Opinion; Saraki: An Uncommon Hero @57

By Baba Idris Whenever any Nigerian comes into the world of his own, it is usually a world class phenomenon; such a Nigerian, within a twinkle of an eye, becomes a cynosure of all eyes. He could be in government, business industry and a professional body through which he distinguishes self among his peers. This is what the Wazirin Geri of Ilorin Emirate, Senator (Dr) Abubakar Bukola Saraki, typifies, no matter the diatribes from the naysayers. Whether anyone believe it or not, Saraki has redefined governance of this country, using his political clout and wider influence to make the unreal real. Today is very significant in the life of the immediate-past President of the Senate, Dr Saraki, an icon and a living legend. It is indeed the day to celebrate the warlord of our time, who has crossed the proverbial Rubicon politically. He is a man that chooses human capital development as topmost priority. The Wazirin Geri has scaled through several hurdles, and with the feat, the Kwara born political warlord has booked a space in the nation’s political sphere. We may disagree to agree, and sometimes we may agree to disagree but the facts about the political warlord from Kwara still remain the same. Nobody ever promised us that life would be easy but it takes the courageous one to choose the uneasy path to enable him make positive differences for the sake of his state and the interest of Nigerians at large. Many people criticised Bukola Saraki for choosing a path assumed leading to nowhere but they failed to realize that it is not about the path leading to the gate entrance but its about the path to posterity. As a young man, you begin to weigh your options and how you can combat the difficult times faced in our society and from there, you begin to observe all our leaders before taking a queue. It took me time before I could take a queue behind the Kwara born political warlord and so far, I have no regrets. One of the facts about life is what we must accept and we must accept that life is never a smooth ride. Life comes with ups and downs and sometimes it even comes with hiccups but whatever it brings, we must learn to embrace it. They thought Saraki lost but we know Saraki did not lose, we lost. But because we are bad students of history, we feel Saraki lost. It is very unfortunate that hundreds and thousands of personalities built thought that if they take Saraki down, they themselves will remain standing. They did not realise that joint destinies were tied together. Where are they all today? After the demise of Dr Olusola Saraki, the late political icon in 2012, Dr Bukola Saraki promised to do more for Kwarans even when we know the shoes of his late father were too big. Saraki took over the mantle of leadership and became thirsty in the course of trying to satisfy Kwarans but he discovered that there was no way to meet up with the demands and needs of his people because in Kwara, we don’t have the financial strength, we don’t have valuable mineral and natural resources that can raise the standard of his people to envious stage, and so he left the state for national politics. The main battle started in 2015 immediately after he became the President of the Senate because some people felt that seat is their birthright and a KWARAN of all state is not meant to be sitting on that seat. Saraki sat in a hot seat for four years but ensured that his people continued getting the dividends of his sweat. Dr Saraki’s son or daughter was never made his SA, SLA, or LA but larger percent of Kwarans were his aides. The political warlord continued to share laughter and blessings with his people while he was the number three citizen but he never share his pains and sorrows with them because he felt it was a price he must pay to at least meet up with the needs and demands of his people. Saraki raised many Kwarans, he empowered many women and above all, made young men/women to be blessings in their families and that is one of the reasons why ten families can’t be counted without Saraki’s seeds in at least two or three families in Kwara. This young man facilitated many road projects to nooks and crannies in Kwara; he built schools in communities and even continued with the responsibilities that were not meant to be his personal business but inherited. And today, our leader is no more the President of the Senate but while he was holding the covetous seat, Saraki never supported a bill to gag Nigerians; he never allowed the National Assembly to be cowed by the executive arm; he presided over the best Senate in the history of Nigeria, according to Professor Jega’s report. He never proposed renovation of National Assembly for N37Billion; he chaired a senate that was responsive to the plight of Nigerians, and it is heartening that Dr Saraki’s led Senate recorded the highest number of bills passed in the history of Nigeria! We will continue to urge Saraki to be strong and not think of those he empowered that suddenly became his adversaries. He should not be weighed down by those that made a lot from him but got to Assemblies within Ilorin and claimed they got nothing. Saraki should not lose sleep over those that battered his image with lies and dent because Kwara politics has always been the politics of deceit even when we all know that Loyalty can be rewarded, but it cannot be purchased. At this juncture, we will be introducing Mentorship and Mentee in the structure, which will enable the younger generation live to learn and learn to grow, because Saraki has laid the foundation to build on. Our profound gratitude goes to the former President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who clocks 57 today for believing in our generation! Call him a living lengend or an uncommon hero on earthly realm, that is our leader for you.

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