It’s 2023, and singing Veno Marioghe’s ‘Nigeria Go Survival’ sounds different when one considers that this song was sung in the 1980s. As much as one may agree with the challenges of that period, it will be honest to admit that the situation was not as nebulous as the current one. It never occurred to us, until now, that what Nigeria and Nigerians need is a restoration of hope that is possible if we borrow a leaf from Kola Abiola, the flag-bearer of the People’s Redemption Party, who advised “let’s stop recycle failed politicians”. ‘.
Since the inception of democracy in 1999, the battle for Nigeria’s soul has been on the line with various quarters demanding a break because, for them, the Nigerian project is not working. The arguments range from corruption, marginalization to lack of unity. If this is not a loss of hope, then we can keep pretending until these failed politicians bring out the ‘beast’ in the average Nigerian. What many citizens have occupied their minds with is the challenges, and convinced that there is no solution in sight, they choose to ‘check out’ the country like ‘Andrew’ in the song by Veno Marioghe. You only need to visit the airport these days and you would be shocked by the mass movement of young Nigerians leaving the country (an alarming situation which has been dubbed ‘japa’). As much as we believe in the wealth of our country, the vastness of its human resources, and the many untapped potentials of the system, we will continue to have many ‘Andrews’ who have given up hope and resigned themselves to getting out of this maze of deadlock if we don’t vote. for a leader who will restore hope to the nation and the people.
Putting it bare, the country’s leadership has always been the Achilles heel against its economic prosperity. A fact cited by many Nigerian political analysts and intellectuals, but none delved into the truth like Chinua Achebe, who declared: “The problem with Nigeria is plain and simple a failure of leadership.” The lack of accountability and conscientious judgment that spans the ethnic divide to entrench the national interest is the bane of our retreat among the community of nations. Achebe goes further in assessing the traits that make good leaders that are lacking in the people who have taken the nation’s driver’s seat: “Nigeria’s problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to take responsibility, the personal responsibility challenge. example that are the hallmarks of true leadership”.
There are no truer words when we look at the virtues and values that make up a society, which is why in 2023 the focus must be on the quality of the person, not on popularity; the courage to bring, not a hail of unattainable promises; your authenticity to the Nigerian cause, not a personal drive or ambition; a cool, calm and collected personality, not a braggart braggart who plays the politics of treachery and acts like a statesman by engaging in pettiness. In 2023, we need someone whose demeanor inspires us to speak with pride, shines a light on our lives, and encourages us to believe that our country’s glorious past is on the way to restoration.
The twin challenges of insecurity and economic stagnation must now be prioritized and given urgent attention. It is amazing that the current government chooses to play politics with both. The current president, a former military general, called for votes on the grounds that he will rid Nigeria of terrorism and insecurity. It’s disheartening to say that it only got worse with him. Kidnapping has become the order of the day and its network continues to expand. People now pay the ransom like the villagers who go to fetch water from the stream. Insecurity has brought us so much shame that the word ‘rescue’ has become a constant feature in our news. The fear of the kidnappers is even greater than the presence of our once feared military force.
So many theories have been propagated to trace its origin and blame the persecutors with lies that cover up the supposed solutions. Once home must be a fortress and if that is not happening it can best be described as exile. Insisting on the many cases of insecurity and ransom payment will amount to representing the drama of the absurd because it continues to occur before our very eyes. It’s depressing that as a nation we have leaders who really don’t know much about Nigeria. They’re not ‘Nigerian’ enough about our issues, it’s just themselves: their names, their families and friends, their ethnic leanings and other selfish interests that strengthen their myopia. Speaking during the series of presidential town hall meetings organized by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) in partnership with Arise TV, Kola Abiola expressed his dissatisfaction with Nigeria’s security architecture, which he says has been grossly underutilized. by successive governments, “The Nigerian security architecture has never been used to date. Go back to the original security setup and make it work, don’t duplicate it. We have a national security council that hasn’t met since 1999 and that body is made up of eight people who are supposed to rule dispassionately. We have a security adviser who is totally underutilized to date.”
Expounding on the security deficit and the well-being of the country’s security forces, during an interview on Politics Today with Channels TV’s Segun Okinbaloye, Kola Abiola as a great thinker and administrator, offered solutions citing that, “…making sure we take advantage of all the security activities and forces that we have, making sure that all the well-being of these people is met and helped with technology, we have an immediate response to the threat that we have today. For safety, please pay your wages and make sure it is paid on time. Our army is not meant to face civilians but right now they are playing the role of police. If you notice that in the past, our military bases were located strictly based on alleged international threats, but now we have 8 divisions in this country because now they are facing off on a national level to deal with terrorism, banditry, etc., etc. That is not the case, everything should be run by the police.” He is of the opinion that we should go back to the National Security Council and let each security unit implement its role and, more importantly, come together to function as a formidable security unit. Beyond the rhetoric is the clarity and confidence that speak volumes, the caring and commitment to improving the lot of the people, the underlying theme of national pride which is the restoration of hope, faith and unity for Nigerians. .
Come 2023, the average Nigerian should be bold to vote for their future and do so without sentiment but with objectivity. There are plenty of reasons for us to vote for a brutally honest patriot who tells it like it is. There is a need to restore hope in Nigeria for Nigerians living here and those in the diaspora. To achieve this, we need a man who is driven not by ambition but by purpose. A man who understands how things work and has practiced it with results. A man who has been on the scene and has been closely involved and monitored the events with the mentality of an insider and an outsider. A man whose love for his country burns like coals. And if there is any man who fits this description, he is none other than Kola Abiola. His motivation to throw his hat into the ring for the country’s presidency was born from the love and commitment that drove his party choice. In his words, “I want to be president because I think it is time for a complete reset of Nigeria. And I didn’t make any mistakes by joining PRP. I did my homework thoroughly before joining the PRP. And I joined him because it is the only party that has no baggage, no problems or legacy issues. It is the only party that can convince the younger generation to get involved in the game, and not just to elect leaders.”
Describing his commitment to the cause, he became poetic to the astonishment of any good listener when asked by Seun Okinbaloye if he was on a par with his late father, the great philanthropist, politician and statesman, MKO Abiola, who is considered to have won the most free and fair. election in our nation’s history. Cool, calm and collected, Kola Abiola replied: “I can’t compare to MKO Abiola. I am his son, first and foremost. He is my mentor as my mother raised us to be and understand that he is our god on earth. I have been the closest person to him since I was born. We work and share many things in common. That said, he’s a bit of a different person for sure. I have the vision of Nigeria that he has, one is to be an equal opportunity employer, give everyone a chance to push themselves and do something in this country. I’ve proven that over the years in addition to many things I’ve done in the past. I was lucky to have it and my mom has parents who allowed us to venture out early enough to take advantage of that and that’s why I’m here today. I am so confident that I can serve Nigeria and make Nigeria a better place.” For a man who has traveled the length and breadth of Nigeria since 1979 by land and road. Someone who understands Nigeria when he stated: “I know Nigeria. I’ve worked with and learned from a lot of high-level people over the years, and I honestly think I have the intuition, the patience, the credibility, and that’s the key, the credibility to serve Nigeria.”
Isn’t it time we looked beyond the empty promises of a better tomorrow that have become the go-to for most Nigerian politicians and question the intentions, capabilities, personalities and characteristics of the people vying for office? leadership in our nation? It can only start when we stop recycling the old politicians and look at the new ones that are genuine, practical and impartial. A leadership that will restore hope through practical steps and impactful decision-making to fill the galling gaps of irresponsible leadership that have plunged our country into the mazes of despair. A leadership that will change our song from Veno Marioghe’s “Nigeria go survive” to Eric Donaldson’s “This is the land of my birth”. This kind of song is in the corner of every Nigerian’s cheek waiting for the throat to sing it. A leadership that exudes national pride is possible with the Peoples Redemption Party and the emergence of Kola Abiola and Haro Haruna Zego as the next President and Vice President of Nigeria in 2023. A leadership that exudes freshness like these words from Kola Abiola: “I They represent that new beginning. I represent freshness and non-recycling. Many of the politicians come from the proverbial poisoned tree and its fruits cannot be edible”.