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Like it or hate it….accept it or leave it, the major factor that swept Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki out of office by way of losing his election in Kwara Central senatorial district was the “deadly” campaign slogan launched against him by political foes. It was branded “O TO GE” which implies ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Whether the slogan was conceived and nursed outside Kwara but hatched in Kwara is a topic for another day. One thing is very obvious this slogan will outlive it’s creators. By this, I mean, a lot of politicians will be consumed by this slogan. It started with Saraki but I don’t see it ending with him. Many will taste it. Many will kiss the canvass after encountering this tsunami. It is a new political order. It is now a political movement of some sort. It is a sweeping wind that will upset many apple charts. Many a political godfather will be victims of TSUNAMI O TO GE.
For new inductees, O TO GE was launched after several failed attempts to unseat Saraki in his several battles with his political foes. His foes exploited all avenues to get him out following his increasing popularity among Nigerians who are divided over the continuous confrontation between the executive arm of government and the legislative led by Saraki.
Then came the 2019 election….and O TO GE was coined and launched. It suggested that the SARAKI POLITICAL DYNASTY which started with his father a one time Majority Leader in the Senate, Oloye Olusola Saraki has controlled Kwara politics for over three decades. The exit of Saraki senior led to the rise and emergence of Saraki junior who has held on to power conviniently ever since. This O TO GE suggests should stop.
From Kwara politics Bukola Saraki like his father gained access to the centre, talking about national politics which many prefer to simply call Abuja. Saraki’s trouble started once he indicated interest to become Senate President shortly after the 2015 election. His desire ran contrary to the wish of his party’s chieftains and leadership. He galvanized support from among the senators of the South East, South South and North Central his geo-political zone to actualize his ambition which was described by his aggrieved party chieftains (then APC) as treacherous. The rest like they say is history! But that became the genesis of O TO GE because many Kwarans have been convinced to believe that Bukola Saraki’s political ambition is taking its toll on and dwarfing the general interest and development of Kwara and Kwarans.
But for as long as political godfatherism and urge to gain and control power and a people are concerned Kwara will not be the first and last to speak the language and with the voice dubbed O TO GE. More will follow.
There are several Local Government Councils, senatorial zones, states and geo-political zones or regions that may borrow a leaf from TSUNAMI O TO GE in the nearest future. The tsunami that swept away Saraki surely will have a bandwagon effect if we go by the political history and development in Nigeria. Nigerians should be prepared for more O TO GEs in elections to come. Imo State politics in the last one year could be likened to O TO GE style because it reduced the influence of outgoing governor Rochas Okorocha who was accused of playing the politics tagged “familiocracy”.
The face-off between Lagos outgoing governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and his godfather, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu which got tongues wagging was coloured with O TO GE argument by sympathisers of Ambode.
The standard has been set with Bukola Saraki but he and Kwara won’t be the end. Saturdays election spoke the O TO GE language in some areas but they were suppressed and overwhelmed by the violence recorded. The fire has been set and doused but the ashes still produce smoke….There are chances that the flame will burn again…and when it does, it may consume those who try or attempt to put it off. Unknown to Nigerians O TO GE has come to stay…and it may just be at your doorstep…
As for my thoughts on Abubakar Bukola Saraki, he will ALWAYS earn my respect for being a dogged and astute politician and personality he is. These qualities and more catapulted him to the exalted position of Senate President after being two-term governor. You don’t just get to that office (Senate President) if you’re lilly-livered. You don’t just get it because you are a senator or you had been a two-term governor. It is an office meant for real politicians who know their onus. It is for real men…men who’ve got balls. Not all Saraki’s foes can be Senate President in Nigeria’s hot political waters…Many are still praying to achieve Saraki’s political feat and may not. Of course, it is expected for him to plot his way back to the top. Who says Saraki cannot bounce back? President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo are testaments of persons who bounced back and got better. Best wishes Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki!