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[OPINION]: 2019: The president Nigeria needs - Oladipo Oluwole

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As we approach the 2019 general election, the number of presidential aspirants from all the existing political parties keeps surging. In essence, there is the need for vital information, enlightenment, analysis and engagement, devoid of ethno-religious and political sentiments in the choice of  our 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 and the capability to drive both our economy and politics. Politics and the economy 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.

The next president should be versed in politics. He should be able to engineer all centrifugal forces/facets within the ambit of democratic norms. He should be 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 utilise a hundred naira on an economic/business venture that will ultimately yield thousands of naira and thousands yielding millions, billions and trillions of naira, in a public/private sector driven economy, for an overall developmental purposes/goals.

We need a Nigerian that has exhibited, in his private business life undertakings, the capability to be an employer of labour, especially among the teeming populace of Nigerian youths, with advanced technology.

We need a detribalised Nigerian whose socioeconomic, political and probably family network, background and connections cut across the various ethno-religious divides. A lot of people have variously canvassed for youth leadership at every level. But is Nigeria’s problem a matter of the dichotomy between the younger and older ones or male and female genders?

The answer seems to be  a capital NO! We once had “newbreed politicians” during the General Ibrahim Babangida military political contraption and we all knew how some youths misused the opportunity then! Secondly, 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 government, 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 question. In order to move Nigeria forward, there is the need to remove the impediments often posed by the ethno-religious forces. Nigeria operates a dysfunctional system which made the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, to be “the best president Nigeria never had” and  the business Mogul, Chief MKO Abiola “the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election.” In essence, the solution to Nigeria’s numerous problems is still within the national question.

For our political and economic growth and recovery, we need restructuring. Nigeria, therefore, needs a detribalised personalty who is versed in entrepreneurial skills and has great passion to restructure the country.

Again, we need to break the jinx of accidental presidents.  In the Second Republic, Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s senatorial ambition metamorphosed into the presidency courtesy of the National party of Nigeria (NPN). In 1999, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo went from prison to the presidency. In 1999, the late Umaru Yar’Adua was handpicked by the presidential search team. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency was by divine providence, while President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier withdrawn from any future presidential race in 2011.

Can this jinx of continually having accidental presidents be  broken come 2019 for a new dawn and a prosperous Nigeria?

Can Nigeria have a detribalised individual who has, over the years, been unrelenting in his efforts to be president, driven by the  passion to serve? Nigerians do not need opportunists and accidental presidents, but a Nigerian, driven not by ambition but vision and passion to spearhead restructuring for a better Nigeria. It is, however, a very disheartening experience that  over the years, the Nigerian electorate have often been beclouded by ethno-religious and political prejudices, emotions, sentiments, ignorance, misinformation and lack of information, in their voting behavioural patterns, instead of engaging their would-be leaders on an intellectual plane in order to know what they have brought to the table for societal improvement  and betterment of the people.

Our society seems not to be knowledge-driven and issues-based on matters of national interest. Heaven really helps those who help themselves. Let’s collectively make the difference, this time around, please!

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