By Mahmud Shuaibu Ringim
General Muhammadu Buhari is an accomplished statesman, an officer and a gentleman, a patriotic citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a General Commander of the Federal Republic, a committed nationalist, a man of honor and integrity, a selfless and visionary leader a former Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, a former Chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), a Former Governor North Eastern State (Borno, Yobe, Taraba Adamawa, Gombe and Bauchi states) and former Minister of Petroleum Resources.
Buhari was also the General Officer Commanding 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army Jos and veteran of the Nigeria Civil War where he had held many front line position in the fight to keep Nigeria one. A task which had to be done. Buhari has served Nigeria faithfully, loyally, honestly, creditably and has continued to do so at a great personal cost to his life. One can go on and to either state the achievements or virtues of this septuagenarian. At 73, he has accumulated all the requisite qualification and experience to continue to serve his beloved country Nigeria at the highest level. Most recently he offered to serve again in 2003, 2007 and 2011 but was not opportune to do so. Should he offer himself again 2015? That is, however, the question demanding rational answer.
The challenge of the 21st century Nigeria and the world will require a relatively more energetic, youthful leader who is loyal, faithful, honest and equally courageous and visionary to carry the barton from the General for national leadership in 2015 election under the platform of APC.
In developed countries especially USA and Britain who have strong historical ties with Nigeria In both political, social and economic relationship have turned around to elect their leaders amongst the younger generation. Take for instance, Tony Blair and David Cameron in the United Kingdom and George Bush Jr. and Barrack Obama in the United state, one would easily sample the crop of leaders in vogue in this century. Even the current US Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator Maccain, both veterans of the Vietnam War, were politely asked to step aside by the electorate.
It, therefore, goes without saying that the presidency of Nigeria in this time and age would like to have a person who belongs to the generation of the two great nations mentioned earlier. Therefore the issue of Nigeria’s leadership in this digital age dominated by Google, Apple, Microsoft and driven by information technology and the social media will need a contemporary of the leaders of the two nations to lead. Where General Muhammadu Buhari will serve his beloved country better in this time and age if he chooses to be an influencing factor in policy formulation; and become a fountain of knowledge and wisdom for the leadership; to be the power behind the throne and heart beat of the administration.
In the circumstances, a time tested leader Engineer, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who has been grilled through the mill of Nigerian politics easily comes to mind as a successor to the General. He was a highly successful student leader in the late 70’s and has equally demonstrated such purposeful leadership quality in the National Assembly of the botched 3rd Republic as the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative. He was a charismatic leader and an achiever on the governorship seat of Kano State from 1999 to 2003 and a disciplined and pragmatic Minister of Defense in 2003 – 2007. As a loyal and patriotic Nigerian he was appointed Nigerian’s Special Envoy to Dafur during the Sudanese crises of internal revolt. He was also appointed to the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission because of his fairness and equity in the face of formidable challenges facing the Niger Delta region.
Most importantly, as the governor of Kano State from 2011 to date, he has recorded a huge success and made a giant stride in giving Kano State excellent leadership which prepared it for the challenges of the 21st century in education, infrastructural development, youth and women empowerment. He placed Kano on the path of becoming knowledge driven society in sciences and information technology. He has equally uplifted the status of Kano as one of the most attractive investment destination for both foreign and local investors in Nigeria. His approach in confronting security challenges was superb and has been able to minimize the impact of the menace of Boko Haram to the beariest minimum. Similarly he was prudent in the management of the state finances through adherence to budgetary discipline and probity.
Kano State under the credible and purposeful leadership of Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has confronted the long standing social problem that has bedeviled the state for many years. The state has sponsored the marriage of thousands of couples who would have remain unmarried thus curtailing the spread of HIV/AIDS syndrome. He has also curtailed the sale of hard drugs in Kano and established an institution for the rehabilitation of the victims of drug abuse. His government has also enacted a law prohibiting street begging and child labour in line with United Nation charter and Millennium Development Goal (MDG).
To all intents and purposes, General Muhammad Buhari found in Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso a true man of honour, credibility and integrity worthy of his support and APC has found a committed Nigerian who symbolizes it’s aspiration in its quest to giving Nigeria the leadership it deserves at this time and age to be its flag bearer at 2015 presidential election.
In comparison to other presidential candidates that might emerge, the brave and courageous Kwankwaso stands a better chance of denying the PDP another chance of hoisting its flag on the Presidential Villa. His proven leadership credentials and the impeccable track record of honesty, hard work, tenacity, commitment and conviction to a cause make him the much awaited leader Nigeria deserves.
Mahmud Shuaibu Ringim can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org