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THE SHEKARAU FACTOR IN NIGERIAN POLITICS

By NBF News

Change is urgently and critically needed for this country's survival and development. And opportunity is presenting itself again with the coming general election, particularly the presidential race.

Nigerian voters, as of right, should insist that the national pathetic problems be addressed by men who are able to face the reality on the ground. Patriotic men Who are able Leaders that will place national interest above private ambition. Those who will put their personal safety aside for national security of lives and property.

At this juncture in our history, as a sovereign nation at 50, we have an outstanding and meek Ibrahim Shekarau, who inwardly believes in the obligation of leaders as selfless guardians of the constitution of the nation and not its manipulators towards their own selfish goal.

It is his avowed commitment, to free and lift this country up and move it forward beyond the vague vision of possibilities but towards sure progress. Next year's presidential election will surely be a defining moment in the lives of the common people in this country and it is up to the voting public to make it so. Ibrahim Shekarau is ready to swim along with the people and make it so. All of us should be committed to freeing Nigeria from its current uncertainties.

For Malam Shekarau, there is the urgent need to go beyond the era when people find it difficult to think that we have a surer future, where the sweat of an individual should be enough for him or her to earn a legitimate living without cutting corners. Ibrahim Shekarau's presidential campaign is indeed a crusade that makes the people its centre point agenda. A campaign to return authority to the people in its true sense, by making their voices heard at any point in time and their complaints, or suggestions or needs dispassionately addressed.

The Executive Governor of Kano State wants Nigerians to believe that we need each other; that we are important to each other and that all of us can enjoy together and advance if we are r in support of the good of all, instead of being divided along party, ethnic, tribal or religious angles and by so doing, either by commission or omission, allow for the continuation of selfish leadership by those who should not smell the aroma of power. He is ready to make way for the much desired positive change, of which he is an agent. What all of us have to focus on today, Shekarau counseled, is the need for a new direction for our great country by putting at the helm of affairs, a person with total commitment and sacrifice to forge ahead and stop the unnecessary drift in the body polity once and for all.

Contemporary Nigerian youths face a bleak future and are growing up in a system, where competition for job is very intense more than ever before, coupled with high cost of health care delivery and neglect of the old people. Shekarau presidency is very much ready to address these issues as much as possible, falling back on his Kano experience and a cross-section of people of progressive ideas, that will cut across party divides, that he hopes to put together to reverse these trends.

Though it is true that government cannot do everything for the people, but a responsible government, like the one to be presided over by Malam Shekarau can ill-afford not to do something to improve the lots of the people. Shekarau is a person who has implicit faith in the capacity of the people to stand erect, self sufficient and develop their own micro-economic power, given the right incentives. Shekarau is more than prepared to create such invaluable opportunity for our people to excel. Indeed, Governor Shekarau has the enviable record and the will power to accelerate the good fortunes of Nigeria and its proverbial common men and women.

Through his unprecedented vigour and zeal, Shekarau utilized a huge amount of money in the past seven years of his administration in Kano, to provide billions of naira worth of subsidized and interest free capital assets and cash loans to his people. He further invested in the farmers with the provision of cash loans, agricultural inputs subsides to raise their productivity. Indeed, at this point in our national history, we should trust this gentleman to ably and providentially pilot the affairs of our country without let or hindrance. It is his principal policy to support all persons along the line of their various vocations, to enable all hands be on the deck for a truly sovereign nation to march forward.

Shekarau, though practices Sharia in Kano State, he believes the basic prohibitions of the Muslims religion are as well, basic prohibitions of the Christian faith and indeed all major religion on earth. Hence, seeking the cooperation, understanding and indulgence of our religious leaders and adherents to follow the basic tenets of their conviction will profit all. Shekarau is of the firm belief, that justice, honour and truth can only be found, where righteousness is available.

Thus he felt comfortable, that when all people, Christians and Muslims adhere to their religious teachings, then and only then, can we find peace and by extension the various states, Nigeria and the world at large will most easily find lasting peace. And we shall stop hearing of Boko Haram onslaught and Jos crises, which are unnecessary happenings.

Shekarau believes, that all Nigeria children need a good start in life, but are deprived of same by our slow investment in their future. And with the dramatic rise in the number of those born to very poor households, it becomes imperative for the country to do something more in support of access to qualitative education, as it shall remain our best investment.

Unless this is done, Shekarau reiterated, only about 50% of our children will be availed basic school education, while the rest will drop out and many more will start behind and finish there. This he said, will not only hurt our conscience, but also diminishes our financial strength, making us pay in their crimes and social burden. Whereas, on the other hand, every child who gets a good start and grows up to be productive citizen, shall contribute to our collective well being, Shekarau posited.

Today, more and more of our policemen and officers are working round the clock to arrest criminals with inferior tools of trade compared to the sophisticated weapons being bandied about by the dare-devil men of the underworld. Shekarau will not wait for states to donate vehicles and incentives to the police or any security agents to do their jobs. His presidency will take the bull by the horns, by training and re-training at home and abroad, our security personnel and tune them up positively psychologically to see policing as one of the best jobs in the world.

Let us have it at the back of our minds, that Shekarau for Nigeria presidency project is one of great hope and optimism for our country. Its programme to uplift the people has great future for us. In different parts of the country, people have lost hope and faith in the ability of the PDP-led federal government to positively change their lives. Out there, were the quiet but troubled voices of the forgotten common man, lamenting, that government no longer cares for their interests. No longer are honour, hard work, family and community values which are inherent virtues pursued by average Nigerians.

Surely, this psyche will change, because Shekarau presidency mission 2011, is a 'better tomorrow' covenant between the people and himself. And if given the votes, henceforth, Shekarau-led federal government, will not relent until the best service a government could render its citizens are achieved. Under Shekarau presidency, resolute efforts shall be made to break the cycle of dependency and support the poor to climb out of poverty.

To Shekarau, when hardworking families are offered no hope in their future, no solution to their problems, no relief to their pains, then anxiety and feeling of insecurity are paramount and consequently, politics of hate, division and blame will thrive. To Malam, if we do not act decisively to make this country, an envy of us all, egocentric politicians will be able to divide and destroy the nation. This, he said should be resisted by all well-meaning Nigerians.

Surely, in unity and common resolution, Shekarau believes, we can make this country great again and usher in a new era of progress, prosperity and renewal.

OLUMIDE LAWAL
writes from Abuja.