Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki is an individual that can be correctly described as having had a successful political career so far. Following in the illustrious footsteps of his father, Dr. Olushola Saraki, Bukola has reached heights even his father didn’t ascend.
He has been a two-term governor in his Kwara state (2003 -2011). At the expiration of his governorship in 2011, he won the Kwara Central Senatorial seat and in 2015, became Senate President against all odds.
But his recent successes has been blighted by multiple challenges and with his latest forgery and conspiracy case which is giving him grey hairs, the saying that ‘uneasy lies the head that wears the Crown’ couldn’t be more apt.
Encomium.ng in this piece examines some of the major challenges the former medical doctor has had to battle and is still battling.
Saraki vs Saraki
Bukola Saraki owes his political rise to his highly influential late father, Olusola Saraki who was widely acknowledged as the strong man of Kwara politics. Olusola presented his son, Bukola as governorship candidate in 2003 and as expected he won. Things went sour between the two, however, in 2011 when father and son had divergent interest on whom would succeed the Mr. Saraki Jnr as governor. The senior Saraki was keen to have his daughter, Gbemi Saraki on the seat while his son preferred Ahmed. The bitter crisis led to Olusola and Gbemi’s departure from the PDP to a new platform (ACPN) while his son anointed his own candidate and remained in the PDP. At the conclusion of the election, Alh. Abdulfatah Ahmed emerged as executive Governor, bringing to a sad end, the Olusola Saraki dominance of Kwara politics. Though he emerged victorious, it was at the price of eternal enmity with his embarrassed father who died just a year after.
Saraki vs APC
During the build-up to the 2015 general elections, Saraki fell out with his party and he, along with other disgruntled elements joined forces with the APC to unseat the PDP. With Buhari’s victory at the polls, Saraki seemed to have played his cards well. But his celebrations were short-lived when it dawned on him that the powers that be in the APC would not back his ambition to become the Senate President. Not one to throw in the towel easily, the scheming Saraki was able to seal a power sharing agreement with the PDP senators and beat the APC and their candidate, Ahmed Lawan to the Senate Presidency that saw a PDP man, Ike Ekweremadu emerge Deputy Senate President. The APC hierarchy is yet to forgive him.
Saraki vs CCT
Barely had he begun his reign as Senate President that Saraki got slammed with a fresh battle at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). Bukola Saraki is being tried by the CCT for false declaration of asset, in forms he filed before the Code of Conduct Bureau while he was governor of Kwara state. While it is noteworthy that Saraki has overcome all challenges thrown at him in his political career so far, he will be fully aware he stands to lose massively if the case goes south.
His latest tribulation is regarded as one too many for the embattled Legislature. With his hands already full the the CCT trials, Saraki, alongside his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and two other National Assembly officers got slammed with a criminal case bordering on forgery and criminal conspiracy. He is alleged to have doctored the 2011 Senate Standing Rules to aid his emergence as Senate President.
Will he emerge unscathed from this wave of trials? That is the million dollar question only time can answer.
- Daniel Fayemi for encomium.ng