Corrective direction. Nigeria needs corrective leadership in 2023. No government has understood everything. While a government can be superlative when it comes to infrastructure development, it could be a dramatic wreck when it comes to security and diversity management. Progressive leadership is corrective leadership. Each subsequent administration is expected to surgically treat the malignancies and infertility of the previous government.
Insecurity and corruption were the order of the day under the old administration. The Buhari administration has mounted a messianic chariot to overhaul these flaws. But these problems are still alive today. In fact, they have been compounded by mass disaffection and ethnic tensions. Nonetheless, the government has reaped significant dividends in developing infrastructure and reducing brazen corruption.
Thus, for Nigeria to progress, successive governments must correct where there are performance gaps and consolidate where there are gains. A government may not be quite blatant – if we look through uninvolved bifocal lenses. Where we seek to find only flaws, we will certainly find them, and where we apply ourselves to observing from both sides of a crystal ball, we enlighten ourselves to see without prejudice.
In 2023, Nigeria needs a government that will better manage the country’s diversity, reorganize the economy, conclusively address insecurity, and build on the burgeoning infrastructure files of the Buhari administration. But above all, heal the bruised and bruised national navel.
2023 should be for national healing. As I said in “Nigeria needs a president in 2023 – not Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba” on February 2, 2021: “Nigeria needs a doctor. Yes, the country needs a carpenter. You also need a builder and an architect. If we are all keen to heal from nearly six years of hatred, recriminations and animosity, why don’t we have conversations around a “healing president” in 2023 – a Nigerian president who will mend the sins and maybe Humpty-Dumpty will reunite again? Why do we have conversations about the primordial – ethnicity and religion? Have we not suffered enough from our bad choices motivated by atavistic inclinations?
“As we obsess over ethnicity and religion as the primary basis for choosing the next president, we lose sight of the core criteria of leadership: background, skills, credentials, accomplishments, verifiable records and capabilities tested. Yes, there are people with these qualities in every ethnic group in Nigeria, but my concern is that these qualities are not emphasized in our electoral process and our conversations. Rather, the premium is on the ethnic and religious identity of who should be president.
“We cannot rise up as a country if we do not rise above our ethnic and religious prejudices. When we go to the hospital, do we try to determine the ethnic origin of the doctor before seeking treatment? When we want to get our cars fixed, do we care whether the mechanic is Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba? In these cases, we are much more concerned with getting expert solutions to our health and auto issues. So why are we obsessed with ethnicity and religion when it comes to the office of president – a leadership position that can make or ruin our lives and our future?
” Just as we would not want to compromise our health by seeking ethnicity instead of competence to seek treatment, we should not compromise our future by emphasizing ethnicity and religion instead of competence, background and proven track record for leadership positions. When the combustible emulsion of ethnicity and religion becomes the benchmark for leadership, then failure is certain. We will fail again and again as a country if we continue on this primrose path.
The conversation is expected to focus on the ‘Nigerian President’ in 2023, a leader who is not defined by his ethnicity and religion; a healer, a unifier, a commander in chief and a comforter in chief. Nigeria needs healing. Nigeria needs a president who will openly declare in word and deed: “I am for every Nigerian, regardless of ethnicity, religion or political affiliation. “
People with leadership values dot the Nigerian landscape. They are in every group and zone. No region is better equipped than the other in the distribution of leadership materials. We can have a great northern Nigerian president; we can also have a fantastic one from the south. Leadership contestants are here in abundance.
I understand that power must be sensitive to diversity; therefore the mantle must be orbital. When one part of the country has had its turn, another should give it a go for the sake of inclusion, justice and equity. This is only natural. While I agree that the power at the center should orbit, I firmly believe that priority should be given to the content of any candidate.
Nigerians should judge any candidate on their background. If there’s anything we’ve learned lately, it’s that background matters. Any candidate who claims they can fight corruption but their track record says otherwise is obviously a flawed product. We should not ignore rumors about a candidate either; instead, we should be probing this gossip and speculation. When it comes to political candidates in Nigeria, sometimes in gossip and gossip, the eternal truth is revealed.
There are a few months left before the start of the 2023 election campaign, let us shine.
• Fredrick ‘M. OneNigeria ‘Nwabufo, [email protected]