Nigeria 2023: Why we must rebuild under Saraki
One of the most beautiful quotes is one by the great Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It reads; “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. So let’s begin.”
These are exactly the words the Nigerian electorate should bear at the back of their mind while casting their votes for their preferred presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections. This is because, indeed, we only have control over the events of today, as far as Nigerian politics is concerned.
Nigerian voters, though despaired, annoyed, and on multifarious occasions have been let down by the present APC-led administration, must now do the needful by jettisoning the past, digest St. Mother Teresa’s quote, and taking control of the present by electing a leader who is capable, efficient, and worthy of taking the people into the future. Without a doubt, we need a leader that will finally liberate the masses from oppression, starvation, anguish, and the insecurity that has bedeviled us for donkey years and counting, while simultaneously going about his principal task of saving what remains of the Nigerian dream.
Truly, enough has been said, little has been done, resources have been wasted, countless lives lost, and leaders have remained unaccountable as the country fast-tracks into total damnation. The onus now, comes 2023, lies on Nigerians to elect a leader of their choosing; who will be able to navigate the sticky waters and bring us out of our current ruins. Of course, one of the candidates who have demonstrated the will and extra-ordinary character worthy of getting this job done over the years is none other than Dr. Bukola Saraki, who recently declared interest in the Presidential race.
Therefore, it is instructional, at this point, to invite anyone who doubts Dr. Saraki’s competence or capabilities for the task of restructuring Nigeria, once elected President, to take a trip back in time and do a little research about the man. You can start by meticulously analysing his performance in 2003 when he was elected Governor of Kwara State and evaluating his accomplishments in 2011 when he emerged President of the 8th Senate and chairman of the National Assembly. Surely, you will find that Saraki is not among those politicians that can be categorized as “all talk.” Instead, he can easily stand in as the piece that completes the whole Nigerian political puzzle and exactly the kind of leader we need, come 2023.
It cannot be denied that Nigeria experienced the nobility, dedication, and steadfastness of a true leader in Saraki during his time in the Nigerian Senate. The political sage recorded the most amount of bills passed since 1999. The eight senate, while attending to over 190 public petitions, passed a total of 319 bills, which is more than the bills passed by the fourth, fifth and sixth senate combined. Some of these bills that were later passed into law helped to revitalise the economy, and assisted immensely in the fight against corruption; an example was the Whistle Blower Protection Bill, which protected people who report corrupt government officials. Also, some of the bills helped improved the overall standard of living of Nigerians, as is visible in the Food Protection bill that saw reforms mostly in agriculture as well as other sectors that needed massive reformation.
Saraki’s selfless and humanitarian service saw him meritoriously bag prestigious awards such as Governor of the year by ThisDay Newspaper back in 2004; Governor of the year in Agricultural Development in 2004/2005 by City People; Best Governor in Africa in 2006 by the Kenneth Kaunda Foundation; Award of Excellence in Development of Education and Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria by the College of Medicine, University of Lagos 2012; Institute of Chartered Accountants Award of Excellence 2010; Outstanding Governor on Energy 2009 by the Nigerian Compass; ThisDay Newspaper Best Governor on Food Security 2008 and African Governor of the Year in Agricultural Development’ by African Union Media Group in Pretoria, South Africa amongst others.
There is no doubt that the 2023 electioneering period would be frantic because many political candidates would jostle for elective posts, especially the presidential position. Hence, they will all use various tactics and employ different media outlets to carry out intensive campaigns to beat their contesting rivals. Some of these candidates will surely go the extra mile to bribe electorates to vote in their favour, or even pay various media outlets to help influence the electorates’ decisions in their favour. Nigerians, I believe have learned and have gone through a lot of experiences in past elections. Surely, they will no longer accept tokens of N1, 000 and N500 in exchange for their suffrage only to manage and suffer, in return, for four additional years. They must now think beyond money politics and select their preferred leader, even without the fear of hired thugs that might want to intimidate or possibly bully them.
I and, perhaps, many others would be hoping that whatever events develop from now till Nigerians go to the polls by 2023, starting from PDP’s primary election; they will all shape up to unveil Dr. Saraki as Nigeria’s next President.
• Wilson wrote from Kaduna