“I am one, my liege,
Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
Have so incensed that I am reckless what
I do to spite the world.” Macbeth, Act 3. Scene 1.
Before I went to America, I thought all Americans went about saying smart things like “be careful what you wish for because you might get it” or “he is up shit creek without a paddle” or “whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
As a child who read Westerns, my favoruite was “up shit creek without a paddle.”
That American saying has been bobbing around my head for days now since Bukola Saraki finally made his appearance at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and then was pelted with stones at the mosque.
But the tragedy is that being the son of privilege that he is, he is the only one who cannot see his dire predicament.
This present crisis is Bukola Saraki’s nunc dimitis, the swan song to his political career because powerful people are out to get him.
It is 90% probable that he will lose the senate presidency and his dream of ruling Nigeria will never materialize. From now on, what remains is a descent to political obscurity for the crown prince of Kwara state and if he wants to find out who to blame, Saraki should stand before a mirror in any of his mansions in Ikoyi or London or Abuja or Ilorin and he will see who.
He is the architect of his own misfortune.
Bukola Saraki is an ambitious man and ambitious men often come to sorry passes. But before I proceed let me make a clear distinction between an ambitious man and a man of ambition:a man of ambition waits for his turn but an ambitious man makes his own turn. Think of Macbeth. Think of Haman. Think of a million others whose vaulting ambition led to their downfall.
Bukola Saraki has always wanted to be in charge from running Societe Generale Bank to Kwara state, the Senate of the Federal Republic and as he hoped, the country Nigeria.
But as a character admonished in the 1987 American movie, No Way Out, starring Kevin Kostner and Iman –Men have got to know their limitations.
I can safely conclude that Bukola Saraki did not see that movie and so missed that crucial piece of advice. Once things got hairy concerning his ambition to be Senate president, Saraki should have conceded something but instead his swagger went into over-drive.
I am also sure that he never heard the phrase – cut your losses. If he did he would have taken the Dogara route and conceded something but he did not. He even refused to read the letter sent to him by his party, the APC.
In Nigerian politics, no politician exemplifies the phrase ‘cut your losses’ like Atiku Abubakar. After every defeat, Atiku rises, dusts the seat of his pants and goes away without recriminations to return another day.
It is not the same with Saraki. He doesn’t seem to know limits and apparently has scant respect for authority. Remember his alleged dismissal of the Vice President as a common commissioner. Reports from Kwara state indicate that he has turned that state into personal fiefdom with the state governor reduced to a mere errand boy.
A rich man’s son Saraki must have grown up getting whatever he wanted but he was obviously not satisfied. He wanted the Senate presidency and he got it but now, I am pretty sure he is wishing he did not because as Americans love to say – be careful what you wish because you might get it.
Bukola Saraki got it but he is about to lose it all. He has become like a man who stole a whistle and is surprised by the fact that he cannot blow it or else the owner will hear.
News reports say Saraki is blaming his attack at the Ilorin central on the Kwara state governor, his former ‘boy’ who was conveniently away at his village mosque when the stones were cast.
Instead of looking for who to blame, Saraki will do well to take stock, cut his losses and restrategize but no, like Shakespeare’s character in Macbeth he is “so incensed that /I am reckless what /I do to spite the world” and so, the Senate presidency he hankered after is about to slip out of his grip and his dreams of ruling Nigeria have gone up in smoke.
So, for Bukola Saraki we ask, quo vadis? What next? A date in court; may be a conviction, the loss of the senate presidency and political obscurity.
It hurts but that is the truth because Bukola Saraki is up shit creek without a paddle and he doesn’t even know it.