In this capital city where politicians can spot a threatening trend a continent away, there is already a good deal of mumblings about what “this celebrity types” will do in the Senate?. It is not that our people have anything against them but the city cherishes along with its cherry blossoms, the notion that it takes something very special to be a senator of the Nigerian Senate and people are not sure mere fame fills the bill.
Just what qualities marks a man has fit for the Senate in Africa’s most self exalted legislative body are undefined. But the imprecision of the standards in no way lessens the beliefs that there are standards to be maintained.
The difficulties in judging the quality of a senator has been discussed at various political fora and it reaches a conclusion that there are no standard test to apply to a senator. No ratings, no scouting reports. The senators’ talents may vary with his time and his contributions may be limited by his politics. To judge a senators true greatness is nearly and seems an impossible tasks.
If there is any senator whose contributions and activities in the Senate has seem to end this debate about what makes for a great senator in the Nigerian senate? I think it is uncontestably, Senator Smart Adeyemi, the senator representing the good people of Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly.
We have at a time been engaged with some political pundits and analyst in discussing about taking up the task of conducting a poll on the very important task of selecting five great senators whose portrait we would have sponsored a motion to adorn the Senate hearing rooms. But the difficulty of picking the outstanding men and women in the history of the Nigerian senate was as we found out, are essentially the same as the problem of defining the qualities that makes for distinction in the Senate of it’s occupants.
Must a “good senator”, be a man or woman of eloquence who can supply the oratorical gloss to finished legislations during floor debate? or is it more important that he or she has the legal skills that makes him a superb Craftsman behind the committee doors? Or is it sufficient that the great senator excel a protecting his state’s interests and representing it’s points of views on the issues of the day? Or is the good senator the man who adheres always to the dictates of his own conscience; a relentless investigator, a compromiser or is he the cheerful pragmatist whose willingness to split the differences and makes it possible to pass a bill now or then? Or is a man or woman using the Senate as a base for national campaign or a man whose labors are scarcely noticed by the citizens?
Simply, to raise this posers is to suggest that there is room in a 109-man senate for men of differing taste and talents. Any arbitrary standards that ignores these individual variations is certain to be wrong. In one basic sense, our belief in the distinctiveness of the Senate is well justified.
The most striking single facts about the men and women in the Nigerian senate is that they are uncommon Nigerians. One of this uncommon senators that have braced all factors and who truely can be described as a great senator is Senator Smart Adeyemi.
Senator Adeyemi is one man whose rise to the Senate has helped defecting this characteristics so far from the norm of the Nigerian society that believes probably less than 5percent of the citizens have any significant chance of ever serving in the Senate, so long as the present informal requirements for the office holds.The major abnormality about the senators,in terms of career terms is that they are proffessional officeholders.We found out that almost half the senators achieved their first public office before they turned 30 and that three quarter of them were on public payrolls before they were 40.The average member of the Senate had spent approximately half his adult life in officeholding-even before he becomes a senator.
Of the present 109 senators,almost more than half came to that office directly from public offices; just few of them relied chiefly on the fame won in prior public office,which in minimal cases had terminated only briefly before their senatorial campaign began.That leaves only about just 5percent of senators like Smart Adeyemi who launched their campaigns from reputations earned outside public offices and who are seen as political accidents of one sort or another.But this is an exceptional achievement that marks Senator Smart Adeyemi as more distinguished and great.
With so much similarity in their backgrounds, what determines which senator rise to distinction and which stays submerged in the pack?.Again one must be wary of generalisation.A favourite myth,for example is that former governors-or other executives types-fares more badly in the Senate.This is because they are always unhappy at the scenarios which suddenly confronts them-they shares now their sovereignty and command authority with others.
No one was ever at home with committee machinations and in floor debates than Senator Smart Adeyemi. Energy, eloquence, wit, good humor, intelligence, frankness and honor-all these are his worthy qualities, esteemed by fellow senators, as by all men, in their fellows.
Cataloguing these virtues of Senator Smart Adeyemi is to say the least to describe the special qualities that makes a senator ranks as a great senator. In candor, he has been a good senator, even a great one, who is not tempered or irreproachable in his personal code.
Personally, their is that aura about him seeing himself as a marverick, whose career in the Senate was defined by the times he lived up to his principles and by those times that he didn’t. A politician with a strong moral compass willing to buck his party(APC) and admit when he was wrong. He held himself and everyone around him to a high standard-one that by his own admission, fell short on occasions. He has truly like all human, have collections of moments-that defined his extraordinary life as one of NIGERIA’S influential senators.
His time as the President of the Nigerian union of journalist (N.U.J) enobled him to the Nigerian public. He is one of the senators in the Senate that can not be accused of poor judgement or having any astericks or having any bad mark on his record. He is a senator that would always get remembered for fighting on the right side of the Nigerian history. A loyal party man that even when recently during the primary election of his party for a return ticket to the Senate, was denied by the powers that be in the state, never unleashed a Pandora’s box of grievances politics within the APC to pave way for the opposition parties to rise. Instead, he took the disease that was running through the party in the state-anti-intellectualism, disrespect for facts, and he put it right at the centre of the party to be reformed going forward. A decent family man, citizen that believes in his convictions in politics, just having a disagreements with others on fundamental issues because he believes that is what political participation is all about and not fighting.
His major political philosophy is to make our citizens believe that our country offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it and that though we have come a long way from the old injustices that have stained our country’s reputation and denied many of her citizens the full blessings as a Nigerian citizenry,the memory of them even when it still have the power to wound;We can change it for the better.This is because be believes that our country today should be from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time and let there be no reason now for Nigerians to fail to cherish their citizenry in this most blessed nation in Africa.
Senator Smart Adeyemi has achieved and will continue to achieve great things for himself and for his country.He can never be accused of political opportunism and abandoning the cause of his people due to political convienences.He as many knows him,an advocate of a continuous and aggressive campaign, defending the cause of the masses.This is because he believes the Nigerian people have a right-indeed,a responsibility-to make what was done in their name,how what was done is to their interest and how their leaders comported with their most important values.The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow.It sometimes causes him personal pains and difficulties at home and even abroad..Sometimes manipulated by his political opponents in attempts to hurt him politically.He is entitled to it and never compromised.He believes we have nothing to lose by trying to work together to find these solutions.We are not getting anything much done apart and nobody should be proud of our incapacity as a people.Merely preventing your political opponents from doing what they want isn’t the most inspiring thing because there is a greater satisfaction in respecting our differences and not letting them prevent agreements made in good faith that helps improve lives and protects the Nigerian people and the enthronements of our core principles.This he believes the Senate can do that.
He has patriotically been involved severally in working out a bi-partisan response to many national problems or threats which today ranks as the most proudest moment yet of his senate career which by far he ranks also as the most satisfying.He considers himself the luckiest guy on earth because he has served NIGERIA’S cause-the cause of our people and of the fatherland,the cause of Justice and freedom-all in his entire senate career.He has served it well Among the few compensations of a ranking senator is the acruity of hindsight.Hebis part of something important that drew him along in it’s wake even he was diverted by other interests.He was knowingly or not,along the ride as Nigeria made the future better than the past.
He was and continue to be a great senator of the Federal Republic.
– Musa Wada writes from Abuja.