Friday, September 25, 2015
Saraki: Removing Trousers Through The Head by Jaafar Jaafar
"If one cannot differentiate fighting against corruption from vendetta, then it will be hard to differentiate Nivea cream from ice cream."
I’m waiting to see how senators will screen President Buhari’s ministerial nominees without a hitch before the end of September. With the raging cross-arm spat between the presidency and the senate, it is unlikely that ministers will be fully screened by the end of next month.
Trust the senators, they would grill and reject most of Buhari’s ministerial nominees.
But if we, at the lower rung, see what happens to the senate president, Bukola Saraki, as a triumph against corruption, the senators see otherwise. For them, it is an affront, which they will retaliate after licking their wounds.
Whenever an episode of the Saraki serial drama is played, I take mental notes. APC’s margin is not too wide in the senate. That bothers me. President Buhari is yet to nominate ministers for screening. This bothers me more.
If Saraki is finally jailed as the anti-graft campaigners want, PDP’s Ike Ekweremadu may likely takeover. It is obvious pro-Saraki senators will team up with the PDP senators to make that happen. And this will garner more support for Saraki better than ever in the senate.
Dealing with Saraki through the Code of Conduct Tribunal may appear easy — just as “easy” as removing trousers through the head. Those hatching this plan should have weighed its implications before embarking on it.
Take the issue of ministerial nominees again. I know there will be stormy sessions and no nominee will have an easy sail through. The senators will surely make mincemeat of some nominees, while making Yahuza suya of many others. It will be ‘mandako’ or “kuli-kulin kubura” for Tinubu’s nominees.
I know senators will subject each nominee to rigorous scrutiny. They will check as far back as a the nominee’s days in nursery school to see if an ‘undeclared’ lunchbox or a pack of crayons was ever found on him. If you are a ministerial nominee, know that senators won’t brook a “crime” as little as nicking a kobo under your mom’s pillow to buy Bazooka or condensed milk. Senators will check wether a nominee once “brought down” his father’s piggy-bank as a kid.
Nigerians will surely watch the most interesting screening ever! Believe me, there will be an intriguing drama, melodrama. There will be a stalemate and checkmate. There will be suspense and suspension (of sittings). There will be presentation and re-presentation of nominees. The president’s aide on National Assembly will have an uphill task in the coming weeks or even months.
Even when there is cordial relationship between the two arms, the senate screening often raises some dusts. During Obasanjo’s tenure, while some senators were allegedly bribed to screen nominees, other senators failed the (bribery) test. One can recall how Ambassador Bayo Yusuf was rejected outright by senators during that era. I remember how Professor Babalola Borishade was presented three times before he finally “bribed” his way into Obasanjo’s cabinet in 2003. Now think of screening under someone who does “not” interfere.
Now we are in the era of puritanism. Baba is puritan, and senators will help him get people of his moral standing to man his cabinet. I’m just imagining that dramatic scene when the Rotimi Amaechis of this world will stand before Saraki for screening.
Every sensible person knows there is a force behind the Saraki travail. One knows it is not about corruption when one realises the same APC gave Kogi and Bayelsa governorship tickets to Abubakar Audu and Timipre Sylva respectively. While Saraki was in the dock answering charges, APC was in Yenagoa crowning Sylva as the party’s candidate.
If one cannot differentiate fighting against corruption from vendetta, then it will be hard to differentiate Nivea cream from ice cream.
If really Buhari, Tinubu or a cabal is behind Saraki’s ordeal at this material time when the Buhari administration is yet to have its essential component approved by the senate, then he is doing more harm than good to the administration.
I don’t blame Saraki for becoming senate president. I rather blame the APC and the president for creating a chance for him. The APC and the presidency will certainly pay the price of their initial mistake, which created the crack Saraki entered in the senate caucus. As we say in Hausa, until there is a crack in the wall a lizard finds a place to live.
As I have always said, the choice of Senator Ahmed Lawan against Senator George Akume for the senate presidency set the pace for this crisis and created the crack where Saraki is residing — uncomfortably though.
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