The election date is inching nearer by the day and the campaigns by all candidates have gotten extra intense. The candidates of the main events are crisscrossing the states to promote themselves to the voters. It’s a type of issues I like in democratic governance over and above militocracy the place somebody simply shoots his method into the very best workplace whether or not you prefer it or not. In a democracy, at the very least, the voters has the chance to find out who governs them, rightly or wrongly, by the poll packing containers.
The election interval can also be the time to measure the power of every candidate health-wise and the celebration fund-wise. Events with enough funds sponsor and organise elaborate marketing campaign actions in lots of states. A sound candidate covers numerous states bodily campaigning and telling individuals what to anticipate from him or the idea for the voters to make him the popular candidate. It might not, nonetheless, translate to profitable or shedding votes on the finish of the day. One can recall that Late President Musa Yar’Adua was unable to maneuver round bodily to marketing campaign because of in poor health well being within the marketing campaign interval and he ‘gained’ the election because the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2007. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, utilizing helicopter, as in opposition to pedestal marketing campaign mode by his co-contenders, coated extra states than every other candidate throughout marketing campaign durations since 1965, but he didn’t win as prime minister or president.
Issues are altering, nonetheless. In these durations, nobody was wanting on the ingenuity within the electioneering. I can recall the Motion Group, Chief Awolowo’s celebration, distributing marketing campaign leaflets and different marketing campaign supplies by the usage of helicopter within the early Nineteen Sixties. The younger ones like me have been fascinated to see papers flying from the sky however took no cognizance of their ingenuity whereas the previous ones, I assume, have been such acts as magical somewhat than an invite to see a vibrant future from a superb thoughts. The voters, who might grasp the revolutionary marketing campaign methodology, simply opined that the Chief got here too early for the Nigerian atmosphere.
I additionally remembered how we waited for the Chief to land from the air for his marketing campaign in Makurdi, Benue State in 1982. Lots of the individuals within the crowd weren’t solely curious about assembly Chief Awolowo for the primary time as a nationwide determine but in addition in catching a glimpse of a helicopter which some took for a daily aeroplane. With greater literacy degree, fast development in know-how and notably data know-how, some bout of financial growth and the usage of non-public jets at plenty of non secular outreach programmes, the usage of helicopter for marketing campaign in the present day can be seen as the peak of backwardness. I think about if Chief Awolowo was alive in the present day, he would have advised the present-day politicians what the twenty second century electioneering calls for!
The foregoing is a protracted preamble, however it’s price sharing with the youths who didn’t know that Nigeria was such a forward-looking nation the place the primary area electioneering in Africa happened. The identical nation is now amongst the poorest economies and educationally backward with the very best variety of out-of-school kids on this planet. There’s a have to return to the forefront of growth. The 2023 common elections could be the turning level.
The proposed political actions rising through the first week of this 12 months have proven that politicians at completely different ranges, notably these gunning for the very best workplace, will undergo a good schedule of interviews. There may be the necessity to reply our questions and inform us extra for their very own sake. Really, the marketing campaign atmosphere is extra aggressive than hitherto. Now, we’ve up to now three or 4 main contenders in contrast to when it was between two main events. Even a number of of these not displaying excessive ranges of visibility earlier than the tip of 2022 would possibly spring a shock within the new 12 months. When it was principally two main events like as much as 2019, it was attainable for a celebration to disregard debates and get away with it, not so anymore. Not even when Nigerians have come to understand that their lives have been discounted, depreciated and debased by corruption, incompetence and greed.
If we’ve to reference the main contenders for the place of President for everybody contesting that place, we’ve to premise our questions on the belief that every one of them have public service expertise. This means that anybody contesting for the place of President ought to have the expertise of getting served the nation at some ranges of governance, at the very least on the ministerial degree. With that have, the candidate has some working information of presidency.
Fortuitously, the main contenders have served as government governors or vp. Thus, aside from what we noticed within the information, every candidate ought to be capable to inform us how he managed the workplace he occupied by way of success and failures; the initiative dropped at the workplace; the event by way of job creation, administration of human and bodily sources obtainable; and provision of or the idea in growth plans as a information to run the state or the nation.
Nonetheless counting on the belief that candidates have held public workplace earlier than, what have they been doing exterior that workplace? What’s the career of every candidate and what have they been doing for a residing since they left the federal government home? Had been they workers or employers? If employer, what companies have they established and what number of jobs have been created? Are these companies in Nigeria or how lots of the companies are in Nigeria? What number of Nigerians have they employed and nonetheless make use of? What has been the workers turnover? This could give us their concept about labour administration. What have been the gross sales or enterprise turnover? We have to know the way the candidates have been in a position to develop their enterprise or the non-public sector information. How a lot tax has every candidate been paying to the federal government over the interval exterior of public service engagement? Do the companies have progress plans and audited accounts? Do we’ve proof?
Every candidate ought to have a printed or revealed plan of what he’ll do when he will get to workplace, along with the celebration’s manifesto. That tells us in regards to the preparedness of the candidate. He ought to have opinions and methods to deal with eight main financial points affecting the event of Nigeria. There should be particulars on job creation; income mobilisation exterior debt; corruption and greed (mom of all issues); energy technology and distribution; financial restructuring away from oil; schooling cum well being; safety structure and understanding of the importance of reaching the Sustainable Improvement Objectives. In fact, the main points should comprise the modus operandi to beat the issues inherent in every of this stuff and such particulars ought to have been correctly documented in his plan to indicate how ready the candidate is.
Anybody who’s unable to reply the questions satisfactorily is just not price our votes. It’s not faith, tribe or age that may resolve our issues. Our issues are larger than any of those. When our commonwealth is being shared illegally, all method of individuals, regardless of tribe or faith, change into associates and work collectively for self-aggrandisement. Don’t allow them to use elements that don’t separate them to divide us.
There are social, political and scientific questions that additionally level in direction of rebooting Nigeria for greatness. These can’t be accommodated inside the scope and area allotted for this column. However, I had deliberate that an article on political economic system wouldn’t be misplaced on this closing stanza of our marketing campaign actions, however the concept of getting a lending hand on the politics of this contribution to our marketing campaign debate from my brother and colleague Professor Ayo Olukotun was brutally reduce off by the chilly arms of dying that snatched away the erudite scholar within the wee days of the brand new 12 months. A nice planner and reasonable theorist, I’ll positively lose his invaluable counsel to tone down my anger in writing about how Nigeria was being mismanaged. However the echo of the messages is not going to go away in hurry. Adieu egbon. Your legacy will stay a nationwide reference level.