No doubt, Bukola Saraki is “armed and dangerous”. It also is an open secret that under his leadership, corruption is entrenched in the Nigerian National Assembly. The question is who among the vociferous but empty rebels in the Green Chambers has the balls to confront him? Ben Bruce? Shehu Sani? The capitulation of a respected activist Shehu Sani to the corrupt antics of BukolaSaraki and his cohort makes a delinquent National Assembly feel even hopeless.
While it is good that Senator Shehu Sani is keeping President Buhari and Governor El-Rufia on their heels, it would be great to also see him and the common sense senator without sense, Senator Ben Bruce stand up to the armed and dangerous leadership at the National Assembly led by Bukola Saraki. Shehu Sani and Ben Bruce shield their ignoble impotency to be the voice of the common man in the National Assembly by making empty noise. Apparently, these men do not have the balls to confront the opaque financial dealings in the Senate riddled with corruption.
I will love to see Ben Bruce and Shehu Sani lead the charge in pushing for transparency in the running of the National Assembly. That is a noble legacy expected of activists that went to the National Assembly on the platform of shaking things up. But instead of Shehu Sani to help create a culture of transparency and integrity within the Senate with zero tolerance to corruption, he went to bed with Bukola Saraki. Shehu Sani thinks that it is not okay to be kissing Bukola Saraki, who owns a £30 million property through an offshore vehicle at the expense of the poor people of Kwara State, at the same time pretending to be fighting corruption.
Yesterday, Shehu Sani made a show of a visit to JAMB where a “snake” swallowed 36 Million Naira cash. He went with anti-snake venom and snake charmers, in an attempt to make a mockery of Buhari’s fight against corruption. I don’t have any problem with that, but here is the irony, while the mysterious snake swallowed 36 Million Naira instant; Nigerian Senators, including Shehu Sani, are swallowing 36 Million Naira (minimum) monthly. This is in a country where about 60% of Nigerians are living in “absolute poverty”, and Shehu Sani think that’s okay?
You won’t see Senator Sani acting like a clown on the floor of the Nigerian Senate with anti-corruption venom or charm to disarm Saraki and his colleagues. Meanwhile, he is busy bragging about himself, a small pin, popping up balloons at AsoRock and Kaduna State Government House. But at the Nigerian Senate stinking with corruption, the pin in Senator Sani’s breast pocket went missing. Shehu Sani remains a disappointment just like Senator Deno Melaye.
For Shehu Sani and Ben Bruce, corruption only happens “somewhere else”, like the Aso Rock, NNPC, CBN, JAMB, but not in the Green Chambers. Never. While corruption continues to take a great toll on Nigerians, striking, particularly hard at the most vulnerable, Senators like Sani and members of the federal house are pocketing a monthly loot of N36 million and N25 million respectively. All the ignoble representatives do every now and then is to make a show of giving few Kobo to their constituents.
I had always felt intrigued watching politicians make a show of redistributing less than 1 percent of their loot from the national treasures to their constituents. What Senator Sani and his likes are forgetting is that they cannot make the poor wealthy by “dashing” them some Kobo. Fortunately for them, the poor who receive this “generous” presents are not aware that these politicians are oppressors.
At the Nigerian Senate, Shehu Sani joined a cartel that has grown so powerful and sustained by bribery and intimidation of member who dare challenge the powerful men that run the Senate. Senator Ali Ndume can attest to what happens to a Nigerian Senator who dares the armed and dangerous leadership of the Senate under Saraki. Because corruption is rife at the National Assembly, our politicians will lie, pretend and even kill to remain there as long as possible.
Shehu Sani claimed that they “changed the sequence of elections so as to give all political parties a level playing ground”. Big lies! That manipulation of the electoral cat alone portrays the potency of the arsenal at the disposal of Saraki and the leadership of the National Assembly. That’s why I have characterized the cartels as armed and dangerous. They changed the sequence to favor their selfish interests. If not, the right sequence for “level playing ground” should be to start with the State House of Assembly and Governorship elections.
Just like President Buhari, Shehu Sani is now surrendering to the reality that no politician is immune to the corruption of power. This is especially the case with Nigerian senators. Once a senator gets to that Green Chamber, he quickly aligns his interest with the cartels. At the Green Chambers, they all lose the courage to confront the vested interests that stand in the way of the common man and good governance. Whatever Shehu Sani saw in the Senate’s inner chamber that disarmed him is what is attracting corrupt Nigerian politicians to the National Assembly.
As my good friend, Shehu Sani and Ben Bruce are fully aware that corruption remains deeply embedded in the National Assembly. We have not seen any improvement from the bad old days before Shehu Sani and Ben Bruce went to the Senate. If anything, corruption at the Green Chambers has gotten worse. My advice to these parrots that so much hate corruption that they shelter it is to either speak up or forever remain silent. They should stop deceiving Nigerians.
The current outraged reactions of Nigerians are a sign that we are no longer prepared to tolerate endemic corruption. However, as we prepare for next year’s election, there is need to channel awareness and anger currently being spearheaded by the “Red Card Movement” at the failure of the likes of Shehu Sani. As long as Shehu Sani is not reprimanded for failing to even attempt to clean up the mess at his home (National Assembly), the hope that those (if any) sent to the green Chambers by the current “Red Card Movement” will be any better is dead before birth.
I know what you are thinking,“How dare a critic like me to go after Senator Shehu Sani? I am only disappointed that Shehu Sani who ran for office on populist, anti-corruption, and anti-elite platforms sold his soul to Bukola Saraki. All I want the good Senator to do is to pick up 5 stones, throw two at El-Rufai, two at Buhari and one, just one at Bukola Saraki.
Here is the truth: the personal paranoia of pretenders like Shehu Sani and Ben Bruce is not in the interest of the common man that seeks a clean up our corrupt institutions and political system. To succeed as a nation, we should be bold and confront the failure of President Buhari’s anti-corruption fight as well as Senator Shehu Sani’s classic hypocrisy. Shehu Sani doesn’t give a damn about the stinking corruption in the Senate neither does it bother him that Bukola Saraki he is in bed with swindled (is swindling) the people of Kwara State with reckless abandon.
So, when will Shehu Sani grow the balls to stand up to Bukola Saraki?
You can email Churchill at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi