MONEY, POWER & BETRAYAL: Meet The Man Who Stuck a Dagger in Saraki’s Back
*Prosecution lawyer admits Nasir el-Rufai provided evidence used against Saraki in the trial
*Is it indication that el-Rufai nurses presidential ambition?
When one thinks about James Freeman Clarke’s observation that “politicians all too often think about the next election; statesmen think about the next generation”, one is inclined to believe that he had Nigeria
With the 2015 presidential election concluded, politicians are now setting their sights on the next election which comes up in four years’ time. To many, 2019 may seem far away, but to politicians the race
started immediately after the last election.
With the All Progressives Congress (APC) still battling itself over who controls what, the permutations, intrigues and behind-the-scenes negotiations have started going on within the ruling party as to the person
that would replace President Muhammadu Buhari, if he decides not to re-contest in 2019. Noticing this possible vacuum, “smart” politicians have started jostling for the exalted position.
At the moment, the ruling party is divided into three factions: The President’s men (el-Rufai and others); Tinubu and his loyalists form another faction; and a third group, now led by Senate President Bukola Saraki.
All are potential challengers for 2019.
As things are now, Bukola Saraki seems to have a stronger hand, based on his status as occupant of the third most powerful office in Nigeria. This explains why the other two factions would go to any length to
bring him down.
The 13-count charge of fraud brought against Saraki by the Code of Conduct Bureau is palpable proof that the battle for 2019 is getting messier.
Last week, the Special Assistant to the Senate President on New Media, Bamikola Omishore, tweeted via his twitter handle that the prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, said in open court that it was Kaduna State
governor, Nasir el-Rufai, that provided all the evidence that will be used against his boss.
Are you surprised by that allegation? Well, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, it would seem, has a history of betrayals. It would be recalled that he has at different times in his political sojourn turned against his friends and
former bosses, including Nuhu Ribadu, Madam Okonjo-Iweala, and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, just to name a few.
Being named as the unseen hand in this trial is seen by many as proof that the governor is secretly nursing a presidential ambition.
Political analysts believe that the only way the governor can actualise his “dream” is to assume a pivotal role in the President’s kitchen cabinet, thereby influencing key government decisions. That may also
explain the unhealthy political relations between Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and el-Rufai, as reported recently by The Trent.