In June 2015 when Bukola Saraki emerged as senate president against the wishes of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), most top figures in the party avoided fraternising with him publicly. But Atiku Abubakar, the former Nigerian vice president, was an exception. He released a statement a few hours after Saraki’s victory, congratulating him (and Dogara), saying that Nigerians were looking up to them.
That same evening, Saraki visited Atiku in his Abuja home, the two men smiling to the cameras, while Aso Rock and Bourdillon fumed over how things turned out.
Fast forward 16 months later, and Saraki has recorded another stunning victory. After more than a year in court fighting accusations that he conspired to forge the rules of the senate, Saraki came out on top in his fight with the executive on Friday as federal prosecutors dropped the charges against him.
They said they halted prosecution of that case because of another case in court, but no one is convinced. That other suit being referred to is a civil case; while the one they dropped is a criminal one. The general sentiment is that Saraki has cut a deal with President Muhammadu Buhari.
In his statement afterwards, Saraki was bullish, insisting that the charges against him were politically induced, and commending the Buhari government for “finally” finding the courage and strength of character to drop the case.
Once again, of all APC figures, Atiku took the lead in congratulating Saraki a few hours after the charges were dropped and commending Buhari for dropping the “disturbing allegations.” Just like in 2015, a few hours after Atiku released his statement, the two men were seen together at the mosque for their Friday prayers. Comrades. Successful once again. The couple that prays together.
See photos from the mosque below: