When God desires to destroy a state, He hands its affairs over to extravagant sons of rulers whose ambition is to magnify the status of kingship, to obtain their desires and indulge in sins. And God takes glory away from them as a result of that.’ [Usman Dan Fodio].
The recent events leading to the elections of Senate president and Speaker House of Representatives in Nigeria and the events that followed after call for soul searching reflections from all those who wish and hope that this noble country of ours remains a worthy and hospitable home for all of us. It is with absolute sense of duty that Nigerian Insight feels inclined to make open our thought on the elections so that others can share the thoughts as well. Nigerian Insight fully appreciates the awesomeness of the two key positions of the Senate President and the Speaker House of Representatives in a presidential democracy. By virtue of these positions, the two principal officers are supposed to be leaders of the two chambers and of course trusted men of the president.
But the just conclude election which returned Dr Abubakar Bukola Sarki (APC) as Senate President and Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu of the PDP as deputy senate president exposed many fault lines in the APC Union, and has also in a very fundamental way laid bare the existential weaknesses of the party leadership. In particular, the party (APC) upon which Bukola rode to win the senate seat has been shaken to its very foundation by this particular spectacle. Perhaps the door has opened for the wholesale rejection of any instruction from the party leadership and it is almost certain that this will not make for good governance. May we from the onset remind you of the origin of the APC and its foundation. APC is the product of a process of the revival of democracy involving an intellectual, financial and political struggle which culminated in the formation of the All Progressives Congress by three distinct political parties namely the CPC, ACN and ANPP with a view to overthrowing a decadent political order run by the PDP and the establishment of good governance thereafter. It was established on a pattern and process of respect to constituted authority, a pattern and a process which should guide all APC members regardless of position or status. The party therefore shares many of the attributes of the system established by good governance the world over.
One of the foremost attributes is that the entire struggle was undertaken for the sake of our dear country and as such was anchored on the highest and noblest principles. The leadership which emerged naturally from the transformation founded on the highest moral standards was itself of a unique kind, exemplary. Therefore, Saraki must be conscious of the fact that it was APC that produced him never did he produce APC; as such, he should be seen to be obedient to its leadership and not those hawks living on hill tops. Saraki must also exhibit simplicity and purity of character, that unworldliness, that ‘perfect abnegation of self, that firm resolve never to sell the mandate given to you by APC for selfish reasons, conscience for good, truth for pleasure, honour for money.
Senator Saraki and his co-travellers the likes of Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima of Zamfara State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Senator Danjuma Goje etc need be reminded that the desire and determination to secure and preserve the dignity of the human person is the root and driving force of the momentous changes taking place in our country today, therefore, they must not allow themselves to be used to derail a good beginning. The change we voted for will surely come to us, inexorably, and will be powered by that compelling human desire to live in dignity and be held in honour. Therefore the party system must begin the necessary moral and institutional adjustments to meet the demands of the people and as a start discard and dismantle all practices which have long been abandoned because they are repugnant to the spirit of democracy. The movement of truth has come upon your exalted office as senate president: which way will you go, towards reform or far off into the wilderness?