Nigeria’s political experience since attainment of independence is inconsistent with the prowess Nigerians have demonstrated home and abroad. It is therefore important for people to ask the right questions as another national electioneering campaign season beckons.
Nigeria had a parliamentary system of government at Independence. In 1966, it adopted unitary system of government; a feature that has been subsequently retained by successive Decrees, Constitutions, Administrations and system of government. Every Head of State and Government across military and civilian era has stated on record, that power was foisted on them. In other words, perhaps a few days ahead of their investitures, they had no ambition and expectation to lead as President and Commander in Chief. How the country managed to survive and thrive under such infantile leadership would definitely beat the imagination of every rational human being.
The national population estimate hovers around 180 million. 62% are young people. The essentially youthful enterprising population is contending with local and global challenges that requires visionary, exemplary and confident national leadership. As more citizens continue to define expectations for basic government responsibilities, specific questions on who should be the next President has become pertinent.
More people have realized the dangers inherent in giving power to those who do not want it. The unwritten zoning arrangement norm has created a reliable basis for speculating on potential candidates for Nigeria’s presidency. Sadly, with less than 18 months to the next general election, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar is the only potential candidate expressing his intention, seeking electorate’s support, and evaluating his prospects as a function of whether the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari will seek reelection.
While it is easy to appreciate the wisdom in this cautious approach, it is also important to see this approach as setting dangerous precedence and laying foundation for wholesale adoption of dependent and indecisive candidates as President of this great nation. Specifically, anyone aspiring to lead the country with promises of bold moves will do well to establish his God and Constitution-given rights to aspire.
In this era of sustainability, businesses are playing significant roles in the governance of the country. It therefore helps to have people of such caliber as Atiku Abubakar aspire to Office of the President. His exemplary business leadership, connectedness with every part of the country, and contemporary democratic experience as Vice President of Nigeria puts him shoulder high above every other candidate Nigerians can speculate at the moment.
Uncertainty and indecision is a terrible enemy of for any economy. As we mark our exit from recession, the logical thing is to consolidate our political and economic expectations for a more sustainable, resourceful and certain leadership. Now is the time to define And prepare for the usual displacements of our electoral spending and post-election economy. The only way to do that is by having candidates at all levels putting their ideas in perspective.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has established a good precedence which other prospective candidates will do well to emulate for strengthening our political system and ensuring power is no longer given to those who have no idea on how to use it for the advancement of the citizenry.
(Op-ed written by Samuel Odebowale, mnipr, Abuja Nigeria. Editor@theafricasignal.com)