Saraki’s pyrrhic victory-By Abiodun Lade
Abiodun Ladepo, Accra, Ghana: Yes, it is “democracy at work” in Nigeria when your party’s national leadership asks you to do something in the overall interests of the party but you decide to place your interests first and you win…temporarily…dusting your party chieftains in the process. I consider Bukola Saraki’s victory, in this particular instance, equivalent to the one Greek King Pyrrhus had over the Romans many, many years ago. He won, but at such great a cost that it is actually better for him to have been defeated.
In a chamber of 109 members, just 57 members reportedly voted to elect him as Senate President while the bulk of his party members were in a meeting with the President, who is also the party leader and who rushed home from an overseas trip to intervene in the impasse. I call that Pyrrhic victory because Saraki just may have burnt one bridge too many.
Vaulting ambition killed Goodluck Jonathan – wanting to run for a second term after having served as Vice-President, Acting President and President. Saraki was one of those who thought even though Jonathan had the constitutional right to run, in the interest of party unity, cohesion and fairness, the Presidency should have gone to the North. And for that, he helped take the former President down.
Now his party asked him to not run and save it from embarrassment, but his ambition…another vaulting ambition…catapulted him over his party and into the black book of the party leadership. Let me assure that the APC leadership will be waiting to exact their pound of flesh. As such, Saraki should not cry persecution when nemesis comes calling.
To be clear, I do not support the imposition (by the party or anybody for that matter) of any particular candidate on the Senate or the House of Representatives. But even as a political neophyte, I recognise when to sabre rattle and when to fold. He should have folded a few days ago and saved the party from the needless stress. Interesting times await us all in the near future.