Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki may not have formally announced his bid for the Presidency but we have it on good authority that whenever he takes that step, he would be doing it under the All Progressives Congress (APC)
Saraki’s loyalist have revealed to The Boss that on account of track record of performance, the ability to deliver on record-breaking promises, energy and drive, the Senate President is light years ahead of many in his party.
Not only that, we were told that having been able to stabilize the Senate much better than the President has stabilized the nation, he has the credentials to pick the APC Presidential ticket even if the President decides to attempt a second term.
We gathered that since President Buhari has decided that democracy should reign in his party, he will not dare tamper with a free and fair secret ballot process of elections, and they were confident that if that is the condition at the Primaries, Saraki will come out tops.
Furthermore, these loyalists have been begging the Senate President not to leave the APC at this time, noting that he had invested too much in the arrangement to jettison it just because some fair weather politicians are seemingly taking charge.
They told us that they were now convinced that the trials and travails that the Senate President have been facing since 2015 is because some people have long marked him out for destruction knowing full well that he is a major threat that could jeopardize their 2019 ambition.
“It is now apparent that some people had seen that he has a sterling profile and had made up their minds to rubbish him and stop him at all cost, because some of the accusations against him have just been inexplicable”, the source stated.
Meanwhile it may seem innocuous but in the last couple of months, the Senate President has been the first to visit prominent Nigerians in bereavement or celebration.
Just this week alone, he was in Kogi State to commiserate with the family of Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Umar Buba Jibril in Lokoja, he was also in Daura, Katsina State to commiserate with the family of Senator Mustapha Bukar, (while there,he also paid a visit to the Emir of Daura, and from pictures, we saw the Emir holding hands with Saraki like a worthy son) and he was in Arochukwu, Abia State to attend the funeral ceremonies of Madam Mathilda Ohuabunwa, mother of Senator Mao Ohuabunwa.
A few weeks ago, he was probably the only top politician that attended all the events that were hosted to celebrate the wedding of Fatima Aliko Dangote and Jamil MD Abubakar in Kano, Abuja and Lagos. As a matter of fact, he jocularly stated at the Kano Dinner where he was Chairman that the hall was filled with politicians because election was coming and politicians needed all the friends they could attract at this crucial period.
No doubt there are many factions of his party, but Saraki is certainly one of the very few that has been able to blend with everybody. It is to his credit that even friends or supporters of his so-called enemies, freely relate with him. He has the the unique advantage of being able to garner goodwill and by extension votes from all parts of the country.
He reportedly has this magnetic persona that attracts the best and the brightest, and this is probably because he is a detribalized Nigerian. His circle of friends cut across, so also his trusted aides. He has shown over the years that he knows how to assemble and work with a formidable team of intellectuals without being intimidated.
Talking of trust, we are told that in terms of international clout, he is no push over. The Globals regard him as a forward-thinking youthful leader that can be entrusted to secure the lives and property of Nigerians-as well as their vast investments in the country.
There is no doubt that whenever he formally declares, it will be an earth-shaking event that will reverberate in all major capitals of the world simply because this is one politician that many believe would not only be able to unify Nigeria, inject innovative ideas but generally will be a breath of fresh air. Of course, he is on paddy paddy basis with many world too.
Perhaps, another thing that we were told has endeared him to many Nigerians especially within the APC, has been the way he has faced the seeming humiliation by the Executive with equanimity.
We are told that by standing firm in this manner, it has sent strong signal, that no Nigerian should be harassed or persecuted just for having divergent political views.
They told The Boss, that Saraki, knowing full well that he is innocent of all charges, will pursue the false declaration of assets matter to a logical conclusion.
We were told that the same kind of insinuation held sway during the era that Societe General Bank was named among the failed banks.
Though may other banks failed at the time and caused untold ruin and suffering to its depositors, Societe General Bank of Nigeria (SGBN) was singled out for condemnation because of the powerful name of the Sarakis.
It is to his credit despite the fact that he had long left the bank, SGBN became one of the few financial institutions that went the extra mile to pay off all of its depositors including a prominent one like former Super Eagles Captain, Jay Jay Okocha.
Integrity is a word that doesn’t get used a lot in Nigerian politics anymore. But Saraki wants to be defined by such high ideals that in many cases, he just does not care whose ox his gored, provided he is doing the right thing.
This principle was responsible for the way he spoke the truth and did what he believed was right when he saw the humongous amounts the nation was losing from the oil subsidy scheme. He blew the whistle that saw to its eventual end. He has also ensured that the National Assembly does not become a mere rubber stamp of the executive.
There is no doubt that with his political pedigree and the aristocratic pedigree of his wife, Her Excellency Toyin Saraki, they are a formidable power couple.
The wife’s foundation, Wellbeing Foundation Africa has been doing tremendous work across the continent especially in the area of maternal, child and newborn health.
Shifting political winds have blown criticism Saraki’s way from different partisan directions. But his independence has never faltered. His integrity has never wavered. And in the pursuit of justice, it never will.
As 2019 approaches, Saraki’s intellect, his vast political experience and network can certainly not be ignored by the APC , which is keen on retaining power.