By Olalekan Adigun
After the famous June 9, 2015 National Assembly leadership elections, I was among the first set of commentators who publicly shared their views on the outcomes.
Unlike many earlier commentators, I saw, I saw nothing wrong in the election and the outcomes. I recall writing under the title, National Assembly Crisis: Seriously Searching. Disappointingly, I wrote against the views of many pro-Buhari commentators at the time because I felt the elections should provide the compass as to how dirty Buhari's opponents were ready to fight him for the next four years. Many like Comrade Jiti Ogunye, at the time, continued to nurse the hopes of legally getting the newly elected Senate President, Bukola Saraki, out of office. I wrote a direct response to Jiti even though I am not a lawyer, that such will be an exercise in futility. In all cases, I was vindicated. Saraki has become the dirty tool in the hands of Buhari's opponents to fight him; his opponents have become bolder, dirtier, and even more adventurous since they now know they can even get away with murder as long as they oppose Buhari!
In all, I thought being an "objective" commentator was a virtue. I recall being subject to personal attacks from someone who claims to be a Buhari supporter in a text message he sent to me. He said at the time that I was supporting the Senate President because, like me, Saraki hails from Kwara state. I have not ceased laughing off this puerile allegation because the last qualification for me to support anyone will be where they come from or what they worship. Saraki's supporters have not ceased to savour those moments. Those were their finest hours. Those were the best times to support Saraki and enjoy peaceful life. I have watched these set of so-called "objective" supporters ever since, and I have seen that they are about the most hypocritical among those supporting any politician in modern Nigeria.
The first thing one will notice about Saraki's supporters is that they almost will never admit he is the deity they worship. He is the “Nameless One”. They are only good at making general comments about him, his power, his influence, or his charisma especially in Kwara politics. Unlike Buhari, GEJ, Atiku, or OBJ supporters who almost go about with an ID to demonstrate their support and loyalty, Saraki's supporters will never admit he is their godfather or paymaster except those with media portfolios, like Bankole Omisore, who for obvious reasons have to always be under public scrutiny. Admitting Saraki as their role models will compromise their positions on a lot of issues.
The second thing is that they want to always be seen to be "objective" or "neutral" critics/commentators. Many Saraki's supporters are at least publicly in support of APC. They support APC candidates in local elections but "balance it" by their factory setting disdain for Buhari. They see everything wrong in Buhari and his administration. They support everything against Buhari and his administration. The Senate refused to pass the budget in 7 months, they will say, "The Senate as an institution has its own procedures" or keep mum. The Inspector-General of Police refuse to appear before the larger-than-life Saraki's Senate, "Buhari is a dictator who doesn't respect the Legislature." Omo-Agege gets suspended from the Senate for criticising Saraki, they will say "The Senate is an institution that can determine its own rules" or “National Assembly is now really an independent institution it was meant to be not an appendage of the Executive.” If Buhari has done one-tenth of what Saraki alone has done in the Senate, I wonder what these "objective" supporters will be saying by now. It is on record that some Buhari's ministers and appointees disagreed with him publicly, one even declared to support for one of his opponents in 2019 and nobody got sacked or suspended. Will Saraki have taken one-quarter of any of these even as Kwara state Governor?
They were some of the loudest supporters of IPOB on social media. To lay claim to their much-vouched "objectivity" and "neutrality", they will say "I'm an APC supporter, but Buhari isn't fair to IPOB" or statements of such just to make the President look bad. They have issues with those who support Buhari but do not dare touch "my anointed" and they will fight you by accusing you being an "incorrigible Buharist who is blind to the truth" because they also supported Buhari in 2015!
For Saraki's supporters, their ultimate mission is for Buhari to lose come 2019, even if that guarantees political extinction of their hero. That is the only way they can have access to unlimited power. They will never publicly admit it, but that is their daily prayer. Much of the sour legislative-executive relations witnessed since 2015 has much to do with this singular objective. Saraki's supporters are like the flood who does not mind collapsing the building. If their god doesn't get whatever he wants, they can afford to set the building on fire. The 2019 elections, as far as they are concerned, must not hold if it won't guarantee power and more power to their deity.
These "objective" supporters are not just publicly saying it that they are not as "objective" as they want us to believe. Not all those who are Buhari's supporters are APC members. It also goes that it is not all those who are APC supporters support Buhari. A good example of this set of people are Saraki's supporters. That a lot of people don't know the difference between supporting APC and supporting Buhari is the benefit these so-called "objective" supporters they are deriving from broad daylight hypocrisy.
So the next time you want to talk to someone like me, don't come and tell me how "objective" or "neutral" you are on the issue. Most of the time, "fencists" are more dangerous than well-known opponents. Despite the fact that I rarely agree with the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode, Ayo Fayose, Reno Omokri and others, they have never claimed to be "objective" and I respect them for standing with what they believe in. Saraki's "objective" supporters are just a group of hypocrites hiding under the cover of "objectivity" to get away with murder unharmed!