Saraki and the Cross of the 8th Assembly

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Bukola Saraki

Canticles…

 In about a dozen or so days, the eight  senate will expire and Nigerians will  be ushered into another dispensation of new legislative leadership.

Indeed. And we shall all heave a sigh of relief?

Sigh of relief? Were Nigerians under bondage with the 8th Senate?

Need you ask? What greater bondage could we have experienced than we went through in the last four years?

Really? Bondage? Are we talking about the same senate? The senate led by Dr AbubakarBukola Saraki, the youngest senate president in the last 20 years? Are you talking about thesenate led by the most strategic visionary politician of our time?

You can save yourself and your fans those adulating adjectives. As far as right-thinking Nigerians are concerned the senate under BukolaSaraki literally held down the nation for four years.It was a senate bedraggled by suspicion and distrust. It was literally a back-to-back fight with the executive for four years.

That is even why you must salute the astute leadership qualities of Dr Saraki. Despite all the grudge fight between the executive and the legislature, he held his own end tightly and courageously, even when federal might was unleashed on him, he neither failed nor faltered. He served out his term, despite potent threats of impeachment. Not even when he decamped from the ruling party did he fall. Go and ask Evan Enwerem, Chuba Okadigbo, Anyim Pius Anyimwhat the notorious Banana peel did to them. And you will appreciate how Saraki survived all the plots against him. I am telling you that Saraki has shown great feat in leadership and courage, refusing to be bent or distracted.  He was such a…

(cuts in, raising his right palm). Enough! He was such a what? Do you know that Nigeria would have moved forward if there was enough co-operation between the executive and the legislature? Ok. Tell me, what did the so-called leadership of Sarakiachieve for the nation?

Now listen, let me educate you on the Sarakiphenomenon. For your information, no senate has been as effective and robust as that which was led by Saraki. Do you realize how effective the senat e was in checking the excesses of the executive? Do you realize that the 8th senate passed a total of 293 Bills, while the 7th senate passed 128 Bills, andthe 6th and 5th senate passed 72 and 129 Bills respectively?

Do you realise this Saraki-led senate passed the Not-Too-Young-to Run Bill? Do you…

 (cuts in again) So how many young people won election in the last general election? They merely passed the Bill but ensured the young people will never have the muscle to run and win. Can’t you see through the deceit?

You call it deceit? Do you remember it was this senate that discovered the fraud in the Treasury Single Account? Do you relaise this senate discovered and stopped the fraud in the arbitrary Import duty waiver to the tune of N447 billion? This senate also passed a bill that stopped the NCC from hiking the cost of datathus making Nigeria the 11th out of 57 countries in Africa where data is cheapest? Didn’t this senate also cause fund-generating MDAs to remit the funds they generate to the federal till, instead of spending it as in the past? You think it is for a joke that agencies like JAMB, NIMASA,WAEC etc started swelling the nation’s treasury?

So how has all those monies bettered the lot of ordinary Nigerians?

Don’t forget the Senate is only to make laws and not to implement them

Stop interrupting me. You must be reminded of how the senate passed the Bill against sexual harassment in higher institutions. Or didn’t you follow the story of Monica Osagie and the randy professor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife? The 8th senate passed the Bill on Nigeria Police Trust Fund aimed at giving the Nigeria police personnel a befitting welfare plan. It is this same Saraki-led 8th  senate that helped to stop the perennial fuel scarcity in the country, just as it stopped the banks from slamming arbitrary charges on customers.

Hmmm, has it stopped? Don’t banks still impose all kinds of charges on customers today? They charge Maintenance fee on all ATM cards, when they do not maintain anything on the cards. So what is the essence of that so-called Bill?

Look, You can’t forget his farmers’ revolution in Kwara State while he served as governor. I can’t tell it all here. But one thing certain is that Saraki  has proven that he is imbued with salient leadership attributes that marks him out for greater roles in Nation building.

You speak as if he is such an angel. Is Saraki not part of the problem of this country? Have you forgotten the tons of….

(cuts in) Don’t remind me of anything. Don’t forget even a bad clock is twice right in a day. And nobody tests the depth of a river with both feet at the same time. Saraki may not be going back to the senate now but he’s been the Thane of Glamis, he’s been the Thane of Cawdor and he could even be King.

Hmmmmm, perhaps I must remind you that this is not Shakespearan era, it is Buhari era.