By Lekan Dada
Structural integrity is apparently the leading factor that guarantees the safety of anyone residing in any building. This is akin to how the protection of a party man’s interest is a key guarantee of his survival within any political party.
The role played by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki in the victory of APC in 2015 general election was so invaluable that he deserves steady support of his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC). It will be recalled that Saraki was instrumental to the defection of five PDP governors to the APC in 2014, a move that eventually resulted into the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan at presidential election. Sadly, the scion of Saraki political dynasty of kwara State was paid evil for the good he did to the APC. Hardly had Bukola Saraki expressed interest to contest the senate presidency that the APC had moved against him.
Against all odds, Bukola Saraki emerged the Senate President on account of his extensive goodwill and political sophistication. He was subsequently arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal for false assets declaration and money laundering. The political persecution of Saraki in court by the very party he risked everything to enthrone was quite tortuous and demeaning until the Supreme Court recently discharged and acquitted him of all charges.
It a public knowledge that the APC led administration is prepared to do just anything to cut short the rising popularity of Bukola Saraki. This apparently manifested when the police linked the Senate President with offa bank robbery that claimed about forty lives. Despite the fact that the gang leader, Ayoade Akinnibosun said it on national television that Saraki was not in anyway connected to the dastardly operation; yet, the Police insisted.
Deliberate calculation of the police to ridicule and possibly get Saraki out of circulation with the robbery allegation had rather succeeded in getting majority of Kwarans disenchanted with the APC. Palpable hatred for APC by Saraki’s supporters in his home state has gotten to a level in which the Senate President would only chose to remain in the cracked house at his own political peril. The Kwara State Chairman of the party had openly encouraged Saraki to lead them to another party due to the bond of unity in APC that is incurably weakened. Infact, virtually all the supporters of Saraki and major stakeholders in Kwara politics, inclusive of emirs, artisans, drivers, market men and women, religious leaders, students, drivers and civil servants are all itching to seek refuge in another political party.
Meanwhile, the continuous marginalization of nPDP bloc within the ruling party which recently morphed into R-APC in the scheme of things in APC has largely contributed to its noticeable crack. These people were denied their fair share of federal appointments while Saraki who belongs to this bloc was completely sidetracked from the affairs of APC. It is a fact that the number three citizen was not allowed into the Aso Rock until four months after his inauguration as the Senate President. Sustained harassment, intimidation and persecution of nPDP leaders by the government equally contributed to the cracked house of APC. There is also the factor of inadequate reflection of programme and policy contributions by members of the nPDP bloc in the running of APC government since it came to power.
Poor performance of the APC led government is undoubtedly a reality that is steering an average Nigerian in the face. Grinding poverty has become a constant reality in most homes in the country as result of poor economic policies of the ruling party. Forbidden inflationary rates and high cost of food items have further worsened the economic woos of Nigerians. Number of Nigerians that have lost their jobs since the ruling government came to power is highly depressing. This factor has evidently shore up an increment in crime rates and number of suicide since 2015.
There is no doubt that the goodwill enjoyed by the APC in 2015 had been completely frittered away, thereby causing most Nigerians to get disillusioned with ruling party. This has obviously compelled key elements within the party to navigate their ways out of the APC. In this light, it will only be politically suicidal for Dr. Bukola Saraki who is a known performer in public offices he had so far held to continue to identify with a party that has catapulted mediocrity, poor performance and nepotism to national prominence.
Widespread insecurity across the country and incessant killings by Fulani herdsmen in states such as Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Bauchi, Zamfara and Adamawa are quite depressing and morally justifiable enough for Bukola Saraki to leave the cracked house of APC. It is most regrettable that human lives have suddenly become so cheap in Nigeria due to the unchecked murderous activities of ethnic militia groups, cattle rustlers as well as the herders since the APC came to power. The government truly appeared clueless and helpless in the face of kidnapping, ritual killings and armed robbery bedevilling the nation.
Selective nature of the anti-corruption war of President Buhari that is targeted at the opposition and perceived enemies within the APC has regrettably dealt a sledge hammer at the ruling party. APC has sadly resorted to deploying anti-graft agencies to either cow political opponents to silence or at best disparage them. Dr. Bukola Saraki is himself a victim of this selective corruption fight; save for the Senate President’s perseverance to prove his innocence at the highest court in the land. Corruption is no doubt a hydra headed monster that deserves to be ruthlessly fought; but using same as weapon of political witch-hunt can only cause disaffection and breed bad blood already noticeable in the polity.
It is important to point out that the APC house has been badly managed since it came to power in 2015 to a point of acrimonious divisions. The APC house has already become badly divided along ethnic, selfish and vindictive lines that it may no longer stand.