These are interesting times, interesting politics and interesting moment. Indeed our Country appears drawn in a massive succession frenzy, to borrow from that epic MKO Abiola’s HOPE 1993 campaign song, ‘Nigeria on the march again, voting/looking/searching/waiting for Mr President…’, the march is apparently long, large and loaded. The list of Contenders across the two major political parties and more is long, large and loaded. The characters and tendencies are long, large and loaded. And the capacity, the competency and the plumage of the actors are long, large and loaded.
At the last count the number of Presidential Aspirants across partisan divides are more than 50. Over 25 doled out 100m naira to purchase the Presidential Nomination Form of the APC. Another 20 or so paid 40m naira for the Presidential Nomination Form of the leading opposition party the PDP. And several other Aspirants have sprouted from the many other parties, interesting times indeed.
Curiously Nigerians have wondered why the huge number of Aspirants particularly in the APC. Don’t forget that the APC is the party in power at the centre. Do not also forget that the APC has almost twice the number of States controlled by the PDP. And do not forget that the APC is presently the largest and the most populous Party in Nigeria. So the number of Aspirants may just be understandable.
What however bothers the carapace of my mind is the reason, and or reasons why so many people/persons who are apparently political light weights would dish out 100m or 40m naira as the case may be, for the expression of interest and presidential nomination forms of parties when they are almost certain they cannot win the contestation to emerge as flagbearers of their Parties for the 2023 Presidential polls. Politicians eh!! What a specie of homo sapiens you would say.
As we approach 2023, we have seen the desperation and the thin moral fibre and fabrics of our political operators. We have seen governmental appointees abandoning their brief to pursue personal ambition without resigning from office, for all they care Nigeria should wait until they win or lose their Party Primaries, here I have Ministers Godswill Akpabio, Rotimi Amaechi, Emeka Nwajiuba, Chris Ngige, Timipreye Sylva, Ogbonnaya Onu et al on my mind.
We have also seen the heavily skewed morality of the Chief Banker who sits atop the Central Bank of Nigeria, not only is he a Political Party member against the rules of public service, but is surreptitiously seeking the high office of President. Hmmm, Na waooo!!! If they cannot take the plunge by resigning to pursue their political ambition, then at best they are mere gladiators and pretenders seeking nothing but further political relevance. Or how do you describe a people whose preoccupation, predilection, proclivity and propensity is ‘me and my ambition’ before the nation? Aren’t they at best public deserters, having without an ounce of morality left their offices to pursue delegates across the nation. When will the power mongers who predominate our space have some space for morality and a place for due process? So sad.
They have sought as pretenders to keep the Country in waiting, they have ignored the spirit of the draftsman who figured out that the now contentious Section 84 of the Electoral Act as amended should make Appointees of State nursing political ambition to resign so that governance does not suffer. Alas to them, Nigeria can go to blazes, their personal ambition must come first, and you think that they are not pretenders? Nigeria deserves the best going forward. And only patriots shall be considered as contenders going forward. Do they for Godsake think that Nigeria is a private estate that must wait on, and for them? We shall see!!
I have seen on our political amphitheatre three or four serious contenders, yes I shall name them, and may the debate grow a life of it’s own. These contenders are indiscriminate of political parties. I have seen the former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Peter Obi, he is going round the Country marketing himself to the delegates of his Party the PDP, and to Nigerians. I have seen the former Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki, who like Peter Obi, he is selling himself to the delegates of his Party the PDP, and to Nigerians. I wish them well. The catch for me, is that they consider the race serious business, and they are giving it their best. You are free to disagree with me, if you do, please enrich the national debate by doing a rejoinder. What is important to me, is that we find and elect the best for Nigeria come 2023.
There is also the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo. He is a huge contender, he brings to bear 7years of active experience as the second in command to the incumbent. He shall hit the ground running if elected President. But I have a problem with the way he is going about it. He comes across as an unwilling horse. He was begged, cajoled, threatened and coerced by his supporters to throw his hat in the ring. And Nigeria is in no deal for another unwilling horse. Nigeria is in dire need of a President who considers the job the fulfillment of purpose and the essence of his/her humanity. Sadly the image that the strategists of the Osinbajo movement have created is that Osinbajo was begged to enter the race, and some are running the same foul and soured script with the former President Goodluck Jonathan, they are at it with the serving Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Dr. Emefiele, and they are also playing the same atavistic script with Dr Akinwunni Adesina of the African Development Bank, and this is not what 21st century Nigeria is about. No. Nigeria is in need of leaders who consider the job of the President an unalterable commitment to purpose, faith and destiny.
One Aspirant comes in as possessed by purpose, driven by passion, challenged by a generational cross, poised to bear the weight of a nation in great need of redemption, and committed to birth and berth the nation of our dreams. This Aspirant that God willing will become the Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress APC is Governor Yahaya Bello GYB. He is presently the youngest serving Governor in Nigeria. He is the best performing Governor in the areas of Security, Education, Agriculture, Fiscal Discipline and Financial Responsibility, and he has the highest youth inclusiveness, and gender parity in government. He is the Governor of Kogi State. And he is running the race believing that everything worthy and worthwhile must be done to reset, re-fix, reshape, rework and reposition Nigeria for greatness.
He is talking with the delegates of his Party, the All Progressive Congress, he is engaging with Nigerians in a way never before seen, he is preaching justice, equity and national cohesion centred on deploying the inherent capacity, competency and capabilities of the average Nigerian for progress and growth. He is beyond the bias of religion and region little wonder he has the largest number of support groups indiscriminate of tribe, ethnicity, region or religion. He is not just a contender, he is the candidate that believes that the restoration of Nigeria is his unalterable commitment. He believes that Nigeria deserves the best, and he is ready, willing and able to give Nigeria the desired leadership that must unlock the great potentials of our nation and people.
HOPE 2023 is the mantra, Bridging the Gap is the theme, and the purpose is to berth a nation where Peace and Justice shall reign. And GYB is not ignorant of the enormous challenge, he is confident that together with the masses of our people, a New, Prosperous, Safe and Boisterous Nigeria is possible. God Bless Nigeria.
Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr.
Convener COUNTRYFIRST MOVEMENT.
National Coordinator GOT YOUR BACK NIGERIA
A Leadership And Mentorship Instructor.