Nigeria may be walking backward now, just when it is supposed to be wearing a new look, with President Muhammadu Buhari’s corruption war mantra.
As a matter of fact, it is becoming obvious that many Nigerians have not yet come to terms with the reality that the CHANGE, which President Muhammadu Buhari brought, this time, is a clarion call for a break away from what were seen and practiced as normal and conventional before.
In the process of effecting such CHANGE, especially the war against corruption, even as President Buhari sounded note earlier, anybody could be affected, just anybody.
And it happened that one of the first victims of the war is the current Nation’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki. Indeed, it was not President Buhari that is directly in charge of looking at the peoples’ closets in search of what they are hiding. What he simply does is to allow the system to run smoothly: allow the anti corruption institutions to operate without let or hindrance.
And when one of such institutions found a person, which happened to be Senator Saraki who also happened to be the Senate President wanting, it simply invited him to answer some questions.
And to be sure, in the national leadership hierarchy, Senator Saraki as Senate President is number three, after President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
One of the charges against Saraki is that he made false assets declaration. There were many other charges against him, which are of course at the level of “allegation.”
It is on record that even former President Olusegun Obasanjo tried secretary to find some dirty dealings around Muhammadu Buhari upon which he would allow anti-corruption agents to charge him, but could not find any. It is not surprising that Vice President Osinbajo might also have been investigated but found to have done a clean job of his assets declaration.
Saraki, being number three in the hierarchy, is alleged to have falsified some of his assets and is being asked to defend himself. It doesn’t matter who laid the allegations and for what purpose, but the bottom line is that the Code of Conduct Bureau found something wrong in his assets declaration and wanted clarifications.
The seeming break in communication links which led the Tribunal to order that he should be arrested and brought before it could have been a miscalculation, but did not rule out the main issue at stake.
And indeed, the 83 Senators were just exercising their constitutional rights when they passed a vote of confidence on Saraki yesterday, so early in the day, but by asking the court to drop the charges against him, and allow him to go on as if nothing happened, the 83 Senators are seeking to drag the country back. It is also strange and clear sign of backward thinking for our ‘distinguished’ Senators to be comparing the Saraki’s case which has not even started in earnest, with that of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which was pursued to the end.
Apart from standing in the way of smooth execution of judicial function, the 83 Senators, by asking that the trial should be dropped, are simply telling Nigerians that no one should be tried henceforth for real or imaginary corruption.
The question is that if Saraki is spared because he is a “big man” by virtue of his being Senate President, is it the “small men” like ordinary floor member in the Senate or civil servant that would be subjected to corruption trial?
Saraki complicated the matter by whipping up unnecessary sentiment that he is being persecuted because he is Senate President to the chagrin of some powerful political leaders.
If Saraki is sure that he had not done anything wrong; that he had declared his assets correctly, there is absolutely no point in looking at the direction of the faceless political enemies, after all, he is part of the CHANGE era and should even be happy that he is being subjected to the new system, which should be a signal to the bad ones that they would be made to pay direly for their sins against Nigeria.
What the 83 Senators loyal to Saraki are expected to do would have been for them to encourage their President to face the trial, guide him on how he would clear himself of all the allegations, instead of creating scenes and playing some kind of drama.
It is disturbing to think that our Senators, particularly the 83 of them are playing a game that make them look so suspicious and therefore, Cheap! [myad]