[Op_Ed] : Thank you Senator Bukola Saraki – by Ishowo Yakub

In 2014, I was in 300L and happened to be the Clerk of the Student Union Senate Council, University of Ilorin. During my time as a legislator, I witnessed several complaints and reports from fellow students living in school hostels on lack of portable water.

I could recall at the time, most students trekked long distance to get clean water around the University’s Senate Building.
Having identified this particular problem, I included it as one of the agendas to canvas for students vote when I was aspiring for the office of the President of the Student Union.

Fortunately, I emerged after the elections. The first reality was that campaign promises are different from administrative realities; secondly, goodwill is not a sufficient driving force for good governance and lastly, democracy at all levels needed to be redefined from being about promises to being about realities.

In brief, the struggle to fulfil campaign promises began. Every administration needs an element of luck regardless of how gifted cabinet members are and as God would have it, a meeting was conveyed by Shakir Akorede, an opportunity for all Student Union Presidents of various Institutions in Kwara State to meet with Senator Bukola Saraki.

Saraki gave a very democratic atmosphere, interacted with us and listened to each student leader speak on the various problems facing our respective campuses.

No matter how much you look up to God, He answers prayer through opportunities, and the meeting with Senator Bukola Saraki was one of them. That opportunity was seized to express our dire need for drinkable water and vehicles to ease the challenges of transportation and movement in and out of the campus.

It was on that spot Senator Bukola Saraki gave approval to installation of two motorised boreholes on University of Ilorin campus. One of the boreholes was dug in the open space between Lagos boys and Girls hostel while the other one was installed in Zamfara Hostel. My successor Alao idris, in his effort to sustain the water project, networked the boreholes into the compounds of the Hostels.

On that same fateful day with Senator Bukola Saraki, a 56 seater bus was gufted to Unilorin Student Union. Although, we could not conclude some paper works on the operation of the bus on our Campus. ( a story for another day).

Recently what struck me was my return to the University for a second degree. I discovered that, the facilitated boreholes are still the major source of water for students in the Hostels.

I do not only feel fulfilled seeing this after 6 years of the project, I equally remember the man who made the dreams of thousands of student, conveyed through one man possible, gave such listening ears and stretched his kindest hands to the student community.

Thank you so much Senator Bukola Saraki,

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