Politics is a crafty game. It is like the game of scrabble, the game of brains. You keep your eyes on the board, watching the movement of your opponent, considering what he has in mind, but keeping your own strategy to yourself. You may even sell him a dummy. When you see him fumble, you strike, and throw in your card.
Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the incumbent Senate President, is an astute politician. He is a master strategist. He is skillful, witty and intelligent. He is a clever dribbler. When you think he is going somewhere, he will strike from another angle. You may never know where he is going.
In the current dispensation, Saraki appears perhaps, to be one of the most talked about politicians. At the inception of the present administration, when he indicated interest to vie for the position of Senate President, his former party, the APC, did not take him serious. They conducted an in-house election between him and the person they had in mind to occupy the Senate topmost seat, and concluded that Saraki was nowhere near the man.
Saraki ignored them and kept his eyes on the Senate’s prime position. At the appropriate time, he struck and delivered the masterstroke, and won the Senate Presidency.
They were dazed and confused. When later they recovered, they told Saraki to vacate the seat immediately, else he be impeached. Saraki turned a deaf ear.
Then they began their onslaught. They sent Saraki to the Code of Conduct Tribunal, accused him of not properly declaring his assets when he was governor of Kwara State, four years back. They put him in the dock. Saraki endured the ordeal. For almost three years, the case dragged on, from the CCT, to all the courts in the land. In the end, Saraki won. They were surprised.
Then, Saraki jumped ship and joined the PDP. They were furious and told him to vacate the seat, threatening fire and brimstone. Saraki ignored them.
Then, early in the morning one fine day, they sent a battalion of policemen to Saraki’s house, and that of his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, to stop them from showing up at the Senate so that their absence would create a lacuna for their preferred candidates to take their positions. But before you knew it, Saraki was already in the Senate Chamber. How the man got to know their plan, they did not know.
Next, they sent masked operatives of Department of State Security Services (DSS) to execute a legislative coup, to stop Saraki and his supporters from entering the National Assembly. But before the DSS team could arrive, Saraki and his men had already taken positions in the legislature. Again, how the man got to beat them in the game, they did not know. That blunder later cost them the head of the Director of DSS.
Following the unconstitutional removal of the head of the country’s judiciary by President Muhammadu Buhari and the outrage that followed, Saraki as head of the second branch of government, the legislature, issued a strong statement, condemning the act. He followed it up by announcing that the Senate, which had been on recess, would reconvene to consider the development.
This sent some cold shivers to his political opponents. They feared that Saraki might use the occasion to deal on President Muhammadu Buhari, and perhaps, organize for his impeachment.
They became jittery, and began to mobilize Senators loyal to them. They began to calculate the number of Senators they have, and that of the opposition.
President Muhammadu Buhari suspended his campaign tour, and hurriedly arranged an impromptu dinner party for the APC Senators. It was rumoured that $70,000 was mapped out to be shared to each APC Senator and $50,000 to each APC House of Representatives member, to ensure that Saraki, Ekweremadu, Dogara and his deputy were removed.
Ahmed Lawal began to warm up to take over from Saraki. Hope Uzodinma temporarily forgot about his Governorship ambition in Imo State and his case with Rochas Okorocha, and began to think about how he would take over from Ike Ekweremadu. Gbajabiamila believed that it was now time to fulfill his long life ambition of becoming Speaker of House of Representatives, when Dogara is ousted, etc.
Already they had the backing of the Presidency, the Police, and other security agencies, to carry out their plans.
All of a sudden, Saraki again struck. Just about the time Buhari was hosting his Senators to a dinner party, Saraki announced the cancellation of the planned reconvening of the Senate. Everybody was amazed.
When the APC Senators who had been mesmerized by the sudden cancellation were thinking what next line of action to take, Saraki again announced that the Senate had taken the case of the removal of Chief Justice Onnoghen by President Buhari, to the Supreme Court for adjudication. Another masterstroke.
The APC Senators then began to bite their fingers, and to complain that they were not part of the decision to go to the Supreme Court. But they were not bold enough to say whether or not they supported the removal of the CJN by the executive branch, without involving the legislature as stipulated in the constitution.
Did I hear somebody somewhere call some people cowards?