By Favour Afolabi
When as a Democrat, you sit by as “Democratic Institutions” are used to maliciously to deal with others, you never know the day it will be your turn – from all indications, Saraki is about to become the next public official [ex or serving] that will be commando-ed by security forces by force or by fire to face Justice – for the very reason of not being in the good books of the President – the same President that was voted in using the same democratic institutions – in fact, who in a landmark way became the first man in the democratic history of Nigeria to unseat an incumbent President!
A few days ago, I raised the subject of the ambivalence of the West in largely looking away as President Kagame of Rwanda was able to manipulate the constitution to seek a third-term in office – effectively meaning he would be the leader of the nation for 18 years [Rwanda practices one term of 6 years] and you can be sure he would end up extending as well – this was the same Western nations complained bitterly against the Burundian President for doing exactly the same thing – within a few weeks from Kagame’s constitutional victory more so considering that Rwanda and Burundi share – a common border; a lot of intertwined historically; and culture – I chose to discuss at the time how Democractic institutions should not be subverted to suit the whims and caprices of One Man – irrespective of how much such nations claimed to appreciate what the man in question had done for the nation or was doing for the nation – no man should be promoted beyond the sanctity of the state – this always ends up leading maximum dictatorships – one man being above the entire nation and no longer subject to the constitution – some friends of mine had argued against my position on Facebook that “Kagame was loved by his people and by the West and should be allowed to continue in Office more so as the nation could not yet boast of someone to replace him” – well, some of the folks making dropping these lines of thoughts actually live in the United States – and you begin to see that “Africans simply remain Africans even when living in Mongolia.”
Obama on his last trip to Africa had made a case against this same elongation of tenures nonsense that had practically crippled the political and socio-economic development of the larger African region for the last 6 decades yet the continent has continued to reproduce the same template – when you have educated Africans suggesting to you “that the current leader in Office is okayed to go against the norms within the constitution to carry out his so-called ambitious plans to restructure the nation and should not be questioned irrespective of the tactics he is adopting in doing such” then you begin to see why the continent has remained like this forever – those that usually repeat this Lee Kwan Yew nonsense forget that President Lula implemented those same strategies of building the nation in Brasil yet only did so within two-terms of four years each – without seeking to amend the constitution to extend his stay in office with this ideology of “I am the only one that understands the problems of the nation – for now” – in the same way, President Mandela helped put in the place the foundation South Africa needed – in only one term and allowed the nation to continue from there.
The justification, at all times in History for when such this “Let our Leaders use all tactics he needs to build our nation” always happens to be buttressed by the populist appeals of the man on the seat of Power at the point in time – who is often busy cleansing the nation [as he is using the same tactics he claims to be removing from the polity in building up his own inner circle that would end up being the ones to drive his personal marshall plan against the nation] – who in the process secures the support of the elites: politicians, intellectuals, union leaders, civil society, etc who tell him “you are doing the right thing for the nation; don’t be distracted; those against you are the enemies of the nation; please, o lord, reign forever” – History is replete with how these has repeated itself in so many nations – especially in Africa – the man in the center begins to use excessive powers to move against those he considers as enemies – begins to clear such people away from any position of opposing his views and begins to become a maximum ruler in the process – even as others that might want to oppose him grow cold feet as they are warned by their well-wishers “to behave o” – all of these happening as the nation remains divided against itself along the lines of We versus Them – only to wake one day to discover that they have all joined hands to in creating a Monster that might just consume them all.
Nobody knows that right now better than the Nigerian Senate President – Bukola Saraki, he was the one that led the revolt in the Senate under the last administration to have all the PDP leaders there become members of the APC – he was a key rallying factor to see to it that the erstwhile President – Jonathan lost the moral legitimacy to govern the nation – effectively presented by the Opposition at the time as one that could have only cheated if he won the elections. Saraki wasn’t doing that because he loved Nigeria but because he had his eyes on the ball – to become the next Senate President in 2015 and to become the President in 2019 after the 72 year old Buhari he was pitching to become President would have had old age telling on him – deciding to become the next Mandela of Africa that would not seek a second-term in office – you see, when folks like Saraki concoct all these fancy and brilliant personal ambitions and plans, they never stop to listen to how ridiculous such might sound because they are often surrounded by cheap lackeys who tell them “Don’t worry sir, the plan is foolproof; it will definitely work.”
Well, that plan crashed within days after the elections, Saraki, after being promised the actualization of phase one of his 4-year scheme discovered he was no longer favored to be the Senate President – but he would have none of that, he quickly deployed his own Navy Seal-typed elite team to secure himself the Senate Presidency, largely in the absence of the majority of his own party members – who in turn would have none of these, they aligned with the impending Mandela, a known vindictive man extraordinaire [only comparable to another fellow General and one of his newest and closest allies – Obasanjo] to deal with Saraki – he must vacate this seat – and he must leave the Senate – and he must be ridiculed in the process as well – along with his wife – and his businesses and his legacy – they, along with Bourdillon Plc must see to it that “the curse that Saraki’s late father placed on him in his dying days for betraying him must be fully actualized – and fast too” [if you don’t know about that gist, then no be my mouth you go hear am]
Well, as Saraki was going through this ordeal, the next Mandela was effectively setting up his own version own Gestapo machinery – he brought in his own Service Chiefs, localized the National Security Adviser [NSA] and State Security Services [SSS] leaderships to his own inner circles – and their first task was play out a Mission Impossible Part IV movie at the residence of the erstwhile NSA – Sambo Dasuki – they laid ambush on his house for days after securing some court document to search and strip the place, he won’t give in – initially but eventually had to fall to superior firepower – he was discovered to be holding in his home an artillery of weapons – just about enough to bring down the entire North Korean Armed Forces – and to topple the Supreme Leader there – he was charged to court and would most likely end up in Jail!
Thereafter, the SSS took over the roles of the enforcers of election tribunals – they would go on to whisk away electoral officers that allowed the ruling party lose some key states to the useless PDP – these, aside the rumored clandestine operations they have been carrying out to make sure “all those that stole monies from the Petroleum sector purged all they had chopped” – effectively supervising the return of stolen funds without giving public records of what they were recovering – as all of these were going – in barely 100 days of the new administration [I mean you could have thought this was a one year-long stream of events?], the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, the de facto head of the Legislature – that was supposed to be providing checks and balances to the Executive kept mute – he never challenged these excesses – he never raised the issue on the floor of the Senate – never issued a press statement to decry such but was busy releasing statements like “The Senate supports the President in his anti-corruption drive” and when he was not doing that, he was busy pretending all over the nation to be the President – receiving different delegates from home and abroad – visiting crisis-ridden areas – and showing up for the cameras like he was competing for paparazzi attention versus Kim Kardashian!
Well, his own time don come come now, a warrant of arrest has been issued for him; and he is most likely going to receive the Dasuki treatment shortly – and there seems to be no way out for him now – it is too late for hm to go and prostrate at Bourdillon; he is now effectively a political orphan, even the Dino Melaye & Co Partners at the Senate that used to follow Saraki’s wife to EFCC to write statement sef dey fear to lose hin own seat for Senate, so this is looking like a classic case of “All men to thy tents.”
Well, the Saraki story has happened over and over again in Africa – the political actors always turn blind eyes to the emergence of the Ghaddafis, Eyademas, Mugabes, etc – only to discover the tsunami would eventually catch up with them – it was fellow politicians that helped folks like Rawlings, Biya, Wade, etc transit from being “Savers of the Nations” to eventual dictators – at times in history that they believed they would always be in the good books of such people – only for them to end up being swallowed by the history they helped create – as Saraki goes through his own present travails, others who are currently mocking him should wait for their own turns – those at Bourdillon; in some state houses; in the legislature; in the judiciary; in the media; the blogging industry; civil society [now turned an appendage of the ruling party] – everyone should be excited about participating in this #Change that the nation has signed up to.