Lest We Forget

a commentary on socio-political developments and institutional policies

Bukola Saraki ….

There are times that I often wonder whether Dr. Bukola Saraki is indeed Yoruba or Fulani. It seems to me there is too much Fulani blood in his veins, much more to shame a full-blooded Fulani. He may actually bear Yoruba name like his progenitors,  but his conduct is too machiavellian, which in the Nigerian political anatomy is an almost exclusive preserve of the Fulani. One can easily recall how Alimi -a Fulani, supplanted Afonja in Ilorin and turned his host, at the behest of whom he landed in the place in the first instance, to his subjugated subject.

Till today, that is why the mainstream Yoruba believe that the Ilorin, the offsprings of Alimi cannot be taken on face value, with the sobriquet that “although they lie prostrate in reverence, yet in spirit (inwardly) they stoop in defiance”. Probably because he is a fringe Yoruba (of mixed ancestry) and, moreover, one that was born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, that is why the Yoruba cultural milieu of “political correctness” is not ingrained in Dr. Saraki. For example,  the Yoruba loathe “taking that which belongs to another and/or being denied his”. In the same vein, they hate “crude machiavellian theory”. The means, to them, are as important as the end. It does not matter whether the setting is family heritage, township patrimony or national politics. There are things that offend the Yoruba concept of decency which they may excuse its infringement by other nationalities but not theirs. They expect theirs to know better. For example, you do not call those who are clearly older than you by name. It is regarded as symbolic of improper upbringing. There are no spoilt brats; but kids not well brought up.

Leadership, by the Yoruba concept, must not be attained by fraudulent means, no matter how altruistic ones aims are. The Awolowo-Akintola imbroglio which snowballed into a fatricidal riot in the West was more of the means of Akintola’s succession of Awolowo than the deed itself, after all Akintola was the second in command, and the heir apparent! But to have treacherously aligned with another political party to fraudulently ascend the premiership of the West was what the Yoruba found odious. If you are Yoruba by name and Fulani in philosophy you will have problems. It is not as if anything is wrong with any political philosophy – Yoruba, Fulani, Igbo, Jukun, Ebira, etc. But once you  begin to play politics outside the socio-cultural parameters and understanding of your immediate cultural constituency you will have crisis. Neither will understand and support you – your cultural constituency and owners of your loaned political philosophy. At the end of the day, in fact, even before, you are on your own.

This is why the ascendancy of the Senate presidency by surreptitious alignment with elements of opposition party is perceived as crude and crass machiavellianism which is not in tandem with the Yoruba concept of Omoluwabi. It is an invitation to “roforofo” fight because machiavellianism by its nature is “roforofo”. The Senate President is not equal to the President of the Federal Republic. Has Dr. Saraki not heard of “Baba mo gba” song? Well, how can he, after all,  he is not Yoruba. The song posits that if everybody is deceiving you do NOT deceive yourself. There are one thousand and one ways the Federal Government of Nigeria, so mighty and almighty, as presently constituted, can get rid of someone, effortlessly. Before you take on the Presidency in political wits,  you must not only be sure that you are politically strong, you must also be morally irreproachable. No cupboard, and if you have one, no skeleton inside. Not even that of a spider.

In Nigerian politics, a girlfriend you left a decade ago can resurface and accuse you of rape. Not now, then. And you are done for. It is trite that in politics you will consider your adversaries. Can you finish the fight or do you want to fight to finish? Yoruba do not fight to finish. Ah, they live to fight another day. The only one that fought to the finish, we eternally regret his costly decision.  You must know when to retreat, lick your wounds and save the fight for another day or save the day for another fight. When that day comes, hopefully you may win, hands down. As a precaution, no victory laughter until long after the victory is won -signed, sealed and delivered.

There is this Ibo proverb that “the flies without advisers follow the corpse to the grave”. How instructive! Dr. Bukola Saraki’s advisers are nincompoops, or so I think. Should they not see the potholes and bumps where the man, due to political mirage and over-estimation of self-worth, was seeing just the smooth express road? Like the legendary “A o m’erin j’oba”, his advisers continued to fan his ego thus increasing his hubris and defiance. In politics compromise is the best victory. Win some lose some. If you win all as an individual, be suspicious. Once the party was magnanimous enough to grudgingly condone his treachery and allow him to keep his Presidential seat, he should have persuaded them by respecting their letter appointing other party posts. No. He wanted to win all. He alienated his party, ridiculed the Presidency and damned the consequences. The alleged forgery of the Senate Rules on which his election stands is another volcano waiting to erupt. Never increase the number of your adversaries.

Lest we forget, Dr. Bukola Saraki is the scion of Saraki political dynasty of Ilorin whose family owned and allegedly pillaged Société Générale Bank  Nig. Plc. sending several millions of shareholders and account-holders to sudden penury at the collapse of the bank, and whose former Director Kennedy Izuagbe is currently on the run and wanted by EFCC  in a case of conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of over N3.6 billion. Bukola was the two-term Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011. He was elected Senator in 2015 and became the Senate President under controversial circumstances allegedly bothering on forgery of Senate Rules.

In fact, if I were Dr. Bukola Saraki I would have tamed my ambition of becoming the Senate President of the 8th Assembly, except I am cock sure that there is no trace of “poo” at the end of my alimentary canal, no matter how much microscopic examination, inquisition, inquiry and enquiry is done. Well, the question is, “Is it possible?”

With a President Buhari, who for reasons beyond religious homogeneity refused to consider a Bola Tinubu as his running mate, no one without high politico-moral credentials stands the chance of working in his government. Tainted politicians are political lepers that Buhari is waiting for the right opportunity to quarantine politically.  Buhari, our High Priest of “Political Correctness” will sacrifice the corrupt like bullock on the Altar of Anti-Corruption.  If Dr. Olubukola Saraki did not know this, long before now, then he is politically naive. I am sorry.

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