By Oladipo Oluwole
September 24, 2018.
As we approach 2019 general elections, the horde of presidential aspirants from all the existing political parties keep surging.
Essentially, there is need for vital information, enlightenment, analysis and engagement, devoid of ethno-religious and political sentiment, emotion and prejudice, in the choice of our next president, for the survival of our present and the future generations as a political entity.
The next president should therefore be a Nigerian that has the capacity and capability to drive both the economy and the political terrain by galvanizing the technocrats into action.
Politics and economics move the world, hence, the need to raise the standard of living, purchasing power, youth employment rate and eradication of poverty, in the midst of plenty.
If accessible to the people, a well versed Nigerian in politics will therefore be able to engineer all other centrifugal forces cum facets within the ambit of democratic norms.
A business conscious Nigerian that can harness both human and material resources for optimal performance coupled with sound entrepreneurial skill with experience to utilize a hundred naira on a business venture that would ultimately yield thousands, millions, billions and trillions of naira in return both in the public and private sector driven economy for overall developmental purposes and goals, is needed.
The above points, therefore, go hand in hand with a Nigerian that has excelled in his private business life with the capability of being an employer of labour, especially among the teeming youths with technological know-how.
Really we need a detribalised Nigerian, whose socio-economic, political, family network, background and 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 at every level. But, is the problem a matter of dichotomy between the young and old male or female?
The answer seems to be capital no. We once had “new breed politicians” during the General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (retired) military political contraption. We saw how some youths misused the opportunity.
There have always been youths and 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 and women, come to governance, with good intentions and 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. We need a Nigerian who is very much passionate about the national interest.
For us to move forward, there is need to remove the impediment often pose by the ethno-religious sentiment that often prevents the emergence of the right leaders, in a dysfunctional system which made the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo to be ” the best president Nigeria never had” and the business mogul, Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale (M. K.O). Abiola, the winner of the annulled 1993 presidential election.
Genuine solution to Nigeria numerous problems is still within the national question of our political, economic growth and recovery, which is restructuring. Nigeria, therefore, needs a detribalized personality, 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), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, from prison to the presidency, in 1999, Sehu Musa Yar-adua was handpicked by the Obasanjo’s search team, in 2007: Jonathan’s presidency was by divine providence, while President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier said he won’t participate in future presidential race in 2011.
Can this Jinx of continuously accidental presidents be therefore broken come 2019 for a new dawn and prosperous Nigeria? Can Nigerians, therefore, 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 opportunists or accidental president, but a Nigerian driven not by ambition but vision and passion to spearhead restructuring for a better nation 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 -political prejudice, emotion, sentiment, ignorance, misinformation and lack of information in their voting patterns.
Instead of engaging the would be leaders on intellectual discussion in order to know what the politicians are bringing to the table for the 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 miscalculated and misguided electoral 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.
Oladipo Oluwole is a director in Ogun State ministry of information.