Verily, sentimental views should not be attached to who should be found in the mantle of leadership; rather emphasis should be given to objective assessment of possession of leadership qualities. In view of this, Ope Saraki’s intention to vie for the seat of Ilorin Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency in the Green Chamber of the National Assembly should be welcomed by all and sundry, considering his outstanding performance in the previous and present political capacities in which he has served and is serving respectively.
It is noteworthy that this young man’s father is the immediate brother of the late political icon, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki of the blessed memory, who is the biological father of the Senate President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki. This consanguinity should not be belaboured and schemed as a political cajole to submerge the political value and humanitarian quality which Hon. Ope Saraki possesses. There is need to give him the mandate so that he can upscale the tentacles of selfless services for which he is known.
It is a frivolous statement, that this valuable man should not be given support because he is a cousin to the Senate President. Politics is not about family, it is about who has the political prowess to provide effective representation which would stream good dividends of democracy to the people wherever they are. Undeniably,Ope Saraki has this more than all his contenders for the seat in question.
I don’t know why people utter statements or take actions to discredit what cannot be discredited. The emergence of this amiable young man as the member representing Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency in the Green Chamber cannot be considered unprecedented, considering the fact that a cousin of his has occupied the seat of Number Three Citizen. Rather, we have had similar political achievements in various families in Nigeria.
Firstly, Sen. Bukar Ibrahim was a two-time Executive Governor of Yobe State. Presently, he is a serving Yobe State Senator representing a particular constituency in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly while his wife Hajia Bukar Ibrahim is a minister from the same State, in the on-going administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Also, late Alhaji Lam Adesina was the Executive Governor of Oyo State from 1999 to 2003. It is noteworthy that, his son who has been a member of the Green Chamber from 2011 till date is seriously warming up to become Number One citizen of Oyo State in 2019.
In addition, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a big APC chieftain had been a Senator as well as a two-time Executive Governor all in Lagos State. His wife, Oluremi Tinubu is a serving Senator representing Lagos Central and their first daughter’s husband, Hon. Afolabi Ojo was a member House of Representatives from Lagos State between 2007 and 2015. Asiwaju Tinubu manourved his way to lord this same in-law on members of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State as their consensus candidate in the just concluded gubernatorial election but the plan failed.
Furthermore, Alh. Lai Muhammed is a serving Minister under President Muhammadu Buhari while one of his children, Folajimi Mohammed, is presently a member of Lagos State House of Assembly. Also, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ikeremadu has been in National Assembly since 1999 and undoubtedly, his wife is currently a Chairperson of a local government area in Enugu State.
All the facts above are pointing to the fact, electing Hon. Ope Saraki into the House of Representatives is a hit not a miss, considering his good records in the political arena. The issue of the family in which he hails from should not be seen as a barrier for excellent representation we stand to achieve going forward from 2019. The time is not later, this is the right time to affirm Hon. Ope Saraki to have better representation which would yield true dividends of democracy for the people of his constituency in their numbers.