Who is the Nigerian most desperate to remove Bukola Saraki as Senate President? This question would be the cheapest trivia on Nigerian politics at the moment.
Adams Oshiomhole! And he has never hidden it.
Since July 31, when Saraki hurriedly announced his resignation form the All Progressives Congress (APC) after getting wind of his impending dismissal from the party, Oshiomhole has never hidden his determination to ensure Saraki loses his office.
The former labour leader has taken advantage of every APC caucus meeting, every meeting with the party leadership, every encounter with state house correspondents, every press conference since then, to preach the gospel of Saraki’s removal as Senate President.
The tension between both men began to heighten after Saraki addressed a ‘World Press Conference’ in Abuja on August 8, during which he insisted that he would only quit office if impeached by two-thirds majority of the upper chamber.
Two days later, Oshiomhole threw a sucker punch at a press conference of his own. “When Saraki defected, he went to Ilorin to tell the people part of the truth that he was leaving for two reasons,” he said.
“He alleged that President Buhari gave out over 200 juicy appointments without allocating some to him and he chose to speak for the Speaker of the House of Representatives that he was also not given.
“My question is, giving Saraki the Senate President ‘juicy position’, does that coincide with the Nigerian project? Or the interest of the people of Kwara State of his Senatorial zone? At no time did he refer to the interest of the people of his constituency or the people of Nigeria.”
If Oshiomhole’ words were a sucker punch, the response from Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki’s spokesman, was the mother of all uppercuts.
“It is indeed amazing that the same Oshiomhole, who is now describing Saraki as a politician of no consequence was the same one who only a few months ago was crawling all over the place pleading for Saraki's support to become chairman,” he said. “We are sure that those who took him to Saraki several times to plead his case must now be thoroughly embarrassed by his reckless and uncouth manner.”
Now, who would have thought that there was a time when both men were cool together — or, to hit the nail on the head — that there was a time when Oshiomhole deferred to Saraki? That was a little over a month ago, sometime in July, as shown in the photo above, tweeted on Friday by Bamikole Omisore, Saraki’s Special Assistant on International relations to Saraki.
The photo, as you can see, shows Oshiomhole bowing down to Saraki, while his pretty wife Iara, Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun and Zamfara Governor Abdulaziz Yari watched on.
But in politics, things can change quickly. Now that both men are sworn enemies, sort of, will Oshiomhole someday bow down again to Saraki? Or will Saraki be the one to someday be the one to bow down to Oshiomhole?
The answer, as you can imagine, depends on who wins the resign-I-won’t-resign or impeach-I-cannot-be-impeached war. And that we shall know in the fullness of time.