Since he made known his intention to run for the Presidency, every writer in and outside Nigeria except yours sincerely (until now), had written copiously on why we should resist IBB with every ounce of energy. In this article, I endeavor to make known reasons why IBB might be our only hope and best candidate, currently, for Aso rock. Please don’t stone me yet.
As it seems, the IBB candidacy is gradually eroding us of the actual issues we are clamoring for- credible elections, true democracy, citizens’ participation, accountability, infrastructural development, zero
tolerance for corruption, and stability of power- electric and elected. We’ve set aside all these to fight just one man, the genius himself, this makes me ponder on what our writers are actually up to. Do they have a candidate at heart? If yes, let them unveil such ASAP!
According to one active online militant, the [old] age of IBB and gladiators like Obj, Atiku, TY Danjuma, Ali Gusau, Ojukwu and other baba 60’s makes them wrong choices for the nation. While old age onset senility is quite medically probable, we can’t underestimate the intellectual capacities of the typical African old man as deeply rooted in our culture. The old men are also citizens of the nation who have the right to exercise their rights. In essence, are we trying to disenfranchise them from exercising their civic right? I don’t think so. Moreover, we now have a young man- Dimeji Bankole- as the speaker. If we all are truely angry with the great grand fathers, let Bankole help enact laws to speedily and decisively tame them. Even the acclaimed young candidates are making mistakes that could be disastrous for the nation.
The young leaders include ElRufai, Femi Fani Kayode, Ribadu, Sanusi Lamido, Fashola, Bafarawa, Donald Duke, and Orji Kalu. Out of these, only Duke and Kalu had muted their intentions to run.
Duke’s announcement was made in United States and so far, no one has found anything with it. For Christsake, how can you be flagging off a Nigerian presidential campaign in another country? Obama did not announce his intention to run for the Whitehouse in Amsterdam or London, so shouldn’t our prospective leaders. Except he wants to lead only Nigerians in America, Donald should have started from Nigeria.
Pat Utomi also announced his’ online. This is another bad choice considering the fact that the internet is far from having strong influence, apart from attracting law suits, on Nigerian governance. Both Duke and Pat are representative of the so called young presidential materials who excelled in their individual corners, but are woefully failing the simplest tests.
Fashola plants flowers, Duke built Obudu and Tinapa, Ribadu jailed Tafa, El Rufai pulled down illegal structures, FFK’s only credential is his age, Sanusi sacked Cecilia et al, while Kalu is the smartest of them all- he fraternizes with the genius!
Circumstances surrounding June 12 and Dele Giwa’s death are strong enough to legally bar IBB from contesting. However, we seem to be totally carried away by the acts instead of seeking to know the motives as shown in the aftermaths of both incidences.
We all point accusing fingers at IBB over Dele Giwa’s death while no conviction was made, and no evidence directly incriminated him. I know you might feel like gunning me down, but it’s high time we started acting like people who respect the law and according to the legal system, until found guilty, an accused remains innocent!
A recent similar letter bomb exploded in Lagos recently, this shows that IBB is not the only one who can create such. However, we seem to have forgotten that. There is the need for us all to be unfaltering and unwavering in our stands. What is good for the goose, should be good for IBB as long as due process is followed.
The Nigerians Say No to IBB campaign is another evident wrong step that actually canvasses support for IBB, I won’t be surprised if they are indirectly funded by him; don’t forget that he’s the genius! Popularity, good or bad, is a tool that could be used by any smart politician who knows his onus right. IBB currently holds the ace!
Which candidate is the most popular? IBB. Which candidate is the most experienced? IBB. And come to think of it, he even holds the record of conducting the fairest elections in our history as a nation. Hence if we are in search of electoral reforms, his opinions count!
After making mistakes with Yari, our concerns for The 2011 Presidential Elections should be aimed at enthroning qualified individuals, and not a means to settle ancient grudges. We need to start looking for individuals with characters, features and poise that could make them great presidents.
In a November 13, 2002 lecture at University of Uttah’s Rocco C. Siciliano Forum, Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief political advisor gave insights into what features make an American president great. As Nigerians it’s time we started asking some questions.
These questions include what makes a president able to rise to the moment? What makes presidents successful as history judges them in retrospect? Being a successful president connotes being a successful leader. What are the characteristics of leadership? What, most importantly, are the characteristics that the next occupant of Aso rock must have if we are to make the right choice at the polls, and our votes are allowed to count?
As a consensus, our next president must have a clarity of vision. He must not be as confused as Yari who muddled up 7 agenda without fulfilling any. The closest way to know a candidate with vision is a critique of his proposed programmes and how he plans to achieve such. We need to identify candidates with consistency of purpose but a willingness to change strategy. However, our past [and present] leaders have no strategy other than snatching ballot boxes.
Also, Nigeria needs a leader who can manage the legacies of past leaders especially the numerous loopholes and shortcomings of the Yar’adua-led administration. Unlike Obj who left a vibrant foreign reserves, Yari and his boys are now borrowing. We need somebody to clean up the mess. And Duke, believe me, is not the best choice. He borrowed a lot of money to complete the projects; the last thing we need now is a borrowing Commander-in-Chief. IBB still holds the ace here.
His economic plans were commended by the IMF and World Bank as vibrant and robust for sustaining our economy. What are the plans of other no testing candidates?
Another vital characteristic of our next president is the possession of an internal self confidence. He (or she) must have an emotional intelligence that is free of distracting perturbations. We need a Commander-In-Chief that has healthy respect for public opinion but is not dictated to by opinion polls, but that has the ability to change public opinion. Who does this, in the history of our nation, with relative ease, like the genius himself? Fashola plays the pity game; Sanusi does not have a coherent public view; Goodluck Jonathan is seen as someone that is playing the elders’ script and evidently, none of them could be seen as having a personal opinion talk less of controlling public view like IBB does.This shows we still have a lot to do.
Readiness to act and a comfort in deciding are two features of a great presidential candidate. While IBB’s annulment of June 12 elections is his major undoing, the way he went about the annulment was quite legendary. Despite several public and foreign outcries, he still went ahead to do what he felt was right. I believe we need a decisive leader, a president who can call a spade what it is without fear or favor. I guess that presently, IBB is the most qualified.
Furthermore, another essential character of a president is that he must be able to apply his abilities in times of crises. Americans will never forget FDR’s fireside chats, where he inspired the country to overcome the Depression; or Lincoln’s famous “House Divided” speech, saying very clearly his goal was to save the Union while limiting the expansion of slavery.
Buchanan, perhaps one of the most inept presidents in US’ run-up to the Civil War, had great abilities, but certainly didn’t apply them. One of my favorite historical figures is James Madison. He was a fabulous constitutionalist. He almost single handedly brought together the Constitutional Convention, [and was] author of the Bill of Rights. Although he was a lousy president. Our aspiring candidates need to identify their individual strengths and determine if they are actually the ones that could solve the present problems of Nigeria. The principle of time and season should guide us in our selection of the next president. There are numerous messes to clear and new challenges to contend with; the last thing we need is another slow going President that will remind us of Umaru.
Our dwindling foreign policy is another strong point and additional feather to IBB’s cap. It is evident that America, Europe, China and several other developed countries want him. We need to know why. Is it for their individual ulterior motives or in the collective interest of Nigerians? What do they have against other candidates? Getting information that could help won’t kill us; it would empower us in our decision- making.
The last point that I would like to point on in IBB’s candidacy is the fact that he has nothing to prove, nothing is at stake for him. It is even more difficult to siphon public funds in the present Nigeria compared to the military era. Moreover, if the $12billion scam is true, then he can afford a VIP lifestyle for the next 500 years! Which brings me to my last question: Why is he contesting? To get more money? To kill more journalists? To annul subsequent elections? To reintroduce militocracy or to ask for our forgiveness? Only him can answer that.
I’m not a pro-IBB neither am I opposing him. I however believe in knowing the truth which sets free and aids decision making. It’s true that IBB is a murderer, it’s also true that he’s the last person that should seek election after annulling a perfect election that he organized. I agree with all online militants that he is an old man with a lousy mouth (how do you explain insulting Nigerian youths) and should remain in our history books. However, before we adopt the anyone-except-IBB approach, let’s get a candidate that is better qualified and has survived Nigerian litmus test. Someone who has answers to our questions, an individual who knows what to do and is not afraid to step on toes.We don’t need just a leader, we need a genius.