APC And 2015: Who Shall We Send?

By Deolu Oyebode

I want to accept the fact that the position of party leadership, candidate, board of trustee and the alter ego must be differentiated in the political process if indeed the APC has provided itself as a credible alternative to the PDP against the forthcoming elections in the Nation and not only that, in building a nation that has values for her youths.

Much as I am highly of the strong opinion that our Nation needs a two-party system so that a firm and clear-headed opposition could be in place in strengthening our democracy and as an advocate of youths involvement in government and its power balancing, I don't also join some egocentric Nigerians to accept in the entirety that it is the party and not the candidate or candidature that has solution to the Nigerian problems.

I appreciate the fact that the new political party has a manifesto that is in line with poverty reduction and sustainable development of the nation, which has made someone like me, to share interest in its formation, and could rescues the nation from the whims and caprices of the accidental leaderships that has bedeviled our nation since its democracy.

I am of the consideration that the newly registered APC can correct the systemic failure if only the leaderships of Chief Bisi Akande, Mallam Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Mallam (Dr.) Ibrahim Shekarau to be precised can filter the words of the youths and independent minds on all platforms in adjudging you bears the flag in the 2014 Gubernatorial elections in some states as litmus test and the 2015 General Elections.

In my own view, the major challenge that will rock, if not already rocking the party as at present is “Who shall we send”, the “who” in question, I know isn't anybody but people of sound mind with anger to change the embarrassing situation of our nation, men who the love of money cannot buy, men who the lust of office cannot kill, men with wills and opinions, men who can stand a demagogue done, men who will never accept in private what they cannot accept in public, men of high values; such which are very hard to find.

Of all the possible avalanche of aspirants who have been warming up for the presidency, hopeful of using the ticket of the just registered APC for the electoral battle front come 2015; some of the rumored leading aspirants include Mallam Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, Hon. Aminu Tambuwa, Nasir El Rufai, Rochas Okorocha, Comrade Adams Oshiomole among others; and I have come up as a spectator of APC process and wants to suggest in consideration of a Mallam Nasir El Rufai as the best candidate on these five (5) reasons:

Comparative History in Nigeria has told us that our nation needs tough people at the realms of affairs who are focused on adjusting the system irrespective of whose ox is gored; one who can step on toes! Today, people talk about Mallam Buhari, the governors of AD (1999-2003), some Governor's of the ANPP and PDP in the North between 1999 till date and Mallam Nasir El Rufai as Minister of FCT etc, because they have a blue print and they don't care who is affected so far the interest of the generality of the people is positively affected, most especially on infrastructural revolution, taxation and the general rescue of the systemic failure in our policy and politics. Of all the aspirants that have interest or could be interested in the race, I opine that Mallam Nasir El Rufai is not found wanting in this regard. My reasons are not far-fetched; One, El Rufai as a Minister of the FCT and the DG of BPE turned over the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Policy Reform had been the basic structural foundation that the nation still builds on till today; Secondly, The effrontery to challenge the N54million Senate bribery scandal shows that he is zero tolerant to corruption and tough; Thirdly, the Abuja Land Reforms and the restructuring the Abuja Master Plan has given the federal capital territory a new look and if care isn't taken, considering the fact that Nigerians and her leadership abuses every available infrastructure and are never interested in building more, we will abuse the whose process if another person like El Rufai isn't saddled with the responsibility again, I mean one, who has the tough mind to attempt the impossible. Everyone mentions Abuja today as one of the best artificial cities in the world, yet the powers-that-be had forgotten that only the tough pays the tough price. A person as tough as El Rufai in implementing tough policies is needed as the APC flag bearer and not those looking for every opportunity to contest; fourthly, El Rufai was successful in reforming the Public Service and if for no reason he could stand against the third term agenda of President Olusegun Obasanjo on the ground that it was against the general interest of Nigerians, I think I am not mistaken to have said this man is tough enough to face the tough challenges of the Nigerian Nation.

Another important factor that I think it's very important that I want to suggest to the APC party leadership in choosing/selecting “whom” to send before the 2015 Presidential election is Age and the gender representation. Sincerely speaking, with due respect to those affected, never again shall a 80years Governor Martins rule in any state in Nigeria, never again shall a man as old as Muhammadu Buhari become the President of Nigeria as old as 70years. I undoubtedly understand the fact that Nigeria needs someone who has the age and the zero-tolerance to corruption or the discipline toga as her president before the nation could move ahead, but we have got better persons who are younger and have scaled above boards in these values and values. We have got a lot of recycling at the detriment of this nation but we think we are doing much good to the nation rather; we are strategically killing the system as the detriment of the involvement of the intellectual youths who have one or two things to offer.

It is only in this nation that our leadership believes that recycling the old will proffer solution to the new order problems facing the nation that requires pragmatic new order solution. It is only in this nation that a Dr. Bello Haliru who was a Commissioner in old Sokoto State now Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States becomes a minister of defence after 33years, Major Gen. David Mark Rtd., a military governor of Niger State became the Senate President after 28years; Governor Muritala Nyako, governor of Niger State in 1976, became governor of Adamawa State after another 36years; Governor Jonah Jang the factional NGF chairman was Governor of Benue State in 1985 and 27years later the governor of Plateau State) and unfortunately a prominent political party parades a 62years old Umar Garba Chiza as its National Youth Leader. These are indications that our political systems have no plans at all for the youths in their twenties and thirties.

It is on this background that I opine to the leadership of the APC to consider this in selecting her candidate because the youths are eager to know who becomes the alternative to a Goodluck Jonathan whom she (APC) had christened 'a Kindergarten President'. An attempt to field a 71years old Gen. Muhammadu Buhari might frustrate the popularity of your party and what it had earlier been preaching in the south west.

We understand that leadership of political parties must be old enough to be grandfathers with grey hairs because of the wealth of experience and need for critical decisions of the elders, that it why some of us youths do not challenge or have course to query the Obasanjo's 75years of age, the 74years age consideration of Chief Bisi Akande, or that of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu's 60years or that of Buhari as the leader of the APC, who was Head of State when some of university graduates today weren't born, it only becomes questionable to know what he remains yet undone to be contesting again as president. I think he has expired!

Nasir El Rufai is 53years and it's an appreciable age for the Presidency of the system. One who still has a future at stake and can move around for campaigns without stress should be considered. The problem of Nigeria requires agile souls and not weak bones due to age or health related challenges.

In my own view, which I know that the leadership of APC will accept with me, that anyone who is to govern Nigeria must have a political history, not only at the State level but at the Federal level, because the complexities in at the national is more than those of the states. Some Governors of the APC, most importantly the second term governors, might be interested but the challenges are different. The challenges in the local government are different from the state level and likewise the federal. A balance of administrative competence with political history at the selection of candidacy come to 2015 Presidential election will not only produce a tough candidate to defeat but a credible person to lead the bedridden system.

El Rufai whom I suggest the leadership of the APC could consider had been involved in various presidential tasks and knows how the presidency operates in contemporary times better than any of the avalanche of aspirants, who might be viewing Nigeria from the “old school” or “we shall” without a thorough knowledge of the economy and the state of the present Nigeria.

Most importantly, the nation needs a person who isn't a practical politician but one who is ready for the assignment on the desk, not someone who would want to have a say on whatsoever that happens in the political system. Differentiating between Governance and Politics will be a better tool in considering whom is to present as you are considering this.

Our nation needs policy formulators, not policy destroyers at a time like this. The major problem we have in the Nigeria of today is that none of our leaders are ready for neither formulating any policy nor even sustaining the ones on ground. What they are interested in is money, money and money. The nation needs the formulation of institutional policies that will reduce unemployment and poverty in our land. In my own view which I want the elders of the APC to consider is that only El Rufai can provide this 'among' the aspirants interested in this contest. We are in the global era of privatization, commercialization, downstreaming of the oil sector, policy reforms and I am afraid, if you don't put people of profound quality in office, there will be problem at the long run.

Our nation needs leaders now and not rulers. People who will take pains to listen to what the people are saying without inconsistency with the party norms in abolishing poverty in our lands. Flexible people who can adjust their ways of life with that of the people, devoid of religious fanaticism, sincerely, no former military man can take Nigeria to her Eldorado because the blood of the military is always there. You either don't question them, or you follow the last instruction.

Youths of this nation, will be so much grateful to your system if for the first time you don't produce an accidental president which has bedeviled the nation or a military as it has always been since 1999, the military has spent over 90% of our national presidency, either in the khakis or in the 'agbadas' and there is nothing to show for it.

Without much Ado, I suggest of the elders of the APC to consider deeply after going through this analysis and many more of the public opinion as part of the conditions in selecting her candidate and candidature come 2015 Presidential election because the Nigerian Youths WILL NEVER Support/Vote for any Great Grand Father for Nigerian President irrespective of any branding or rebranding.

'Deolu OYEBODE is a Public Analyst,
Writes from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria.
[email protected]; 08064406846.

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