ABOVE PHOTO: Buhari and Saraki on Independence Day celebrations, 01 Oct. 2015
If he is waiting to be so advised, especially since his Sallah Day near-death experience in Ilorin, senate president, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, aka ABS, will do well to go weep his eye out and seek for forgiveness at the graveside of his father, the late Wazirin Ilorin, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki. That is, if for fear of losing their meal tickets, the parasitic, overblown and hungry alfas always hovering round the senate president have not so advised!
The reason for this is simple: none other than alfas should know that no one goes scot-free after they de-robe their parents in public! Which exactly is what the senate president did when, in his quest for power, he defied and messed a dotting father to whom he owes all his temporal relevance. In a manner of speaking, Bukola without Saraki will be another name in Ilorin.
However, it will not be surprising if some of the alfas offered the advice and were spurned. A prominent politician, a repository of lawmaking and the nation’s number three personage who can spit in the face of law, based on some laughable legal advice, is capable of spitting in the face of a mere advice. Even the most ardent Bukola Saraki fan should quiver at the mere thought of happenings at government house, Ilorin, for the eight years he served as governor! And, perhaps, beyond.
At issue is the largely-anticipated Sallah Day stone-throwing incident at the Ilorin main Eid ground which came days after the traditional stoning of Shaitan during the Hajj. Its anticipation, according to gleanings from the press, was underlined by the last-minute cancellation of an elaborate, multi-million Naira home-coming reception funded and organised by the perpetually cash-strapped Kwara state government for the state’s most prominent ambassador.
After calling off the ceremony, would-have-been chief host and governor, Maigida Abdulfattah Ahmed scampered out of town to his more-welcoming country-home in Share! Wise guy! A large chunk of the recently-received bail-out had just been allegedly put aside to fight Oga’s legal battles and there was never going to be enough to clear back-log of salaries. Lamentation by state and local government workers must have reached a crescendo by the time Maigida exited Ilorin on Sallah eve.
But the much-needed peace which the governor expected at his country-home was intermittently shattered by a humanitarian crisis nearby. Of late, the fifteen-minute drive from Jebba to Bode-Saadu along the ever-busy Ilorin- Kaduna highway has become a motorists’ nightmare. With the bad road effectively blocked with articulated vehicles, other motorists, always at the mercy of red-eyed extortionists are forced to spend long hours on more tortuous bush tracks. From his country home in Share, Governor Ahmed did not have to strain his ears to pick the vituperations of motorists and travellers directed at their leaders!
In a sense, Governor Ahmed is on the spot, so to say, and could feel the mood of the people. Typically, the senate president must have dismissed any likely advice on possible consequences of his odious public appearance. Mind you! This is Kwara state’s de facto number one and the nation’s three who just arrived town to make a big political statement. In a fleeting moment of oneirism, the senate president felt insulated from the mess back home.
He must have thought that it should be no business of his if, for whatever reason, Kwara state is in such a big mess and the state government cannot pay its workers. But, the people thought differently and, in their own moment of oneirism too, felt a huge chunk of the millions the senate president allegedly used to finance a false lifestyle was hijacked from Kwara state government treasury. There is something uncanny in the realisation that it was allegedly favoured Ilorin that suddenly moved against its own.
Be that as it may, handlers of the senate president were nowhere near Ilorin to gauge the temperature of long-suffering state employees. They were nowhere between Jebba and Bode Saadu to hear the swearwords thrown by long-faced Nigerians at their unseen tormentors. If they were, may be one honest assistant would have summoned the courage to tell Oga that detractors now decode his ABS initials as Anything But Saraki! May be the senate president would have been told that, even in Ilorin very few people believe he is the victim of a witch-hunt!
Senator Saraki’s Sallah Day appearance was a publicity stunt that failed to fly! The pelting incident, the chants of ole and, for the first time, the absence of large crowds that normally descend on the Saraki homestead on such an important day, are too foreboding. With the possible exception of petty thieves, pick-pockets and kidnappers, when last was anybody stoned in Ilorin? Beyond commoners, has any important personality ever been pelted in public by the largely peace-loving and long-suffering people of Ilorin? Was there a time worshippers at Ilorin praying ground chanted Oloye to make it sound like Ole?
Let the senate president continue to put up a bold face. It is allowed. Let him continue to dance to the weird drumbeat of colleagues who joined the fray, anticipatorily, to fight off a certain foe. This is as it should be! More importantly, it is good for Senator Saraki’s body system not to feel like a fish out of water as he can, at least for now, continue to bank on the support of his colleagues who create the impression that the Nigerian senate, not only its indicted president, is on trial.
As he probably did when the EFCC questioned his wife over alleged dirty deals and, as he probably did when he was hauled before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, let Senator Saraki continue to blame imagined enemies imported stone-throwers to Ilorin on Sallah Day. Blame game must rank as one of the oldest games known to man. And Nigerians are enjoying every bit of the ongoing blame game! Let the senate president continue to imagine enemies are after his blood instead of sitting back to reflect deeply!
And, believe it or not, Nigerians are enjoying every second of the public display of emptiness by the eighty three Orwellian ‘Saraki is always right!’ senators. Let the rabble continue to rouse! And, in the name of good governance, let no one blink! Let the chest-beating continue and let no one play the Biblical apostles who abandoned the Master at the critical moment he needed them!
Nigerians are waiting! They are good at waiting!
Abdulrazaq Magaji <firstname.lastname@example.org> lives in Abuja, Nigeria.