OPINION: Saraki-Leah Sharibu’s gesture shouldn’t be criminalised


By Ibraheem Abdullateef.

Aside from Alhaja Hauwa’s remarriage debacle, there’s virtually no news story hotter than Saraki-Leah philanthropic gesture.

The former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, defied the bookmakers by pledging his severance allowance to the families of Leah Sharibu and two other victims of insurgency which has assumed the chiefly phenomenon in the nation’s list of insecurities.

Perhaps, due to the controversial personality of Saraki in the media world, as a result of several unpalatable antecedents, the gestures have been demonised, misrepresented and even disparaged by bitter few.

These moral armies are divided into two groups:

1. The Saraki-is-a-devil mischief makers, who up till this moment are still blinded to the fact that the devil is not always bad. In fact, goodness has no identified giver. It’s Providence. Anyone may choose to be good at any point in time.

2. Bitter Kwarans who have never seen anything good in the man.

As expected, these groups came together to show contempt and disdain in the open. Misguided exercise.

I found it worrisome that people could harbour so much hatred for another person. That Saraki can never do anything good to some people’s admiration show clear hatred. It’s not criticism when you fail to commend but denigrate an act supposedly remarkable. It’s nothing but cynicism. And what brings about that is a tendency to allow emotions override reasoning. This is what happens when we see Politics at the expense of Humanity. That Saraki did such a thing should not attract denigration even if not your praises.

The other warlords are the tireless Kwara Social media Oloyinbos. They must still be feeling so baleful to the man who held the state by the jugular for 16-good-years. However, the wise should know when to let go of the past to chat a productive present. Anyone still harbouring resentment does that at a personal cost. Saraki has been defeated politically. Even at that, politics was never about denigration. I am surprised people would still be demanding for his head with such vigour.

It’s brazenly unpatriotic and chronically selfish for anyone to be calling out Saraki for choosing to remember Leah Sharibu at the expense of Kwara people. No doubts he’s from Kwara state, but he’s a Nigerian first. Saraki just finished service as the nation’s Senate President. By such Providence, he has become an elder statesman who is required to put the unity and oneness of Nigeria in the frontburner. That he chose Leah Sharibu and two others, deserve no condemnation of any sort except from ethnic warlords and religious jingoist.

I am renowned as a very fierce critic of the outgoing Senate President. Time and over again has seen him receive my hammer on his controversial head. Yet, there was never a time he needed to be commended I denied him the grace. That’s wiseness. That’s being a critic. And not a cynic. This should be the only way of engaging the leaders across Nigeria. Perhaps we needed to know the difference between engagement and discouragement. Mayhap, the Nigeria critics’ definition of criticism is attacks and all infectives. It’s wrong.

There’s no total devil in human beings. There’s a reason no one’s identified and named Devil after Shaytan. We could, out of emotions, and exigencies of time, consider some people as Lucifer’s protégé, but it doesn’t invalidate their humanness. These people are good to some people too. It’s all about perception. However, being good has no second meaning. Goodness is goodness. This time Saraki did well if only you could see without log of tears in your eyes.

Could you mean Leah is no human deserving of Saraki’s philanthropy?
Did you mean a Christian victim cannot be favoured by a Muslim leader?

Could you mean to say he couldn’t decide what to do with his personal money?

Could you mean there are victims of insurgency in Kwara State?

Could you mean victims of insurgency in other states do not deserve help and pity because they are not Kwarans?

Could this be pettiness, shallowness or backward ethnic mentality at play?

Saraki is an adult with rights and privileges to make informed personal decisions. As an outgoing Senate President (as at the time he made the pledge), the gesture to use his severance allowance to help the families of the kidnapped teenagers, of which two of the girls were slain by the insurgents, is remarkably noble. That some people are unrelenting in relating politics to everything, even humanity, speaks of the decadence of intelligence in Nigerian youth ranks. That there are in fact, some ethnocentric vuvuzelas, lampooning Saraki for not bringing such gesture “home” shows that Nigeria has a long way to go to make it accorded proper recognition and respect as the ultimate home.

I would admonish that Saraki should be taken up on other burning issues aside from this. If there’s anything, Nigerians should prevail on others to tow this line. It’s no news that the parting gifts are paltry to any Nigerian Senator. But how many ever thought it well to give to others in the same vein? It may not necessarily be given out financially but maybe used to do some other things, say a public project. Yet, this is even if they wish. This is why a willing man like Saraki shouldn’t be discouraged.

Saraki-Leah gesture lacks any basis for your condemnation and criminalisation spree.



DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on our opinion page are those of the writer and do not represent the position of INSIDER or any of its reporters/editors.

One Reply to “OPINION: Saraki-Leah Sharibu’s gesture shouldn’t be criminalised”

  1. People have a right to demonise Saraki or any other senator. As senator president, what did he achieve for the masses? Now he wants to whitewash himself by giving his severance pay to the families of people that he should have fought for but did not. Is the money supposed to replace the children? Whose money is it anyway? Its money that belong to Nigerian masses but acquired by legalised stealing which the Senate stands for. So if people demonise Saraki they are entitled to their opinion.

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