by Itunu Oloyede
Another political season is upon us, and the discussion has begun as to who is ‘fit’ (pun intended) or otherwise to run for the office of the president of this interesting nation called Nigeria.
A lot of moves have been made, still being made and would still be made by the major players involved. Asides a handful of green contestants like the former CBN czar; Kingsley Moghalu, the motivational speaker; Fela Durotoye, the anti-feminism flagbearer ,Eunice Atuejide, Sahara Reporters Boss, Yele Sowore, to mention a few, the key contestants are still made up of the old guard, each one desperately seeking to convince the electorates of their électability’. Atiku,the perennial contestant, the incumbent; PMB, Kwakwanso, the red-cap movement Boss, are just some of the prominent names who have officially thrown their hats in the ring.
However, in recent times, word on the street is that there is a dark horse emerging, none other than the president of the NASS; Bukola Saraki. Now this is interesting, considering the senate president was up until recently, a prominent member of the ruling party, and was one of the founding fathers of the same. As they however say in politics, there are no permanent friends or foes; just interests. Dr. Saraki has seen his popularity sky-rocket in recent months, riding on the wave of the perceived persecutions he has faced from his Ogas at the top for refusing to subvert/subjugate the will of the people for the interest of a few. Essentially, he has been forced out of the APC by detractors within the party, and the only way to effect revenge it would seem, is to contest against his detractors.
So, it then begs the question; is Saraki fit to be President? Many arguments have gone forth in favour of, and against thereof. I, however feel that, when you consider the caliber of rulers Nigeria has had since independence, He is more than fit to be president.
I have engaged in a few debates about the viability of him being the head huncho, and one question I ask those who oppose is this; what makes him unfit for the office? And almost all the time, the response is that the esteemed Dr. is corrupt, and did nothing of note as governor of kwara state, and so on. But then, I ask; which of the long line of heads of state this country has been blessed with is a saint? Which of them never stole public funds, or engaged in corrupt practices (proven or unproven)? Because the simple truth is, if the major requirement for running for the most esteemed office in the Land is to not be corrupt, then the joke is on us all, because the praises of those we sing today are individuals clothed, adorned and scented with corruption. This is fact.
So why is Dr Saraki been held to a different standard? Is his corruption of a higher magnitude than his supposed opponents? Because if it is, that would be something, considering these opponents are some of the most dangerously and unapologetically corrupt individuals on the face of this planet.
A quick disclaimer here; I am not agitating for Dr Saraki’s candidacy, just simply at a loss at why he should be held to a different standard to others. As far as qualifications go, he is more than qualified to be President of the Nigeria, should he decide to obey the clarion call.
Let us take a quick dive into the political history of Dr Saraki and put under the microscope his achievements or otherwise.
Saraki is one of the most underrated politicians in the history of Nigerian politics. Highly Intelligent, master schemer, embarrassingly competent, philanthropist, hugely admirable and highly respected across the six Geopolitical zones, his close friends and associates call him ABS, an alias coined from his name, Abubakar Bukola Saraki and his numerous followers call him OLOYE( a political slogan he inherited from his late father). The name is Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
Saraki was born in 1962, one of the youngest astute politicians the country has ever produced. He graduated in flying colours from the prestigious Kings College on Lagos Island, he later proceeded for his High school Education at Cheltenham College in the United Kingdom. The Dr. Title on his name is not actually honorary as it is with most Nigerian politicians, he studied Medicine at the London Hospital Medical College of the University of London.
Some Nigerians actually feel oloye never practiced medicine, which is a misleading lie as he not only practiced but also made remarkable feats while he was active in the profession. Saraki, a detribalized Nigerian, is happily married to a devout Christian, Barrister Toyin Saraki , founder, well-being Africa foundation.
Politically, Oloye’s wealth of experience is enviable. He became the senior special assistant to the former President , Olusegun Obasanjo, on budget where his major feat was to initiate the Fiscal responsibility bill. He later contested and won the Gubernatorial seat in Kwara state. He served diligently as Governor for 8 years where he excelled. Kwarans will not forget Oloye too soon as he really effected so many amazing policies that favoured the life of an average Kwaran that lives in Eyenkorin.
As Governor of Kwara, his most popular legacy was the Shonga farms project where white farmers were invited from Zimbabwe and were given large expanse of land to farm on. This is one thing Kwarans can never forget and the generation to come will also benefit from.
Under Saraki as Governor, Kwara became the first state to complete the Nigeria Independent Power Project (NIPP). In collaboration with PHCN, Saraki re- energized the Ganmo power station at Ilorin where 3750 communities were connected through the national grid. Kwara also completed 4 electrification projects which means an average Kwaran enjoys at least 18hrs electricity daily. 90% of people living in Kwara have access to electricity, compared to a national average in Nigeria of 30%.
Bukola Saraki has acted in various Leadership positions over the years ranging from being the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, President of the Senate (as a first time senator) amongst other top positions. Presided over the best senate we have ever had in this country.
The 8th Senate as led by ABS as assiduously and diligently met the demands of the average Nigerian by leading arguably the best Senate ever. This present senate has passed about 213 bills, cleared 138 petitions submitted by the public.
Personally, I never thought Saraki could be a Presidential option but recent events has proved otherwise, the way his nationwide consultation/campaign is being structured both online and offline has been very impressive and he has won so many people with him.
WHY IS SARAKI AN OPTION? WHY SHOULD HE RUN?
- He is young
- He has never been clueless all his life.
- He is highly competent and intelligent
- He has shown leadership qualities in earlier held positions
- He is an amazing communicator.
Some people call this Government the RAILWAY Government. This is actually laughable because there is nobody that can’t build railways with loans.
2019 IS AROUND THE CORNER! AN AVERAGE NIGERIAN WITH INTEGRITY KNOWS THAT THIS GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED THE COMMON NIGERIAN THAT DEFIED ALL ODDS TO VOTE FOR THE SUPPOSED MESSIAH!
I WAS ON A QUEUE TO GET MY PVC IN YABA SOME WEEKS BACK, I WAS NUMBER 213 ON THE LINE AT ABOUT 6:25AM, THE YOUNG ONES ARE READY, And THEY ACTUALLY WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COMING ELECTIONS. 97% OF THOSE I SPOKE WITH ARE READY TO VOTE OUT THE INCUMBENT. THE YOUTHS ARE MORE POLITICALLY AWARE.
I BELIEVE THAT WITH OUR PVC, WE CAN MAKE THINGS RIGHT. ABS IS ACTUALLY FIT TO RUN LIKEWISE SOME OTHER CANDIDATES.
I AM NOT A POLITICIAN! I WANT THE BEST FOR MY COUNTRY!!
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
Itunu Oloyede is a political analyst and social media commentator that wants a better Nigeria for the incoming generation ( @hitee_).