New Telegraph

Saraki’s trailblazing crusade for 2023

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) frontline presidential hopeful, Senator (Dr.) Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said that he is in the race for the leadership of Nigeria to bring hope, succour, and effectual changes that Nigeria badly desires. The former Governor of Kwara State stated this in Abuja on Thursday, May 12, 2022, during a parley with members of the fourth estate of the realm and some political associates. His mission is not just to clinch the PDP ticket as flagbearer, but to win the 2023 presidential election to prove that he is not a pretender but a serious contender to drive a most desired paradigm shift.

The PDP stalwart, and presidential frontrunner, said the country was in dire need of a leader who will unite the people, tackle insecurity and bring about the desired socio-economic development. Saraki’s consistent consultation with the traditional rulers, union leaders, religious leaders, media, and political leaders across the country, has strategically placed him in pole position for the primary election of the PDP holding this May.

The support and cooperation he has thus far received from delegates have been overwhelming. History is indeed replete with empirical evidence of Saraki’s success stories and accomplishments in his endeavors both in the private and public sectors; he is one unique Nigerian who always prioritized performance and competency in leadership. Apart from his remarkable legacies, he remains a blessing to humanity with a penchant for espousing an esteemed sense of transparency, accountability, integrity, probity, and also reaching out to the needy. For his courage, tenacity, and single-minded devotion to topical national issues, he has earned himself respect and honour.

Saraki is truly a man of vision. Those who have worked with him very closely are really not surprised to see him breaking barriers and raising the bar of performance and success in governance. Speaking in Abuja that Thursday, Saraki reminded us what Nigeria has been through in the past few years adding that the country had gone from what it used to be. He noted that the 2023 election presents a much-needed opportunity to rediscover Nigeria, and move ahead as one people, as one nation, towards fulfilling its destiny as the greatest black nation on the face of the earth. According to him, some things have happened in the country in the last couple of years that no one could have imagined possible only less than a decade ago.

He pointed out that while there are reasons to be worried about the future of Nigeria, it is not the time to surrender and wallow in despair, but for all patriots and citizens of goodwill to show courage, rise above those lines of divisions and ask: “where do we go from here?” Saraki said: “I do not have grass to grace story to tell. Some may even consider me privileged.

But I never take my privileges for granted. I learned as a young boy growing up under the watchful guidance of a father who loved this country so dearly that to whom much is given, much is expected. “Therefore, I can say that even the privileges of my childhood were easily matched by a dominant culture of giving, created by a father whose politics was defined by a deep commitment to helping and uplifting others.

I learned from him that life is truly worth living only when it is lived in the service of something that is bigger than yourself.” Recalling his days as Kwara State governor, he outlined his achievements in office, saying that even though he did not solve all the problems in eight years, he left the state better than he met it. “As a Senator, I was able to rise above ruinous partisanship and challenged the massive scam perpetrated under the cover of fuel subsidy. As Senate President, I defended the integrity of the National Assembly, sometimes, at great personal cost. And even in the face of daunting challenges and conspiracies, we passed important legislation to make legitimate business easier in our country, and to support enterprise.”

He added: “I decided to become a doctor because of this ingrained desire to help and to serve others. And when in 1999, I joined the government as Special Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo, I became even more acutely aware of the limitless possibilities for service through government; and of how political power in the hands of a committed, competent and courageous leadership can solve real problems and uplift the destiny of a nation and her people. It was this same realization that motivated me to contest and win the election as the Governor of Kwara State in 2003.

“Even back then, many did not give me a chance to succeed. They thought I was too young and too much of a political neophyte to make an impact. “He is in the private sector and privileged,” they said. “So how would he understand what the poor people in the state want or what they are going through?” But I believe I proved them wrong in the end. Armed with a deep passion to serve, and to make a difference, I did my best to impact lives and to leave a lasting legacy.”

Onyema writes from Awka

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