Sunday, June 16, 2019

Saraki, Daura and the presidency

Saraki, Daura and the presidency
August 14
14:44 2018

It was refreshing watching Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey, lawyer and former Director of Public Prosecutions, Lagos State on Channels Television last Friday morning. He cut through the tissue of lies Nigerians are being fed with over the imbroglio currently playing out in the senate. Particularly enlightening is the fact that a senate president can only be removed while impeachment is for executives alone. As I write this, the expected resumption of the senate has been postponed ostensibly to calm down frayed nerves and buy the senate president more time.

This column last week turned out presciently and unsurprisingly so, our country has been engulfed with nothing but the show of shame, which the National Assembly witnessed on Tuesday, August 7. And let nobody say we have never had it so bad, that day’s coup – yes that was what it was technically – was merely the nadir in our march to infamy on the assault on the legislative arm of government. We witnessed it under former President Olusegun Obasanjo; recall the impeachment of former Governors Joshua Dariye of Plateau State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa and Rasheed Ladoja of Oyo States. It continued under former President Goodluck Jonathan as well when the National Assembly gates were locked against senators and House of Representatives members after some of them defected.

That’s why the argument has always persisted that Bukola Saraki emerged president against the wish of the party with the thinking that nobody can lead the legislators without the party’s input. In the days of Unity Party of Nigeria and National Party of Nigeria it could have been so, but not in these days of special purpose vehicles masquerading as political parties. There is simply no political party worth its salt in our country when one recalls the late Augustus Meredith Adisa Akinloye who presided over the NPN as chairman. Even with all his theatrics and macho posturing, Adams Oshiomole does not come near him in influence and power just as Uche Secondus can never wield authority like Akinloye did.

Good enough that the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, took the correct decision to fire Lawal Musa Daura, the imperial Director General of the Department of State Security, DSS. It was timely and necessary for the survival of democracy and the sanctity or whatever is left of the legislative arm even though the top honchos in the presidency tried desperately in pulling wool over our eyes claiming that Mr. Daura was in cahoots with Saraki. They must think we are children who can’t tell their left from the right even though the APC lapdogs keep repeating the lullaby.

I’m sure it was Saraki that led the DSS under Daura to violate a court order in December 2015 by evicting a former director general, Kayode Are, from an Ikoyi residence. Just as it was Saraki that led the department to raid the Government House in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State also in 2015 claiming they were searching for arms and ammunitions and US dollars. Saraki also led the DSS in October 2016 to invade judges’ houses and arrest seven, including two Supreme Court judges, all of whom were later discharged except one who died during the subsequent trial. This same Daura superintended over the employment of 51 candidates from Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state, in 2016 when only 44 were recruited rom the entire south east, a zone with five states. Yet, nothing was done to him until last week.

This yarn of Saraki and Daura colluding came ostensibly as attempts at presenting a united front in the Presidency – that nebulous word again for hangers on, courtiers and bureaucrats- as investigations I made over the weekend revealed. If indeed Saraki was responsible for the invasion, let the federal government charge him to court and prosecute him accordingly but that will never happen as it is doubtful if anything can ever be pinned down to the senate president on last week’s parliamentary invasion. For nearly two weeks now, our major political staple has been the national assembly’s sticky situation and campaign for next year’s elections. Intemperate words are freely used and you get a feeling that all of the actors would gladly do away with those on the opposing side.

But politics is the art of the impossible with persuasion and compromise, not necessarily on good values, but on rigid and impracticable situations. So, why do our politicians find it difficult to be persuasive and win opponents to their sides? Why threatening fire and brimstone when things don’t go your way? It seems trite but still worth asking, “What about the citizens in all of these?” Do the actors bother about those of us who are not directly involved in their battle? One must pity those who take sides in this battle; they are not fighting on your behalf, please.

A word for Matthew Seiyefa, the new acting director general of DSS, the vehicle which drove Daura to Aso Rock last week left without him after he was fired and is now under arrest. Don’t ever forget that.


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