Still on @bukolasaraki’s Senate Presidency By Wale Bakare
In principle, the more information we have about a person, the better decision we are likely to make. This has been made manifest from the results collated from the just concluded Presidential/House of rep and Governorship/State Assembly elections. It would eventually become camaraderie-of-sort where contestants were rewarded by voters for their esteemed loyalty to a noble course. In Kwara State for instance, the leader of the All Progressive Congress Senator Bukola Saraki was hugely rewarded for the legendary role he played in dislodging the Jonathan backed PDP in the state following his defection officially from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2013.
Ever since the tides have assumed a new turbulence, change was imminent-the type that will eventually sweep the entire political terrain like a tsunami. How do you explain a scenario where an individual out of the pack was brave enough to thread where others dared for fear of being victimized politically? Saraki has never hidden his lost love for the Jonathan led administration based on his uncontrollably level of grandstanding and impunity on national issues. The resultant force was a ripple effect singlehandedly orchestrated by ‘leader’ as he is fondly called by his people to win over the entire PDP structure in Kwara State to the newly formed APC early in 2013 to signal the beginning of an era. This, for me will remain one of Saraki’s political triumphs outside the barn; the type the late waziri of Ilorin will be proud.
Having led the funerary rites of the PDP in Kwara State and his glowing achievements in the concluding 7th national assembly Bukola Saraki is seen by many as the ideal man to take over the leadership of the Senate. Their reason is hinged on his cognate legislative experience and the impact he has brought to the chamber despite being his first legislative tenure. The task for the Senate Presidency requires a candidate that can communicate effectively, perform well under pressure and build a trustworthy team that can function with minimal interferences. Bukola Saraki has demonstrated these traits at every given opportunity; hence the right man to lead the 8th assembly post may 29th 2015.
It will be more fruitful to carefully examine the specific cases where Bukola Saraki showed doggedness, leadership acumen and an uncommon bravery even while he was still in the opposition. Saraki speaks a great deal but says so little. Those who are not adept politically will continue to struggle with the choice of Saraki by most Nigerians as the next senate president.
An objective assessment of Bukola Saraki’s first term as a Senator will be enough a guide to the doubting Thomas in extrapolating his leadership qualities when compared to his contemporaries. In his four years in the senate, Bukola Saraki validated his legislative experience in key areas such as Environment, Finance, Health and Agriculture. He has championed the passage of many bills in favour of the masses such as the Anti-tobacco bill, the Nosdra amendment bill for tougher sanction on oil spillage despite the fact that the assembly receives about one hundred and fifty bills yearly and a host of several interventions to ensure safety of lives and the environment.
Truth be told, there are a couple of legislators in their third or fourth terms with little or nothing to show for the confidence reposed in them by their people; they ride on the back of their party’s popularity to win elections without any impact on their constituency.
Despite the schmoozing, backslapping and ego-massaging that comes with his job as the Senator representing Kwara Central and leader of his party-APC, Saraki has been a very upright leader bold enough to tweak the vision envisaged by our founding fathers by raising the motion on transparency and accountability in fuel subsidy management. This led to the probe of the downstream sector and reduced wastage on subsidy payment to unlicensed oil marketers, a feat applauded by Nigerians back home and in the diaspora.
With the All Progressive Congress taking the majority in the house and the re-election of Bukola Saraki to continue in office, it has been argued that a Bukola Saraki presidency in the Senate will be the next best thing to happen in the country after General Buhari’s victory at the polls.
On resumption, the 8th Assembly is most likely to be constituted of former governors, and our attention again, is being to the robust leadership and landmark successes recorded by Senator Bukola Saraki to the admiration of many of his colleague while he held sway as the Chairman of the governors forum.
Based on these achievements, we will agree that any other candidate shortlisted for the post of the senate president will only come a distance second to Bukola Saraki. A docile Senate presidency isn’t what Nigeria needs at this dire time of political recovery. What we need is an energetic, young vibrant mind that will strengthen the nation’s unity for progress, peace and bring about economic and political stability in the country.