The Many Intrigues of Nigeria Politics By Obayomi Abiola Benjamin
It is no longer new the saying that politics is a game for the brave. What makes it very different from every other game we know today is that in politics, the rules governing it can be broken; and the rule breaker might go even unpunished. In a normal contemporary game say football for instance, there are dos and don’ts which make the game very interesting. For instance, you cannot use your hands to play the game of football. Once you do that deliberately and you are caught by the umpire, the consequences might be devastating on your team. But in the game of politics, this may not hold. As much as there are rules we know that guides how politics should be played, we have watched over and over again the players breaking these rules and little or nothing is being done to the rule breaker. Except if you are ready to role in the mud, and also go dirty; you may not be totally fit to play this political game. This scenario is not only typical to the Nigerian political setting; it is common in almost every part of a democratic state around the World. Politicians go dirty to play the game, the rules are broken; and at the same time they go scot free.
The Nigerian political climate in the last few weeks has been nothing short of interesting. I have sat down and watched with so much admirations the drama, intrigues, and actions that have unfolded in less than twenty days of this new administration. The power tussles for who will become and who eventually emerged as the new President of the 8th National assembly was nothing short of interesting. The deceptive connivance with which the new Senate President came on board even against the wish of his party has generated so much argument within the Nigerian political setting. But it will be important to get some very interesting facts about the Senate President elect- Bukola Saraki first before nailing him to the cross for the way in which he emerged as the leader of the 8th Nass. This is a man who has been a Senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria since 2007 and has friends on the floor of the house both from the PDP and the APC respectively. A former member of the defunct ruling party at the Centre, PDP and the son of the late Kwara state political godfather; Abubakar Olusola Saraki. He was the governor of Kwara state between May 29, 2003 and May 29, 2011 and was also elected Senator for Kwara Central in April of 2011.
This is a man whose political pedigree within the Nigerian political setting cannot be put aside. But my point in this short article of mine is how Bukola Saraki emerged as the Senate President is not so shocking to me for someone who has so much vast experience and have been properly mentored and brought up in the school of politics in Nigeria by his late father, Olusola Saraki. For me, i will blame the APC for allowing things to go in such a messy way. Bukola Saraki is no doubt the kind of Senate President Needs for the now. This is a man whose ambition to be the number three citizen of the country is even known to his friends in the now opposition party, PDP. Releasing the ticket to him within the APC should not have warranted any debate at all within the party. Winning the senate presidency is about the politics within the house and not the consensus frivolities the APC is doing about with the position of the speaker and Senate Presidency. Senator Theodore Orji (PDP-Abia) has succinctly put Bukola Saraki emergence as “a politics of negotiation and not war”. While the APC were busy with their internal democracy thing which his good for politics anyway, the Senate President was busy negotiating his way through with his friends on the floor. But in my humble opinion as a political observer, am I okay with Bukola Saraki as our new Senate President? My answer is a capital YES.
What took place on that day of the house election is one of those few intrigues you see here and there in politics. The truth is, there are no permanent friends in politics, what you find is only common interest. As long as we are both on the same page, we can be political pals. Let’s forget all these theories whether the new Senate President romanced his PDP friends in the house or not. The issue for now is that, they are all on the same page, at least for the moment. We can only watch as other intrigues unfold in the 8th National Assembly. Politics is a game, and you must be a good player to win one.
Thank you for your time.