Senate President Bukola Saraki just wants to become Nigeria's president. His defection is tied to that eternal ambition of his.
“Bro, we are shooting for Aso Rock now”, he screamed. “Just watch”.
Moments after the phone call, I was fast asleep. I couldn't bear to watch.
This member of Saraki’s team had said nothing new. I have followed Bukola Saraki’s career since he was chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), to when he ran for senate, to when he became senate president against his party’s wish, to when he wrestled power brokers in the APC and left them playing catch up to his every move. Saraki's gaze has always been fixated on the number one job in the land and he doesn't even hide it anymore.
The man just wants to become Nigeria’s president. It's what keeps him awake at night.
His political career has been carefully orchestrated to dovetail into the pathway that leads to Aso Rock. As Governor of Kwara, Saraki made himself the most powerful politician in his State. As Kwara Governor, he made himself the most powerful governor in the land when he led the NGF—the most powerful peer pressure political group in the land at the time. As senator, Saraki wanted to be first among equals. He got that too when he was crowned senate president in 2015.
Not satisfied with being the nation’s number three man, Saraki is now gunning for the post of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is why he has just left the APC, forget all the big grammar and fancy words in his press statement.
Another aide of Saraki once told this writer that the senate president often gets what he wants. As always, the odds are stacked against Saraki as he guns for the number one job in the land. He would have to displace another perennial defector in Atiku Abubakar, former Kano Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, former Jigawa Governor Sule Lamido and Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal to reach the PDP presidential ticket. But if there’s one thing Saraki loves, it’s a challenge or a fight. In his mind, he’s got this whole presidency bid figured out. It's how he rolls.
The Saraki brand is propelled by ruthless ambition and desperation. It’s how he got this far in his political odyssey. It’s a vice in the real world but an asset in the murky waters of politics. Saraki’s desperation will next take him to the PDP convention floor on the day the opposition party will be choosing the flagbearer to battle Muhammadu Buhari of the APC. Saraki and his team are right now setting up their presidency campaign office. And who can blame them?
Like I wrote earlier, with Saraki, all bets should really be off.