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The Last Lap of The Drowning King By Tiamiyu Olorunisola

This is perhaps not the best season for the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki. Political analysts are aware of his inherited political dynasty. However, the dynasty which his father handed over to him is at the verge of collapse due to his pride and arrogance.

When Saraki became the Kwara state governor at age forty, Kwarans saw a young, intelligent and agile youth; they were practically unaware of the potential danger and calamity ahead.

He was dubbed 'the emerging tiger' without knowing that the young tiger will grow up to bite so hard that it will take only God's intervention to recover fully.

Bukola Saraki got to power through a banner of hope and canopy of prosperity. An average Kwaran was singing for a change in the leadership of the state. Mohammed Lawal had a sharp political disagreement with his godfather, Olusola Saraki the father of the Bukola Saraki and this eventually led to the emergence of the later as the governor of Kwara state.

The 2003 election was like a war; Saraki only became victorious due to series of propaganda deployed against Lawal. Their greatest arsenal was pitching the people against Lawal with a tale that being an Afonja man, Lawal will depose the Emir of Ilorin and install a Yoruba Oba from Afonja extraction on Ilorin. The promotion of all the Baloguns to First Class was seen as an action against the throne of the Emir.

Though the rear admiral (Lawal) fought a good fight, he eventually lost to the combination of federal might, dangerous political intrigues and treachery as supervised by the leader of the then Kwara politics, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki.

There is no gainsaying the fact that at that time, getting the ticket from the PDP wasn't that easy but Deacon John Dara, Chief Lanre Ogundeji and other aspirants weren't too cheap for him to displace; he only emerged victorious through the help political stalwarts like Alhaji Raheem Adedoyin and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who forced other aspirants out, save for John Dara who stood his ground till the last hour when he was defeated through a manipulated primary at Odota Pacific Hotel.

Ironically, Bukola Saraki betrayed everyone who cleared the coast for his victory, especially, Atiku Abubakar and his Late father, Dr. Olusola Saraki.

The inauguration of Bukola Saraki as the 5th Civilian administrator of Kwara could be described as the golden era of Kwara politics. This was due to the active participation of many middle age politicians in their late thirties and early forties in the election. That was certainly a shift from the usual of order of having pool of retirees seeking to take active lead in politics. Some of this young men includes: Gani Cook-Olododo, Moshood Mustapha, Raheem Adedoyin, Dr.Bola Olaosebikan, Dr. Femi Ogunsola, Bibire Ajape and a host of others.

A lot of the aforementioned people later become part of Bukola Saraki's government in various capacities but Saraki had a plan to suppress everybody, thereby, paving way for himself as the Lord of Kwara politics.

Saraki is pride personified and he has no respect for the Yearnings and aspirations of others. He believes that the whole world revolves around him, and him alone. As soon as he settled down in politics in 2003, he commenced the gradual and systematic attack on his contemporaries whom he perceived could give him any form of challenge. Some of them embraced trenches while some abandoned politics.

Saraki willfully attacked the party's internal democracy & mechanisms. He became the structure and the only hierarchy in the fabrics of his party. He sits down to dole out party tickets without respect for the will of the masses. He became the Lord and his supporters dubbed him "Leader," one you have to greet kneeling with your elbow bent and fist clenched as a symbol of loyality.

To him, Kwara has become a personal property and everyone within the system must be answerable to him. The emerging tiger have suddenly turned to a sponsor of deadly killers and even the hunters that brought him home are not spared from his wrath.

His achievement in the state pushed him to national politics. He started by playing Aso-Rock politics between Umaru Yar'adua and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the president and Vice president respectively. At the death of the former, he was already in the black book of the new president and rather than feel sober and seek repentance, he became more daring due to his natural pride and arrogance. He chose to be a rebel to the president and the PDP. He aligned with his other rebellious bandwagon and formed the nPDP, after which they jumped into the waiting progressive ship.

Those who gave them smooth passage into the APC against the warning of the Kwara progressive group later regretted their actions. That gentle dove they thought they were holding suddenly turned into a dangerous snake. Bukola Saraki insisted he will become the Senate President against the wish of the party, a feat which he later achieved by forming an alliance with the enemies of the party. He didn't achieve that alone, he also sold the position of the Deputy Senate President out to the opposition. What a calamity!

Political parties should ordinarily be powerful than the individuals within the party but Saraki doesn't believe in that. He has the personal belief that he is stronger than the party and the organs of the state. He has no respect for democracy nor the institution of governance. Saraki is the government and government is Saraki. However, this marked the beginning of his waterloo.

Take it or leave it, Saraki is a very intelligent politician with so many survival skills like the proverbial tortoise. More than any known politician in the history of this country, Saraki has been implicated in corruption scandal yet he always finds a way to dodge prosecution. He's a crafty thief with so many survival skills. He was on so many instances, mentioned at the EFCC before he cunningly got a perpetual injunction against prosecution. He was mentioned at Panama paper, SFU, CCT and so many other corruption monitoring offices but yet, he has a way of dodging conclusive investigation and prosecution. He has a record to have connived with a former CBN governor to forcefully take over a bank from the owner after obtaining a non-performing loan. But this time, he has reached the end of the road.

Saraki has been implicated in a full scale armed robbery case in his home state and the police have given the assurance that the case will not be swept under the carpet like the Previous ones. The whole world is watching and the whole nation is interested in this case.

Bukola Saraki resurrected his dead nPDP to scare and negotiate himself back to power against the APC. He assumed that threatening the party hierarchy will earn him the Senate Presidency in the next political dispensation but the party is adamant. This is because they see him as a traitor, having moved against the party arrangements and threatened the party officials.

Back in his state, he has lost his supremacy in the  party structure as the party have been factionalized beyond repair. The doggedness of the BOB faction during the APC national convention, as well as the recognition given to some members of the faction is a sign that Bukola Saraki is a drowning king who is only enjoying the last lap of his reign. This is probably the greatest relief to all of us in Kwara and national progressive politics.

By Tiamiyu Olorunisola

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