Today I am going to be partisan (Man is a Political Animal) and for those who know my pedigree and where I am coming from will accuse me of playing partisanship but that is ok with me.
For this reason let me admit they are entitled to whatever opinions they can take from the narrative.
Firstly, after being a Nigerian, I come from the North East geopolitical zone of the country. And politics is all about benefits either to oneself, family, religion, community, local, state or country.
It is also about sharing that is why we always talk about dividend of democracy. In recognising this fundamental principle the Nigeria Constitution adopted as one of its basic tenants the philosophy of federal character.
The idea behind is to ensure even distribution of our national common wealth, so that no one region dominate and impoverish the other.
When this government came to power it appointed the army chief staff and the National security adviser from the North East, this was not by accident. It did so aware of the general complaints the previous government and the Security High Command were insincere and showed lack of commitments in the fight against Boko Haram.
Be it what it may President Buhari in a deft strategic move appointed Buratai and Mungono both of them from Borno State to take charge of the fight against the insurgency.
Apart from the fact they are fine officers they came from the region which is the flash point of the insurgency. He put them there possibly to achieve two things, firstly they have affinity with the region and must therefore take the campaign against the insurgent seriously because they have a stake.
Secondly the government wanted to exculpated itself from the accusations from leaders of the zone that government was not serious in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.
Thank God the situation is now relatively under control but we are not there yet.
In this regard I would like share the Hausa saying which states that “ for a wealth to be in your community its better if its in your family house, better still it would be if it is in your mothers room, and more better if you are the one who have it”
When the party primaries were concluded with the emergence of Atiku as the Presidential candidate of one of the dominant political parties, my political impartiality was put to test for several reasons.
Firstly, after being a Nigerian, I came from the North East geo political region, arguably the most devastated part of Nigeria in the last decade. It is un questionably the most poorest, the disadvantaged, politically, economically, socially and culturally today. It represents all indices of underdevelopment.
The Boko Haram insurgency has destroyed the region’s infrastructure, stunted its growth, wiped out most of its able bodied youth. Enrolment into primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions in most of the communities in the last ten years has been zero. The region in no distant future would suffer from generational gap.
Farming, commerce, education, cultural and social activities of the people was debased and destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgency. There is no family in the region which is not taking care of at least two or three refugees displaced by the insurgency.
The down turn in the living conditions of the peoples has over the years nose dived to the lowest level, abject poverty, disease mal nutrition characterise the region. The living condition of the people has become so pathetic, miserable and desperate to the extent that even the affluent and most benevolent amongst its people hardly visit home, because they can not handle the demands of the people.
The destruction of the infrastructure in the region is un imaginable.
The region is begging for attention, help and understanding from other constituent regions of the country.
I don’t want to sound sectional, but I was compelled by a statement credited to former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwakwaso, to show my love for the region openly.
In Benin when he addressed PDP delegates and members during his nationwide tour to pick “its presidential candidate from the North West”. For somebody like him to make such statement he must have understood the benefits of the President emerging from his geo political zone.
When the choice of the presidential candidates became between Atiku and Buhari both of them of the Fulani stalk one from Daura, in Katsina State and the other from Jada, Adamawa state both of them Muslims and Northerners.
I was faced with problem of choice. I was torn in between my desire of being politically correct and my idiosyncrasies as some one who love his region (North East) and the North as my larger constituency.
The zoning arrangements of the office of the President further confounded my issues. My, ID, Ego, and Super Ego kept suggesting to me which among the two candidate would have my vote for the President come 2019.
Beyond the fact that both of them deserve to have my vote but for the subterranean politics supported by the zoning formula adopted by the parties. Going by this it is natural that my considerations would be tilting are towards Atiku.
My ID that was drawing towards President Buhari now an octogenarian and some one who had instances of ill health seem to be waning.
The fact that he was once the Head of state of this country and currently the occupant of the Aso Villa suggest that we need a fresh hands in the State house.
Buhari came to the throne with a promise of change when he ran for election in 2015, Nigerians voted for him overwhelmingly, but nearly four years after we have not seen the change.
I still remain without light for upwards of three days in a row in Abuja, which is suppose to be the centre of excellency as far as Nigeria is concerned. Several roads in the mega city are un marked.
The security lights are not functioning which makes driving un safe more especially in the night, many of the roads in the expanding city are un tarred. No public water supply in most part of the cadastral zones, residents rely on un controlled sinking of boreholes and dams with all its attendant problems on the environment.
No efficient sewage those that are available remain blocked, the waste disposal system are not working, filth and dirt litter the streets. The litany of problems goes on and on.
If these gloomy picture is what obtains in Abuja. what situations in the states is better not imagined. These are issues that touches the life of the citizens and they don’t need greater thinking to be corrected but yet they exist.
The economy is not out of the wood yet, though the dollar has stabilised between 362 – 365, I still believe there is no reason we should be buying the America Dollar at this cost.
The health sector has not improved, this is exemplified by the President constant visit to the UK for medical treatment. The rise in kidney and liver diseases arising from un affordable health care and the use of traditional medicines as alternative which further aggravates its occurrences of the diseases is disturbing.
The worsening state and complete failure of the health care delivery systems is regrettable and alarming.
The double digit inflation in the economy and ballooning of both domestic and foreign debt profile of the country are some of the issues that would swing my votes.
So far the government is only hammering on its anti corruption crusade which to me is a mix bag of success if at all they are succeeding.
In the nearly four years that this government is in power, it has shown that it can not stop corruption or occurrences of corrupt practices within the system.
Yes, lets give it to the President that he is personally incorruptible but the corruption going on under his nose is absurd. The country is operating under a constitution that gives the President the executive power to deal with all issues as far as the executive branch is concerned.
All employees under the executive branch are operating under the delegated powers of the President. It presupposes that the President has the right to hire and fire. if there are issues of impropriety in the system the president must act.
His in actions in relation to matters of corruption, abuse of power by his employees is to say the least disappointing.
The success of the government is first of all the success of the President before any other person. Similarly if there were failures, posterity will hold the President as such.
This reminds of the Islamic teaching that leaders would be brought on the day of judgement in chains and God would ask every one of their followers, if the leader was just to them before they would be cleared to enter heaven, leadership is therefore a big responsibility.
We all support the anti corruption crusade. What we disagree with is the way its being carried out. We frown at the way it has been reduced to hype, labelling and dealing with the opposition for personal political gains.
The government must not also allow the crusade against anti corruption to take away its attention from dealing with vital issues that form the core responsibilities of governance, such as poverty alleviation, hunger, disease, in security, unemployment and mass poverty.
The economy and infrastructural development must not pushed to the back seat in the name fighting corruption.
The government must not in the pursuit of power build an agenda for lies, deceit, misrepresentation of facts, scare tactics as means of discrediting the credentials of its opponents. After all the parties have a lot of issues of corruption in their baggages.
It must not blame and label some as corrupt, while looking the other way when it comes to corruption issues affecting people close to it in the name of gaining some votes and political existences.
I have argued on this medium that the election in 2019 would be decided by competence and capacity.
The principles of good leadership apply at all levels of social hierarchy, whether it relates to running a country, operating a business, keeping a household in order, or maintaining a positive marriage. Among the key issues is how leaders treat and regard the people they are responsible for.
When people think “political” they think about the candidate running for office, running around, giving speeches, and shaking hands.
Political competence in the organizational sense is understanding what you can and cannot control, assessing the timing of taking action, identifying allies (and resistors), and determining exactly who you need on your side for you to push your change agenda forward.
Political competence is about mapping the political terrain, gaining support, and leading a coalition. Political competence is critical to successful leadership.
There are no shortage of good ideas. There are always suggestions of how to do the work better, faster, and more efficient than before. The rub is to get others to get on board with the new idea. Political competence is a lever that leaders can use to get their idea off the ground.
Political competence allows leaders not only to get support, but also to seriously engage the key players that they will need to implement their idea.
Even with the best intentions, the greatest ideas, the most exquisite processes of execution, without political competence, you are unlikely to have success. Political competence isn’t a textbook process, but it is an ongoing exercise of seeing and analyzing the world around you, and building a coalition of support that will see your agenda implemented.
Leadership is not something that one person can do alone. An organizational lone ranger is the person who single-mindedly pursues their idea. They might assign tasks to others here and there, but they take sole responsibility for their change effort. Because they don’t take the time to engage others, there isn’t a collective sense of ownership or pride in the end result.
Lone rangers tend to trample on others in their gallop toward the finish line, and unwittingly create divisions and dissent that didn’t exist before.
At the other extreme are the consensus builders. They are focused of getting everyone into the tent before taking action. They thrive on constant meetings and endless hallway chats. While the lone ranger may end up with a tangible result, the consensus builder has people on their side, but they often don’t get things done.
Political competence is the balance between the single-minded pursuit of the lone ranger and the warm reach of the consensus builder.
Politically competent leaders have a goal in mind, and the political sense to engage others to join them in their effort to ultimately get things done.
In our situation we have agreed the President “may be incorruptible” and have best of intentions but he is being surrounded by the bad and ugly with a few very good men.
Faced with this reality we must therefore “change the change maker” because he has failed to change our situations.
We are living in a jet age the country can not afford the extra time they are asking for. Because some people spent sixteen without doing “anything,” we don’t have the luxury of time on our hands to wait for sixteen year to experience growth and development.
The world would not be waiting for us. We must if need be keep changing the leadership every four years until we get it right.