The 2019 general election witnessed the influx of several young people into the political space, es- pecially at the presidential level.
We all remember the likes of
Omoyele Sowore, Mathias Baba
Tsado, Fela Durotoye and host of
others, who made social media the
center piece of their presidential
However, while the above mentioned individuals tried unsuccessfully to emerge in their electioneering experiment, there are others who started their ambition on so- cial media and suceeded in winning their election.
One of such individuals is Pharmacist Sadiq Umar, a distinguish Senator, representing Kwara North Senatorial District.
In a yet to be published book ti- tled, “How I became a Senator in 30 days”, Senator Sadiq stated that, “Several persons had at one time or the other encouraged me to seek elective office, but the pressure to run in 2019 was particularly intense and social media further amplified the voice, starting from when I was added to a WhatsApp group”.
To say it differently, Senator Sadiq Umar started his ambition on WhatsApp group and he eventually landed at the Senate.
The detailes of this process is contained in his upcoming book.
I was privileged to be given this
unpublished book few weeks ago,
when I met Sen. Sadiq Umar to discuss and answer questions on our
organization’s novel project, the
Legislative Watch, which is seeking to advance legislative accountability in Nigeria.
Legislative Watch is designed as a scientific and professional assessment programme for the annual rating of legislative performances in a air, balanced and apolitical manner, for the purpose of strengthening legislative arm of government and encourage legislators to com- pete for excellence.
After our engagement on legisla- tive watch, which was the main reason for the meeting, Senator Sadiq
gifted me a book he just wrote, titled “How I became a Senator in
This book is very special to me because, the copy given to me was the last copy available on his desk and when I finally settled to read the book after few hours of collect- ing it, I found the content so simple and rich, more like a guide to
all aspiring politicians, particularly youths and technocrats, seeking
to add value to our political experience.
This is apart from the aspect of
the book that provided answers to
all burning political and party issues, such as election financing and
money in politics, building structures and navigating internal politics within political parties, connecting the grassroots and aligning
with youth sentiment, handling the
politicians and many more.
In the book, Senator Sadiq explained how his ambition to become a Senator started on a WhatsApp group and like a scene in Nollywood movie, it gradually
moved from social media to reality within the space of 30 days.
The book is really a practical guide on political engagement in Nigeria and it is written by the most qualified person to do so, a profes- sional of global standing and a distinguish Senator of the Federation Republic of Nigeria.
I have known and built a friend- ly relationship with Sen. Senator
Sadiq before he won the Senate
seat during Kwara’s Otoge polit- ical revolution that swept the former ruling dynasty out of the state,and I follow his engagement at the Senate.
However, because of the enormous task before him at the Senate, especially as chairman of an important and active committee (Chairman of Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Vice Chairman of Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases), I wasn’t expecting the Senator to have time
to write a book such as this, in less
than one year in office.
But Senator Sadiq Umar isn’t
just a Senator, he is many things
roled into one and his passion, and
dedication to the upliftment of Nigeria is second to none.
Having gone through the book,
which I find inspirational and timely, I must say that writing this book
is one of the most important decision made by the Senator and I encourage many politicians as well as aspiring politicians to read the book when it is out. There’s alot to learn from it.
As we already know, politics is
the only realistic route to good governance in democratic settings.
Unfortunately, not many in this
part of the world have a coherent
understanding of the relationship
between politics and governance
Although, civil advocacy and po- litical activism may play complementary roles to government, but ultimately, the quality of governance in a given state will be determined by the quality of its politics.
This is why the ‘Kwara Must Change’ movement has been at the forefront of encouraging all those who have something to offer to step
forward into the political arena and
with this book (How I became a
Senator in 30 days), aspiring politicians will find it easier to navigate
the political terrain without abandoning their principles.
-Hamzat, the convener of Kwara Must Change, writes for Abuja.
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