Sesan Bello

I read a piece recently with the heading: ‘QUESTIONS FOR SARAKI HATERS’. I don’t know who authored the piece as it carries no byline, but because I’m one of those who criticised Saraki for his recent inappropriate action whilst wearing the toga of the number three citizen of this country in my article entitled ‘Political Prostitution: As Dangerous To Our Nation’s Development As Corruption Is’, I think it is necessary to point out to the author and to correct his wrong impression, as expressed in the choice of words used in the heading of his article, that his conception of ‘hate’ is far from being true, and it is better for him to know the truth, so that the truth can set all of us free.

First and foremost, I want the fellow to know that nobody hates Saraki. In fact, we’re criticising him because we love him and we count him to be ‘something’ or ‘somebody’ in Nigeria of today, and we cannot underestimate him or his actions as far as Nigerian politics is concerned. But Saraki rather seems to hate himself. And the reason is this: he can’t be working against the impoverished masses of the magnitude we have in this country today and yet be expecting that he would be loved and followed by all, just simply because he has better social advantage over us as impoverished citizens, he knows our vulnerability as people wallowing in penury, and he knows that we can hardly do any critical thinking and make any right or best decisions for ourselves by ourselves.

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But no; not all of us are in that category altogether after all. Some of us know that as the number three citizen of this country, Saraki must be ready for some sacrifice, not only so as to remain committed to his party’s cause, but also to be seen as an unwavering friend of the people of this country. After all, leadership comes with sacrifice.

If Saraki is on the side of the masses as he claimed in his address aimed at winning the hearts of Nigerian youths while declaring his intention to run for presidency recently, he should know that this is not a good time for him or for anybody seeing himself as a truly patriotic citizen of this country to engage in any form of political filibustering as he severally did recently by using his official position to block the government’s good propositions in the Senate, let alone becoming openly antagonistic by decamping from the ruling party — a clear evidence of his aggression against the government that made him the number three citizen of the country.

But, well, we all know; it certainly takes more than being younger than Mr. President or being richer than him or being a smarter politician than him, or even being a quick-witted politician not to do that. Ditto with what qualifies one for offering oneself for the number one position of the country at this crucial time. Both require being a leader with a deep sense of selflessness, patriotism, and progressivism. But Saraki’s actions and activities suggest the contrary. His actions since he became the Senate President had always smacked of deceit, disloyalty and tactical rebellion against all those conditions and thus against the progress and development of Nigeria, even though his rights guarantee him freedom of association.

Why do I emphasize filibustering, antagonism and disloyalty?

We have had leadership since the inception of this country as a self-ruled Republic, but none had exhibited the kind of zeal and readiness to tackle the major problem holding us back as a nation like the current APC government. I know that many people reading this would want to point me to lapses in several areas they will claim this government has not done well, and which they can even hardly substantiate.

But I’ll tell them this:

Don’t worry about all those problems even though you can point them out with a detailed explanation; you may be right, but corruption gave birth to them all and every other problem you might think we have in this country. Once corruption can be successfully battled to extinct, every other thing would fall in place, and all problems would become solved.

That is exactly what this government is doing. It can only be a weird development to see someone purportedly holding a prominent leadership position in such government to be at loggerheads with the government and with the head of the government – a leader who has put his life on the line to achieve what needs to be achieved for the country to move forward.

But weird as it may be, it is not surprising. We didn’t get to where we are today by accident. Some people were responsible for it and they are still around till today and will always be around. Only citizens would need to wake up and be able to differentiate between enemy and friend among those who claim to be their leaders.

Saraki is expected to be loyal and cooperative with PMB to see the back of this monstrous problem of corruption as a young man who is still having a long way to go in his life. Why is he so much in haste to become president? At his age he has achieved a lot already. Why would he be interested in keeping the entire suffering masses of this country in the bondage of poverty and underdevelopment for his own selfish interests? I can bet anything that, with all his vaunts and scheming, even if PMB steps down for him today and we all unanimously agreed to make him the president of this country, he cannot achieve anything near what Buhari has achieved in four years. You don’t need to read the reason from me. Think well about it; you will understand the reason.

If Jonathan couldn’t achieve much, or if he achieved but was not appreciated, how would Saraki achieve anything or be appreciated at the end of his presidency? It is not anybody’s contrivance; it is because of the problems we have on our hand in this country and which we have not resolved as a nation. Who says Jonathan did not do well? I was not part of that. Lo and behold, Jonathan tried his best, but his best can never be enough, appreciated or appreciable, because there was something fundamental he and others who came before him had left untouched, and which consistently rubbished their hard work on the country because of its far-reaching negative effects on the citizens.

Jonathan appears to be more of somebody who can make life easier for the poor than Saraki. If someone like Jonathan who is less acquisitive and more of a listening and homely person than Saraki didn’t succeed much in his administration, how would Saraki or anybody else succeed without doing what PMB is doing now?

Even though he seemed to have been too negligent about what manner of activities people engaged in during his regime, Jonathan tried his best. And if Jonathan couldn’t score beyond average as those before him, how would someone who has not become the president yet but is making people subject themselves to self-degradation first by kneeling down before talking to him as if he is an emperor score higher? Where else in the world is that happening between political leaders and their followers? I am Muslim. I have only seen that happen in reverence for religious leaders because religious leaders are regarded as representatives of God and are so treated.

Now, if I may ask. Since Saraki agrees already that there’s need for a departure from our past with his statement that we need a better future, what magic wand is he coming to use to bring us that better future if he feels that the fight against corruption is condemnable and the party whose cardinal agenda is a big fight against corruption should be pushed out of power? And what is that past he wants us to depart from, and to what kind of future national attitude are we departing to through him for that better future?

Whether that is answered or not, I like to say categorically that not unless we support PMB and let him put Nigeria on the right path with respect to our collective attitude, which needs reorientation; our institutions, which require reorganisation and need to be strengthened; our polity, which demands restructuring in whatever form – whether administrative, political or geographical; our constitution, which cries for amendments; and a lot more other things, nobody can fool us again into believing that he or she can achieve anything in this country to the satisfaction of the highest number of citizens as against the current situation of good life for a few, suffering for the masses. If we like let’s go and resurrect Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew from his grave; he can’t achieve anything unless he does what PMB is doing now, and I’m sure if Lee Kuan Yew truly resurrects, that’s what he would do, because he was also a man of moral strength and strong character.

To conclude, the author of the write-up in question should please let this truth be known to him (the writer), Saraki himself and those supporting him — that, the many critics’ diatribes against Saraki are not a direct fight against Saraki’s person; most are rather echoing the cries of survival by the impoverished masses of this nation and thus a fight against the barrier between them and good quality of life and also against the enemy denying their country its long deserved progress and development. I don’t want to believe Saraki fits directly anywhere here.

An opinion piece by Sesan Bello.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and not of Concise News Global.