To Kwarans: Don’t Stone Saraki, Recall Him

by Umar Sa’ad Hassan

‘Vox Populi Vox Dei’ (The Voice of the people is the Voice of God)-Archbishop of Canterbury,Walter Reynolds (1327)

Umar Saad
Umar Saad

The truth is Bukola Saraki’s tenure as Senate President was always going to be an unpleasant one.The man and his cohorts abstained from a meeting convened by President Buhari, conducted an ‘Emergency’ Election and made their Party look like Clowns Performing on a Monday Morning.The President ended up not attending while the Lawmakers who did ended up watching the NASS leadership Elections on TV.It was a comedy that just wasn’t funny.

The Modus, no one could say but we all knew Saraki had a bull’s eye on him from that moment onwards.He is not a man with an exceptional pedigree as far as Governance is concerned and Most Nigerians’ first reaction when a bully cracks the whip via allegations of Corruption against such elements is- “Na God Catch Them”.To make it easier to hate Saraki, the late Patriarch of his family and the man to whom he owes his political career,infamously ran the family bank to the ground in an Epic bid to oust an incumbent Governor and have him installed in his place.Naturally, the only people guaranteed to be in his corner are the political class and not the average Nigerian on the streets still rejoicing over the effects of an improved Power and Fuel Supply on his finances.One who can now afford slightly better clothes for his wife and kids.

One who when he wasn’t certain of the same today tomorrow, is been told Saraki was busy declaring assets he was hoping to get and his wife mistook the Kwara State treasury for the defunct family bank where monies could be withdrawn and spent on anything.

While we were waiting to see how Saraki would be roped into his wife’s investigation at the EFCC,things took a rather interesting turn when he was hit with a 13 Count Charge and arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal all centering round shady declaration of assets.

Like I love to say, Every Nigerian Politician is Guilty until Proven innocent and if they choose to use our Anti-Graft bodies to wage war against one another, then we are the better for it.Our leaders loot us dry and neglect the little things capable of deflecting attention from their booty sharing.It doesn’t really need an extraordinary effort to make Nigeria work.This much has been proven by President Buhari in just less than 6 months in office on a budget that isn’t his and is almost entirely Recurrent Expenditure based.

The Senate just passed a Vote of Confidence on Saraki with 84 Senators in support and though the CCT seems likely to nail him on at least a few of the Charges, it is pertinent to note that we are now at the mercy of Saraki’s colleagues (for the time being at least) and most,quite frankly are not in the sad position he is now because they didn’t get a chance to be where he was or because the searchlight hasn’t been beamed on their previous dealings with us.

Nigerians rarely seize the Windows our laws provide to drive home our grievances.What is the purpose of the countless twitter hash tags if the support garnered isn’t put to the best use?.Do we start purposeless Social Media campaigns only to enjoy the ‘Activist’ feel accruing from it and wait for the next one to evolve?.If as much effort is put into mobilizing his constituency to initiate a ‘Recall Bukola Saraki‘ campaign as is put into talking all the talk, we just might kick him out of the Senate and not just its Presidency.This would pass a strong message to all lawmakers that we would no longer be at the mercy of their ‘ayes’ and ‘nays’.

See: No Confidence In Saraki

The Saraki family is no longer the darling of Kwarans and Kwara is no longer ‘Saraki Plc’ where anybody other than them was just a mere shareholder.This much we can tell by the disgrace meted out to the Senate President at the Eid Prayer Ground on Sallah day where he was pelted with stones. A lot has changed since the late scion of the dynasty got pushed back by his heir in what can best be described as a modern day Shakespearian tragedy. The person who ended up demystifing the ‘Oloye’ of Kwara politics was none other than his son and you know what they say about crowning a new king in the lifetime of another. The traditionalists would have a field day talking about the Chickens coming home to roost. One thing is certain -Saraki isn’t a loved man there.

The Nigerian Constitution clearly spells out the procedure for a recall of a member of the National Assembly in Section 110.A petition signed by more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency alleging their loss of confidence in that member must be presented to INEC which then proceeds to verify the signatures and conduct a referendum within 90 days of the date of receipt of such petition and if it is approved by a simple majority of registered voters in the member’s constituency, then the member ceases to be a Member of the NASS.

Would a ‘Recall Bukola Saraki’ campaign succeed? It should if properly executed.
An individual getting pelted with stones and sachets of pure water on a festive day at a prayer ground speaks volumes of the rage and dislike people have for him.Giving them a legitimate medium of expressing such emotions should be an easy task.

Our destiny as a people should be ours to shape whenever it is in our hands.

Umar Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano.


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Best Regards
Umar Sa’ad Hassan Esq. (PNM)