By Prince Ejeh Josh.
They started with “Otoge”. Success smiled their way. They incited brother and sister against each other, pushed the helmsman back to his political shanty and rendered him almost useless.
Now, he’s redundant. He’s on his own. He’s just there peeping through his window, taking records of life after power. A man who was ingloriously humiliated and plucked from a place of honour to dishonour. They dragged him down and made him sat among men known as political destitute. But they would not leave him alone. They are not done with him yet.
The “man whom even the president and their monstrous machinery couldn’t remove” has now switched on to a retrospective mood, intermittently swings his arms in retroverse. The game is over. Indeed, power is transient. Today’s past leader was yesterday’s ruling leader and today’s leader would be addressed tomorrow as a past leader. The good thing is, nothing lasts forever and the bad thing is, nothing lasts forever.
These same evil men have refused to rest, and allow the soul of Baba to rest in peace. What could have been Baba’s wrong that they are still after his “life” even in death. Why giving him sleepless nights in his grave? Who are the people calling his spirit to come back and give accounts of his stewardship.
The Yorubas would always say: “awon omo eniyan” (which translates to human beings). Since they committed Baba’s body to the mother earth and told him to “sun re o” (rest in peace), I doubt if he had had any night of sleep without interruption. Who’s Baba? Why are the omo eniyan not allowing him to rest in peace? Evil men everywhere.
I always thought that when we died, we’d go and rest. But these awon omo eniyan have proved me wrong. They are holding Baba at the jugular demanding he vomits all he had swallowed. _Awon Omo eniyan sha_.
Have you not heard how deadly the Sarakis could be? Has no one not told you about the “almighty” Sarakis and their ferocious dynasty spreading their tentacles across the Old Kwara State (comprising today’s Kogi and Kwara States)? Who dare confronts the gargantuan and ever-intimidating Sarakis? Perhaps, it’s imaginary to think of that until recently.
Before his demise, the great political hulk and statesman, Dr. Olusola Saraki, held Kwara State as his fiedom. He wielded a deafening control over what happened in the state and determined who got what, where, when and how. In a nutshell, Kwara State was seen as an extension of his business empire. He was the Lord of all.
The late senior Saraki would handpick anybody from nowhere and anoint him for the political mission. He could hire and fire at will. He could fart in public and every perceiving nose would bow in adoration. “So, Baba could fart?, Alhamdulillahi!”, the impoverished and gullible followers would chant in admiration.
Baba Olusola Saraki never missed a step. He was a political tactician. He mastered the art of politics especially in a murky political terrain like ours. Wait! Didn’t he handpick Mr. Lawal and fostered him on the people of the State? Did he stop there? He went ahead and fired him when things went wrong.
Perhaps, Lawal couldn’t have been a “good partyman”. A whole sitting governor? Yes, he did. He beckoned at his son, Saraki, to come and take over. When Lawal tried to raise an eyebrow, he gave him a chase. The Sarakis became synonymous with Kwara State.
What’s my point? All land in Kwara State became that of the Sarakis. After all, the former Kwara lord was once a senate leader, his son a governor, senator and even special adviser to a former president. His daughter was elected a senator, attempted the seat of governor and today, a serving Minister.
I am tempted to disagree with myself: Baba Olusola Saraki wasn’t a former Kwara political lord, he’s still the custodian of the state even in the spirit. Call it an ancestral spirit, perhaps, you could be right. This is to show how passionate he was for the state. He loved the state that he decided to make it an extension of his industrial settlement, and could have married it if it were to be a woman. Interesting.
Sadly, today, things are gradually falling apart. The centre cannot hold. The powerful cabal in Abuja has turned their magic wand towards the state of harmony. The surgery has just begun. Who really provoked this cabal into action? Weren’t they on their own when somebody said that somebody was a man “the cabal couldn’t remove”?
They don’t forgive easily. Do they? They must take back their pound of flesh. What about the Lagos power? The Jagaban boys from Kwara State were not sleeping all this while. Does the fish sleep? The former President of the Senate slept while his enemies were all awake.
Enough of all these storytelling and allusion. Straight up to the point. Why all these tales? For those abreast of the dynamic political landscape in Nigeria, it would be observed that Kwara State is presently burning with power play. What a wonderful intrigue! Words are flying. Blames and counter-blames are traded like those in Oja’Oba (King’s Market), Ilorin. The state is boiling at the moment. The elephants are fighting dirty, but the grasses aren’t at the receiving end. So, they are the entertaining spectators.
How would a man write that another man could not insult or disrespect his father when that man has already pulled down his father’s house, and even threatened to do more?! Not even the gods could stop him from disrespecting the spirit of the dead. Between the combined strength of the Abuja cabal and the Lagos power, against the spirit of the dead, who has more power? Be the judge.
Ilorin, that peaceful city in the North Central zone is now tensing up. The battle line has been drawn, and one of the parties have “crossed the line of decency”. Over what? Why the chants of war? Have the gods been irked by the peace-loving Kwarans? Far from that.
But one Governor Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman of Kwara State has drawn the ire of the former president of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and, indeed, the Sarakis, by demolishing the alleged home of the Sarakis. A house belonging to the senior Saraki. The father of the state. What an effrontery! What an impunity! What a direct confrontation!
Few days ago, the Governor talked tough, alleging that the Sarakis illegally acquired the demolished land called, Ile-Arugbo, and immediately revoked it. Before Mr. Bukola Saraki could scream for help, the house in the land was demolished. A commentator once noted that the demolition of the house was a ruthless way of hitting at a political opponent. Perhaps, it has left the Sarakis with a battered bloody nose.
The Governor and his government further explained that the land in issue had no proper documentation, and that the illegal occupant had no Certificate of Occupancy as required by the Land Use Act.
It’s the government contention that “years of barefaced impunity” perpetuated by the Sarakis and their cronies has started coming to an end. This implies that this revocation and demolition is just the beginning to ending the Sarakis’ influence in the state and beyond. Abdulrahman is really out to clip Bukola’s wings, and cut him to size.
According to the Kwara State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Muritala Olarenwaju, the land in dispute being plot 1, 3 and 5 Ilofa Road, GRA, was originally meant for Government Secretariat and parking space for the Civil Service Clinic.
This implies it a public property which could not be revoked and transferred to individuals. Indeed, more ruthless and cruel ways of dealing a fatal blow to politically perceived enemies are in the offing. Interesting days ahead. Will Bukola Saraki, the arch enemy to the power that be, be driven out of Kwara State or would he go on a self-exile? Question. Time will tell.
Bukola Saraki was not standing alone on this. He has got his allies barking at the State Government. But would that save him? Didn’t the wise men say “revenge tastes best when it’s served cold”? Bukola Saraki might be paying for his many sins. Decade of iniquities.
First, he gave the almighty and all-powerful Jagaban a bloody nose when he contested the seat of the Senate President in 2015 against the wishes of Lagos and South West leviathan, and his former political party, the All Progrssives Congress (APC) . He won. Since then, the Jagaban never slept. He kept awake, thinking, planning, looking for means for his pound of flesh.
Second, Bukola Saraki whimsically joined forces with the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, to wrestle power from the APC and Mr. President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, who is known for vendetta, vengeance, virulent spirit and toxicity.
He tried and failed woefully. He was humiliated at the poll. But the General does not forget easily. Worst of it all, he doesn’t forgive. Ask Alhaji Dasuki Sambo, Nnamdi Kanu, Sowore, those Supreme Court justices and a host of others who have come under heavy attacks for standing his way.
Third, some Nigerians started calling him a name that even President Buhari would not answer. He boastfully accepted the title of a “man that the cabal couldn’t remove”. It was a grim title that usually caused havoc and hullabaloo in the presidency. Just like the name, Hannibal was perceived as deadly and sacrilegious for anyone to mention in Rome due to their fatal experience in his hands of the Cartage General, the one given to Saraki was always sending shiver down their chin.
Saraki offended many power blocs. They teamed together and finally installed their political puppet and errand boy in the last battle. The “Otoge” propaganda worked! Thanks to the lying father of all lies who is from the state and also a serving Minister in the ministry of lie. If you know, you know. The mother of all hate speech was spewed, and the Oloye’s dynasty fell to their swords. Not even the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could rescue Bukola Saraki and the Sarakis.
I’m also bothered that even the serving Minister of the Saraki’s enclave, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, a State Minister for Transportation, was given the shocker of her life by the rampaging APC led Kwara State government. The Governor was out to undo and erase the entire Sarakis from human memory. It’s now clear that it’s not just about the former President of the Senate but about the whole Sarakis.
I did painstakingly read through a press release by the Honourable Minister expressing her displeasure about the barefaced assault against her family. What did she expect when she joined force with enemies against her brother?
After all, politics is about interest; selfish interest. Her desperate move to unseat Bukola Saraki is beginning to haunt her. Robert Greene in his 48 Laws of Power fervently enthused that the easiest way to hit at an enemy is to prepare to abate and work with the enemy.
Gbemisola and other Sarakites, according to the press release, welcomed the vindictive Governor to the APC sometime ago to do the hatchet job. Dinning with a blood thirsty devil must be with a long spoon. Did she forget about that? Was she carried away by the aura of power and ministerial position?
Will Gbemisola join force with her estrange brother and fight back? Interesting days are ahead. No leave, no transfer. I’m here watching as events unfold.
The embittered Honourable Minister had accused Governor Abdulrahman of Kwara State of terrorism and mayhem on defenseless citizens especially the aged. Did the Governor order for the shooting and tear-gasing of unarmed aged women during the planned demolition?
Was the Minister’s personal property affected by the alleged act of terrorism? Please, take a recourse to the press release personally signed by the Minister. This is terrorism against the Sarakis and Sarakites. It’s a glaring terrorism against the people of Kwara State.
However, I couldn’t confirm if she had spoken the mind of the people. Why would the Governor accord her with respect when he did not accord same to the mighty Oloye?! It’s basically clear from all indications that the Governor has drawn the battle-line. He’s ready to give any of the Sarakis some bloody nose that would push them out of Kwara State scampering for shelter either in Niger Republic or Benin Republic.
He has all the paraphernalia of power. He wields the monopoly of State force. He can be as ruthless as Machiavelli’s Prince if provoked.
Gbemi should not push her luck too far before the puppet Governor doing the bidding of the cabal would ask the Abuja politicians to send the Minister home. That’s what he can do. Governors are gods in their states. Ask Oshiomole. Ask Shehu Sani. Ask Dino Melaye. Ask Agba Jalingo, a prisoner of conscience in Cross River State. They are without conscience. They can leave anybody with a bloody nose.
The plan and execution to oust the last vestiges of what remain the Sarakis were real. The Sarakis’ legacy and dynasty are beginning to collapse. In no distant time, the entire Sarakis dynasty will be a history. It will crumble if nothing is done in the wake of this dissension.
What’s happening is a systematic annihilation of the Sarakis establishment. The old establishment must give way to the new establishment, which would be loosely egalitarian in nature with power shared among different caucuses. With this, extraneous incursion from either Lagos or Abuja or both will influence the new establishment.
Like the PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted in a statement issued by his party, the action taken by the government was borne out of hatred and political intolerance in furtherance of the larger plot by the APC and its administration to intimidate, suppress, hound, crush and silence opposition and dissenting voice in Nigeria.
Do I agree with this submission? Yes, I certainly do, but not without reservation. Politics in Nigeria is about vengeance. Was Saraki innocent of all these tribulations befalling him? Definitely not. He’s one of the big culprits that has the same vengeful mind. He is no different from them. Just that luck has run out of him.
Let me warn, however, that Dr. Bukola Saraki would, one day, have his turn to chop off not just his own pound of flesh but if the opportunity present itself, decapitate his political enemies. _Uwa bu turn by turn_.
Governor Abdulrahman may be unknowingly committing a political suicide by fighting an inscrutable cobra, viper and scorpion combined. Politicians don’t forgive.
The puppet Governor might have some legal defence to shove up his cruelty against Saraki as argued by him. If the Sarakis are certain as they had claimed, let them produce the title documents/allocation paper, the registration instruments and the Certificate of Occupancy. That way, they would be vindicated before the court of public opinion.
Finally, on whose side am I? Sarakis or the other power blocs? Fortunately, I’m standing aloof, alone, watching and getting entertained from my political balcony. They are all politicians trying to arm-twist and outwit themselves. I’m indifferent. To their tents. _I cannot come and kill myself for any of them_. Like Obasanjo once noted, and rightly, I agreed; _I just dey laff o_.
Happy New Year to my esteemed readers.
DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on our opinion page are those of the writer and do not represent the position of INSIDER or any of its reporters/editors.