By ; Bashir Ashura
In the annals of Nigeria’s political history, few figures have left as indelible a mark as Bukola Saraki during his tenure as Senate President. Widely regarded as a transformative leader, Saraki’s visionary approach to governance and steadfast commitment to the nation’s progress set him apart from his predecessors and successors alike. His tenure marked a golden era for Nigeria, characterized by a resolute stance against excessive loans, a push for made-in-Nigeria products, the passage of the Not Too Young To Run Bill, and a distinct independence from executive influence. The subsequent rubber-stamping tendencies of the 9th and 10th Senate have only served to highlight the unparalleled leadership that Saraki brought to the fore.
—Economic Prudence and Opposition to Excessive Loans:
Under Saraki’s leadership, the Senate took a principled stance against excessive loans, recognizing the long-term consequences they could have on the nation’s economy. Dr Bukola Saraki understood the importance of maintaining fiscal discipline and advocated for responsible borrowing practices. His insistence on transparency and due diligence in loan negotiations helped protect Nigeria from potential debt traps and safeguarded the nation’s financial stability.
—Promoting Made-in-Nigeria Products:
Saraki recognized the immense potential of Nigeria’s domestic market and understood the importance of fostering local industries. He championed the “Made in Nigeria” campaign, encouraging Nigerians to embrace locally produced goods and services. By prioritizing homegrown industries, Saraki aimed to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and reduce the nation’s dependence on imports. His efforts not only boosted the Nigerian economy but also instilled a sense of pride and nationalism among citizens.
—The Not Too Young To Run Bill:
One of the most significant legislative achievements during Saraki’s tenure was the passage of the Not Too Young To Run Bill. Saraki recognized the need to empower the country’s youth and provide them with equal opportunities for political participation. By reducing the age limits for running for public office, Saraki opened the doors for a new generation of leaders to shape Nigeria’s future. This landmark legislation not only enhanced democratic representation but also symbolized Saraki’s commitment to inclusive governance.
—Independence and Resistance to Executive Influence:
Saraki’s leadership was characterized by a clear separation of powers and an unwavering commitment to the Senate’s constitutional role. He effectively ensured that the legislature remained independent and free from undue influence from the executive branch. By upholding the principles of checks and balances, Saraki safeguarded democracy and protected the interests of the Nigerian people, even in the face of political pressures.
However, Bukola Saraki’s tenure as Senate President stands as a shining example of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to Nigeria’s progress. His resolute stance against excessive loans, promotion of made-in-Nigeria products, passage of the Not Too Young To Run Bill, and maintenance of an independent Senate showcased his dedication to the nation’s welfare. It is undeniable that Saraki’s successors have struggled to match his exceptional legacy. The subsequent rubber-stamping tendencies of the 9th and 10th Senate have underscored the unique leadership qualities that Saraki brought to the table. As Nigeria looks to the future, it is essential to reflect on the unmatched contributions of Saraki’s Senate and draw inspiration from his transformative vision for the nation.
Bashir Ashura is a media practitioner, writer and public commentator.