By Oluwole Oladipo
As we approach 2019 general elections, the horde of presidential aspirants, from all the existing political parties, keep surging forward.
In essence, there is need for vital information, enlightenment, analysis and engagement, devoid of ethno-religious and political sentiment, emotion & prejudice, in the choice of our next president, for the survival of our present/future generations and Nigeria, as a political entity.
The next president should, therefore, be a Nigerian that has the capacity & capability to drive both our economy & politics, by galvanizing the technocrats into action. Politics and economy move the world, hence, the need to raise the standard of living, purchasing power, youth employment rate & eradication of poverty, in the midst of plenty.
A well versed Nigerian in politics will, therefore, be able to engineer all other centrifugal forces/facets, within the ambit of democratic norms.
We need a business conscious Nigerian that can harness both human and material resources for optimal performance, coupled with sound entrepreneurial background/experience to be able to utilize a hundred Naira, on an economic/business venture that would ultimately yield thousands, millions, billions and trillions of Naira, in a public/private sector driven economy, for overall developmental purposes/goals.
The above points, therefore, go hand in hand with a Nigerian that has exhibited, in his private business–life undertakings, the capability of being an employer of labour, especially among the teeming populace of Nigerian youths with technological know-how.
A detribalised Nigerian, whose socioeconomic, political and family network, background & connections, cut across the various ethno-religious–divide-components called Nigeria.
A young or an old Nigerian? A lot of people have variously canvassed for youth leadership @ every level. But, is Nigeria’s problem a matter of dichotomy between the younger and older ones or male and female gender base? The answer seems to be Capital no! We once had “New breed politicians” during the Retired General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB), military political contraption, and we all knew how some youths misused the opportunity! Secondly, there have always been youths & women alike, at various levels of governance, till date, with nothing to write home about some of them. In essence, no matter how young or old men & women, come to governance, with good intentions & clear conscience, will they be able to perform successfully, without a fall or a slip-up, in this weedy Nigerian political system? This, therefore, leads to the fifth Need;
A Nigerian who is very much passionate about the National question/interest!
In order to move Nigeria forward, there is need to remove the impediment, often pose by the Ethno-religious sentimental nature of Nigeria that sometime prevents the emergence of the right leaders, in a dysfunctional system which made the Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo to be ” The best president Nigeria never had ” and the business Mogul, Chief M. K.O. Abiola ” The presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election “
In essence, the main genuine solution to Nigeria numerous problems is still within the national question to our political/economic growth and recovery, which is restructuring. Nigeria, therefore, needs a detribalised personalty, well versed in entrepreneurial skills, coupled with great passion to restructuring this country.
Breaking the Jinx of Accidental Presidents
In the second Republic, (1979–1983), Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s senatorial ambition metamorphosed into presidency, courtesy of defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd), from prison to the presidency, in 1999, Late President Yar-adua was handpicked by the Presidential search team, in 2007, Jonathan’s presidency was by divine providence, while retired General Muhammadu Buhari had earlier, in 2011, withdrawn from any future presidential race.
Can this Jinx of continuously having accidental presidents, be therefore broken, come 2019, for a new dawn and prosperous Nigeria?
Can Nigerians, therefore, with no prejudice or misinformation, have or choose a detribalised individual who has, over the years, been unrelenting in his efforts to be president, without prompting, but driven by the passion to serve? Nigeria needs no more political opportunists, who live on politics for survival with no viable business acumen or unprepared accidental Presidents, but a Nigerian, driven not by ambition but vision and passion to spearhead restructuring, for a better Nigeria, that we are all yearning to live in.
It is, however, a very disheartening experience, over the years, that Nigerian electorate are often clouded by ethno-religious and political prejudice, emotion, sentiment, ignorance, misinformation and lack of information, in their voting behavioural patterns, instead of engaging there would be leaders on intellectual plane of discussion, in order to know what the Politicians have brought to the table for societal growth and betterment of the people. Our society seems not to be knowledge-driven and issue-based, on matters of National interest! Hence, the trial and error, complaints, lamentations and national dilemma always, after each miscalculated/misguided electoral decision/choice, galvanized to an average Nigerian politician, whose personal interest has always been the overall guiding principle.
Heaven really helps those who help themselves. The choice is definitely yours, mine and ours.
Let’s collectively make the difference, this time around, please!
Oluwole Oladipo is an Information and Communication expert and wrote in from Ibadan, Oyo State, using firstname.lastname@example.org