In this messy fight between Tinubu and Saraki, don’t take sides

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Tinubu and Saraki are fighting dirty in the gutter. Don’t take sides, because this isn’t about you. It has never been about you.

According to Senate President Bukola Saraki, APC godfather Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu told him that even though President Buhari has been a failure at governance and is battling a health challenge, he would rather back Buhari for a second term in 2019 because when the presidency rotates to the South west in 2023, he (Tinubu) will be the ultimate beneficiary.

It sounds like a conversation politicians engage in all the time in the corridors of power.

Saraki made the disclosure after Tinubucalled him a bloody opportunist who is using the senate presidency for his unbridled ambition to become president of Nigeria.

“However, no progressive enactment bears his name for he cared not for progress. He has been more focused on changing the rules of the senate to favour himself and changing the order of elections so as to coincide with his selfish designs”, Tinubu wrote of Saraki.

Those were hard, searing words.

The Asiwaju added that “If Saraki had remained in the APC, he would be unable to reclaim his senate seat let alone the senate presidency. He thus bolted because he lusts for the presidency but was promised by the PDP, at least, a return to his position in the senate.

Bola Tinubu tags Saraki power hungry (Tolani Ali)

“For Senate President Saraki, returning to the PDP, he harbors dreams of the presidency….”

Saraki’s response to Tinubu was just as loaded. The senate president said he fell out with Tinubu because he didn’t support Asiwaju’s bid to become Buhari’s running mate in 2015, on the grounds that a Muslim-Muslim ticket wasn’t going to be good for the APC’s chances of seizing power from the PDP.

Saraki said of Tinubu: ”It should be noted that he has not forgotten the fact that I took the bull by the horns and told him that in the interest of the country, he should accept the need for the party to present a balanced ticket for the 2015 general elections in terms of religion and geo-political zones. Since that time he has been very active; plotting at every point to undermine me, both within and outside the national assembly”.

I have seen quite a lot of folks taking sides since both men decided to wash the other’s dirty linen in public. My advice is that you shouldn’t. Unless you are a paid supporter of either Tinubu or Saraki or a sycophant of either man, you really should be sitting this one out.

In the murky, convoluted world that is politics, no one will ever know who is telling the truth and who is looking out for the people between Saraki and Tinubu. Both men are politicians schooled in the art of swaying the national conversation their way.

This whole back and forth between Tinubu and Saraki is therefore not about the common good or national interest. It is about the lust for power for the sake of it. It is about conquering Nigeria and channeling as much of the nation’s wealth to their pockets. This is not about you. It is not about me.

Bukola Saraki has been eyeing the Nigerian presidency (Saraki media team)

It is perhaps no longer a secret that Tinubu wanted to become Buhari’s running mate in 2015. He hinted as much afterwards. In the end, it was Osinbajo–who Tinubu handpicked because a Muslim-Muslim ticket was never going to fly in an ethno-religious Nigeria–who became Buhari’s vice president instead.

We also know that there was a time when Tinubu and Buhari weren’t this cordial. You could see that their relationship had broken down. However, with the 2019 election in the horizon, Buhari made peace with Tinubu and ceded some powers to appoint federal employees to the Asiwaju. All of this is in the public domain.

One more thing: Tinubu and Saraki have been nursing presidential ambitions of their own. No one should tell you otherwise. They are both very ambitious, power hungry men who love to flaunt those powers at every opportunity. This is essentially what this is all about.

So, when they fight, you are better off taking a stool to watch ringside without backing either man. That way, you are assured of your sanity when they both meet at the next power meeting to share corny jokes, cut deals, laugh at themselves, make peace and appropriate the national cake to themselves.

Again, enjoy the drama but don’t get involved. You are only allowed in here as a powerless spectator and fodder.

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