Monday, October 15, 2007

Euphoria & Self Congratulations; Must Wane Over Third Term!

Euphoria & Self Congratulations; Must Wane Over Third Term!

Saturday, 20 May 2006

When the euphoria, self-congratulatory celebrations and hoopla over third term ends, Nigerians would have to settle down, and settle down fast Nigerians must, Nigerians must get ready to chose a person that will be president of Nigeria on May 29, 2007. Nigeria has eleven months.

I have wondered in the past, particularly, during the heat and passion of the third term bogey, whether the third term debate was a substitute for credible candidates, meaningful manifestoes and the crafting of good public policies for debate by Nigerians.

In “Where are the candidates, manifestoes and alternatives to President Obasanjo ”

I wondered publicly, where the candidates were, and whether they were afraid to promote their manifestoes? Many Nigerians at the time complained that the all pervading fear of President Obasanjo and his alleged interests in term elongation, was the “reason” why other candidates were not promoting themselves or their ideas.

It remains relevant to ask where are the candidates and their manifestoes! As I wrote an article already referred to above, in which I argued that so much time was being wasted or expended on the Third Term debate. I in fact called it a distraction; I then queried why there were no candidates with manifestoes….In the face of the closeness to the election in 2007.

Then as now, we need credible candidates and manifestoes that the Nigerian electorate can discerningly select and elect as our president; Then as now, even if President Obasanjo was/is running; is it not incumbent upon the opposition to present alternatives in candidates and manifestoes?

Adamantly, it must be restated now, that the president’s political opponents ought to have promoted themselves and their policies ideas even as they complained and abused the president over the so-called third term agenda. This is simply because, the world is a market place of ideas. Ideas could be in terms of physical products or in terms of public policies. Wise business and political competitors must concentrate on promoting their “products” even as they take swipes at competitors’ competing products.

Only a foolish business person or politician would concentrate or focus exclusively, on the repeated condemnations of a rival’s product, while neglecting the mention of his/her products. Ideally, it ought to be, here is my product. It an excellent product. It is better than the competitor’s product etc. This product is good for you etc.

Politicians should be adept at canvassing their public policy thrust, whether such policies are socially conservative or liberal. What Nigerians witnessed in the past year or so, was, the inabilities on the part of political opponents of President Obasanjo to articulate their policy positions. These attitudes, I have described as bankruptcy of ideas.

Why wouldn’t political opponents present themselves, their manifestoes and even their positions on current reform policies and programs? Such as those being pursued by the government in Nigeria at the present time? Is it the case that the present government has done nothing good and nothing right?

The fear excuse, I have rejected. My reasoning was/is based on the fact that those political opponents who were allegedly afraid of the all powerful omnipresent President Obasanjo, were busy abusing the man, his family, his entire ethnic group, his farm and his pets.

Anti third term war may be over, I mean may! The war against third term may have been won, but the battle for the survival of the soul of Nigeria must now begin in earnest.

Do Nigerians want a recycled garbage that is also known as IBB, to become the next president of our republic? Is the Nigerian electorate capable of swallowing its own vomit?

IBB is as yet a free man. IBB has not been charged or convicted of any offense. IBB is therefore legally and constitutionally entitled to run for any elected office in Nigeria.

But must Nigerians reward this man with the presidency of Nigeria? IBB’s policy failures, atrocities on Nigeria, Nigerians are legendary. Will Nigerians be willing to reward IBB for all his chicaneries in the recent past? Democracy is such, at times. What is IBB’s manifesto? His gap-toothed face?

As for Mr. Atiku Abubakar, I strongly believe that he has proven himself a consummate opportunist. His immense wealth acquired before and during his vice presidency remains unexplained. I do not have a favorable opinion of him, to say the least.

Governor Kalu of Abia State is not worthy of the exulted office of president of Nigeria.
Mr. Uche Nworah, Mr. Obi and myself have variously written about the Pyramid of garbage in Aba city! We think that garbage removal and disposal has to be the most elementary and most basic of govermental functions and yet, that has not happened in the seven years of Governor Orji Kalu. Does Kalu tactics include a search for high visibility in a quest for the consolation prize of vice presidency under IBB, Atiku or Buhari?

Erosion has also ravaged the eastern part of Nigeria, Onitsha and Aba in particular. How does a governor that cannot tackle basic and elemental challenges, such as garbage removal and erosion channeling?

Garbage collection levy and fees ...... are being collected from the traders in Aba!
Tell Orji Kalu to get a truck/lorry and able bodied men to haul the garbage.... incinerate the garbage or if he does not care about the environment? dump the garbage in a landfill!

Moreover, others here have mentioned his diarrhea of the mouth or flippancy.... he is not intellectually sturdy. I have to give Governor Kalu credit for putting forth a "campaign" and his manifestoes! I may not like particular candidates (IBB, Kalu etc) but they have a right to campaign to the Nigerian electorate.... and if the electorate is foolish enough to allow IBB to buy his way into power again or if the electorate determine Kalu is what is good..... that will be democracy.... freedom of choice...IBB becoming president of Nigeria is the equivalent of swallowing vomit! Why would Nigerians want such a recycled garbage?

Kalu’s only qualification seem to be his willingness to act as an attack dog on President Obasanjo, even when Governor Kalu did not have evidence or could not provide evidence.

Onos at NVS recently said of Kalu “here is a man who cannot govern properly a single state scrambling for Aso Rock. Democracy is wonderful thing indeed! In the days of the Roman empire, …he would have been thrown into the circus maximus for consumption by wild beasts; Reuben Abati was referring to the likes of Uzor Kalu when he wrote the following in his So, what's next? article” When Dr. Abati wrote the following “The scrutiny of the political elite that has now begun must be sustained. The Presidency cannot and should not be handed over cheaply to anyone whose only claim to relevance is that he or she (or they) opposed third term”

Pat Utomi is man with strong intellectual power. His personal accomplishments are legendary.I personally admire him. But I am almost certain that Nigeria’s democracy is not mature enough and ready for his candidacy. Regions, ethnicities and money remain hydra headed major factors in Nigerian national politics. Dr. Utomi probably does not have the stolen money, the sudden wealth and the shenanigans that are stock in trade with all other current aspirants.

General Buhari: Does the ANPP want him? Could he be repackaged and represented with a semblance of democratic demeanor? Buhari in my opinion, is a patriot. He does have baggage. Justice Oputa panel absence, his strategically ambiguous position on Sharia etc.

General Buba Marwa has good reputation as the former governor of Lagos State. I understand that he behaved as if he was a civilian governor. He was very affable and a people person. He is said to have been impressive. I met him in New York last year, our meeting was choreographed and hurried, I could not ask my questions. There are unanswered questions regarding his wealth.

This unexplained wealth bug seem to have bitten too many of Nigeria’s current political gladiators.

The EFCC, the ICPC and such other agencies of government in Nigeria in conjunction with nongovernmental organizations or civil societies must work together to ascertain that anyone with even the slightest pretensions to public office in Nigeria, first explain the source of their wealth, especially the genre of sudden wealth. In America, candidates for public office are screened to determine whether the behavior in the past had been pristine.

In Nigeria, we must engage in the similar or same process of screening the behaviors and conducts of aspirants to public office, whether elective or appointive.

Unfortunately, it is the case that in the recent past, every time and any time the EFCC attempted to screen candidates for fitness for public office, such candidates and their supporters are quick to accuse the EFCC and the presidency of selectivity or vengeance.

Nigerians must quickly recover from the Third Term distraction and disease.

Nigerians at home and abroad must now demand for credible candidates for public offices. Nigerians must insist on candidates with the best policy ideas. Presidential candidates with the best vision for Nigeria and candidates with the best manifestoes on how to attain Nigeria’s progress, Nigeria’s development and advancement.

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