Senate Presidency: Abdul’aziz Yari and his impetuous ambition

Senator Abdulazeez Yari

Legend told us, in one of the parables of the Tortoise, that, in his usual boastful, self-conceited, larger-than-life image of himself, announced to his neighbors that he would soon be setting out on a journey.

His neighbors thought it was a needless and wasteful trip and therefore tried to dissuade him from embarking on that venture.

But the tortoise would have none of what he believed was their glib and irresponsible admonition. Eventually, his neighbors gave up trying to dissuade him and asked; “since you must go on this journey, when will you return?”

“Not until I am disgraced,” the tortoise retorted with a tone of finality.

This is the kind of journey Abdulaziz Yari has embarked upon in his hopeless ambition to become the Senate President of the 10th National Assembly.

Yari’s colleagues in the Senate (who are overwhelmingly in the majority) have told him in so many words and body language that Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio is the one that fits the SP bill in the 10th NASS.

But Yari has been deliberately deaf to his colleagues’ sound of their trumpet.

The question now is; why is Yari so adamant about continuing on a journey that will inevitably end in his disgrace?

There are three likely reasons (perhaps more) that can be deciphered for Yari’s recalcitrance. Two of these reasons don’t require you to be a political scientist, even a student of politics to discern, while the third is discreet with evil intention.

The first is that Abdulaziz Yari, unfortunately, doesn’t have the presence of mind to know when a game is up. This is what one of his colleagues, Sen. Ali Ndume had in mind when he said not long ago that the only thing that qualifies Yari for the pursuit of his Senate presidential ambition is money. And he has loads of it to burn without qualms.

Senator-elect Ndume said the Senate is much more than someone just having plenty of money. But Yari did not, and could not, read the tea leaves from Ndume and his colleagues.

The second is the other side of the first in the sense that since Yari is devoid of the presence of mind to know whose ears the crown has divinely settled, he’s easily being manipulated by those who wanted to use him for what he himself doesn’t understand.

This is where late entrants such as Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Mike Okiro, and Jimoh Ibrahim come in.

And who’s Hakeem Baba-Ahmed again?🤔

Dr. Baba-Ahmed is the Mauritanian spokesperson of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) whose junior brother, Dr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, was PitObi’s running mate in the just concluded presidential election.

Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has a very long dossier tucked inside his turban, much of which cannot be said to be edifying, noble, and considerate of other Nigerian nationalities. The NEF spokesman is an arch-conservative who’s always trying to hide behind one of the fingers of progressivism.

Hakeem, it was who barked at and talked condescendingly to the 17 southern governors in the runup to the parties’ primaries when they demanded that the presidential candidates of APC and PDP must come from the south. He said then that northerners cannot be stampeded into accepting the governors’ demand and, in any case, “Southern President or Northern Vice President we will still lead.” It doesn’t get any more insouciant and condescending than that.

This same Hakeem has now said President Bola Tinubu should allow the senators-elect to choose their leaders without interference.


Next to join the Senate Presidency fray on Yari’s column is Mike Okiro,
former Inspector General of Police. In his remarks when he led an Abuja group from the South-South to him, Okiro said his group will “spread the news” of their visit as they “hope that God will hear our prayers and bless your (Yari’s) ambition.”

Well, there’s nothing wrong with hoping and waiting on God to bless Yari’s ambition. It’s just that the same God has already answered Akpabio’s prayer in his bid to become the Senate President in the 10th National Assembly. And He cannot answer the prayers of two or more people for one crown.

Next is Barr. Jimoh Ibrahim, the new Senator-elect from the Southern Senatorial district of Ondo State.

He was reported to have “dismissed the arguments of party supremacy in guiding the choice of Akpabio as he cited Yari’s experience as governor, chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum, and as a member of the House of Representatives among others for his choice.”

Well, all we will say here, at least for now, is that there are governors. And there are governors.

Perhaps Jimoh Ibrahim was too busy in faraway United Kingdom trimming his Body Mass Index (BMI) to notice that Akpabio had turned Akwa Ibom into a modern showcase as we know it when he was governor of that state.

The third reason, which is subtle, why some elements are egging Yari on a voyage in which he would inevitably be disgraced before his return to base, is more dangerous, if not lethal to the polity in general and Tinubu’s presidency in particular.

These elements are those who never wanted President Bola Tinubu in our nation’s governance saddle. And they’re still not letting up.

They’re hoping to hijack the National Assembly from the president (with Yari who’s more likely going to read an Order Paper upside down) so that they can render his administration indolent and ineffectual.

We know the game too well. They shall fail again just as they failed on all fronts before.

Whoever says this Tinubu government will not succeed will set out on a journey in which he will not return until he’s disgraced.

And so shall it be!


Convener, The Godswill Project (TGP)

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