The Making Of A People’s Friendly Senate President: Towards A Productive Govt Under General Buhari By AbdulRahman Agboola
The mindset of the generality of Nigerians that willfully contributed to the end of a government of impunity under President Goodluck Jonathan is to witness the dawn of a new era under the leadership of General Muhammadu Buhari, this fact is incontrovertible as the expression of high expectations from the masses clearly reflects in the commonsense revolution elevated APC from an opposition party to the dominant party at the conclusion of the general election. With the outcomes of the election, APC does not only command overwhelming majority members elected to the National Assembly, but has 20 Governors elected on the platform which signify the trust of Nigerians in the party.
There is no doubt that the Presidency needs a productive National Assembly for necessary collaborations towards effective service delivery and the versatility of the Senate President is a factor for mutual relationship among the tiers of government. The leadership of APC has the great task of ensuring the emergence of the most competent person to emerge as the leader of the National Assembly and this must be done in tandem with best practices devoid of sentiments of affinity or parochial interest.
It is crystal clear that the party has zoned the seat of Senate President to the North Central and it is common knowledge that notable Senators with wide range of connections are jostling to emerge as the favoured candidate of the party. The front runners for the seat are Senator George Akume of Benue State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu of Nasarawa State and Senator Bukola Saraki of Kwara State.
One fascinating thing about the front runners is their credential as Former Governors of their States and members of the National Assembly within the same era, their records of governance and political participation are very immediate, though with similar fates as former members of the ill-fated PDP and strongest political power brokers in their respective States, their striking examples sets a worthy premise for assessment and scrutiny to determine the best equipped for the seat in contention.
A lot of factors come to play in scoring the candidates to determine the best man for the job which requires a comprehensive appraisal, while bearing this in mind, it is sacrosanct to summarise their antecedents and throw weight behind the most excellent among them.
Senator George Akume was born on 27th December, 1953; he is well educated and certified as a Sociologist, rose through the ranks in the Civil Service and retired as a Permanent Secretary. He was Governor of Benue State (1999 to 2007) and the Minority Leader in the Senate. Senator George Akume decamped from PDP to Action Congress in 2007 and enjoys good relationship with the old block of Action Congress in APC today. His worthy political antecedents and good relationship with the National Leader of APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu positions him a strong contender for the seat of Senate President.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu was born on 6th July, 1945: he is well educated and certified as an Engineer and Lawyer on the other hand, he has been politically relevant since 1977 when he was elected as member of the Constituent Assembly, he was a Minister of State, Works and Housing under General Abacha. He was Governor of Nasarawa State (1999 to 2007) and Secretary Board of Trustee of PDP in 2009. Senator Abdullahi Adamu decamped from PDP to APC in 2014. His worthy political antecedents and good relationship with General Olusegun Obasanjo equally positions him a good contender for the seat of Senate President.
Senator Bukola Saraki was born 19th December, 1962: he is well educated and certified as a Medical Doctor and Financial Expert on the other hand. He was Special Assistant on Budget to President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 to 2000) where he excelled before his emergence as Governor of Kwara State (2003 to 2011). He was Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum in his era. Senator Bukola Saraki decamped from PDP to APC in 2014. His worthy political antecedents and good relationship with his former allies at the Governors Forum positions him an outstanding contender for the seat of Senate President.
These front runners are well positioned to undertake any political assignment but considering the wave of the moment and the standard expected by the masses from the APC Government, the level of charisma, clear headedness and perfect understanding of the economy becomes the major parameters to assess the preparedness of the best candidate for the seat. On this ground, the first dictate for this assignment is their activities at the National Assembly.
Senator Bukola Saraki clearly excelled above his contenders in terms of contributions to issues at the floor of the Senate and general performance to the extent of contributing immensely to the subsidy probe. The outgoing Senate President was able to whittle down opposition to a level where the Minority Leader (Senator George Akume) almost became irrelevant in the Senate unlike the House of Representatives where opposition was stronger, while Senator Abdullahi Adamu was never prominent at discourse.
Senator Bukola Saraki as a bridge builder has outstanding rapport with Youth and Student Leaders across the Federation while maintaining perfect political relationship with his contemporaries and Elders alike, which is an attestation to his high level of charisma. His experience as an economic expert and high level of clear-headedness is second to none among the contenders.
It is very sacrosanct for the leadership of the All Progressive Congress and other power brokers that will determine the next Senate President to properly dissect the credentials of the contenders to align with the expectations of the masses in terms of positioning issues into proper perspectives to enhance a productive Federal Government. It will be in the best interest of this great Country if we acknowledge the charismatic potentialities and excellent postures of a cerebral and competent personality like Senator Bukola Saraki above other contenders for the Seat of the Senate President.
As we prepare for the era of competence and effective service delivery, the prevalence of positive reasoning over servitude is very essential to set the Country to the glorious path. Never again should excellence be jettisoned for mediocrity.
Comrade AbdulRahman Agboola
Mass Action for Good Governance and Grassroots Development in Nigeria