Editor’s note: Legit.ng’s guest author Ini A. Morgan shares his opinion on why Senator Bukola Saraki cannot be the Senate President, highlighting why it would be "robbery by the North to covet the seat of the Speaker of the House of Reps".
This article expresses the author’s opinion only. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Legit.ng or its editors.
I feel very pained writing this article, but at the same time, I am extremely persuaded about my revelation. For me, the stability and focus of President Buhari's administration is far more important to us as Nigerians than the vibrancy of Bukola Saraki's Senate presidency.
The antecedence of Saraki's political legacy and his desperate urge to lead the Senate against him clearly standing in the less favourable stead give me a lot of worrisome reasons to suspect that he has sinister motives.
I am aware of how many admirers are solidly behind his emergence, especially the regional voice and support his forwarder and campaign manager, Senator-elect Dino Malaye, enjoys among Nigerians. But Nigerians must forgive me because we did not come this far only to waste our efforts at producing President Buhari.
Nevertheless, I would care less how and what anyone feels about the stability of the Buhari presidency, as long as the outcome of this case justified the means, and the means were fair, justicable, precedential, viable, and destined.
Let me first and foremost thank the leadership of the APC for taking the initiative to streamline the requirements needed for the emergence of the next Senate President, and for briefing Mr President on the matter accordingly.
This was my concern when I opined in an earlier article advising the president to show leadership in this direction, especially because in a democracy, political party supremacy should never be taken for granted.
Inasmuch as it is the sole responsibility of the senators to decide their leadership, we already have experienced a situation where a weak party leadership allowed its trashing on the floor of the House of Representatives in 2011. This was possible because the PDP did not show leadership and was not abreast with the plot by its members to overturn its decisions.
Going back to my thumbs down for His Excellency Abubakar Olubukola Olusola Saraki's aspiration to become the Senate President, I don’t like politicians who are not consistent and ideology-driven.
If Olabola Ige was as desperate and non-ideological like Senator Saraki, he would still be alive today counting his gains as a leader of the PDP, being one of the G9 that framed the party in its beginning before parting ways with its leaders, when the group of nine transformed into G18.
The two of them served in the Obasanjo administration, brought into his government of national unity from the opposition parties, the defunct APP and the AD. But, while His Excellency Bola Ige remained resolute and resisted Chief Obasanjo’s luring for him to join the PDP, this governor-senator decapitulated.
Senator Saraki has so far sojourned from the APP to the PDP to the nPDP to the APC, demystifying his own biological father in the process. He cannot be trusted with the Senate presidency because he does not understand the term 'political sacrifice'. I therefore advice the leadership of the APC to summon him and immediately make him address the press withdrawing from the Senate-presidential race, or warn him he would be expulsed.
In 2012, Saraki was accused of corruption by the EFCC. I am persuaded that in May 2013, he used the Nigeria Governors' Forum as his arm and its governor-chairman as the whip in his hand to lash an international embarrassment into ex-President Jonathan's senses. The man Jonathan will never forget what hit him because from thence, things 'changed' for him.
This man Saraki contested the 2011 PDP presidential primaries, which means he has his eyes on the presidency. And in these days when the legislature loves to impeach an executive with his deputy, as Senate President, he would only be one step away from the Aso Rock Villa. This is my suspicion of why he is desperately angling to be Senate President.
This is very instructive, folks, that in his drive to settle all pending corruption cases with the EFCC, Mr President may find himself being confronted with prosecuting a resistant Senate President endeavouring to save his reputation, backed by an equally-resistant National Assembly striving to save the legislature from an international embarrassment.
As you can all see, and as I am persuaded, a Saraki Senate presidency would either compromise Mr President's avowed fight against corruption by making it selective, or Buhari risks the stability of his administration.
Let me advice Senator-elect Dino Malaye that he should not rein in his ‘schoolboy' House of Reps disposition while in the Senate. It will not augur maturedly for him if he returns to the National Assembly throwing punches at his colleagues and showing himself on international television in torn regalia, especially not with Nigerians with my kind of reasoning.
On the issue of who becomes the Speaker of the House of Representatives, I wish to submit that the North must not covet the position in any way because they cannot take the presidency, the Senate presidency and the office of the Speaker.
Otherwise, the resistance of Mujihad Asari Dokubo will find justification in the fact that the North has always looked at the South as a conquered people. While we allow the sleeping dog lie, the right thing must be done.
The past may have rejected Muhammadu Buhari, but I don’t think that he, as the president, should reject his own future. Coveting the speakership of the House of Representatives by any Northerner will be viewed as a President Buhari's betrayal of the South: West, East and South.
Believe it or not, the separating line between the North and the South would be drawn by this, and a person like me would find fulfilment in sharing the opinion of Mujihad Asari Dokubo's to show how this is a robbery by the North. Let's live and let live. Nigeria is nobody's father's estate; it belongs to all Nigerians.
Ini A. Morgan is a Port Harcourt-based architect, writer and public affairs analyst. He is married with children.
Read his previous thoughts on the Senate presidency: Why Buhari Must Mind Who Sits As Senate President Over 8th National Assembly (Part One) and Why Buhari Must Mind Who Sits As Senate President Over 8th National Assembly (Part Two).
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