Senate president, Bukola Saraki addressed an international press conference yesterday, 8th August 2018. This follows the invasion of the National Assembly complex by men of the Department of State Security (DSS) on 7th August and the sacking of the DSS Director General, Lawal Daura by the Acting President.
The National Assembly invasion has been widely condemned nationally and internationally, and the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo has declared that he had no part in it. However, supporters of the opposition and many others believe the presidency has a hand in it and that it is part of the plot by the ruling APC to illegally remove Saraki, who has just defected to the PDP.
Today’s Echo can now gather five major things Saraki’s statements reveal:
- There is really a cabal
The allegations that there is a cabal operating within the presidency is not new but Saraki’s statements have just confirmed it. According to Saraki “I don’t like to say I told you so. However, some of you may recall that I stated two years ago that there was a government within this government, to a purpose that was not in the interest of what the people voted for. I said it then, and now nearly on a daily basis, we are seeing the manifestation of that government within a government. It beats our imagination, how this is being allowed to occur.”
Nevertheless, his statements and the events of the past few days have only confused us further about the identity of that cabal. If it is true that the presidency did not order Daura to blockade the National Assembly, who did?
2. Saraki stylishly absolves Osinbajo from blame
With his ‘government within government’ theory on the invasion of the National Assembly, Saraki agrees with Osinbajo that he was not aware and absolves him of blame.
In affirming this, he said, “by this, we have shown that Nigerians can resist governments within government in whatever guise.”
Saraki also commended Osinbajo’s action in sacking Daura, saying that it sent a powerful message that the DSS cannot be recklessly deployed against state institutions.
Since his botched trial intensified, Saraki has been one of the boldest critics of the Buhari regime. We are not sure he would absolve the presidency like this if the president was around.
3. Boma Goodhead has just become famous
Before the siege on the National Assembly on Tuesday, many people did not know about Boma Goodhead, a House of Representative member from Rivers State. However, in a brazen show of defiance, she protested against the masked security men and those that ordered them, daring them to shoot her if they can. Her famous video has now gone viral internationally. Boma Goodhead has won a name for herself and was even given a honourable mention by Bukola Saraki during the press conference. She should be proud of herself.
4. Buhari is Saraki’s enemy, not Osinbajo
Even as he commended the Acting president’s action, Saraki still poses questions on how the masterminds have not been identified, suggesting that there are highly placed people protected by the president involved. He also used the opportunity to throw a subtle shade at President Buhari.
“When we voted for change, we could not have envisaged a scenario such as what happened yesterday—this is not the change we voted for, we did not vie for instruments of state to be used to oppress lawmakers.”
5. Saraki wants to be president:
From his body language, Saraki has made it known that he is eyeing the presidency, come 2019. All the recent intrigues surrounding him have also buttressed the theory that he wants to be president. During the press conference on Wednesday, a foreign journalist asked him about his presidential ambitions and he declined to make a clear answer, saying:
“Today, we are here to talk about democracy and it is not time to talk about my presidential ambition.”
If he was not interested in contesting, he would have replied with a clear no. The clever manner with which he dodged that question indicates he is in the race.