by Bayo Oluwasanmi
I have never met Bukola Abiku Mesujamba Saraki. I don’t know him from Adams. However, on the occasion of his 54th birthday, I want to extend my random act of kindness to wish him a very happy and fantastic birthday!
Birthday celebrations can be meaningful and memorable at any age, and especially celebrating a milestone birthday at the highest peak of his political career as the Senate President. The best way to celebrate a birthday is to focus on the wisdom that comes with age, celebrating a life well-lived, and hoping for many years to come.
On his 54th birthday, Mesujamba Saraki should give thanks and reflect upon how well he is fulfilling his calling, reflect on how he has used his abilities and resources he was born with to improve himself, his fellow beings, his country, and to make the world a better place. It should also be an occasion to rethink his life. How great is the disparity between what he has accomplished and what he can accomplish? Is he spending time properly or involved in things that distract and destroy him from his higher calling? How can he stretch and strengthen the thread that connects his outer life and his inner life?
Mesujamba Saraki’s 54th birthday can also teach him the concept of birth. To recall his birth is to recall a new beginning. Regardless of how things went for him in the years gone by, the occasion of his birthday gives him the capacity to try and change. He should see his birthday as a refresher, a chance for regeneration – not just materially, but spiritually. There is no better way for him to celebrate his birthday than to commit to a special act of goodness. It is easy enough to say he’s thankful, it is far better to show it by doing a kind deed, something that he didn’t do before. Not because someone is forcing him. Not because someone suggests it. But simply because his inner goodness, his soul, wants to express his thanks for being born and alive. This is the true experience of birth, the true beginning of a life with meaning.
Let me remind him that being rich is not everything. He should celebrate his birthday with the awareness of his past. He should discourage and disallow the praise singers and blind crumb-eating loyalists and die-hard supporters from whitewashing his ills. He should remember there have been many junctures in our history where he’s responsible for the Nigerian project to have fallen apart. He should be concerned and convicted of his political malfeasance that has continuously grabbed headlines since he entered the business and political world. Few public failings are as colourful as his record in this regard.
To a large extent, he has singularly reduced Nigeria to a colossal collection of impoverished masses. Nigeria is the world’s eighth-largest oil producer. Nigeria remains a largely poor country with 80 percent of its population still ekes out a living on less than $1 a day. Life expectancy is at abysmal 45 years, and the country ranks 159 out of 177 on the UN Human Development Index in 2006.
Mesujamba Saraki should use his birthday to ponder on the following irritating and disturbing questions: am I illegally and criminally occupying the political space? Am I part of the problem or the solution? Why is that Nigeria among the nations of the world seems to be locked in a cycle of dysfunctional rulers like himself? Why is that out of all other countries in the world Nigeria finds it impossible climbing the economic ladder? Why is it that Nigerian leaders including himself are genetically venal, more ruthless, more corrupt more shameless, more anti poor people? What is it about Nigeria that holds it back and seems grounded to move forward with the rest of the world in the 21st century?
In theory, Nigeria sits on crude oil reserves estimated at 35 billion barrels (enough to fuel the entire world for more than a year) not to mention 100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Why is it that people like him and others convert the commonwealth that belongs to the people to their own personal wealth? Why is that he and his ilk see political power as a chance by the ruling elites, their families, and their ethnic groups to reap the fortunes of office? Why is it that his arrogance, obduracy, pride, greed, graft, and looting stick out like a sore thumb amid a sea of poverty and the opulent display of obscene stolen wealth that deny Nigerians good life and rob them of better future? Why is it that as a Senate President, by his stubborn disrespect to the law of the land and democratic principles, turned Nigeria into a dysfunctional, derelict, and downward dangerous nation?
If irony has a meaning, Mesujamba Saraki practically serves as a textbook definition of the word. He has shown a worrying lack of judgment and lack of remorse unbecoming of a person in a leadership position. So, on the occasion of his 54th birthday celebration, he should make Nigeria a less shameful country by vacating the senate presidency today and face his corruption case as a man.
Happy 54th birthday, Bukola Abiku Mesujamba Saraki, the mafia boss of Nigerian politics!
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
You can reach Bayo at [email protected]