Bukola Saraki: The ‘Incorruptible’ And Indestructible Pebble, Yet Rotten By Churchill Okonkwo

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Dr. Bukola Saraki, SP, the indestructible, “incorruptible” and shining pebble (yet rotten) at the bank of Kwara River, I salute you. The rotten fish that pollutes the Red Chamber; the grasshopper that ran into the midst of fowls, but did not end up in the land of the spirit; the tortoise that flew over the river that swallowed an elephant, congratulations. You have proven that some politicians are so dangerously smart that their crimes are qualified as “hearsay”. Sir, now that the Supreme Court has declared you a saint; sanctified you incorruptible, the Nigerian Presidency is all yours.

Sir, before I proceed to introduce you, the rebranded saint of Nigerian politics, I feel it is appropriate to tender an unreserved apology to you having once characterized you as “dangerously corrupt”. I was wrong and I am so sorry. I have realized that you are a rare gem; a two-term governor and a Senate President, yet, poorer than Tai Solarin. Unlike Buhari, who stole billions from PTF and built mansions in the UK, Ilorin, and Abuja, you judiciously managed the resources of Kwara State and live in a modest bungalow in Katsina State.

You outsmarted Tinubu and Buhari and party rivals in APC, who had formed an alliance to push for your downfall. So, sir, forget about Atiku and his grah-grah, he doesn’t have what it takes to be the President of Nigeria. After all, he is still running away from the United States, which you frequently visit. Forget about Dankwambo, he is untested and too timid to stand up to Buhari. Forget about Tambuwal, he is too soft-hearted to challenge the hurricane from Daura. You are the man, the rotten egg of Nigerian politics and the only masquerade that can impregnate a man.

Unlike Chief James Ibori, the ex-convict – oops, that came out wrong; the most corrupt former governor– sorry this is outright inaccurate; the suitcase billionaire –gosh, my mouth shut up. What was I about to say? I was about to say that, notwithstanding your controversial hidden assets in secret offshore tax havens, you no longer belong to that notorious class of Nigerian “Suitcase Billionaires”. You are a rare political specimen – honest and dedicated. Thanks to the Supreme Court, every other qualification of your person is a “hearsay’.

Once the Senate President (SP), you tackled head on the corrosive corruption in the running of the National Assembly. To help restore trust, accountability, and transparency, you opened the operating budget cost of the Senate to the public to reduce the incentives for corruption. You have been very successful in your pursuit to flush out the corruption in the Senate. Under your watch, the usual padding of the budget under the leadership of David Mark has been eliminated. Now, you make the executive sign your budget by holding a hammer over the head of Mr. President.

Like Atiku, you are hardworking while the rest of us are lazy; you built from the scratch while we siphoned from the government. For years, you remained a great reference point for honesty and respect for public money. Under your leadership as SP, you have put money back in the pockets of the poor Nigerians by “dashing” our senators 13 Million Naira every month for doing nothing. You have also fixed the broken political system, reshaped the rules of the Senate and restored the people as the most important stakeholders by shutting out dissenting voices of some senators.

You have not failed to denounce the corrupt scum that sweeps our beloved country from the Presidency to the National Assembly. You fought against the spoilt system of using fictitious names and offshore companies to siphon laundered money to safe havens abroad. You are a strong believer in the rule of law that you restrained yourself and members of your family from investing in offshore shell companies. While previous Senate Presidents were building strong a wall around the budget of the National Assembly, you encouraged transparency.

Under your leadership as SP, the wheels of lawmaking have been turning without the grease of corruption. You are so poor, yet, so incorruptible that when the Senate Committee screening Kemi Adeosun for Ministerial position found out that her NYSC exemption certificate was forged, you quickly disqualified her. Oga Saraki, you are so incorruptible that you did not blackmail Kemi Adeosun to release billions for you and your saints, Ben Bruce, Shehu Sani, Ike Ekweremadu and the angels at the National Assembly. What a rotten-beautiful-mess you are.

A child who seeks to quarrel with his father’s wife tells her to give him oil so that he can eat palm fruit. So, I understand what you mean when you responded to the Supreme Court judgment by saying that it is your “hope that those who are behind [your] persecution will see the handwriting on the wall and leave [you] to do the work for which you were elected.” The only thing I will add is to remind you that a man that brings ant-infested faggots into his hut should not grumble when lizards begin to pay him a visit.

Sir, let me break all this down in the language you will understand. Don’t be deceived by the description of your glaring acts of corruption as hearsay by the Supreme Court. Your court experience may have smoothened your rough edges, but you are still rotten. Your hut, the Red Chamber, is infested with fat faggots. And you know what, sir, even though the Supreme Court may have declared you ‘incorruptible’ and your political base described you as indestructible, your white sparkling tooth is still bad. It is rotten, so also is sparkling Red Chambers.

Sir, he who carries the carcass of an elephant does not search for cricket with his legs. Sir, it is not ‘hearsay’ that the wealth you have amassed over the years is bigger than the carcass of an elephant. So, when will you stop using your legs to search for crickets in the budget bag of the National Assembly? When will you stop blackmailing the minister for finance Kemi Adeosun? When will you stop eating from the pantry of the poor?

Finally, sir, Ndigbo have a saying that if you speak a proverb to a wise person, he will understand; but if you speak them to a fool, he will head straight to the bush. The puzzle: is your bid for the Presidency in 2019 akin to heading straight to the bush? Sir, you are beautiful on the outside, but rotten on the inside and as the saying goes, a rotten wood cannot be carved. And because one rotten beam can make a whole house collapse, Nigerians will not build our future on your back.

The skunk rat can get as fat and plump as he pleases. If his whole hind leg costs one Kobo, Nigerians will still not buy it in 2019. Sir, this is not hearsay and I don’t need the permission of any court in Nigeria to declare this; the struggle to restore our damaged democracy cannot be entrusted in the rotten hands and heart of the pebble at the bank of Kwara River. What is rotten is rotten. And until the rotten tooth is pulled out, the mouth will not have rest.

You can email Churchill at Churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi

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