By George Daniel
It’s no longer news that the most populous black nation on earth is gearing towards a general election come 2015, a process seen to consolidate the democratic gains of Africa’s largest economy and present candidates aspiring to become the leading hopefuls of the opposing political party. The uncertainty leading to primaries in the All Progressive Congress (APC) makes it very difficult to calibrate the strategy of the opposition party (at the moment, our best guess is what the party chairman said concerning the presidential race) “as regards the presidency, we have said that any person from any part of the country can contest”
The beauty of the 2015 general election is the fact that both the chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, and his APC counterpart Chief John Oyegun were both former state governors, this present a paradigm shift in the manner they may handle the affairs of their political parties. various party. The PDP chairman proved this point when he assumed office early in the year and told state governors on a solidarity visit to “ Go back to the people and appeal to their sense of judgment for them to elect you. There would be no imposition of candidates from Abuja”
In advanced democracies especially the United State of America, a country which we emulate in theory but not in principles, there are, usually, three type of leaders: those who fail and those who get out before they fail. The third are the visionaries who come to win and change the status quo. Often times, the only way to check whether a leader has failed his people or won their admiration, is to assess him in retrospect, judging his achievements in the light of past deeds and mistakes.
In Africa and most parts of the developing world, there are also three types of politicians: those who come to correct their predecessor’s wrong, those who have no reason to fail, and those who do not care about winning or failing.
The crux of this analysis is to put a barometer on the presidential aspirants and evaluate their candidacy as regard their aspiration to lead Nigeria to the path of greatness. Soon the APC would choose a new face to front the party in the 2015 presidential election. You would be fatigued in counting if you have the list of touted names who are aspiring for the plum job. However I will narrow my analysis to what the party chairman said in an interview “We in the party know that there are at least four people already running for the presidential ticket” not to jump the gun I will dissect the quartet aspirants pending when others join the race.
Among the known contestants is a septuagenarian in the contest dubbed the “ Abraham Lincoln” of Nigeria, an unrepentant political dinosaur who has nursed and nurtured his presidential ambition, a former Governor and a serving Senator who is seen as a bridge between the young and old generation, there is also a pharmacist-turned publisher-turned politician with modern ideas.
Needless to say, all the above-mentioned gentlemen in the APC camp are, or at least appear formidable and capable of leading this great country. Their audacity does not necessarily make the office of the president appear less important but in a more objective sense, it seeks to ask the very important question: who has what it takes to be president?.
The qualities of leadership are so subtle that it is very difficult to describe all of them in a coherent narrative. Some characters appear so promising for leadership until they take the deep plunge into the murky waters of politics. Their actions and inactions become the medium by which people judge their performance given the fact that some of the aspirants for the presidential race have occupied certain political position in the country.
A prospective aspirant is not the best until he is tried and proven to be. How does candidate Gen. MuhammaduBuhari (rtd) strike you? A credible, no nonsense general, whose fame days of War Against Indiscipline (WAI) still resonates in the mind of the populace, the simple looking general in a bid to grow the economy ensured imports were cut, resulting in the rise of goods and high inflation, there is a perception of his prudent managing of the excess oil revenue fund with transparency and efficiency. He is well known to the political hawks given the fact that In 2003, 2007, and 2011 he ran in the presidential race and lost to the ruling PDP. On the global front, Buhari is reported to be well respected. It is a known fact that he and Nelson Mandela were the only private African individuals invited by the White House to Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony.
Atiku Abubakar is a political gladiator in the Nigerian politics. But those who have followed his politics since the formation of the ruling PDP know his worth. William Shakespeare said “some are born great, some achieve greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them”. He is known as someone with a deep pocket. He has also been switching ships – from the PDP which he co-founded to the defunct ACN, back to PDP and now APC, but he has kept absolute faith with his spirit in leading Nigeria. He has shown incredible commitment to the party, and now wants to lead it to victory in the 2015 presidential election.
The APC needs the best candidate to lead it to victory in 2015. Ultimately, the choice of the flagbearer is not just the party’s responsibility; it is the duty of good and honest judgment.
George Daniel via email@example.com