PLOUGHING BACK TO SOCIETY: How Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki (CON) Use His Pension. By. Hon. Kayode Omotoshe
Initially it was a rumour that Mr Rotimi Jacobs the lead prosecutor in the Federal Republic of Nigeria VS Dr Bukola Saraki trial going on at the CCT wanted to include the issue of pension that was not pleaded in the first instance on the asset declaration matter. But by the second day of submission by the first prosecution witness Mr Michael Wetlas it became confirmed that it was going to be a key plank of his argument before Justice Danladi Umar. While it is trite to consider that position as extraneous to the matter at hand, it also important to clarify some matters.
It was obviously a misfire because the issue was not continuation of his salary as the government of Kwara has rightly pointed out but his pension. More importantly this standpoint would no doubt be aptly clarified during cross examination of the witness who brought out the matter. Beyond that however the President of the Senate has dedicated the money for giving scholarship and improving the educational capacity of students to further their studies in institutions of higher learning.
In fulfillment of his dictate that it be for all Kwarans. Two law students, Adam Mohammed Ndakudu from Patigi local government and Mohammed Abdulai Tosin from Irepodun local government, were beneficiaries of his largesse. The guiding criteria which the duo satisfied was the fact that they excelled in their academic pursuit at the University of Ilorin which they attended. They both came out with first class degree. From this point Dr Saraki took up the gauntlet to sponsor them to attend the law school to earn their B. L. They were considered worthy of being sponsored in full and this was done.
Aside from the scholarship scheme another set of beneficiaries were the stream of those that are being sponsored to prepare for and write the JAMB examination which the President of the Senate had started for decades even when he was in the private sector. It became enlarged and widened for the benefit of those who could not afford the fees. He actually made a bonanza of it by extending it to all the 16 local governments in the state while also reserving a good percentage of it for non indigenes in the state because of his conviction that they are active and good partakers in the socio-economic and political development of the state.
The key criteria that was set is to possess the basic criteria for admission which is a minmum of five credits in not more than two sittings which can guarantee admission to College of Education, Polytechnic or University.
In a short while these beneficiaries would be empowered with the most potent instrument of upward mobility-education. And in a not too distant future there would be a horde of people who would proudly come out to recognise themselves as Beneficiaries of Bukola Saraki Education programme. Just as beneficiaries of late Premier of defunct North, West and Eastern regions Sardauna, Awolowo and Zik pride themselves with gusto across the world.