#Senator Bukola Saraki, who yesterday emerged as the #President of the Senate, has led a life of political rebellions the latest of which was his revolt against his new party, writes Emmanuel Aziken, the political editor of Vanguard newspaper.
Senator Bukola Saraki, who emerged as the #seventh President of the Fourth Republic yesterday, has trudged a political course laced with repeated uprisings unusual for one born into a conservative, nay politically adventurous family.
His enthronement as the President of the Senate has now eclipsed his late father’s acclaimed political standing. Those who until recently referred to Oloye, that is the late #Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki as the most acclaimed Senate leader in Nigeria’s political history would now have to revert to his son who has transcended his father’s political height.
To get to this stage #Senator Saraki upturned permutations, zigzagged political platforms and yes, even temporarily hurt his own family.
Senator Saraki started political life as a special assistant to #President Olusegun Obasanjo on budget matters and was instrumental in the formulation of the fiscal responsibility bill pushed by that administration for the promotion of budget discipline in the country.
Though he served in a #Peoples Democratic Party, #PDP presidency, his father’s role in the opposition All Peoples Party, APP put him as a member of that party. When in the approach to the 2003 election his father moved over to the #PDP, Bukola moved with him and subsequently obtained the governorship ticket of the party.
As he ended his second term as governor, Bukola’s instinct for political rebellion came to the fore when he moved against his father and family in their support for his younger sister’s 2011 governorship ambition.
While his opposition to sister, Gbemisola Saraki’s ambition and support for Alhaji Abdulfathah Ahmed’s raised issues within the family, in the larger political environment he was hailed as a hero who could trudge an independent political path and sacrifice his family interest in the collective interest of the polity.
The next episode of Senator Bukola Saraki’s act of rebellion was his role in the break-up of the PDP on August 30, 2013.
Senator Saraki’s role in that breakup was largely altruistic. With the control of the #state chapter of the PDP firmly in his grip and with no visible threats against him within or without the party, Saraki still chose to join the rebellion. He had been miffed by President Goodluck Jonathan’s control of the country and was the first to publicly raise questions on the oil subsidy scam.
It was not as if he simply chose the life of rebellion. President Jonathan apparently forced him. He had privately met the president and expressed his concern about the ballooning subsidy payments that had jumped from less than N300 billion under President Yar‘adua to more than N1.2 trillion under Dr. Jonathan’s first year.
When the president did not show any concern on the issue, Saraki like a rebel brought the issue to public light.
When he joined the nPDP in the rebellion, he acted in self-assurance as he easily dismissed the concerted pressures brought by the presidency against his control of the political firmament.
He subsequently became a rallying point in the campaign to push out the PDP from the control of the Federal Government. Saraki also acted as coordinator for the #APC in the campaigns in the North-Central, a position that provided him an opportunity also to build up his then latent ambition for the presidency of the Senate.
Party sources said that he was also a channel for the financial mobilisation of many of the party’s senatorial candidates.
Saraki’s latest rebellion was against his new party, the APC. Though the party had originally set the office of Senate President for the North-Central, other interests intervened to challenge what Saraki thought would be an easy battle against Senator George Akume.
That led Saraki to the fight of his life, climaxing early yesterday morning with his acceptance before the PDP leadership that he was a prodigal son desirous of their help. His meeting with the PDP was apparently a meeting of minds, men and women with the common interest in power and determined to stop the ascendancy of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
After the agreement with the PDP had been sealed, Saraki, unusual for a ‘rebel’ toed the path of humility early Tuesday morning when he visited Senator David Mark to say thank you.
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