New Dawn Nigeria

As Saraki goes into political purgatory

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First of all, all praise to Almighty God, who gives power to whom he wills. Political victory came to Saraki in the past so easily that he forgot who he was. He became haughty and prideful. To the proud, the arrogant and the haughty, no one except God is powerful by himself or herself. Power is given, bestowed or granted and it must be kept in trust with reverence or it will be retrieved. Saraki got invested in himself so much as to take his people for granted and hold them in disdain.

When I started attacking Saraki on this wall and in my column, many would not know I once sat with this man, at the same table at a wedding reception, in which I was “chairperson”. We exchanged banter and he was quite personable, likeable and young.

There is nothing wrong with ambition, there is everything wrong with vaulting ambition. Vaulting ambition blunders the ambitious into thinking everything is fair game, it reduces their humanity and exposes an ugly side that is very alienating.

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Politically, Saraki has the best resume to be anything in this country. He was governor for 8 unbroken years. He was Chairman of Governor’s forum which meant he knew 35 most powerful men in various states at the time and championed their interests. He was in the Senate for 8 years, that means he new at least three most powerful political players from each state of the federation.

From birth, Saraki was never in lack. How could a man so blessed, be so greedy and petulant? How could a man so privileged and young, let us down? Like Dimeji Bankole, he had it all and squandered it all. That was my major angst. Saraki would sit on his chair in his vast living room and old men would crouch on the floor with him nodding at them with mindless inattention. He divvied up Kwara State resources with such reckless wonder. He thought he was Kwara.

Without his Machiavellian move to be the Senate President, he could still have won the Senate Presidency without that level of intrigue and subterfuge. He had all the bona-fides, the connections and the alliances to win. I wanted him to pay for his many sins from the days of Société Generale and even the generational sins from his father’s dealings with Biwater Shellabear. His handling of his CCT appearances was an egregious abuse of office. It would have been different had he played victim instead using the Senate as his tool. Nigerians were offended seeing their Senators attending court sessions with Saraki. His conduct obscured the legislative wins of the 8th Senate under his leadership. Kwara handed Saraki a stunning defeat and Kogi rewarded his factotum with a decisive victory. As the Yoruba often say; the river that forgets it source will dry out.

Saraki woke up this morning in political purgatory. He knew what he did wrong. He knew the sins he committed. Weep not for Saraki. He will do the time and pay his dues. From the day he lost the election, I saw a humbled Saraki. He will seek absolution of his sins and work to be rehabilitated. I read his valedictory speech and I can’t but agree that he worked. He worked more than 10 David Marks. We did not give him and the 8th credit because we mobilized opinion against him. I admit, I ridiculed them at every turn and scoffed at their victories. When one’s enemy hunt down a grasscutter, it is easy to classify the kill as a mouse.

Senator Bukola Saraki, I thank you for your service. Go and work for your restitution. I suggest you start by apologizing to your people and to us in your generation for whom you were a bad example. For me Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, that stunning loss is all I need to forgive you. I know you will be back. Go, and sin no more! Good luck on your path to restoration.

By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju


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