Watching the last couple of weeks as events unfolds, I cannot but seek your permission on my request to ask many questions.There is a maxim in Yoruba which says “abeere ona kii sonu” which means that the person that ask for direction would not be misguided. It is worrisome to read about the disparaging messages being propelled by some activists via the social media as regards Senator Saraki and the issue of corruption.

Corruption or If you like recklessness in Nigeria today has become a norm where political office holder openly indulge in corrupt practices as a result of the feeble arm of the judiciary to enact a concrete law that will stem this menace. Nigeria is notorious as a country married with corruption and still heavily pregnant with its many offspring. My first question would be who is corrupt? Is it the housemaid eating two meats per meal whenever “Oga” is not around? Or……. the Executive Director in connivance with the accountant to change figures? And to the bias journalist that would conceal the truth for material gain. I am almost tempted to say that we are all corrupt. That as it may, the ever conscious Nigerians are tired of President Jonathan`s promises of a transformation agenda which has plunged the nation into more darkness than light.

One man who has been getting the stick of late undeservedly on twitter is Senator Bukola Saraki. The senator representing Kwara Central. I chortle a bit at questions being asked of him; even some that are not directly within his jurisprudence. How many of the Senators run an active twitter account? That he operates an account for both his critics and admirers has left him carrying the sins of his fellow colleagues. I detest when people blindly accuse him of corruption on the basis of being a firm senator rather than reference to evidence of facts. Such is the quest for information to ensure better representation.

In the build up to the April general election in 2011, he publicly expressed his displeasure in Jonathan’s candidacy for president due to the violation of the Zoning agreements. What happened? You and I wanted a breath of fresh air from an otuoke man who had no shoes. We are being constantly reminded that life is not a bed of roses, as some of the corrupt politicians are hell bent on emptying the treasury. It is noteworthy to discuss the 19.6 billion Naira controversial Jumbo allowances for our 109 Senators, an event that calls for the questioning of our saving culture at this dire time. I ask again, Is Bukola Saraki the only serving Senator? He himself admitted the need to reduce such extravagancy by raising a motion to that effect which he promised to push further. Unfortunately; the Deputy Chairman of the House of Reps on committee on media Mr. Victor Ogene could not convince us on the need for such outrageous allowances. May God deliver us from this colossal cankerworms that delight in looting the nation.

The #OccupyNigeria movement was a huge success; it started on twitter and backed by passionate Nigerians who thronged the street in thousands to protest the increase in fuel price. The glitz and glamour that characterised the movement remained a critical focal point to checkmate corrupt office holders and demand fairness in government as opposed to the usual “ sit down dey look syndrome.”

Another interesting dimension was the show of bravery and cowardice among our celebrities and politicians alike. Most who would rather not incur the wrath of the “General” decided to pitch their tents comfortably with the government while others went into hibernation in the wake of the crisis. Senator Bukola Saraki stood out for what he believed in, Saraki moved the motion for the probe of the downstream sector barely three months after his inauguration. It was not surprising to see him on the side of the poor Nigerians. A man that believes that servitude to ones country comes before personal gain. How many Senators were favourably disposed to the masses?

Another ugly trend that surfaced during private deliberations of the subsidy removal by the Senate, is the allegation that all the Senators collected bribe in US dollars to support fuel subsidy removal, although its authenticity has not been proved till date. If there is any iota of truth in these, what is of utmost concern is the fact that the activists majorly from opposition party who should be the watch dog were alleged to have bowed to pressure and partook in the show of shame. It is a hideous crime and must be condemned in its entirety. This brings the poser… Who is/are the real activist fighting the course of poor unharmed Nigerians? Such is the danger we face ahead of 2015 unless we bring our acts together, speak in unity and ACT with one voice. I do support the #20MillionYouthFor2015, I feel much is still needs to be done to engage other peeps who aren’t on the social media.

Should we fail to correct the existing status quo each and every one of us would have a share in the blame. Our major problem is that we talk more and more without action, we do a great deal of job unravelling the loopholes in the system and fishing out the corrupt politicians but we need to go a step further. How many of us have actually scheduled a courtesy visit to the Senators/Reps representing our various constituencies to express our grievances or displeasure on their style of leadership? We prefer to rant all day on twitter, as if that alone would bring the much needed change.

We have been silent for too long now that we are beginning to find our voice why make an individual a Scapeoat? Why should one person get flogged for the sins of 109 Senators?
While I am not an indigine of Kwara State his antecedents as the governor is unmatched especially in the areas of Agriculture and youth re-orientation. As a Senator on environment and Ecology. His heroic motion has shown that he is a pacesetter in legislative business. I do follow his prowess in the Senate as he fights for several laws to be passed to create employment and improve the skills of the youth to make them more employable just as he is doing in his constituency which I am a living witness to.

As an intellectual you owe it a duty to follow your representatives to demand for good leadership. If we compromise or fail to use our God given talent to affect others positively posterity will surely judge us.

Wale Bakare

Your views and comments are welcomed. Follow the author on twitter @waleflame.

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