Those whom the establishment want to kill rarely escape the dangling axe of the executioner. Saraki survived the plot.
He has remained a thorn in the flesh of the All Progressives Congress (APC) since his emergence as the President of the Senate in June 2015. He happened on the scene in the manner of a coup-plotter. Whereas the leadership of the new ruling party was still luxuriating in its victory song, Saraki went a notch higher. He already saw tomorrow. And he confronted it early. That was his point of departure with the ruling establishment. He was not programmed for the office he now occupies. But like a smart Alec, he pulled the rug from under the feet of those who had a different plan of action.
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The consequence has been the intrigues and power play that have dogged his ascension to the office of the President of the Senate. While he has been striving to succeed, those on the other end of the spectrum wish him a fall. They want him to crash from Olympian heights. He has been taken through the Code of Conduct Tribunal. There, he was dressed for the slab and made ready for slaughter. But, somehow, he weathered the storm. The tribunal, after several harrowing months of trial, gave him a clean bill of health. His acquittal was rare on our shores. Those whom the establishment want to kill rarely escape the dangling axe of the executioner. Saraki survived the plot.
But then his celebration was cut short. He was slammed with even a more damning charges. Some dare-devil bandits had soaked Offa, a town in Kwara State, in blood. Days later, the long arm of the law dragged them down. A probe was launched into the robbery. Strangely and surprisingly, Saraki’s name popped up. He is being associated with the murderous gang. He has since pleaded innocence. But he is yet to be let off the hook. Indeed, his journey as Senate President has been tortuous. The party that he helped to wrest power from the former ruling party has stopped at nothing to disgrace him out of office. The battle of nerves has been ceaseless. And it got to its apogee recently when Saraki chose to switch his loyalty to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party that he once abandoned to pitch tent with the APC.
His defection is the issue of the moment. It has taken the face-off between him and the APC to a new height. The party is feeling wounded. It feels abandoned. The Senate President has given it a bloody nose. This development has particularly unsettled Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of the APC, who has collapsed all the offices of the party into his. The way he struts and frets over everything, you would think that Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria, is under his control. That was why he had the temerity the other day to say that he would sack ministers appointed by the President. That is the stuff the gloating national chairman of the APC is made of. He operates not only as national chairman, he is also the national publicity secretary, national secretary, and all within the party. He is the only officer of the party that is heard or seen. He is, in fact, the superman of the ruling party. But that is by the way. The point here is that Oshiomhole, as the stormy petrel hovering in the firmament of the ruling party, has taken the Saraki affair as his personal battle. He is insisting that Saraki must be impeached as Senate President. He is practically consumed by the pursuit. He is behaving as if his life depends on it.
So far, Oshiomhole and his anti-Saraki gang are still groping in the dark. They have not been able to find the tree for the woods.
Obviously disturbed by the resilience of the president of the Senate and the inability of the ruling party to rein him in, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), the alternate government in Nigeria, has stepped in. It has issued an ultimatum to Saraki to resign his position or be forced out. That is where we are now. Miyetti Allah believes it can succeed where government or any institution is failing.
In January this year, I had cause in this column to describe Miyetti Allah as an alternate government. That was when it inflicted its concert of blood in Benue State. The state, a constitutionally recognised segment of the country, had enacted a law banning open grazing in its territory. Miyetti Allah, in a show of effrontery that is unknown in the land, said it would not obey the law. It did not stop there. It threatened fire and brimstone. The people of Benue probably dismissed the threat as empty and, therefore, went about their normal businesses. Then MACBAN went to work. While Benue was getting ready to usher in the New Year, Miyetti Allah struck. Scores of lives were lost and property worth hundreds of millions of naira were destroyed. If you thought MACBAN would go into hiding after the wanton destruction of life and property, then you do not know who owns this country. It claimed responsibility for the the bloodbath and issued more threats. Again, if you thought the law enforcement agents would go after an organisation that set a section of the country ablaze, you were sorely mistaken. Government looked the other way. No one was arrested. Nobody was questioned. It was understandable. Government cannot arrest or question government. Miyetti Allah is an alternate government. It can do what even the federal government cannot do. That is why it has stepped in to save Oshiomhole and his federal government from incapacitation by Saraki. It has said Saraki must go. And that is the brand new headache we are to confront in the days to come.
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The audaciousness of Miyetti Allah speaks volumes of the depravity we have degenerated into under the present order. We now inhabit a blighted star. Life has become worthless here. The innate bestiality in man has come into full play. The land where man was once his brother’s keeper is gone with the wind. We are now doomed voyagers. That is the legacy of a government that came into office with so much promise and fanfare. The high hopes have dissipated into thin air, just too soon.
But then, we cannot but ask: what is the plan of Miyetti Allah? How does it intend to effect this forceful change in the leadership of the Senate? We do not seem to know. But since we live in a land where anything can happen, we will not be surprised if Miyetti Allah chooses to invade the National Assembly and cause a total breakdown of law and order. In that situation, a few members of the Senate can be ferreted into the Senate chambers under the protection of Miyetti Allah. This bizarre scenario may sound like a story from a book but it is possible in Buhari’s Nigeria.
We must not forget that it is in this same land that bandits swooped on the Senate and forcefully took away the mace. Nigerians cried blue murder. But the dust raised was quick to settle. The country has moved on. Nobody is talking about that desecration of the hallowed chambers of the Senate anymore. The matter has been laid to rest. It is a normal occurrence here. Nothing shocks us. Nothing gets us thinking. We are just a free-wheeling lot. That is the way we are in Nigeria.