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Saraki: The charade and last dance of a Chichidodo


BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square. Michelle Obama

I laughed and cackled ceaselessly. I have not had such a long, healthy cackle in a long time. I could not help myself but to laugh and cackle after reading the statement from Mr. Saraki that he has “uncovered” plots by some politicians to sponsor protest marches and demonstrations against him using some hired people with placards prepared for them, and to disturb the peace. Oh my God, what is Mr. Bukola Saraki turning into? Or – to reword – who is this man Bukola Saraki? What strange and weird elements is he made of and at what stage in this unpalatable and shameful charade will he give up his dance from drums beating incoherently?

If Mr. Saraki think that Nigerians are stupid and probably still live in the days of his father, Olusola Saraki, he must be mistaking; he must think the whole of Ilorin can still be bought over by a call to his father’s house to come and eat amala and line up for N10 note each, or for four yards of ankara. Those days are gone for good and the people of Kwara State are no longer unaware of the poverty that shapes their lives while the Sarakis live in splendour. The idea that the people have to be prodded to rally and demonstrate against the long list of financial atrocities and dozens of cash deposits Saraki was said to have made into his personal accounts at GTB Bank in Ilorin while he was governor just shows how low and crude Saraki will go.

To be doing everything possible to deny such a mountain of evidence after repeatedly forcing the delay of his trial and begging powerful men again and again to have mercy on him and kill the case, you will not expect any decent man to stoop so low to utter grotesque statement such as Saraki’s. For more than three months Saraki went around pleading with some powerful men and women and also sent emissaries around for the same reason. He knew his past more than anyone else. He knew the reading Nigerian public had it on record the largesse he prepared for himself before he left office; the news item was in most of our national newspapers and there was shock and anger when the deal between Saraki and his successor was reported.

Just a few months ago, Saraki was pelted at the praying ground in Ilorin and had to quickly exit the ground. The idea that the people are stupid and ignorant is one major blunder of Mr. Saraki. May be our people used to be unaware and uninformed, but now they know better. They are able to look around them and quickly tell anyone who will listen that they have no medical care, that their schools lack basic learning resources, and also that they read in the newspapers about the billions of naira in monthly allocation from Abuja and the billions more from bank loans and they cannot see where all that money went.

Clearly, the truth does not matter to the Chichidodo. In fact, the Chichidodo is frightened by the prospect of the truth being put out there. Even before Mr. Saraki’s children turn 21, they are already multimillionaires – and that was according to his own asset declaration form. Then there was the Panama Papers that emerged last week. Even that has not moved Mr. Saraki; he remained unshakable and unperturbed, and that is worrisome. It is troubling that any man will be so cold and devoid of truth considering his asset declarations and then the long list of deposits he was accused of making into his bank accounts. The Prime Minister of Iceland quickly stepped down when his name was mentioned in the Panama Papers scandal, but not the Nigerians. They always expect and hope that the noise will go away with time. They count on the short memory of the Nigerian people and the hope that things will forever remain like this in Nigeria – and no one will ever be called to account, what with Mr. Jonathan’s new definition of corruption.

But Mr. Saraki has gone too far this time in his attempt to make his problems look like the work of his political opponents. Insulting the collective common sense and civility of the people just helped to expose his desperation. He knows he is drowning and he is determined to hang on to anything. Shockingly, holding on to office is Mr. Saraki’s major priority even as he faces very serious consequences. The statement from Saraki mentioned that his political opponents are “already distributing money and other materials to some faceless civil society organisations, market men and women associationsmaking it look like he is the chairman of the money and materials distribution committee. The floor of this Senate has been desecrated for long enough – under Mr. Mark and now under Mr. Saraki. The Chichidodo is known to preserve his arrogance and toga of deceit even when it is clear that the game was up.

Babs Ajayi



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