“How I Became a Senator In 30 Days” is a book written by Prince Sadiq Sulaiman -Umar, fondly nicknamed the “Young Prof” by his students on account of the implicit methodology and mastery in the Subject area he teaches. He earns the title as a pupil-teacher even as he is not a professional in the teaching profession.
2. The book has so many thematic areas, but it appears to devolve a great deal on the necessity for democracy and good governance as the centerpiece for good representation and legislation. Regardless of this fact, the entire happenings and events in the book are inexorably tied to the theme of destiny to the extent that one would have assumed that the title of the book could have been “About the Child of destiny”. The theme of destiny comes throughout the book with clarity of purpose and convictions. Take these examples: “I have always believed in destiny” (Chapter 1, Page 37, Para. 1). “Truth be told, the only way I could have become a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria in the manner I did, must have been by divine intervention and the design of destiny…” (Chapter 2, P 57, Para. 1). “God has plans for everything; from the beginning to the end, completely packaged.” (Chapter 3, P. 140, Para 1.),”God that created all of us in Nigeria could have chosen to make us the same, but He chose to make us different in culture, language and religion. This difference is beyond you…” (Chapter 5„ P. 201, Para 1).
3. If one reads the book from the beginning to end, one would come to terms with the belief that it is an effusion straight from the heart of the grandson of “Suno-Suru” (The patient King). The author poured out almost every experience of his life using the quality of his mind. Since the water does not flow until the faucet is turned on (Louis- L’ Amour). Young Umar, the author, has in simple and common place diction began his book by carrying the reader along with him in the odyssey that produces a Senator in thirty days using various times and settings including the life of the author from childhood, adolescence to adulthood.
4. The historical and sociological narration approach holds the reader spell-bound once he begins to read the book. Suffice to say that, the originality of the book is not in doubt and as such, one believes sincerely that the book will find enough audience to read. Besides its originality, the book is deliberately written in plain English and without the presence of exact truths. Events are portrayed without exaggeration with the author reflecting his personal experience on how he becomes Senator in 30 days. One imagines the unique style in chronicling and laying out specific moments and events in time, intending to educate and inform his readers. There is also credibility in the outright and befitting dedication as it were, to the poor and vulnerable citizens of the country in whom the author finds meaning, fame, eminence, relevance, prominence and background.
5. The dedication pioneers a Greenfield in which the writer expounds his deep heartfelt acknowledgement from the infinite to the finite. For example, he gives thanks to Allah for his grace on him. He shows appreciation to parents, royalties, confidents, political associates, mentors et al. (Acknowledgements, Pp…9-13).
6. Having been surrounded by people, who have what it take to push you to work harder than you did yesterday, the book comes handy for the Senate President to spur the author by writing the Foreword. Distinguish Senator Ahmed Lawan, PhD, CON, the President of the Senate, underscores the author through his book, as a proponent of cooperation and meaningful partnership amongst the tiers of government, adding that, politics is at its best when politicians serve the people.
7. Serving the people is about trust, but the writer has never occupied any political office either by appointment or election (Preface P. 21), before becoming a Senator of the Federal Republic. He states that “…my people did not hesitate in trusting me to represent them at the highest legislative level in the country-the Nigerian Senate” (Preface P. 21). Herein lies the exceptional political feat that is responsible for the debut called “How I Became A Senator In 30 Days”.
8. Indeed, “How I Became A Senator In 30 Days” is a book that has filled its space. What this means in literature is that the author has realistically visualised through chronometric, biological, psychic, social, historical and theological time ending up with the proof in literature and psychology that, “men pursue the extremes of human destiny-as victim or as hero” (A philosophy of Literary Criticism by Edward H. Strauch, Published by Exposition Press Jericho, New York, 1st Edition, 1974 Introduction P.Xiii). Because it has filled its space, the book gives encouragement and provides core principles that tie the reader to the journey with the author without moving his feet (Jhumpa Lahiri, American Novelist and Essayist). It is in regard of the aforesaid, that the reader is reminded or informed about the quintessential of leadership as hard work; tolerant; humble; courageous; creative; rational and with the capacity to communicate effectively (Chapter 2 and 3 of the book).
9. While chapter 2 of the book contains the main topical issue that leads to the Prince becoming a Senator in 30 days barring all political intrigues and chicaneries, chapter three speaks on challenges that follow the “exhilaration of victory”. The reader is now presented with the author’s next line of action which includes deploying his experiences as a development sector officer to stem the growing tide of frustration amongst the electorates. He accordingly marshaled out his vision with the view to achieving what he conceives, namely, to serve the country first and key the interest of his senatorial district (Kwara North), into the bigger national interest. With the benefit of hindsight, Suno-Suru is sure to make his plans translatable and achievable through a nurtured team under his watch. He is set to give direction, using a blueprint that reflects programmes, activities and projects that are desirable to the people. He is also armed to the teeth to unbundle the contradictions in the two opposing systems with one full of treachery, deceit, opaque, expensive and destructive and the other, that is cost-effective, transparent, and with clear deliverables. These are the actualities that stare the newly-elected Senator right in the face. (chapter3, P. 171, Para 3)
10. Chapter four of the book is quite engaging as it offers special advice on how to become a successful leader and politician. The attributes are as contained in Chapter 4, PP. 176-192 of the book. They include humility, integrity and trust, vision and focus, resilience, efficiency, sense of fairness and justice, discipline, generosity, patience, good communication skills and attentiveness amongst others.
11. In Chapter five of “How I Became a Senator in 30 bays”, the writer appears a didactive and full of counseling. The writer seems to be saying “through others we become ourselves” (Lev S. Vyotsky), hence the call: “Do not grow bigger than your community because of a little success, such That you cannot even visit your community. There are no witches in the village to consume you or your children.
Visit your community with your family periodically and interact with your Kinsfolk. Nobody will develop your community for you, and as a product of the community, you owe the community and the people. It is a divine responsibility: the more you distance yourself from it, the more you fail yourself.” The Chapter ends with a clarion call on the youths to participate fully in the activities of their communities.
12. Going forward, “How I Became A Senator In 30 Days” is a metaphor that reveals that “we never know how high we are until we are called to rise; and then, if we are true to plan, our statures touch the sky” (Emily Dickinson’s ‘We never know how high’). Distinguished Senator S. S Umar has shown that there are still high people in and from Borgu; what remains is for the illustrious sons and daughters to please rise so that the shadows of the dwarfs could be further diminished. And I dare say that aside from the book launched on Dantoro: Emir of History and Destiny” by Austin C. Anyawu, published by Partner’s Publications, 2013, there has not been any book launch by any illustrious son or daughter of Old Borgu Kingdom that has National acclaim than the book “How I Became A Senator in 30 Days” by Senator S. S Umar.
13. ‘Dantoro: Emir of History and Destiny ‘; a publication on late Senator, Dr HalliruDantoro, CON, Kitoro III, the Emir of Borgu, and ‘How I Became A Senator in 30 Days’ by Senator 5.5 Umar have common features shared, namely, they are both products of destiny; both blue-blooded with one an Emir and the other, a Prince; history will ever remember them as Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; both publications are made in Abuja and launched in Abuja. Besides, both personalities are from the ancient Old Borgu Kingdom. It is therefore evident that the personalities under reference are like the Sun and the Moon with each one of them destined to move on his ordained cause and towards the goal determined for them by the possessor of perfect knowledge-Allah (annotated from Surah 36, YaSin; verses 37-40).
14. Although Senator S. S Umar has “service” as his primary reason for venturing into politics, he has ended up into challenging the Old Borgu Kingdom to rise once again to stardom through valour, candour, intellectual prowess and show of excellence in whatever field of calling one finds himself or herself.
Thus, like Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar, ’here was (is) a Caesar, when comes such another’. In other words, the Senator has thrown an open challenge to one and all. Will you not take up the challenge?
Zubairu M. Abdullahi
No. 8, 1st AVENUE C. ESTATE ABUJA.