. During the battle for the government of Kwara State during the Second Republic, Oloye (Dr. ‘Sola Saraki) influenced the alliance of the UPN with the NPN. The alliance produced Chief Cornelius Tunji Adebayo as the Governor of Kwara State. The Unity Party of Nigeria and the National Party of Nigeria had joined forces together in producing the Tunji Adebayo led government. This victory was also made possible by the support of Dr Olusola Saraki and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s father. Dr. Bukola Saraki, Governor Ahmed and others still radiate this strong alliance. APC may be shaping itself out of existence by what is happening to Bukola Saraki within their ranks. Bukola Saraki is quite able to outsmart and outpace Buhari and his men in the politics of Kwara State. This becomes more obvious with the support Bukola is getting from Governor Ahmed.
I praise the way and style Governor Ahmed and Dr. Bukola Saraki are managing the political affairs of their state. All the elements who think Kwara State cannot mobilise her people in support of justice causes will be surprised how Kwara will come together to render useless all attempts by anyone to rubbish Bukola and his brother politicians who are joined together to dismantle their opponents in Kwara State.
A 1949 book, “Cry, the beloved country,” authored by a famous anti-apartheid campaigner, Mr. Alan Paton, had pictured how a seeming disunity within the Kumalo brothers was threatening to create problem within the apartheid movement – And brother has shut out brother and from the same womb have they come”.
Just the same way as Alan Paton won the argument within the anti-apartheid struggle, so will Dr. Saraki, and the progressive leaders of Kwara win the argument against their oppressors.
At the end of the struggle, we shall all shout venceremos at the triumph of peace over political terrorism and brigandage.
The Bukola Saraki matter is a sad chapter in our national history. Those who have the powers and ability to arrest this ugly situation should do it immediately, hence we all lament in the end with Mussolini during the Second World War, “No one denies fate twice. Everyone dies the death that befits his character.”
EBINO TOPSY – 0805-500-1735
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