Saraki: Haven’t we been on this road before?

By Sunny Igboanugo on 27/09/2015

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Nigeria is indeed a very funny country. It is a country of drama and dramatics, a country of noise and excitements. Each day comes with its own version. Even as the days become weeks and weeks graduate to months, new characters are introduced into the sequence of acts and scenes, the storylines seem never to change.

Surprisingly, as the curtain rises to introduce new acts and scenes, the audience never appears also to realise that it was the same drama that they watched the previous day that is being replayed, probably because new actors and characters have been introduced. It is simply entrapped as if under the influence of a powerful spell.

However, this particular propensity for forgetting their past, so soon after the curtain rises in fresh excitement, tends to make them demand and insist that the storyline must change.

How else could anybody describe what is happening at the moment in the country, if not to liken it to the story of Symbad the Sailor and German Brass, the two great conmen that ruled Aba some years back? The two men, were said to have devised an ingenious means of frisking the people of that historic town on auspicious occasions.

Having discovered their weakness, the felons would stage a fight at the popular Ariaria Market. In the days when men were men and those worthy of that name settled differences in the only known way, what other entertainment would be better than open wrestling to ordinary folks, some of whom had travelled beyond seven rivers and seven farmlands to come and sell their wares at the popular market, especially when there were few other choices of accessing such shows as in the modern day home videos.

So, without realising the danger they were practically walking into, albeit unwittingly, they would do the natural thing – stop and stare. They only realise their follies by the time the two men disappear from the scene. The wailing and crying that erupts almost immediately introduces the ugly side of the side attraction, which they would have been happy to regale their kit and kin back home, were they not made bitter victims.

Carried away by their theatrics, little would they suspect the agents of the actors, would be at work, picking their pockets. How would they ever suspect that what they were watching was contrived?

Now, is this not what has been replicated in Nigeria over the years? Is it not what is playing out now over this Senator Bukola Saraki saga? Why is it difficult for Nigerians to realise that go to jail or not, they would become the eventual victims in the end. Would the bitter clatter of the weapons in the war ostensibly being carried out between the Senate President and his supposed traducers, introduce a different outcome as with those miserable victims of those Aba conmen? Certainly not with the present excitement and uproar.

Yet again, the signs are becoming clear that the more things appear to change, the more they remain the same. In a trend depicting the past the foot soldiers have remained relentless. It is either Saraki should go and clear his name; he has nothing to fear if he is innocent, as if the judges in the judiciary are robots without feelings or Saraki is being hunted because he is the Senate President; the APC wants his head for defying the party; they said they would remove him in three months. And the beat goes on.

But suppose Saraki loses his present position? Suppose he even goes to jail? Would it lead Nigeria out of the woods? Suppose he survives? Does it mean he is clean? Will it add anything new? Of course the jury is out.

But before then, it might do to work from the known to the unknown. Now, was it not in this country that some ex-politicians bagged between 100 years and 300 years prison terms as deterrent, under the same “Sheriff” that many people have been celebrating his arrival in town today? How much did that achieve in terms of staying the hands of mindless and rampaging politicians from pillaging of the commonwealth? How come the same people who supposedly hailed that era of bizarre iron-fist undertakings were later to spill into the streets to celebrate its fall? Did those who survived that onslaught not become not only heroes in their various domains thereafter, but eventual kingmakers?


In the current democratic experiment, have Nigerians not seen a similar ruination of some politicians in the same manner Saraki is likely to go if he is finally nailed through his current travails? What purpose did that serve? To root out Diepriye Alamieyeseigha from Bayelsa State Government House, members of the state House of Assembly, needed to be first quarantined outside the state and then moved in armoured cars into the state to carry out his impeachment. To remove Joshua Dariye from office, five members had to “suspend” 19 others to achieve the purpose as in Ekiti and Oyo states.

Today, Alamieyeseigha has not receiving state pardon from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, who as his deputy, watched the gestapo assault on his former boss, with trepidation, unable to lift a finger even if he wanted to, returned to his original position of Governor General of the Ijaw nation, making and crowning kings. Is Fayose, not Ekiti as governor today, while Dariye is a Senator? Yet these were men who were said to have reeked of indescribable corruption, for which their traducers rejoiced as the best thing that happened since the discovery of fresh fish pepper soup. 

Today, Saraki is not only taking his turn, but the same cheerleaders have also assumed traditional positions on both sides of the divide, cheering and remonstrating at the same time. As is usual in the frenzy, few people would spare a thought for the main thing, which is the eradication of monster of corruption, the cankerworm that continues to wear off the vital organs of Nigeria as a country.     

Incidentally, it doesn’t take a Nostradamus to forecast the natural outcome of the current events, even whilst still unfolding. The signs are only too familiar. Of course, with the curtain fall at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), it’s light-on to a new scene, with talks of impeachment. In the days to come, the audience would be treated to deafening staccato of events both on and off stage.

Emergency “solidarity” groups, quickly assembled, mostly for reasons outside what they appear to profess, would besiege the different camps throwing in support here and there. While at it, the media – radio, television, newspapers and the online gladiators would reach out for the most lethal weaponry in their arsenals as they dig in against each other.

In the end, it is either, like Salisu Buhari and Patricia Etteh in the House of Representatives, or Chuba Okadigbo and Adolphus Wabara, in the Senate, Saraki might find the rug pulled off his feet, by the self-same buddies who had supported and egged him on even a few hours before. Thereafter, either a tap in the wrist, or in the most extreme, but certainly unlikely case, now that everybody, including the most brutal culprits, have suddenly become anti-corruption crusaders, have his full day in court. Then curtain closes.

If this happens the signal would have been sent effectively, such that his colleagues in the Senate, or indeed NASS, would naturally do the needful – become more prudent and wise with further ideas, especially over such issues as independence, thus leaving their hallowed chambers hollow, empty and open to be used and abused by the “victors.”   

Alternatively, the energetic vibes coming from the Senate President’s camp and with talks of resistance and solidarity growing by the day, it could sustain the war till no one knows when, in which case everything else, including real governance would have to wait it ends one way or the other. Both ways Nigerians become victims.

Now, why would a sane audience, across the world, which would be watching the drama with a lot of interest and natural sentiments of amusement, disappointment or even anger not be wondering the gene Nigerians are made of?

Would anybody blame them, when a people, after discovering the virus already lying at their central nervous system decide to trivialise it, in exchange for assuaging the thirsts and personal egos of politicians? Why would the rest of a sane world not be laughing at further anti-corruption story, after viewing this macabre dance and the obtuse and infantile noise accompanying it?  

Yes, couldn’t this war to be prosecuted as a matter of course whilst governance also runs on its own course, without subduing, subverting and subjecting it to unholy and uncanny template that has brought this country to its knees and sorrow to the people over the years? Couldn’t Nigeria do things differently? Who cast this spell on this nation?



Posted on September, 27 2015

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