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Time To Focus On Rogue Senators

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“Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong”

- Daniel O'Connell.
The Senate is the highest law making body for this country. It is supposed to be hallowed chambers for men of integrity. It is supposed to be a reflective body consisting dignified men of accomplishment. It is supposed to be the moral barometer for the country and every public servant who seek to serve. It is a place where you are supposed to find statesmen, who seek the best for the country and would even welcome self denials as part of the price to move the country forward. The Senate is supposed to be a sanctified and sacrosanct chamber.

But the Nigerian Senate is everything that is not supposed to be. Without doubt, there are few men of honour in the morally castrated body. But unfortunately, few men of honour would not do. The evidence of this is the macabre dance that has been eviscerating the Chamber since the beginning of this administration. The coronation of a born-again swindler as the Senate president is another attestation to this. It was an act that has made the country a laughing stock internationally and inflicted unqualified opprobrium on the Nigerian psyche.

For this reason, the time has come for Nigerian to begin to ask questions: What kinds of people are gallivanting around the hallowed Chambers of the Nigerian Senate? Are they the kinds of people who should be there? Do they have the moral qualifications to be members of that body? Do they have the integrity and dignity that such a body requires? Are these reputable leaders or notorious leeches? What threats do they constitute to this country? Or at least, what threats do they constitute to the present efforts to clean up this country of undesirable elements in our public space?

It is time for Nigerians to begin to ask questions about what kind of “Senators” are offering support to this kind of man identified as and called “Senator” Bukola Saraki? What are their trajectories? What are their backgrounds? Are these Senators moral reprobates? Have they at any point in time defrauded this country? Is their solidarity with “Senator” Saraki “a solidarity of thieves?” Why are they so emboldened to foist a notorious swindler as the President of our Senate? Did they do this to cover their own tracks hoping to use the system to protect their fraudulent past?

What kind of shameless “Senators” would follow Bukola Saraki to justify corruption and kleptomania? What kind of Senators would solidarise with Mrs. Toyin Saraki for being questioned on issues of fraud and corruption? What sort of integrity do they claim? What moral authority do they project as members of the highest law making body of the land? Could they not even wait until the dust of these corrupt trials settle? Why are they in a hurry to throw their support behind Saraki? Did they even get to ask themselves whether Saraki deserves their support or not? Or is this just a blind support no matter what? Do these “Senators” have any dignity at all?

Or is this still all politics? Is the politics of these Senators, that which has no conscience? Is it the type that has no feelings? Is it the type that props injustice? Is their own politics the type that flaunts corruption and care less about the people? Is their politics so insensitive that it cares not about the cries and tears of the people? Is their politics aimed at further destructions of the society? Are they playing politics of “you all be damned”? What breed of politicians would be so brazen, blatant and brassy about immorality in the public space? Is the emergence of this genre of politicians a sign of the death of conscience and dearth of shame in our society?

Yes, politics is conventionally described as dirty. But Awoism contends that politics really is not dirty but only its players are dirty, and politics could be clean, honourable and dignifying to the extent to which its players want it to be. It is the task of the people of any polity to sanitise their politics and make it what they want. This is of great pertinence because it is impossible for any society to subsist when it has no moral cilia. No society would be fit to live without at least, an attenuated integrity. No society would be worth the effort if dignity is not part of its ethos.

It is now time for the institutions of the state to begin the task of ridding our public space of undesirable elements. It is time for the EFCC and the ICPC, The Nigerian Police and the Judiciary to begin cleansing the society of undesirable men who seek to govern us. It is time for searchlight on the Senators who are blatant in their support for corruption and decadence. It is time for some of these senators to come out and declare publicly their worth to the Nigerian people. Nigerians want to know how they came up with their stupendous wealth and riches.

There is need for a corrupticide to cleanse our public space of corrupt elements. Anyone who has given public support to corruption should be quizzed. Even those who have offered covert support for corruption should not be let off the hook. Such a person or group of persons would definitely know one thing or two about the whereabouts of some of our commonwealth. There is need to cleanse the Senate of corrupt members.

Reprobates like Saraki and his backer in the former Vice President Abubakar Atiku should not be gallivanting across the land unfettered. They need to give account of their stewardship to the people. What is the source of their wealth? How did they come about their richness? What is their source of fortunes? Nigerians would like to know. Simply because a swindler is described as “generous” does not absolve him from explaining the source(s) of his wealth and riches. You cannot steal us blind and then wear the toga of “generosity.” Being “generous” with our stolen commonwealth is not acceptable.

Swindlers like Bukola Saraki and Abubakar Atiku could not be kingmakers in our society. They could not be dictating the directions of our society. They could not be calling the shots with their reeking hands. They could not continue to inflict our society with their questionable morality. They could not and should not be allowed to keep planting swindling sentries in all the crannies and corners of our Federal and State governments to continue the looting and stealing. Internationally acclaimed crooks could not be determining our destiny in this country. It is time for them to be checkmated.

President Mohammadu Buhari should give us an Attorney General (AG) as quickly as possible. We need an AG that would institute investigations of all those who seek to serve and are serving this country. We are tired of people of questionable wealth ruling over us. These moral reprobates have become so confident that they even threaten those who refuse to be part of them. There are allegations of some of them having hired assassins at their beck and call to take out those they consider threats to their ways of looting and swindling. They are bandits; ruthless, merciless and dangerous.

Right now, nemesis is about to catch up with the famously fraudulent “Senate President” Bukola Saraki, an alleged certified bank robber and reportedly, a criminal of repute and highly respected crook. “Senator” Saraki, from all indications, is a previously baptized scoundrel who is now a born-again swindler. A scion of a family of purloiners and plunderers that has held an entire people of a state in economic bondage and political subjugation through the manipulation of the system, “Senator” Saraki is laboriously trying to hibernate from the pursuit of justice. It remained to be seen whether “Senator” Saraki would succeed in this.

The sweat of those customers of The Societe General Bank has refused to be dried. Their tears are still streaming in search of succour. Their blood is boiling for justice. Their souls are sorrowing for consolation. The ghosts of those of them who died of frustration as a result of the heist of Saraki family are still haunting. Their spirits are snivelling for vengeance. The curses of the investors or shareholders who put in their money for a legitimate return but were deprived by Bukola Saraki and his family, are catching up.

The victims of Trade Bank, robbed of their deposits, swindled of the fruits of their sweat and told to go to hell by Bukola Saraki, might still have justice. The pains of ordinary men and women who through hard work, made a little extra and saved them up for their time of infirmities, and probably for their own children are still pealing for attention and redress. The original owners of Intercontinental Bank, their customers and investors whose dreams were derailed by Senator Saraki through blatant fraud might still have the last laugh. We are all anxiously waiting to see how it all pans out.

The battle to cleanse Nigeria of corruption is just beginning. The failure or success of it would determine the survival of Nigeria or its demise. It is why President Buhari has to be courageous, fearless but fair, balanced and equitable in prosecuting this war on corruption. Its prosecution is going to be a tough one. Without doubt, it is a very herculean one. It is titanic in nature. It is a monumental and vast task. But regardless, if the survival of Nigeria, about which I still have a serious doubt, must become a reality, this certainly is the task that must be accomplished.

In the course of this, lies would be glamourised and spread around. Falsehood would be fine tuned and peddled. Ridiculous justifications would be put forth. Preposterous excuses would be propped up. Rationalisations would be vociferous. Obnoxious explanations would be rendered. Grotesque counter claims would be made to shift the focus. Parlous counter accusations would be thrown around to create diversions. But all of them should not deter those who seek some sanity for the polity.

“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.”

- John F. Kennedy, in his Inaugural Address January 20, 1961

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Articles by Remi Oyeyemi