Attacks By The Nation And Sahara Reporters On Bukola Saraki And Aishat Buhari: An Impediment To Nigeria’s Democratic Norms By Bashir Akanbi
In various attempts to impede the norms of democracy in the country, for which gigantic sacrifices were made by millions of Nigerians in the last general elections, The Nation daily newspaper and Sahara Reporters online have jointly started an astonishing display of mendacity and subjectivity giving up their conventional wisdom. This recent subversive practices of the popular media have attracted widespread criticism. These unripe antics however by far, unclothed the purposes for which the media house, The Nation Newspaper and online platform, Sahara Reporters were both established by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a leader of the ruling All Progressive Party. The key intentions as the opposition leader then, was nothing but promotion of Propaganda, fabricated lies against the chieftains of the ruling PDP then and the perceived enemies of their pay master.
It is a known fact that Sen. Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s pre-June 9 ambition and June 9’s constitutional and legitimate emergence as the President of the Upper Chamber of National Assembly triggered bias and injustice in their news as virtually all pages of the two fallacious media portray criticism of this great man whose sagacity and firm leadership are unquestioned for his patriotism for this Nation and immense commitment towards the entrenchment of true democracy was apparently demonstrated through his dogged legislative activities in the 7th National Assembly . The height the absurdity is the mischievous leakage of his Passport by Sahara Reporters which shows he is a citizen of United Kingdom. Does that mean the section of Nigeria Constitution which supports citizenship by birth has been amended? Where were they when one Dr. Kunle Oke of an American University opined that sixty five percent (65%) of Nigerians Monarchs were either given birth to in United Kingdom or United States of America? Surely, that has not in anyway prevented them from their ancestral rights of becoming Obas, Emirs, Obis and Paramount Chiefs, let alone ordinary ‘political appointments.’
The synonymous act defamation has been read of the woman of substance, Her Excellency, the Wife of Nigeria President, Mrs. Aishat Buhari with specific regards to her status as just a wife or First lady and tomfoolery of her brother, Musa Yola on 300 million scam. The question i asked myself when i read the childish stories this morning was, are they angry over their pay master’s wife, Remi Tinubu not being rated as one of the influential women in Nigeria today as she is farther from Aishat Buhari? Of course her failure to be the Senate’s Majority leader as selfishly premeditated by her local-champion husband had no man’s hands but an attestation of their political egocentricity. The truncation of their narcissism by Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Like Minds across APC and PDP Senators was just a clarion call and patriotic protection of Nigeria’s true democracy independence of National Assembly. The egotism of the Lagos Jagaban also had adverse effect on the ambition effervescent Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker of the lower Chamber. From time memorial, Femi who was the leader of APC caucus of the 7th Assembly had the general endorsement of many APC stakeholders to lead the 8th Green Chamber but his ambition met its waterloo, the moment Asiwaju Tinubu opposed the previous zoning of Senate Presidency to North Central simply because Saraki had more than ninety percent (90%) ground in the zone but the targeted Gorge Akume was just a paper-weight. That, made him to influence his controlled APC National Working Committee to make the position open and compelled his ACN’s Akume to step down for Ahmed Lawan who was also bootless at his zone.
The last week’s North East APC caucus election which produced Ali Ndume as Majority Leader in a vote of 9 against 2 is the confirmation of what Senator Danjuma Goje and eight other Senators from the zone earlier said. He said as quoted, “Lawan is nobody in our zone, so, we have not endorsed him. We are just urging the National Working Committee of our party to zone it to North East. If ranking is to be considered, he is not ranking than myself, being a former Governor and a returning Senator, he was just being imposed by some leaders who wanted to control everything and everywhere but we would not be part to that.” The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki as an epitome of Federal Character Principle and equity, earlier recommended the remaining four principal officers be zoned to the remaining four geo-political zones that did not produce either The Senate President or Deputy Senate President but the Tinubu boys insisted in ceding of the offices to them as a compensation over Saraki’s defiance to party. As a result of that, they, in their usual imposition culture wrote to Saraki, The Senate President a letter defying the Federal Character Principle of equity as he recommended. In their letter as was made viral on social media, I was surprised to see Sen. Ahmed Lawal recommended as Majority Leader (North East), Sen. Shola Adeyeye as Chief Whip (South West), Sen. George Akume as Deputy Majority Leader (North Central) and Sen. Abu Ibrahim as Deputy Cheif Whip (North West).
Fellow Nigerians, imagine The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki from North Central and George Akume as Deputy Majority Leader from same North Central! That is the height of injustice. Who is now bad between Bukola Saraki that preaches justice and equity and Tinubu that just want to impose no matter which zones? Should Tinubu’s imbalanced permutations be successful, where will be the change we all sought from PDP? Conversely, my joy lies of the recent action of Senator Saraki who sang on campaign many outings, that it is not going to be “business as usual”, by setting up a committee in his agenda to reduce the salaries and allowances of legislators and their aides. That is hence, towards the yarning of Nigerians and called hitting the solid ground with a sharpened digger. If we recall, we would easily remember it was the spokesman of ‘The Like Minds Senators’, Senator Dino Malaye of Kogi West who upon the announcement of his election victory in March poll, firstly charged Nigerian Senators-elect to sacrifice allowances for the betterment of our country. It was also a source of election as this young and patriotic Senator Melaye and other patriotic Senators were co-opted into the committee.
Nigerians of today cannot be misinformed! Tinubu has forgotten that no matter how the piper’s payer dictates a mischievous tune in ‘Nigeria today’, Nigerians’ common sense will definitely seek its genuineness and live with just the truth. He should learn from the election triumph of President Muhammadu Buhari despite the intensity of hate and false campaigns against him by AIT, NTA and others. Those fallacies on the personality of the People’s president were potent enough to set the General to the terminus of his political aspirations, but Nigerians’ astuteness of reasoning significantly prevailed.
In contrary to the fake portrayal of Senator Saraki by those media, he is a man who believes that political wisdom does not lie on words but patriotism to the electorates. Verily, his undiluted competence, independent-mindedness, good-governance zeal and huge wherewithal from the executive wing of government as a Special Assistant on Budget to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Kwara State Governor between 2003 and 2011 and a two term Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum resulted in his easy blend and outstanding performance as a first term Senator in the 7th National Assembly hitherto. As Special Assistant to President Obasanjo in his first term, he initiated many policies which form the major which form integral part of Nigeria financial control today. Also, Kwara State experienced the best monumental developments ever during his tenure as Governor. This claim was the reason why Kwarans rallied round him, despite Jonathan Goodluck’s interest to bring him down in his own state.
Without doubt, Senate President Saraki delivered Kwara hundred percent (100%) to APC. In fact, you are reading this piece, there is no minority at Kwara State House of Assembly as all offices were won by APC under his leadership. It is obvious that Tinubu does not have an absolute grip of his own acclaimed Lagos as the success of elections by APC in Lagos was less than sixty five (65%). Also, we are not unaware that as the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, the Forum was very effective and efficient in its commitment to Nation’s building and that fuelled Late President Umar Yaradua’s interest in him then. Again, his tested competence and trustworthiness also shaped the basis why the former Governors who served under him and now the Senators of Federal Republic of Nigeria supported his Senate Presidential ambition across the APC and PDP. On the 7th National Assembly, Dr. Bukola Saraki was if not the only, then, one of the few Senators who sponsored Nigerians’ oriented bills in the Red Chamber of 7th Assembly. He, as the then Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology rose and spoke to remediate many voiceless communities that were embittered by oil spills, eruption of harmful substances as a result of explorations and other environmental challenges. Hundreds of such causes as Ogboni oil spill compensation by Shell Petroleum Development Company in Rivers State, Begaga Lead Poison in Zamfara State etc were championed by Saraki while many others were just sitting and looting Nigerians of their common wealth.
The most of it all, the historic stride Nigerians would always remember him for is the bill which sought to remove the fraudulent oil subsidy, in turn block all the leakages in the system and expose the oil cabals milking our oil sector dry, albeit he was a PDP Senator then. That particular people’s based bill, in actuality, helped Nigerians as SURE-P scheme was set up from the leakages which were formerly digressed into few personal pockets. This alone is a simple Rejoinder to the claims by Chief Bisi Akande that his election and that of Hon. Dogara were sponsored by Oil Barons. That was so baseless and unfortunate of an old man who ought to be an elder stateman but enjoys being a voice of Tinubu. With all honesty, how many of these puppets called Unity Forum can speak against their Party when derailed at the expense of Nigerians? At last, the same subsidy removal move by Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki has been resurrected by President Muhammadu Buhari and considered to be one of the priorities of his administration recently.
Let me say it emphatically now that he has no case with EFCC. The fearless young man was just always trailed whenever he takes a huge step or speak for the masses against the cabals. It is thus a baseless accusation that he has voracious appetite for power. Those are fabrications by the propagandist (The Nation Newspaper, Sahara Reporters and others) and politicians who do not want him have edge over them, with peculiarity to presidential ambition.
However, it is imperative for The Nation and Sahara Reporters to face the harsh reality of outcome of The National Assembly leadership and start supporting the democratic procedures of the country. No matter what happens, their boss, Tinubu out of greed and over- ambition, it is preposterous to realize that they are being used as instruments against our democratic norms, which is a major crime against humanity. He should discern that God is God and human is human, so he can never be a human-God. He should realize that Bukola Saraki’s politics is hereditary while his is learnt. Bukola Saraki did not only showed him what Central politics is all about but, tutored him that equity and justice should always be configures in our democratic processes. Alas! the Jagaban was brought to its size. It was only God that justified the new PDP whose ingredients spiced up APC food and resulted in its wholesome digestion by Nigerians, as Tinubu was almost opposed to any of their interest in the position sharing after the 2015 general election. That is, Tinubu should just accept that it was God in His might that made Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara both of the new PDP the Senate President and Speaker of the House Representatives respectively. He should stop hitting the polity and allow Buhari’s administration and APC to start effecting the promised change.
On the last note, both Tinubu and APC should shield their swords and appreciate Saraki’s caucus in the Senate for their brilliant canvassing of the PDP Senators, because if PDP with their 49 good block votes which was even more than the quorum had nominated David Mark and voted against Saraki’s 24 APC Senators at the Chamber that day as Lawan group were at International Conference Centre meeting with ‘absent’ President Buhari, would have been the end of discussion till 2019. Nothing, absolutely nothing could unseat him if he holds firmly all his 48 PDP colleagues. Reason being that the constitution of The National Assembly stipulates that the impeachment of The Senate President and his Deputy must be blessed by two-third majority of the house and two-third of 109 is 76. Now let us ask ourselves, is the total number of both Saraki and Lawan APC Senators up to 76? The answer is capital NO because APC has the total of just 59 Senators.
Finally, if these media-dogs bring to a halt, their usual political partisanship and unnecessary problems creation,I strongly believe that the change for which we generally voted has finally arrived. The perpetual watchword from The Senate President, His Excellency, Distinghuished Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki is “NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL.” So, it should be followed across boards as it is potent to support the Change mentral of APC under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Bashir Akanbi, Lagos Nigeria