A wreath for Saraki
By Adewale Adeoye
Lean and emaciated Olusola Saraki has finally lost a crown he and his family had seized for decades.
He flew Ilorin on Sunday followed by boos and hues. Those that once held him like an unmoved mover chased and abused him.
Saraki was a phenomenon but the curtain was drawn on his stage on Saturday.
In politics, people are motivated by interests.
A single strand of event can lead to critical decisions of a people to vote against a political party they recognised as a rendezvous for their enemy.
Saraki was hiding in PDP. The PDP in Kwara automatically became the enemy of the people.
If he had contested in APC, which was most unlikely, I think he would have lost.
The Pan Yoruba groups should be commended. They didn’t use the socia media. They used the face-to-face media.
They took Kwara by storm.Daily, in the night, in the morning and also in the dew hours, they met people on the streets armed with ideas.
They met people in the villages, farms, valleys and those in the hills of the Kwara Eastern bloc.
Popoola told me that in one instance after distributing pamphlets at the Emir’ s palace, some residents contributed money to honour them.
Ideas can still motivate the masses in Nigeria.
So, for 31 days, Yoruba Revolutionary Movement, Oodua Nationalist Coalition, Agbekoya, Yoruba Muslim-Christain Dialogue Group, Agbekoya, Coalition of Oodua Self Determination Groups, Oodua Peoples Congress, Kwara-Kogi Alliance and 35 other groups took Saraki headlong.
In one instance, the house they stayed at was attacked by armed men. Unarmed combat ensured after their main leader had his weapon stuck, not able to fire.
At Ilorin on Thursday night, the hotel some of these activists stayed was attacked again by armed groups. Again, the violent men met their match..They retreated. Their masters were determined to win. But they lost.
Saraki stands for no-one.
He stands only for his interests and his pockets. His ability to survive these long years was not because of any special skill but rather his being the knight of decor and mischief. He claims to be Yoruba when he comes to Lagos but in Kano he claims to be Fulani.
At Ilorin he claims to be both Yoruba and Fulani combined.
He was a pain in the neck of the Yoruba people. When he comes to Lagos he uses Yoruba accent. In the North he employs Fulani accent.
To him, every situation must be exploited for personal aggrandizement.
From the beginning, his dynasty ensured the name West Central State was changed to Kwara. .
He ensured the Yoruba never had a first rated Oba in Ilorin. The Oba of Jebba for instance faced several death threats for stand up on his feet.
Until the period of Bamigboye, Kwara Obas must not put on their shoes when coming to Ilorin for a meeting. They must come and speak in subdued tones.
Even for the Fulani in Ilorin, he offers them no pride. He fuelled and exploited to the brim the division between Fulani and Yoruba in Ilorin even though the Yoruba have assimilated the Fulani in Ilorin for over 150 years. The Fulani in Ilorin speak Yoruba.
They do not speak even their traditional language of Fulfude.
Saraki kept playing the divisive politics on which he thrived and fed.
This man is sly, slanderous, mischievious, cunny, deceitful and superstitious.
He exploits and what matters to him is his own personal interest and what he benefits from every encounter.
He relies on voodoo and marabout as the source of his prowess.
But his myth is like a filthy rag in the face of the creator of heaven and earth.
The people do not respect him. They only feared him. For years they were cowed, humiliated and subdued.
Saraki ran Kwara like a family business. He brought in no development to the people.
His philosophy is driven by the ability to offer crumbs to a toilworn population.
He believes in dispensing favours in grains.
He enjoys keeping the people poor so that they can be at his mercy.
Personally, he has no industry where he ever employed up to 10 people. Politics is his business.
The self determination groups impressed me. Silently they worked and assiduously too.
The last time they did this was for former Governor Lawal. The milestones remain evergreen.
If they could do this in Kwara, and won, they can indeed do it in any part of Yorubaland, as the new engine of radical politics.
However, the real heroes are the Kwara people themselves who travelled from all over the world, worked as a united group to bring an end to decades of pain and anguish perpetrated by one man.
Saraki, be warned, is not yet history. As long as the decadent space thrives, he may indeed find his way back through the backdoor. Let the people be on guard.