There is an age-long debate in the sphere of leadership on the subject “Are leaders made or born?” While logical arguments have been made from both sides of the divide, the world of politics is yet to find a common ground.
Today an answer has been put to that question and we find a symbolic representation in Saraki that leaders are both born and made.
In ancient Biblical times, the first man God asked to be anointed as King of Israel was Saul. The Bible says “Kish had a son named Saul, a choice and handsome man; among the sons of Israel there was not a man more handsome than he. From his shoulders and up he was [a head] taller than any of the people.” 1 Samuel 9:2
So Saul’s physical attributes distinguished him among all the children of Israel and he could be said to have been a Born Leader.
When you look at the political class today and many of the images you see online, Saraki is always a noteworthy figure in them based on his good looks and the fact that he always stands taller than many of his contemporaries.
He can be said to have been Born a leader by his maker. It is not a mere coincidence that he is gifted with distinguishing physical attributes.
However, the second King of Israel, one God described as a man after his heart was David. When God asked Samuel to go and anoint one of the sons of Jesse as King, having previously anointed Saul based on his physical attributes, Samuel assumed that would be the same basis for which God will choose the next king but the bible records that
“So it happened, when they had come, he looked at Eliab [the eldest son] and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:6-7
David was then sent for from the wilderness where he was tendering to his father’s sheeps to be anointed as King because he had a heart of service.
This dimension exposed us to the fact that as opposed to Eliab who was born a leader based on physical attributes or Saul who was anointed for the same reasons, David was a “Made Leader” due to his training and heart for service.
You can have different reservations about Saraki based on hearsays but you can’t deny the fact that he has a heart for others and he has genuinely served Kwarans and is still serving us. His achievements as state governor and his exploits nationally as a political figure from Kwara state is what has made our state at the frontburner of national conversations.
You will ask, if Saraki is both a “Born Leader” like Saul and a “Made Leader” like David, what happened in 2019?. Students of the bible will tell you that David despite all his exploits and service to Israel was also at some point deposed as King and the rebellion started from his family. He fled from the throne and ended up in the cave of Adullam. It was initially a punishment from God to teach him a lesson which he needed to learn in seclusion for the greater assignment ahead. It was recorded that David’s return as a King was more glorious than his beginning hence till date, he is recorded as the greatest king of Israel. His legacy transcends the fact that he was once rejected, mocked and spat at.
Bukola Saraki has been vilified, victimized, humiliated, rejected which led the way into his cave of Adullam and he has learnt the best lessons needed for his latter day reign.
After David’s reign, the kingdom of Israel became divided among the 12 tribes till date simply because those who ruled after him lacked understanding on how to manage and unify a people. Nationally, Saraki as Senate President was victimized as the one impeding Nigeria’s progress by Tinubu and his cohorts unknowing to many that he was the one holding the country together.
Tinubu in his infamous Emi lokan video confirmed that Saraki was infact the one who stood against his VP ambition in 2015 citing that Nigeria’s unity was too frail to test run a same religion ticket, a decision for which they became vindictive against him for. Look at Nigeria today and sincerely tell me if Saraki has not been vindicated. Hasn’t our religious divisions become more pronounced today?
Muslims voted overwhelming for Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 and Christians overwhelming for Buhari in 2015 to the extent of RCCG getting the blame for APC’s failures. Today, pastors and imams have descended into the arena of politics using the pulpits to further inflame the country because one candidate is prostituting around churches while another is trying to pander to religious sentiments. Has Nigeria’s unity become better for it or has the mutual suspicion between christians and muslims not become heightened today?
The man Saraki saw this ahead of us and tried to foil it but we refused to listen. Saraki is today loved by Christians and Muslims alike and you can’t say the same for many of our divisive leaders. Saraki’s open heart as a nationalist is why a David Titiloye can be doing an exegesis of his personality despite being a Christian.
I look forward to the day Nigeria will blessed to have Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki as President before we end up like the tribes of Israel.
Finally, my prayer for Saraki is from a Psalm of David
“My enemies cannot speak a truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with flattery. O God, declare them guilty. Let them be caught in their own traps. Drive them away because of their many sins, for they have rebelled against you” Psalm 5:9-11.
David Titiloye writes from Owu-Isin