By Etuka Sunday
A Coalition Group comprising of A National Relationship and Integration Forum (NARIF) in partnership with the#iCanBePresident Group wants to encourage 1,000 worthy Nigerians to step forward and battle for President in 2019. The Coalition plans to actively support the aspirants with kick-starting their campaigns. The plan is part of a discrete agenda for Transforming the African Psyche and creating quality alternatives for all Nigerian voters in the long term.
Dr Prince Awuzie, a Consultant Psychiatrist in diaspora who shares an interest in Good Governance and Positive Psychological Shifts in Nations was the Guest Lecturer at the “Restructuring the African Psyche (R.A.P) Lecture series” Maitama, ABUJA.
His topic was ‘Women Participation in Governance – Key to Peace, Unity & Progress. And he was asked to discuss Mrs Aisha Buhari, wife of the President under the title “A Noble Compromise”.
Speaking, Awuzie emphasized that the group plans to encourage and empower 1,000 qualified Presidential Candidates and encouraged nominations from all works of life, at home and in diaspora beginning with worthy women. He noted that the panel hand handed him an unusual assignment but hoped to be scientific and positive in his approach to the discussion.
He stated: “at a time when most men in Nigeria across tribes and geographical regions are beating their chests and drums of war, is it not about time we men step back and send our best women to the drawing board and front lines? Per chance they see what we failed to see. Per chance they cherish the lives of others where we have not. Per chance they bring our much needed break from hostilities and usher in reconciliation, healing and prosperity.
“Assuming we now seek a psychological shift (in the form of a female leader) and yet would desire some form of continuity. Assuming we accept that we must also be practical in our desires for change. My response to thwequestion posed by panel is that we can target two birds with one stone by having Mrs Aisha Buhari step into the shoes of her husband President Muhammadu Buhari if guided with adequate counsel. This would mean that President Buhari remains closely in the picture and we have two strong presidential characters for the price of one.
“While only one out of our one thousand possible candidates, Mrs Buhari will benefit from the wealth of her husband’s network, experience, goodwill and may enjoy a number of other essential advantages which we subsequently examine. She will also benefit from having observed at close range his challenges in governance.
“Mrs Aisha Buhari has displayed some tendency towards an important characteristics of leadership in diversity which is the capacity to be self critical. Thus I envisage a Noble Compromise if there is a strong guiding light. Hopefully we shall name hundreds of other women and discuss the importance of self-examination further in subsequent lectures.”
He gave example of how women have rebuilt other African Countries thus: “Rwanda recovered from its social and economic turmoil largely because of the efforts of women. Women are now the driving force of that economy. With Over 60 percent representation in leadership they have become a phenomenon previously unknown to developed economies . South Africa has a handsome record where women make over 40 per cent representation. Women have equal access in most spheres of life and can easily participate in social and economic activities. Unfortunately these followed years of devilish conflict which we as Nigerians must actively avoid. We must act in earnest and bring our nation back from the brinks of the cliff of inhumanity and genocide.”
He stated that since humans were imperfect they all should spend time understanding their own character and personality. He however listed areas where Aisha Buhari might have a slight advantage within the context of what he humorously described as ‘Dr Prince’s 10 Ps that can win a Nigerian Election’: “1) Partaker -As a Partaker in societal suffering- she has seen and felt the pains of the masses and cried out on occasion. She may therefore pay particular attention to healthcare and public infrastructure; 2) Personality – Charismatic; 3) A Professional- Academic Degrees in Public Administration and further studies in International Affairs and Strategic Studies; 4)Persistent and Perseverance – having stood by her husband through trying times; 5) Pedigree- A disciplined family; 6)Proximity (to Power)- which is recent and active; 7)Presidential Aura – An important disposition; 8) Public figure and Publicity- A much required ingredient.; 9)Pocket- this may be a challenge as campaigns are financially cumbersome. Intelligent crowd funding may be the solution; 10)A Protagonist.
He went further to considered some well-known benefits that accrue to society when women emerge as leading figures stating that “Honest women promote honest, open governments, they are invariable more sympathetic and show commitment to promoting local policies that address real socio-economic and political challenges facing women, children and disadvantaged groups. They are naturally committed to peace building. They are natural nurturers and educators from the cradle to adulthood.
“They are more inclined towards ethical Relationships and Politics, They are known to have the ability to multitask and many times can get a number of things done faster than a male counterpart, Sheer numbers as women live longer and have a great population size. Women provide the workforce that renders assistance to victims of violence in a form of shelter, food and warmth, medical and psychological help”
He however cautioned against arrogance and independence as he believed that neither the men nor women should feel or act outlandishly independent and rather accept that all humans are intended to support each other.
In closing he made reference to former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo’s recent letter but stated that the Nigerian state was undergoing a psychological revolution and tolerance and wisdom were part of the key ingredients for our maturity. His final words were that of encouragement to President Buhari whom he felt still had much to offer in the Governance of Nigeria and described as one of the finest products of his time who will remain an inspiration and point of reference for future generations.