NIGERIA AT CROSSROAD: What Next For PDP
By Muhammad Mago
As Nigeria inches towards 2023, so many interests, national parochial are gradually manifesting in the body politics. But, Nigerians are wise enough now. They are looking for a patriotic leader, courageous and committed person who will guarantee equity and justice in the division of authority and resources among the country’s federating units, not a provincial president or a serial election loser.
Since the return of democracy, Nigeria is at no time more fragile than the current situation. And the way out is to have capable leaders who are very tough in dealing with issues. Leaders with broad mind, with versatile international exposure.
That’s why Nigeria’s president can come from any part of the country, since all the sections of the country have potential men and women that can give in their best in making Nigeria a great place.
So, any party that decided to zone its presidential ticket to a particular region or zone is taking that decision at its own peril, because the party has restricted its opportunity to win. It may eventually field the worst candidate and then lose the election.
Politics is always about conflicts and conflicts resolutions. But the way conflicts are being resolved is what make a party thick.
Historically, it has been equity, justice and fairplay that has been used many a times to address political quagmires in the country.
The geopolitical zone of a presidential candidate has never being the main issue in the nation’s political trajectory. It has never been the solution to the multitude problems bedevilling the country. And as the saying, goes all the parties in the country, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have the right to determine their rules and how the party should be governed. But remember, the rights to determine who governs them resides with the people. Where the president comes from has never been and will never be the solution to the problems facing the country.
Whenever there’s need for a political solution to a problem, justice, equity and fairplay should be the keywords in addressing such complex political problems in the country.
In all the political regimes from 1979 to date, Dr. Sule Lamido has been a key player. He was always with these principles: equity, fairplay and justice. He was always at forefront in solving complex political problems in the country.
Many examples could be cited. But take a cursory look at the NRC/SDP presidential election that was held under the military regime.
When the regime of the then Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida annulled June 12 election and truncated the Late Moshood Kashimawo Abiola’s chance to rule the country. Let us remember that Late Abiola stood for election, not as a Yoruba but a as a nationalist figure and was accepted by Nigerians. He is a Muslim and his running mate Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, was a Muslim from North – that is a Muslim/Muslim ticket. The duo received overwhelming support across the country not as Muslims or politicians from particular regions but because of their towering nationalist figures.
Dr. Lamido along with several other progressives supported and campaigned for them to win the election, and it was in the same spirit, Lamido played significant role among the key players that decided to paved the way for Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to contest as the Presidential Candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999, as a way to sooze frayed nerves and heal the wound in the Western Region. Dr. Lamido was one of the founding members of PDP. The party campaigned for Chief Obasanjo, and he won in 1999 and in 2003 for the second time. The point is that, the decision to present Chief Obasanjo was based on equity and justice and not based on his region. There is no such thing as a president from southern Nigeria or a president from northern Nigeria. There is only one president – a president who comes from a particular regional extraction, who emerges based on equity and justice and for all the country. He then got elected by Nigerians.
No one is in doubt that Nigeria is at crossroad. The country is facing a leadership deficit with multitude of problems threatening its corporate existence and its socioeconomic development, hence only a leader with versatility, political acumen and sagacity can handle the volatile situation in 2023.
In Nigeria, there is a sharp divide in the political class: the progressive elements and the reactionary politicians. Dr. Lamido has always been on the progressive side, always promoting national interest above any other primordial interests.
These are the more reasons why Nigerians must rise above all sentiments and give him the chance to lead the country in 2023. He has the wits and guts. He has plans and the vision to transform the country.
One important thing that we should all remember, is that it is only when the country get a right leadership, significant challenges of governance and management of the nation’s diversity could be tackled head-on.
Lamido’s focus has always been and would always be on how to make life better for the people. With Dr. Lamido as Nigeria’s President, the challenges of insecurity, poor leadership and lack of focus would become history. Take a look at his political antecedents, he has fixed Jigawa State when hope was almost lost on its development, sprojected the good image of Nigeria when he was its Foreign Affairs Minister and can lead and fix Nigeria, much so as this critical time.
Nigeria, since the return of democracy is at no time more fragile than the current situation. It requires capable people who are tough on issues. Lamido has the drive and the capacity to propel the country out of its current difficulties. He is a politician so endeared to the people and can address tough issues and bring people together irrespective of their differences.
Now that, the ruling All Progressive congress APC, has messed up the chance to make Nigeria a better place, PDP must warm up to take back the leadership of the country in 2023. But remember, only fielding a sellable and a good candidate who can manage the nation’s diversities and bring the people together and ensure distribution of resources fairly and equitably can win the presidency for the party. Think about it. This cap fits Dr. Lamido. He is a visionary leader who has a midas touch.
With his versatile global exposure, principled politics and leadership acumen, Dr. Lamido can manage the diversities in the country and make all the citizens to have a sense of belonging.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) must warmup to take back the mantle of leadership in the next general election. But to do this and earn the confidence of the Nigerian citizens, right candidate must be presented as the party’s flag bearer.
The recent decision by the PDP’s NEC to allow all interested presidential hopefuls to seek for election is the wisest decision by the party so far.
As the die is cast. Party’s delegates and other stakeholders should shine their eyes and think Nigeria. Work for the best candidate, not a serial leader and not a provincial leader but the one that has the capacity to turn around the nation’s adversity into prosperity.