“At a time when some wonderful people are contemplating building a car that can fly, our executives are commissioning boreholes as dividends of democracy”
It is very painful, to say the least, that at a time when we should be looking for a man or woman capable of steering this nation to growth and development we are busy discussing the region where the next president comes from.
This shows that there is a national question yet unanswered. I have read with disappointment several commentators who pretend they are interested in the quality of the president rather than where he comes from. However, anyone reading between lines knows these commentators would go to bed sleepless if the president didn’t come from their region.
Different groups are going about with commercials to show how their region has been marginalized from what they perceived as national cake. What is more disturbing is that these commercials are misleading. It is not true that only the south-south region is yet to produce a president for this country.
What history has is that Nigeria has only produced three presidents. They are Nnamdi Azikwe, Sheu Shagari and Olusegun Obasanjo. These are the only three recognized and legal head of states we’ve had. The others are military men who came on their own and represented their own constituency; Nigerian Armed Forces.
Except we now want to give recognition to military. IBB was never representing Niger state neither was late Sanni Abacha representing Kano state. But, for as long as we regard every military rule as unconstitutional and undemocratic. Then we must base our statistics of those who have ruled us on legality.
Did the people of Plateau state present Gowon as Nigeria head of state? If we insist on where our president comes from, then let’s have the right statistics. It is therefore clear that this country has produced only three presidents. One an Igbo man, the second a Fulani man and the current president a Yoruba man. Who is now fooling who?
The fact is that, it is not the common man who is making the noise about where the president comes from. Rather, it is a small group of people driven by personal ambition but clothed in the garment of “it is our turn”. The common man has a lot on his hands that he is struggling with everyday. He spends better part of his days hoping PHCH may supply power to his house in serious need of electricity. He travels on roads that require lot of prayers to have a safe journey.
His children spend their most important time fetching water. House rent, car rent food rent and every other ‘rent’ you can imagine are daily waiting for his attention. What this man needs is not another thief from his region, who will spend eight years in power with only mass poverty to show for it. What we need is a man who can turn the agricultural potentials of this country into realities. A man endowed with wisdom to generate 50, 000 Mega Watts in four years for stable electricity.
We need a man of integrity and of great courage. A man who can put a Nigerian in the moon in the next ten years. This man must have proven himself in chosen areas of life. He must have testimonies of great success under difficult situations. From all the presidential aspirants we have seen so far, none of them seems to have come close to being an ideal leader for this nation. None of them seems to have any real success stories going before them.
Except if, our definition of success is different. The kind of adverts seen in the newspapers and on Television reinforces the notion that some people do not have a single idea of what governance is all about. In an age where some people already are operating a space station, we have our ‘rulers’ buying spaces on the pages of newspapers to show the 10km road they have constructed at sky rocketing prices. At a time when some wonderful people are contemplating building a car that can fly, our executives are commissioning borehole as dividends of democracy.
What a shame! In a generation where serious minded people are working smart to see if planet mars can be habitable, our presidents wastes his time going to different states to commission six blocks of classroom with great funfair. When shall we ever learn to get things right in this country? Let it be known to all that our numerous problems are not a result of our president coming from a particular region. Even if we make an Ijaw or Tiv man president and continue to do things the way we have been doing them, we are going nowhere. We already have an orientation as a nation that is anti-development.
All these, is not to suggest that we don’t need dialogue and equity. We need them. In fact, more than any other country. But that won’t solve our problems. It is only an illusion to think that having our president from one region or the other would lead us to success. What have the governors done to their own state of origin?
What we need first is a good system of governance and public attitude that is patriotic and progressive. Under such atmosphere, we can then talk about who governs the country. With what we saw during the third term debate at the national assembly, it will require great faith and optimism for any body to say there is still hope for this country.
It is however, clear that Nigeria would still emerge a great nation. We must address all wrongs done to any section of the country. But we must not allow people driven by personal and selfish ambition to hijack this process. We can make it as a single entity. Violence and division will lead us to nowhere. What we all need is a decent accommodation, affordable meal, efficient social amenities and a comfortable life in the atmosphere is justice, peace and equity. With a little patriotism, commitment and dedication from everyone, Nigeria will be a dream country among committee of nations. See us at the top.
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Omotayo, J. A. Lagos, NIGERIA January 06, 2007
Thanks for your article Mr. Olusegun Mokuolu. In the past, I had my fears about the future of this country, but today, I have my trust in this country.
Why? Our past body politics was characterised by evilly motivated desire to gang up against an honest and trustworthy leader in the midst of mediocres or corrupt politicians.
Today, we have Mr. Yar'Adua and Mr. Buhari both of whom are equally competent for the highest office in the land.
I must stress that the choice of Mr. Yar'Adua by the PDP has made other political parties to pant thus forcing them to search for credible candidates of almost equal or more rating. In the ANPP, this has produced Mr. Buhari. And for the first time in our history, we have two individuals who have not been stained with corruption leading the presidential campaigns of two foremost political parties in Nigeria. This is a turning point in our body politics, and it is very good for our democracy.
In answering your question then, I will write that come May 29, 2007 the man who rules Nigeria will be an educated, intelligent, trustworthy and generally well accepted candidate. In this modern day, sound education cannot be waived aside in the choice of a good leader. So also is intelligence. Up till now, most of the heads of government whether military or civilian have been a motley collection of intelligent semi-illiterates. That was where the problem lied.
Apart from his money, it was intelligence and knowledge that made Mr. Henry Flagler to conceive of the construction of the "Over-Sea Railroad" in the late 1800s. Initially, the project was nicknamed "Flagler's Folly" because nobody believed that it was possible to build a rail road from Jacksonville in USA across the ocean to "Fort Dallas" now called Miami. But when the project was completed in 1912, it became known as "The Eighth Wonder of the World".
This little information above will no doubt show you that those trying to make a car fly are those with sound education and intelligence. They are not mediocres or intelligent semi-illiterates. Our own late Mr. Awolowo once said that while others were busy "carousing men and women of easy virtue" that he was always busy by his "post" trying to find solutions to Nigeria's problems. Whereas mediocres will often be interested in celebrations, carousing himself (not gender sensitive) until the unwanted happens, the intelligent beings find pleasure in seeking more things of interest and comfort to the generality of the people.
Nigeria has come to that point now. No matter what anybody may say, Mr. Ribadu of EFCC has brought some sanity into the financial aspect of the federation's life. Cleaner hands are emerging for presidential election. Those who have used their God given intelligence to deceive the federation have been shown the way out. Does that not point at something that the future of this country is indeed very bright?
My heart is filled with joy because we can now start to dream of having a leader that will not be globe-trotting while the enormous official duties of the federation are left unattended to as and when due. We can now begin to have a sigh of relief that the next head of state will be able to delegate functions and demand results from those appointed as Advisers, Ministers, Chairmen, etc. I think that the man who rules Nigeria is a “born again” politician with little or no blemish. The choice, of course, lies in our ability to vote and monitor the results.
God bless Nigeria.
Andy kajang London, United kingdom January 05, 2007
If only nigerians and their representatives ( presidents, governors, senators, etc)
were educated, reasonable and refused to tolerate sub-standard
leadership, the nation would have gone far. A people who put region, religion and
ethnicity above all else are destined for doom.
Let us be realistic: unless the nigerian people refuse to tolerate, condone and accept these senseless, selfish, evil, greedy and callous people called ( presidents, governors, senators, ministers etc) that nation will remain were it is.
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