Since taking up the leadership responsibility from the late Waziri of Ilorin, Baba Oloye – Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki, the bickering to challenge the heir apparent became quite daunting for both his admirers and his adversary to observe keenly if the new Oloye – Abubakar Bukola Saraki can fill the big vacuum left by the former second republic Senate leader. Just like a dress rehearsal Bukola Saraki transition both in leadership and human managerial capacity transcend the imagination of his followers to become a man of the people that he is today by virtue of his leadership style which many argued that its a case of precedence for the young Oloye rather than a mere coincidence.
It is one thing to change the present and another to encapsulate that change as the present becomes the past, Bukola Saraki’s successes at home and in the Diaspora can be attributed to his transparent leadership in managing the affairs of Kwara State while using his position as Senator of the federal republic in entrenching his call for accountability at all level of government. Saraki believes that a functioning democracy demands maximum accountability and transparency from every public office holders. He has been at the forefront of such event in recent times using several medium to interact with stakeholders to further drive home his point on issues that affect the polity.
Saraki has matched his leadership strides with openeess in government evident from his tenure as Governor, to the Chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (now a shadow of its old self as a result of vested interest), a party leader , Peace ambassador and now a serving Senator. His leadership quality has never been in doubt. For him, the real push for transparency has often than not come from the various scandals that often breed in an opaque government. Transparency is the watchword in world of charities. This he has demonstrated in his State with the peaceful conduct of all the PDP congresses, in which consensus arrangements were recorded in an open environment; a pointer to the level of discipline Saraki’s leadership has instilled on the home friont. And more defection from opposition to the ruling party is witnessed every now and then to align with the leadership that is all encompassing. “Transparency is the key to democracy and this can only be achieved through independence and reduced interferences”. This call by Saraki resonates well with many public office holders in the State and party policy makers where he emphasized that those gunning for political position in the State have to present themselves to their people for acceptance without interference or favour for any candidate.
Within a short time, Bukola Saraki had established himself as a bold leader who will never failed to add his voice on issues of national discourse as it affects the masses even in the face of trepidation. The CBN autonomy that generated an uproar in the Senate pitched him against some of his colleagues for demanding transparency and reduced interferences on behalf of the apex bank. Also, the Fuel subsidy motion he raised that exposed the shoddy dealings in the oil sector has reduced the impunity in the petroleum system. Yet, he his being vilified by the “powers that be” whenever he stands on the path of truth which often pitched him against the “cabals”
Life is dynamic, everything changes and moves, the people have come to identify with maigida’s style of leadership and they are resolute in their support for Saraki as a harbinger of a good tidings. Evidently so is the recent report that clearly shows that Kwara State enjoys a large number of federal appointees at (22) slots besides Delta State with (27) to emerge as the number one beneficiary. This explains the reasons why he his admirered by many; with an overwhelming online and offline followers. Saraki makes himself available for questioning and enquiry via the social media platforms whenever news break, showing his willingness to be accountable to the masses and bridge the information gap. The sheer brilliance he has demonstrated in giving as much explicit details on Legislative matters, championing many bills in the Senate and other issues outside his jurisprudence also accounts for his large followership base.
Bukola Saraki; a doctor, former governor, reformist and now a senator on Environment and Ecology representing Kwara Central has redefined leadership among the political class, little wonder the presidency recently enlisted him as one of those to be considered to broker peace in the Northern part of the country and within his Party. His appointment by the United Nation as a member of leadership council and global peace ambassador are but a few of the manifestation that summarises his leadership prowess and transparency.
Saraki being a refined leader, who is in touch with the reality of governance in other developed countries has again shown his sensitivity to the plight of the people by placing emphasis on the need to make sacrifices by way of an all round reduction in over head cost and allowances from the Federal Government to the National Assembly and other government parastatals. Even though Saraki cannot forcefully demand for that reduction alone, he is willing to be a part of that process that will bring about this change. Often times, Saraki has expressed his displeasure with the status quo and he’s surreptitiously calling for a reduction across the board. He took a step further by reiterating his support for moves to ensure that monitoring mechanism are institutionalised to check performances just as it was a pre-condition he also aired out for Local government autonomy.
Criticism is hard to take especially when one is at the receiveing end. No one wants to be questioned all of the time, but this is where bukola saraki’s strength lies, positioning himself in order to be closer to the people. With a twitter account that allows for real time interaction with his followers, a facebook fan page to update his fans periodically on activities within the legislative chamber and a website for a comprehensive news details with a contact form to reach him on suggestions and other related issues. No one else does it better.
Saraki encourages citizens to speak up on issues that affect them, and not outsource citizen-government interactions to the “activists”. Blind opposition in the past has continued to focus our attention on those we oppose such that we deny ourselves the right to rewrite our mistakes and demand for fairness and equity. Opacity is an ally of corruption and no nation can move forward without identifying the root cause of corruption and proffer ways to tackle the menace at all tiers of government to ensure accountability. The untiring vision of Bukola Saraki as a modern leader is unrivalled. It will be better to support the good work Saraki has embarked upon, if indeed we hope to continue to enjoy the peace the State of harmony is known for and his numerous contributions to Nigeria at large.
Wale Bakare writes from Lagos, Nigeria.
He can be engaged on twitter via @waleflame.
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