Baba pickins: Who is deceiving Bukola Saraki?

Forgive me for my offensive but amusing title; I just couldn't help laughing over the funny spectacle evolving in our theatre like democracy. Shows like ‘a night of a thousand laugh' should have shown some keen interests on our political scene, they would have no problem discovering raw talents among our present day jesters called politicians. Even in the midst of biting hunger, social injustices, high level of unemployment and general disenchantment of the citizenry, every political opportunist and nonentity believes they possess the right to rule us.

In the last three weeks, newsstands are awash with persons from perceived strong political pedigree aspiring for one position or the other. Most of them have not even perfected the wearing of their diapers and are never known to have done anything on their own without the overindulging support of their pampering parentage; yet they feel they have what it takes to be part of the next dispensation of Nigeria's leaders, come 2011.

Though most of them would be relying on their parents' stupendous wealth and strong political strangulation of their immediate community to get to power. It is still up to Nigerians to look and think deeply before casting their votes for them. One must not fail to admit that there are still some of them who are genuinely interested in providing good leadership if voted into power.

The present governor of Kwara state, Dr. Bukola Saraki readily comes to mind when compiling the list of baba pickins in politics. He is presently the highest rank political office holder amongst the legion of baba pickins in our body politics. And if the ongoing rumour is true, he likely going to try his luck in the presidency.

Bukola Saraki, a trained medical doctor, was never known to have practise his medical profession anywhere before. He was not even swayed by the deficiencies in our medical personnel to at least render some humanitarian medical services in public hospitals for a while after leaving school. He simply went straight to his family striving banking business immediately he came out of school. He entered the bank first as a director and later the vice chairman, second only to his father. Today, the said bank had collapse, and along with it went the money of innocent depositors. Yet despite this grave shortcomings of his family business, he was eh, elected the governor of Kwara state. He is presently serving his second and final term in office. But the news of his interest in becoming the next president of Nigeria beats my imaginations. What is he bringing to the presidency that he couldn't showcase in Kwara where he has spent the last seven years administering? Or maybe he believes his father who is the great political oracle of Kwara state have extended his sphere of influence to the entire country this time around. It's an open secret, that Dr. Olusola Saraki, the father of Governor Bukola has manacled the people of Kwara state politically in the last three decades. He alone determines the ‘soul' of the state; in spite of this, one cannot point at any tangible benefits to the malnourished masses of that state in his over thirty years of control.

Governor Bukola Saraki is a beneficiary of his father's conquered political sphere no doubt; without the elder Saraki, Governor Bukola would never have won a councillorship seat in his state. Little wonder his sister Senator Gbemisola too is gunning to replace him.

Stupefy that his promoters are also insisting on zoning and declaring that power should remain in the north. With hindsight one wonders which north they are talking about. What would be Bukola Saraki's leadership credentials if he finally enter the race for presidency? Is he going to show us, how he has created employment opportunities in Kwara and prove that most Kwarans are now gainfully employed as a result of his pragmatic stewardship in the last seven years? Is he going to showcase to Nigerians, how lives and properties are now so secured and safe in Kwara state, and that all residents go to bed with their two eyes closed? Or present to Nigerians, a Kwara state where water supply and electricity run for twenty four hours without interruption; where public hospitals are well equipped and manned by qualified and satisfied staff; where public schools meet required standards; where there are good network of roads, good public transport, standard markets etc; and finally a grateful and appreciative citizenry? If these are not the credentials Bukola Saraki is bringing to the race for president, then he has no business seeking the presidency of Nigeria.

The politics of powerful connections and father/family towering influences should be eradicated forthwith in Nigeria politics. Permit me to be a bit partisan, I'm of the honest opinion that the next president of Nigeria in addition to his/her personal attributes and leadership acumen, must not be a person who will want to flaunt before us any aristocratic background or power bloc.

2011 election is no longer a learning process for our democracy. Now is the time for qualitative and untainted leadership. Unfortunately, most of these baba pickins in our midst are spoilt brats, who are arrogant and inhumane. They lived all their lives not knowing or showing compassions over the alarming facts that majority of their country folks go to bed hungry. They don't even know what it feels to be in total light blackout for twenty four hours, and trekking long distance in search of water; nor do they appreciate the homeless and disillusionment that has become the pervading stories of unprivileged fellow Nigerians. Even the current cholera epidemic raging most of the states in the north would definitely sound like ‘Greek' news to most of them. These guys are never really part of the people; they can never understand the harrowing experiences fellow countrymen and women go through daily.

It's a known fact the world over that what you can't comprehend and you cannot factor solution for. That's why just like Bukola Saraki, is time they are told executive powers is not their birthright.

By Olurotimi Adeola

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