As politicians gear towards the epic political battle which will see the country transit to another democratic realm come 2015, the clamour for generational shift in the leadership across the country has assumed a feverish pitch, with Nigerians from all walks of life demanding for a change in the manner in which the country has been led since independence.
Like most people would readily admit, the clamour for the generational shift in the nation’s leadership was earlier adumbrated with the claim made by the first African Nobel Laureate in Literature, Professor Wole Soyinka, that his generation was a wasted one.
The admittance of failure by a prominent leader of a generation of leaders in the country and the reality on ground are also a pointer to the fact that there should be a change in leadership and gnat the baton must be handed over to the other ones.
There has been progressive degeneration of values and fortunes; the deification of corruption and incompetence, and the plundering of the nation’s resources by people who ordinarily should have no business being in power.
Contrary to its ordinary connotation, generational shift has nothing to do with age per se,though relevant. It is not as important as the character make-up and progressive bearing of the individual leader.
For most Nigerians, it is a metaphorical term to denote a shift away from a generation of leaders who embody and exhibit these harmful character and attitudinal traits; a shift from a generation of character traits and attitude which have confined the nation to the bottom of the pit since her independence while her peers in other climes are in a race to attain the peak of development.
Peoples Daily checks reveal that most Nigerians are in agreement that the older generation is a failure because they harbor such negative character traits, with their corrupt ways being implanted in the younger generation, breeding more corruption and the lack of public accountability in leadership.
According to a political commentator, “the old breed’s attitude of total indifference, corruption, nonchalance and resistance to selfless service to the Nigerian public has been passed on to the younger generation as a bequest to propagate in perpetuity.”
Many are of the view that for Nigeria to get back on the right tracks and for the country to attain its potentials, it is of utmost imperative that there is generational shift in leadership, particularly as the country approaches another transition period in 2015.
It is in line with this that the quest by the Kano state Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, to lead the country received a boost recently when a group, the Coalition for Change, Security and National Development (CCSND), a coalition of concerned citizens at individual and organizational levels from across the 36 states and the FCT, urged the Governor to come out and declare for the presidency ahead of the 2015 general election.
The group’s call, ostensibly a re-echo of the imperative for generational shift in the leadership of the country, reflects the political landscape which looks cloudy. As it is, the same players are dominating the leadership scene meaning that only the same result is to be expected.
CCSND however said its aim was to introduce Nigerians to a different player: one who has played by the rules, driven by patriotism, performance as well as a new philosophy known as Kwankwasiyya, a philosophy of prudence and performance.
CCSND maintained that “Nigeria needs Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as President come 2015”, describing the Kano governor as a leader who can command the country to peace, unity and development based on equity, probity and courage.
The group declared that it is its desire for the 2015 transition to usher in a leadership that symbolizes the greatness of the country in Africa and beyond, driven by a leader who is courageous and irreversibly committed to the unity, progress, security and development of Nigeria, the African continent and the black race in general.
“Nigerians are fed up with divisive leadership; Nigerians needs leaders they respect not pity, Nigerians need a new Commander-in-Chief” the group declared.
In an opening address during a World Press Conference which held recently at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Abuja, Engr. Muazu Magaji Dawakin-Tofa, Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to Governor Kwankwaso, who is also the national coordinator of the group, while highlighting the leadership qualities of his principal, restated the need for a generational shift in leadership.
According to Dawakin-Tofa, “it is time for the younger generation to take over the leadership of the country. If at all Nigeria must develop like her other peers, younger Nigerians, like Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, are better suited to take the country to the Promised Land.”
Comrade Ikonomwan Francis, SSA Inter Party Affairs to Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo state, while reading the text of the press conference, underscored the significance of the 2015 election, describing it as the most important transition since the country’s amalgamation 100 years ago.
He maintained that the stakes are indeed high for every citizen in the collective determination of the destiny of the country, stressing that no chance should therefore be taken in the expectation of the outcome in 2015.
According to Francis, CCSND, as stakeholders in the Nigerian project from across the 36 states and the FCT desire to see the country peacefully transited into another democratic government in 2015 through open, transparent and people oriented process anchored on majority decision as prescribed by the rule of law.
He noted that having decided to search for a leader under the political platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and in the spirit of equity, fairness and balanced development, the group recognized the need for such leader to emerge from the North.
“That we have, with all sense of modesty and objectivity, identified the aforementioned prerequisites in Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state and sincerely believe in his capability to responsibly lead Nigeria through this trying time and into a more promising future” Francis stated.
The SSA predicated the reasons for choosing Kwankwaso as the ideal leader the country deserves based on the sterling leadership qualities of the Governor and in recognition of his series of achievements and pedigree, which the group said are statements of fact evident from the great turnaround of his complex, democratically dynamic and historically volatile state of Kano, as well as his democratic credentials from 1992 to date.
A rundown of Kwankwaso’s democratic credentials showed that he was elected member of the Federal House of Representatives in 1992, where he became the Deputy Speaker; elected delegate to the Constitutional conference in 1994.
Kwankwaso was elected Governor in Kano state in 1999, appointed the country’s defense Minister in 2003, appointed SA to the President on Dafur and Somalia, appointed into the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and re-elected as Kano state governor in 2011.
“It is in recognition of these historic facts and at this critical juncture of our national life, after extensive consultation and soul searching that we wish to express the desire of the Nigerian youths, women and professional groups at home and abroad for His Excellency, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, to heed the call to duty and come forward in his undoubted patriotism to offer his service, expertise, experience and wisdom to lead Nigeria as President come 2015 under the New Party for a New Nigeria, the APC” CCSND declared.
In a goodwill message, Ahmed Sajoh, spokesman of the former governor of Adamawa state, while highlighting the leadership qualities of Kwankwaso, said Nigerians need a leader that is competent, experienced and exposed, not leaders whose world outlook is not beyond their villages.
“We need a leader that is capable and able, not a leader that will rule this country by guess work. We need a leader that will take charge; that will be in control, not a leader that will blame every other person for the failure in the system other than himself. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has gone beyond these levels of doubts” Sajoh stated.
CCSND, whose membership is open to all groups and individuals of like-minds across Nigeria and the Diaspora, said it intends to actualize its vision, the attainment of positive change in Nigerian socio-political and economic landscape through responsible leadership, through the sensitization and mobilizing support for Gov Kwankwaso for President in 2015 on the APC platform via the Kwankwasiyya Mach II.
Earlier in a welcome address, a coalition partner, Comrade Edward Ofomona from Ugheli, Delta state, while highlighting the potentials of Nigeria in terms of both its natural endowments and population, said the country is in a position to aspire to be a world player rather than the backwater it has been so reduced through decades of misrule.
“Nigeria is a serious project that needs to be perfected by a very serious leader-manager. This is why this coalition is here to rub minds; meet minds and see what do we do come 2015. And that is what this press conference has answered in crystal clear terms” Ofomona stated.
As a parting shot and while expressing its gratitude to all that gathered on that 7th day of August, “in defence of Nigeria’s unity, peace and progress”, CCSND said it is anticipating that Kwankwaso, an able son of Nigeria, will accept its unrepentant and unequivocal call on him to serve his fatherland.