Saraki’s visit: How often did Buhari’s thoughts skip 2019

by Alexander O. Onukwue

For all the maligning attributes that are credited to Senator Bukola Saraki and the National Assembly,
there are no illusions as to his dedication to the causes he believes in.

Under his leadership, the 8 th Senate has made achievements according to the promises it made in 2015.
From OpenNASS to Not Too Young To Run, and the partial passage of the Petroleum Industry
Governance Bill (PIGB).

The Buhari administration cannot have that much to talk about; not much has changed whether it is in
terms of anti-corruption or revitalizing the economy, they have found it more tedious to change the
country than they had imagined in campaign season.

2019 elections are not far away, and that means another campaign season is nearly upon us. Buhari’s
supporters are adamant that not only will he return from his medical vacation in London, but will retain
the advantage going into the polls. Conversations have begun about those who could be his possible
opposition from other parties, but also within the APC.

And one of those persons could be Dr Bukola Saraki.

He has not declared any such intention but he does not need to say it in public for it to be believed that
Saraki does have an eye towards the Presidency. He does well to resist the glory that comes to him for
his tactical victories against the establishment authorities he finds himself. He defied the APC’s and
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s agreement in becoming the Senate President, but the appearance at the time was
that he was ushering a new era of democracy in the Senate.

He pledges to be on the President’s side at every occasion that requires it, but Buhari would know that
the strong man from Kwara does have a mind of his own. And as the dismissed Code of Conduct Tribunal
trial shows, a docked Saraki does not necessarily make him defeated.

You wonder if, for a moment while they were together in London yesterday, the President cast his
thoughts to the coming polls and thought: What do I have to do to keep him in check?

Of course, this thought was not voiced. After all, they were in that jocular mood necessary for the
cameras.

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