Thu, 18 Aug 2022
From: CEOAFRICA Reporter: Chinenyike Ezemadu
Wed, 29 Jun 2022   ||   Nigeria,

The saying, ‘change is constant’ can never be true and fitting as it is with the current developments in the political space of Nigeria today. What is presently happening in Nigeria is what has been generally described even by experts as a movement; a movement that has never been seen before or witnessed in the political space of Nigeria; a movement that is championed and propelled by the teaming population of Nigeria youths across different sectors and walks of life for a new Nigeria. It is a movement for the new, for a change in the way and manner politics is piloted in Nigeria; a change in the usual recycle of old politicians and the choice of candidates from a completely new spring regardless of the traditional considerations enshrined in structure, party, religion, region, ethnic nationalities, sentiments and more.

Many different political contestants have emerged in Nigeria against the next general election especially for the office of the president, but there is every reason to say that the people know who they want. The Nigeria youths demanding for a new Nigeria, know fully that it can only be one person who is completely new and different among the myriad contestants in all intents and purposes, methods and models and approaches and applications. They know the right candidate when they see one. They know the right candidate because the personality totally stands out and is distinguished among others. This change is greatly perceived and judged as the best thing to happen in Nigeria and by extension, Africa as a continent. This is the change everyone envisioned and has waited for long almost in mirage or despondence. It is essentially, a battle between the old on one side of the equation and the new on the other side of the equation. This change revolves around the different political personalities that are contesting for the next general elections in Nigeria and the demand by the citizens of Nigeria for a new order.

The Chairman of Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. Asue Ighodalo, while speaking at the National Economic Dialogue on, “Critical Challenges Confronting the Nigerian Economy” in May, Abuja, has said the group is concerned about the quality of politicians jostling for leadership positions in the country. What the Chairman said has everything to do with the personality of candidates for 2023 general elections and the choice for quality personalities. This is glaringly different from political party, structure, religion, ethnic nationalities or sentiments which has always been the old way, the old approach and business as usual. Now, it is quality of personality, not any of the above. Mr. Ighdalo added, “This is a moment in our national history where we need political leaders to emerge who think globally and act locally to tackle seemingly intractable development problems. The emergence of such enlightened leadership-credible, competent, courageous, reform-minded, and able to rebuild the institutions of governance is what Nigerians desperately need now.” Among the qualities for the right personality Nigeria needs, Mr. Ighdalo stated they include fitness, capacity, ability, integrity, grasp of issues, courage and love of the people and the country. He said that Nigeria citizens shall only support parties that present competent candidates and we must also be part of the process. How do we know the competent candidate? Who is the competent candidate?

There are three popular and major contestants for the office of the president in the general election next year. These candidates include Atiku Abubakar of PDP, Tinubu Bola Ahmed of APC and Peter Obi of LP. Atiku Abubakar GCON from Adamawa state, Nigeria, was born on the 25 November 1946. He is a Nigerian politician and businessman who served as the Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 during the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo. Since the return to democracy, Abubakar has contested in all the elections. He has unsuccessfully contested six times for the Office of President of Nigeria in 1993, 1998, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. He completed primary school education in 1960, and was admitted into Adamawa Provincial Secondary School. Abubakar studied a short while at the Nigeria Police College in Kaduna and in 1967, enrolled for a Law Diploma at the Ahmadu Bello University Institute of Administration on a scholarship from the regional government. After graduation in 1969, during the Nigerian Civil War, he was employed by the Nigeria Customs Service where he worked for a long time before going into business and politics.

Tinubu is a native of Osun State. He was born on 29th March 1952. He started school at St John’s primary school at Aroloya, Lagos and continued at children’s home school in Ibadan, southwest, Nigeria. He finished his secondary education abroad, where he attended Richard J. Daley College in Chicago, Illinois. He completed his education at the State University of Chicago and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy. As well as with several significant honours in 1975. Coming back from exile in 1998 after 1993 coup d’état, he soon gained the limelight and became the Governor of Lagos State in May 29th, 1999 and created 37 LGAs in the state during his tenure. Bola Tinubu is the godfather of many prominent politicians in Lagos state.

Peter Obi was born on the 19th of July, 1961. Obi attended numerous schools including Christ the King College, Onitsha; University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1980 and bagged Bachelor of Art (BA) in Philosophy in 1984; Lagos Business School, Nigeria where he did his Chief Executive Program; Harvard business school, Boston, USA, where he did two programs (Mid to Mid Marketing); London School of Economics (Financial Mgmt/Business Policy); Columbia Business School, New York, U.S.A. (Marketing Management); Institute for Management Development, Switzerland, where he also got two certificates in Senior Executive Program and Break-Through Program for CEOs; Kellogg Graduate School of Management, U.S.A. (Advanced Executive Program); Kellogg School of Management U.S.A. (Global Advanced Mgmt Program); Oxford University: Said Business School, (Advanced Mgmt& Leadership Program); Cambridge University: George Business School (Advanced Leadership Program). Peter Obi is a businessman. He started his life as a trader, a path which is not surprising since he was born into a trading family. He later ventured into the corporate world and has served in numerous positions for different companies including: Former Chairman: Fidelity Bank Plc.; former Chairman: Guardian Express Mortgage Bank, Ltd; former Chairman: Future Views Securities, Ltd.; former Chairman: Paymaster Nigeria Plc.; former Chairman, Next International (Nigeria) Ltd; former Director: Guardian Express Bank Plc.; former Director: Chams Nigeria Plc.; former Director: Emerging Capital Ltd; former Director: Card Centre Plc. Others include: Member, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); member, Nigerian Chartered Institute of Bankers; member, British Institute of Directors (IOD). Peter Obi has remarkably changed the political sphere and atmosphere in Nigeria with his declaration and candidature for Nigeria president come 2023 and the quantum of admiration, fellowship and loyalty he has won from the citizens of Nigeria and beyond, culminating into unprecedented movement in the political history of the country.

In a recent writing credited to the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi Lamido, on these political personalities, the writer provided and presented what many Nigeria citizens think is the true picture of the personalities of the presidential contestants. He said that former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, had “milked Nigeria well enough systematically and just wants to answer President by all means”. Former governor of Lagos, Bola Tinubu, was described as “fantastically corrupt”. “He just wants to fulfil his lifetime political ambition of answering President, even if he dies the next day after answering President,” Peter Obi was described as the only selfless person of the three: “He doesn’t need your money for anything. He wants to be President to reset things and lay the foundation for systemic governance in future.”

Mr. Ighdalo further admonished Nigerians on role, responsibility, the Nigeria of our dream, quality, happiness, safety, selflessness, tolerance and above all, acting in the national interest. “We the citizens also have a strong responsibility and role to play in ensuring that the Nigeria of our dream is achieved. We must insist that as our politicians begin to set or reshape their plan on the way forward, they will be mindful of the various negative socio-economic indicators and not lose sight or focus to finding a path to transformational progress. We the citizens need to pay attention to the quality of our political system, processes, institutions, and economic reforms. Our collective responsibility is to deliver a first world country with happy and safe citizens. This is a call to national service. We all must be more involved, more selfless and more tolerant, acting in the national interest.”

There is no gain insisting that in many ways, Nigerian youths, driven by the hunger for a new Nigeria, are responding to the message of the NESG Chairman. What is taking place in Nigeria today and what many judge as a bigger change to come, has and is being tremendously shaped and propelled by the above qualities rooted in active participation or role, best quality and national interest. Nigerians and more particularly, Nigerians youths now than ever want to play a role, participate and be part of the political processes of their country. The way and manner this is happening is unprecedented and Nigerians are happy. Happiness has driven this course. The people are happy about the change that is unfolding. The citizens want to live as a people not necessarily as Igbos or Yorubas or Tivs or Hausas or Edo or Igala or Efik or Nupe or Jukun. They simply want to be happy and the tremendous change unfolding in the country is promising and bears the harbinger for the desired happiness.

Again, quality is the desire of the Nigerian youths for a new Nigeria. It is no longer business as usual. It is ultimately, quality. The qualified person or candidate notwithstanding the language, religion, structure, party and any sentiments. This is the yearning of the Nigerian youths, Nigeria people. This is what is seen happening or taking place in all parts of the country. The people have chosen quality over and above all sentiments and all divisive tendencies in order to unite and build a new Nigeria of their dream. They know they cannot do or achieve this without first making quality a priority. It is quality first, and then all other things will follow. They seem to know and be utterly convinced about the qualified candidate or political personality and they cannot just wait to give generously their support unreservedly and without restraints and constraints of any kind.

What is taking place in Nigeria political space is a manifest of selflessness and acting in the national interest. National interest subsumes and supersedes all other interests, personal or group or ethnic or religious. On the contrary, it is rather the interest and yearning of Nigerian youths and Nigeria people to build a new Nigeria not necessarily for today but ultimately for the future generations, the yet unborn Nigerians. In the words of Mr. Ighdalo, the proportion and largeness of such an interest stretches beyond now or today but to ‘deliver first world country’. That is the national interest. That is the interest of all interests. That is the ruling interest. It is the big dream. The dream for a new Nigeria. And it is greatly perceived that beyond just participating and taking part in the political processes, the Nigerian youths have hijacked and taken over the entire political system ready and committed to work without leaving any stone unturned.

With what is taking place in Nigeria political space today, it will not be out of place to say that the prophecy of Mr. Ighdalo has substance and weight. He said that Nigeria citizens shall only support parties that present competent candidates and we must also be part of the process. No time in the political history of Nigeria have the citizens and particularly, Nigeria youth risen up to the occasion, risen up to duty to participate massively in the political processes of the country, and to support party that has the competent and most competent candidate as the present political era.

The biggest manifest of this great change is seen ultimately in the campaign and large turn up for PVC registration. And how resilient and dogged the Nigeria youths have demonstrated themselves in achieving this to see that the dream for a new Nigeria works and materializes. For instance, a multitude of well-meaning Nigerian youths with pulling energy and enthusiasm, aggressively demanded for their PVC at INEC office in a continuous and unstoppable chorus singing, ‘PVC is our right, give us our right’. The early morning drama had taken place in the southeast in Enugu state at INEC office. It is terribly perceived and judged that there is a plan to deliberately side-line and deny, with impunity, a cross section of the citizens of the country their voting power and right as part of the usual politicking which Nigeria and by extension, African countries are suffering for decades of years, which has threatened and jeopardized the purity of democracy.

The heightening enthusiasm and protest that morning at the INEC office was not envisaged and it has proven the preparedness and readiness of the Nigerian youths to change the status quo in order to bring about a new Nigeria of their dream, to check and correct political personalities. Military men were sighted in the premises and they could not quell the tumult and the aggressive demonstration by the well-meaning citizens who wanted to exercise their political right come what may and under whatever circumstances. As INEC staff came out and pleaded with the people to bring down their voice, so their voice grew even louder and higher revealing their dogged and resilient single purpose to fight for their right. One of the protesters said, ‘we marched to the INEC Nigeria office here in Enugu to protest for lack of sufficient enrolment machines for registration of voters’.

This movement for PVC is manifest in different shapes and dimensions. Children are also not left out as a small girl of about two years old was making serious waves in the media recently, telling Nigerians to go and get their PVC. Churches are seen placing embargo for going into the Church unless members have their PVC. Other organisations, groups, schools including families are not left out in the PVC movement in Nigeria. Nigerians want to get it right this time. Nigerian youths want to actualize the Nigeria of their dream. It is the hope of all that Nigeria nation which has come under bad and wicked leadership would get it right this time around. That is the hope and optimism shared and carried by many Nigerians including non-Nigerians. It points to unprecedented revolution that has started to take shape, incubate and express itself majorly in the ongoing campaign for PVC and movement for a new Nigeria by the Nigerian youths and all citizens to build a new Nigeria not just to be a good place but to be the first world country.



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