How time changes, together with events. 

In 2014, Dr. Bukola Saraki, head of the renowned Saraki Dynasty of Kwara State, had bade farewell to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party on whose platform he governed Kwara State for eight years. He embraced the All Progressives Congress (APC), then in its embryo. Together with some like minds, they succeeded in enthroning the APC as the ruling party at the centre. Saraki also won his seat as a senator, the second time.

In June 2015, when the National Assembly was about to be inaugurated, Saraki informed the leadership of his new party, the APC, of his intention to contest the position of Senate President. 

In a mock election exercise conducted by the caucus of the APC to choose between him and another contending candidate, Saraki was defeated. But he was undaunted. He decided to push ahead. Eventually, he struck a deal with fellow senators-elect from his former political party, the PDP. The deal worked, and Saraki was elected Senate President. 

Both the Presidency and the leadership of the APC, were annoyed. They said that Saraki had commited a very big crime, by going against the decision of the party. He was declared a rebel, an enemy, a persona non grata, who must be avoided like a plague. 

To compound matters for Saraki and make his road rough, he was dragged to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), charged with false declaration of assets. For 1018 days, Saraki alternated his duties at the National Assembly with the legal battles at the various courts, to clear his name of the allegations levelled against him. Eventually he won the battle at the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

In 2018, after he had emerged victorious at the Supreme Court, Saraki becomes a beautiful bride. While it is being rumoured that Saraki is planning to return to his former party, the PDP because the APC had treated him badly, the APC is said to now been pressurising  him to remain in their fold. 

Saraki relates well with members of the PDP at the upper legislative chamber. He has worked out a perfect arrangement with members of the party in the Senate and largely depends on them for every crucial decision he takes.

On Wednesday July 18, 2018, Saraki, along with some other aggrieved members of the APC, such as Sokoto State, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, Kwara State Governor, Abdulffatah Ahmed, met with some PDP leaders, like the party’s national Chairman, Uche Secondus, and the Rivers State Governor, Nyeson Wike, in Ilorin, Kwara State, ostensibly to commiserate with a top member of the APC rebel group, the Reformed APC (R-APC), Kawu Baraje, who recently lost his mother. But some political meanings were read into the meeting.

Less than 24 hours after the Ilorin meeting, on Thursday, July 19, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari sent for Saraki and to visit him at the Aso Rock Villa, the nation’s seat of power. There he pleaded with Saraki not to leave the APC. Buhari met with Saraki along with Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and some governors of the APC.

Saraki has not publicly said anything about his future political move. He has not said that he would leave the APC, even though his body language may be suggesting it. He has kept everybody guessing.

The PDP was said to have offered Saraki the same Senate Presidency which he presently occupies. That is, if he wins back his seat as Senator, and if the PDP wins the 2019 elections. But some people have suggested that Saraki may be eyeing the country’s Presidency on the PDP platform. 

It is not yet clear what Buhari and the APC had offered Saraki, but certainly it will not be the Presidency, because Buhari is already a candidate. But the crucial question is whether the APC will keep to whatever it has promised, because we have seen the party renege on many its promises.

Both the APC and the PDP recognize the potentials in Bukola Saraki. They know that Saraki has many followers and that he can sway the pendulum either side. That’s why they see him as a beautiful bride. 

Saraki himself is equally conscious of his political future. He knows that any political miscalculation or misjudgment can spell doom on him. That’s why he is bidding his time. 

But sooner or later, the “Aku Oyibo Nsugbe” must be broken.

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