The Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), under the umbrella organization for all socio-cultural associations in Ilorin Emirate yesterday expressed its support for the aspiration of Dr Bukolan Saraki as President of the eighth Senate.
Addressing a press conference in Ilorin, yesterday Kwara state, the national President of IEDPU, Alhaji AbdulHamid Adi declared that Saraki is eminently qualified for the position.
He also decried of the marginalization of Kwara State in the north central region, saying;
“While the old Benue ,and plateau has produced the longest serving head of state, three senate presidents including the incumbent, the small part of old North-western state (now Niger) has produced two heads of state, it is only old Kwara State which makes up Kwara and Kogi that has not been fortunate to occupy such exalted positions,hHe said,
“while the union is apolitical and will remain so for the overall development of our people, it is incumbent on us to react to issues that affect our people as presently constituted and the future generation. It is in view of this that we wish to make our position clearly stated and unequivocally presented”.
“Nigerian nation as we all know is composed of tribal and linguistic nationalities which compete from time to time among themselves for national leadership and control. The political parties have always been conscious of this diversity and try to manage the situation reasonably and amicably for the purpose of moving the nation forward”.
It is therefore not strange for the political parties to put into consideration the socio-cultural heterogeneousity when considering political positions. Thus, the country is divided into six geo-political zones namely; North-west, North-east, North-central,
South-west, South-east and South-south. The present North Central Zone comprises the old Kwara, the old Benue Plateau, and part of old North Western State (within the old 12 state structure). While the old Benue Plateau has produced the longest serving head of state, three senate presidents including the incumbent, the small part of old North-western state (now Niger) has produced two heads of state, it is only old Kwara State which makes up Kwara and Kogi that has not been fortunate and opportuned to occupy such exalted positions”.
“We are therefore deeply concerned that within northern political arrangement to which Ilorin Emirate squarely belongs with all commitment and loyalty, the area is continuously being marginalized for unspecified reasons.
“It is rather surprising that the candidature of Dr. Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki for the post of Senate President could become controversial despite his unparalleled nationalistic posture for which we have reasons”.
“First, he has successfully governed his heterogeneous state for eight years during which he performed creditably well as chairman of governors’ forum. Indeed, it was due to his administrative sagacity and political dexterity that the novel body of Nigerian governors’ forum became glamorous, enviable to the extent that its chairmanship= has become competitive”
“Second, Senator Bukola Saraki is noted for fairness, equality and adherence to principle of shifting political offices. For example, against all odds despite the fact that Ilorin Emirate (Kwara Central) has about 60% voting population in the state, he supported the shifting of the governorship position to another senatorial district, thereby denying his own sibling looking for the same position”.
“Third, distinguished Senator Saraki like his father is a bridge builder, highly detribalized and listening politician. On different occasions, the Union had had cause to disagree with government policies at the state level and the gentle man had regularly shown
understanding and maturity in handling such matters. “In view of the aforementioned, we call on all political leaders and groups across the nation to seriously consider Kwara and specifically Senator Bukola Saraki for the exalted position of Senate President for the sake of equity, fair play and justice”
“For the purpose of clarity, our support for Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki is borne out of our conviction that he is eminently qualified who can serve the Nation creditably well and not politically sponsored. Such support will always be extended to any other indigene of the Emirate in similar circumstances irrespective of political affiliation”.
“This is our honest position and therefore call on all and sundry to support this stand for the purpose of national cohesion”.