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Saraki’s Visit To Maiduguri: Political Confusionists Shouldn’t Misinterpret Performance

By Adewole Opeyemi
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In an article published in the Vanguard Newspapers, and several online outlets on the 6 th of August, 2015, entitled “Bukola Saraki Visited Maiduguri For Selfish Political Reasons” by Ishaq Madibbo Kawu, the writer has an erroneous take on the Dr. Saraki’s Monday, August 3 rd , 2015 visit to the North East, which not only reduces the efficacy of the article, but basically generates unnecessary controversy – where none existed before.

The visit paid by a delegation of the 8th Senate to the camp of Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Maiduguri and Adamawa as a display of nationalism, was borne out of the desire to experience, and report back to the upper legislative chamber the effects of the Boko Haram insurgency. Mr. Kawu’s article, in its entire sequence, has articulated nothing but his strong anti-Saraki sentiments. These sentiments, demonstrate that to a man like Kawu, no deed – no matter how good or altruistic – from the Senate President, is worthy of commendation. This is a dangerous and unproductive frame of mind for an opinion columnist.

The Boko Haram menace, which has been recorded as the most disastrous insecurity challenge ever faced by Nigeria, is one that requires the urgent attention of our leaders in political office, and our opinion moulders in the fourth estate - journalism. The havoc caused by the terrorist group in the lives of several thousands of Nigerians, most importantly, the socio-political disarray injected in the Nigerian system, are quite disconcerting to any focused government.

It is not surprising therefore as President Muhammadu Buhari has expedited strategic intelligence towards freeing Nigeria from the manacles of terrorism, the 8th Senate, under the leadership of Dr. Saraki has made a commitment to compliment President Buhari’s executive powers through critical rehabilitation legislation. This is why quite bewildering that the same Senate who has received heavy condemnations under the sway of its past leadership for taking no proactive strides concerning national issues, is now being attacked for instilling value in the democratic setting and polity of our country.

Let it be reiterated at this point that the Senate’s visit to the IDP camp in Maiduguri is, according to the statements of the Senate President and his aides, a legislative fact-finding mission that is aimed ensuring that the damage to the North East receives commensurate legislative funding and redevelopment policies.

As the upper house of Nigeria’s legislature, based on this visit, the Senate has now saddled itself with the obligation of passing bills for the rehabilitation of this zone, and the provision of continuous welfare packages (through legislative funding) for our fellow citizens in the various IDP camps.

With objectivity as a guide, one must wonder why individuals like Mr. Kawu have attacked the Senate President – devoid of any wrongs during the visit – with the sort of spiteful and unnecessary accusations that was published in the article. Any follower of politics, can attest to the fact that Saraki has a demonstrated track record of someone with a vibrant predisposition for advocacy. This predisposition, was clear during his tenure as the former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, where he intervened in the #SaveBagega project. Additonally, his historic campaign for #NOSDRA during the Ogoni oil spills cannot also be forgotten.

In this regard, the question that hereby pops up at this juncture is: “should the competency Saraki has exhibited be halted, only to satisfy the appetite of some individuals who prefer a dullard legislature?”

Nigerians must know that while President Buhari works to combat Boko Haram and other pressing issues, the legislative welfare and policies aimed at alleviating the plight of the Nigeria’s internally displaced persons should not be too daunting for the Senate to handle. So far, by the example of his visit to Maiduguri and his other precedents, Saraki and the Senators of the 8th Assembly have shown that they are up to task.

Akorede Shakir LOM
Writer, Blogger, Academic Award Winner

CEO, Naija Leadership Builder

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