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When British philosopher and social critic, Bertrand Russell opined that, “Whenever one finds oneself inclined to bitterness, it is a sign of emotional failure”, he must have had characters like Iyiola Oyedepo on mind.
It is instructive to note that, Iyiola, the author of an op-ed article titled, “Bukola Saraki: Sunset At Noon”, is the embattled chairman of the deceased Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara State.
For Iyiola, his recent vituperation is not unpredictable. He is perpetually inclined to bitterness and everything anti-Saraki. He belongs to the class of hypocrites and demagogues who believe the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki is the only political factor diminishing their political relevance and dampening their political survival in the politics of Kwara State. Therefore, he couldn’t have surmounted the temptation of concealing his excitement at the realisation that his fellow-traducers have set the machinery of the law against his first enemy.
Before I address the crux of his most recent diatribe against the person of the Senate President, I wish to digress in order to convincingly establish why comments and opinions of Iyiola have ceased to hold water in the political landscape of Kwara State. Kwarans no longer listen to him as much as they no longer believe him. It remains a potent premise upon which Nigerians should ignore and disregard his latest layers of lies, catalogue of half-truths, wild assertions, hallucinations, expressed delusions.
I must admit that before his emergence as the chairman of the opposition PDP in Kwara State, he has cut an image of an acclaimed self-righteous social critic and public affair analyst for himself. He had written articles on internal democracy within political parties, governance and quite a few topical issues.
As if the gods wanted to shame him, he once again emerged party chairman. He ruined his party with undemocratic actions, and greedy appetite for wealth, like he betrayed his former party, the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN). He turned out to be worse than persons in positions of authority who had been the subjects of his criticisms. The veil shielding the hypocrite was uncovered. The hypocrite was exact opposite of all he had written in the past. He lived a fake life, you may say. As the party chairman, if he was accused of diverting party funds to buy himself SUV on Monday, the next day; he would be alleged of failure to disclose funds he got on behalf his party from the looters of yesterday at Abuja. He couldn’t even lead his executive committee of less than 50 persons, so conducting credible congresses and party primary election for his party members never happened. Having looted his party and in respect to other scandals, he has on himself the toga and stains of corruption.
Therefore, it is preposterous for the hypocrite to have attempted to put the Senate President in the group of convicted Nigerians. Dr. Saraki doesn’t belong to the group of infamy. Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki belongs to the group of distinguished Nigerians who have paid their dues for the sustenance of the Nigeria’s nascent democracy over the last two decades that he held privileged positions of leadership in the country. He belong to the group of Nigerians who have ever pursued their dreams of a better Nigeria despite hurdles placed on their ways by their adversaries.
In his latest article, the hypocrite made futile and vain attempt to rewrite the history of Kwara politics since 2003 till date. It was a false and faulty chronicle. The piece is as faulty as the writer, who lacks credibility to speak on such issues. However, since the ongoing trial of the Senate President at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) is the crux of his most recent diatribe, I will, therefore, move to address some of the issues raised.
Like the hypocrite admitted in the article, the trial of the Senate President is politically-motivated. It only further confirms that the conspiracy transcends a single party. Really, there is no reasonable reason why the ICPC, EFCC, SFU and other agencies of the State would not have thrown out the litany of petitions written against the Senate President and sponsored by Mr Iyiola, as he admitted, when the contents were largely frivolous, false and unsubstantiated. Like those thrown-away petitions, this trial will soon phaseout.
Meanwhile, it is unfortunate that the hypocrite could betray his professional competence when he insinuated that the decision of the legal counsels to the Senate President to explore preliminary legal options is that of a guilty person trying to evade judgement. That is untrue. The hypocrite as a supposed lawyer should know that despite the Supreme Court judgement, the issue of jurisdiction cannot be acceptably settled without reference to section 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
On the same issue, a professor of Constitutional Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ben Nwabueze recently said, “he (Senate President) has a contitutional right to be tried in accordance with Section 6 of our Constitution. To go against that is to put into jeopardy our constitutional system. The Supreme Court should not be allowed to put all of us into this kind of jeopardy. This country belongs to all of us, not to the Justices of the Supreme Court alone”. The above quote is instructive to cure the ignorance of Mr. Iyiola and his fellow-tranducers.
I wish to reiterate that the true test of leadership is the amount of challenges that are faced and surmounted. As a former Presidential Adviser on Budget, two-term Governor of Kwara State, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and now a second-term Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it will be preposterous to think that Senator Bukola Saraki’s path will not be rough.
This ongoing politically-motivated trial is therefore part of the rough paths of leadership and like those challenges he has faced and surmounted in the past, this too shall pass. It has come and it will go. Let me remind Iyiola that the CCT trial is a futile attempts by detractors to cover up the rising sun. The perpetrators will get burnt beyond recognition.
If only Iyiola had harkened to the advice of Martin Luther King, Jr, that, “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness”, perhaps, he wouldn’t have come out to dance naked in the public square.
Is the Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC)
Kwara State, Chapter.