Having lost his presidential bid and the opportunity to return to the Senate, Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki was facing a bleak political future in Nigeria–until one opportunity came knocking.
And that might keep him from rusting–as someone already used to pressing flesh, holding talk shops, and taking photo ops.
The International Human Rights Commission just nominated Saraki as its ambassador-at-large.
He promptly accepted the nomination, and also expressed his appreciation to the IHRC.
“In a letter dated March 16, 2019, Ambassador Friday Sani, the Diplomatic Head of the Commission to Nigeria and other African countries, stated that as a sequel to the approval of the World Secretary General of the IHRC, Dr. Saraki has been appointed as one of the revered Ambassadors-at-Large of the multinational body,” a statement by Saraki’s media office revealed.
Saraki will be leading the diplomatic team of the IHRC in various diplomatic missions across the world, the release added.
A doctor by training, Saraki has no track record as a human rights advocate–except the little his office as governor and senator, for eight years apiece, taught him.
His personal record during those years was not devoid of allegations of rights abuse, though.
The Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED) and Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) called a press conference in 2017 to challenge Saraki for using political thugs to silence Sahara Reporters, an online whistleblower, he slammed with a billions-naira suit for publishing an opinion.
But if the IHS appointment of Saraki had to do with who paid the most lip service to fighting human rights abuse, then it was a right choice.
In the heat of his friction with his former party APC, the Senate president kept harping on rights abuse against him, and, by way of sublimation, became an advocate for others whose rights he believed the APC government was abusing.
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