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Look at the caliber of the people yearning to come back and rule us, it says a great deal about Nigeria. We should not wonder why Africa has not moved forward since Independence. In a country filled with Africans; that would be unthinkable. While many of us take cover, Nigeria is being replaced by many Me, myself and I or nobody, in the political arena. The rest of us barely keep our head above water. We cannot submit to anyone's whim who wants to lead us by zone, brawl, hook or crook.

Rotation or zoning Presidency to certain section of our Country has its place and time in the days of threats, force and domineering power of the military. It was the Chairman of NPN who warned that there were only two parties in Nigeria; NPN or the military. If that overbearing advantage is out of the equation and arms can be bought by any violent minded organization in the world's open market, we have to tread cautiously before we set our Country ablaze again. It is so easy to destroy, but harder and more time to build. When vagabonds take over, they bestow power and honor blindly.

Check out most of those privileged enough to be awarded national honors, many have to be a thief to be a chief. Poor folks do not make enough money to qualify for honors but if one steals from his neighbor, he gets to be called a thief under customary or Sharia law, a chief if he steals big from government or bank. Yet, Nigeria survives on the shoulders of hard working folks' daily sweat. Since these rogues soil the decent ones amongst us, accomplished people of character have rejected the honor of being associated for various reasons.

Some of these notable Nigerians have thrown their hats into the debates of PDP zoning arrangement that has no place in our constitution. Some argue that it was made part of it under a military leader until another military leader expunged it. Whatever the merit on either side, affirmative action is instructive in cases where some people have been historically deprived of power and leadership. This is the case with South-south but hardly the case with the North.

The North held on to power for 38 out of 50 years of Independence. The cry for zoning cannot be sustained on the basis of Southern leadership neglect of the North. This is why the Northern youths would prefer leadership on the other foot that may benefit the masses in their region who have been neglected by past Northern leaders. Putting it mildly, they have nothing substantive to show for their hold on power either in Nigeria or in the North especially.

Some of the prominent leaders in the South-west and the South-east are calling on Ebele to respect PDP gentleman's agreement are themselves hypocrites who have lost the leadership race in the past. Even more disingenuous is, if not Me, Myself and I attitude, nobody from the South. It is the same attitude that deprived Abiola the Presidency when some of this people said Abiola was not the Messiah we were waiting for. Would the wise men asking Ebele to respect an agreement, under duress of military might, reject the chance to run if called upon?

Some leaders in the South-south are crying out loud that Ebele is not the Messiah, but only Me, Myself and I. This guy came from nowhere and suddenly catapults himself into Presidency. Whatever the case, it is not that Nigeria is short of credible leaders, the polity is just too desperate, too greedy and too unscrupulous to attract the type of talents needed to move our Country out of yesteryears politics of loot, revenge, maim and kill.

The South-south has become a major player in the contest for Presidency for the first time in our history and many Arewa youths are fine with it. Some of us think the whole Country must be happy for them and celebrate the rotational clock. In the same vein, we should be looking forward to the turn of South-east whose chances were given away in return for ceremonial President. Either by merit or zone, each of the six zones of Nigeria can produce competent men.

The process of choosing leaders is highly flawed, that is why none of the democratic process has been able to cure it. Those who handed power to us during Independence detest our way of life and culture. So they did all they could to hand over Africa to those more sympathetic to their system of government which is by no means perfect because of rigging. If Africans wanted to, we could have developed a system of government or cabinet more suitable to our culture.

We fool ourselves with constitutional review every year only for colonial civil/military system to scrap it and start all over again. Our Africa military itself need review more suitable to the need of Africa than being an imitation of our colonial past. While we discarded traditional rule of chiefs and kings, we have created ways of passing power, privilege and loot to our cronies while we remain godfathers to the ruling class. We have diminished one privileged class by creating another.

It is the reason failed and destructive leaderships of the past still possess the gut to claim the right to contest for the Presidency. Call it throne of the kings and chiefs or presidency, the fact remains that we are passing the mantle of power or rulers from one dynasty to another. Instead of looking for the most competent politicians with ideas, programs and step by step plans to take us out of darkness, we are distracted by rotation of zones. This is why we failed to produce conscientious men.

Audu Ogbe is a case in point. This is basically a decent person that can be called radical but for the fact that he joined NPN in those days. Even then, he performed within the mess he found himself. Throughout his time as Minister in NPN except that we cannot call anyone a saint in Nigeria or National Party of Nigeria. He impressed many of us when he cut off electricity to the NPN headquarters because they refused to pay their bill. NPN Chairman, Akinloye, was furious.

When he returned to teach after NPN, his people laughed and heckled him for not bringing the loot back home. A man who was a minister went back as a poor university lecturer. He learned from that humiliation like his brother Obasanjo who almost went bankrupt. Both must have sworn never to be poor again. They both came back with a vengeance the second time around. So, their first experience in the poor house after holding important leadership positions like that of President Shagari, result in discouragement of government service without greed.

Unfortunately that is the story of Africa of which Nigeria happens to be an important part that refuses to lead. When praises are showered on other African countries filling the vacuum, it is almost to spite Nigeria that is stuck in reverse. Please do not let beneficiaries of the rot hear you, because they compare Nigeria to the worst countries of the world so that they can stand tall amongst the midgets, as if people in the wealthy countries were born centuries before us.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Farouk Martins Aresa