Nations Run On Ideas not Generousity of Individuals; Bolaji Abdullahi Schools Saliu Mustapha
The Kwara Central PDP Senatorial Candidate, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has said that nations run on Big Ideas, and not the generousity of individuals.
It will be recalled on Saturday, December 24, Kwara Central APC Senatorial Candidate, Saliu Mustapha said he was no longer in need of ideas.
In an open letter to Saliu Mustapha, Abdullahi said while he understands that people may have different ideas, or may accept or reject other people’s ideas, he noted that he has never heard anyone say he no longer has a need for ideas; or has passed the level of ideas. “I find that quite strange indeed. My first reaction was to ignore it; perplexed by how one might begin to engage with such pedestrian and embarrassingly cynical no-thinking!”
Abdullahi said contrary to Mustapha’s beliefs, most problems in life cannot be solved by throwing money around. It is ideas that move and rule the world, adding that the entire human civilization advances and is sustained by constant production of ideas.
“From what you said in your video, you appear to think that charity is a development strategy or that philanthropy can take the place of well-thought-out government policies. This is quite unfortunate, and I regret to say that one would expect a broader perspective than this from someone contesting to be a local government councilor, not to talk of someone aspiring for the highest legislative institution of the biggest black nation on earth. My dear Turaki, no country ever develops through the generousity of individuals, and no country will ever do. Charity has its place in every society.
“As a community of believers, charity is enjoined on all of us; in fact, it is a key cornerstone of our religion. People in our position have a duty to help the less privileged among us. That is a duty, for which we should expect no reward whatsoever, because it is our only way of saying ‘thank you’, to the Almighty Allah who in his mercy has chosen to bless us more than the people around us. Unfortunately, it is the same acts of charity that you now convert to a credential, on the basis of which you want people to vote for you.
“We all do it. Within what the Almighty Allah blessed me with, I have also paid school fees of countless children that I never met and that I would probably never meet. I have paid hospital bills, paid for surgical operations, bought wheel chairs, sank boreholes, repair roads, supported orphans, rebuilt classrooms, fix people’s houses, bought working tools for artisans, and gave people money who just wanted to eat. I do this all the time, whether in government or out of it, and regardless of party or politics. And I pray to Allah to enable me to continue to help. Up till her death, my late mother prayed for me that I would be a tree under whose shade people can seek comfort. This why you will never hear me bandy these things around for political benefits, despite immense pressure to do otherwise by associates.
“I know many people who also do the same, who never aspire to any political offices: lawyers who have built hospitals, civil servants who build houses for people, ordinary businessmen who do acts of charity on a daily basis without making a song and dance of it. Therefore, philanthropy cannot be a qualification for leadership.”
He noted that the Senate that they both aspire to, requires people to contribute ideas and not money to solve the unending social problems of poverty, unemployment, Insecurity, high inflation, rising cost of food prices among others.
“The problems that confront our people cannot be solved by isolated acts of charity, no matter how well-intentioned. Priding ourselves as alaanu mekunu may make us feel good with ourselves, but the right thing to do is to commit to reducing the number of mekunu that depends on our mercy. We are not God. And we must never give the impression to our people that largesse from people like you or me can bail them out of their condition. Our youths who are unemployed don’t want to beg their way out of poverty. They want a job so that they can also live a life of dignity and fulfilment. This is the generational burden that people like us must carry, if we truly aspire for leadership.
“The position that you and I seek requires critical thinking and big ideas more than anything else. The issues that would be brought before us as senators would require us to think creatively and take decisions based on hard evidence. And it will not always be pretty. Senators don’t contribute money to solve problems; they contribute ideas instead. Unfortunately, it is this same ‘ideas’ that you have proudly relegated and announced that you no longer have a need for.
“I will like to mention one or two issues that are likely to be at the top of the next legislative agenda. All the presidential candidates have promised restructuring in one form or the other. The implication of this is that whoever emerges as the next president is likely to pursue the issue of restructuring. This immediately puts the National Assembly at the heart of a major constitutional undertaking that would most likely transform our country forever. The issues that will come up would certainly require everyone involved to reach for their thinking caps rather than their money wallets.
“More specifically, conversation about restructuring is also going to be a major negotiation and bargaining platform for the different peoples of this country. What this means is that what happens to Kwara State, and to Kwara Central from the restructuring debate will depend on the capacity of those representing us at the National Assembly. This is why we must ensure that those who are going to speak for us have a clear understanding of our historical affinities and the kind of alignments and realignments that will best serve the interest of our people today and into the future.
“I will take one more issue, the issue of ASUU strike. You would agree with me that this should be a source of embarrassment to anyone in government today. And our children cry out to us to find a permanent solution that will bring this disgraceful occurrence to an end. So, what do we do? As aspiring representative of our people in the Senate, our people should want to know what ideas we have for solving this seemingly intractable problem. We certainly cannot throw money at it and make it disappear, can we?”