Ahead of the 2023 general election, the Nigerian political landscape has been beaming with interesting scenes being performed by the political gladiators from across the country.
It has been interesting to see and read the declaration of aspirants who are seeking to contest for the post of the number one seat in the country. While some politicians chose to declare in the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari, some others disclosed it on their social media pages and others to the press.
Some of the political juggernauts that have declared intention so far to succeed Buhari in 2023 is youthful governor Yahaya Bello, the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; former Abia State Governor, Dr Orji Uzo Kalu; Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi, Governor Nyesom Wike, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, among others.
Of course, all those activities are normal in every democracy, especially when an election is drawing near. But, one thing I observed is that many Nigerians who are keenly following the situations are mostly concerned about the region that will produce the next president and how famous or influential the aspirant is. It is just a few people that are taking their time to dissect the personalities of the aspirants to understand their level of preparation for the job.
The issue of power rotation is necessary, but that should not be the issue largely dominating the media space the way it is now.
Considering the current state of Nigeria, we need a leader with excellent track records that is so glaring that it cannot be disputed or argued on. I mean a leader who has been groomed with excellent management of human, natural and financial resources and no evil is found in him just like the Biblical Daniel – a person that has for years prepared himself for the hot seat.
In my own humble opinion, due to the terrible state of things, a person with the political experience of the governorship seat is the most suitable to take over the seat from Buhari. This is very necessary because they have experience of managing population and resources.
After painstakingly x-raying and analysing the former and the past governors who have openly made known their intention, I have noticed one that perfectly suits the attributes that I highlighted in paragraph six.
Without any form of bias (thank God I am not a card carrying member of any political party), any form of ethnic sentiment (I am not from Ogun) and without any form of religious sentiment (I am not a Muslim), it is my humble and personal opinion, I want to submit that the former governor of Ogun state who is currently a senator of the federal republic, Senator Ibukunle Amosun, meets up with all the standards of the new president we need at this crucial moment.
Before declaring his intention recently, political observers had been on look out if he would also throw his hat into the ring for the 2023 presidency. However, he had remained mute on the matter until Wednesday when he broke his silence following a letter to his colleagues in the upper legislative chamber and informing them of his next steps.
Amosun is not an amateur in the political terrain. Even before getting into public office, his popularity among his people was fantastic and enormous. That was why he overwhelmingly defeated an incumbent Senator, Femi Okunrounmu, during the election for the senatorial seat in 2003 on the platform of People Democratic Party.
In 2011, he was elected as the governor of Ogun. He was re-elected in 2015. After completing the limit of two-term as the governor in 2019, he decided to go back to the senate to continue his service to the nation.
Looking at the current state of the nation where the country’s debt profile has hit a level of N39.55 trillion going by the figures of the Debt Management Office. Nigeria is in dire need of an astute administrator who can think outside the box to work things out.
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Nigeria is one of the most insecure countries in the world at this moment due to the way bandits have been kidnapping and killing people on a daily basis. People are now afraid to travel to any part of Nigeria by air, road or railway.
We can now all see that anybody taking over from Buhari is taking over a very enormous task, perhaps, the most enormous task in the world. So, Nigeria needs someone who has the ability to think ruggedly outside the box. We need someone like Amosun whose track records of practical experience cannot be disputed due to how glaring it is.
As the governor of Ogun for eight years, he displayed astute administrative skills to bring the state out of the “desert” it was to an economically viable state that has since become attractive to both foreign and local investors. For instance, he bought Ogun State out of liability states that totally depend on federal allocation to survive. Within a space of eight years, he fantastically and unbelievably increased the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from a paltry sum of N700 million monthly he met it and nurtured it to the tune of N7 billion monthly. A rare feat that can only be achieved by a genius.
He made Ogun State a cynosure of business activities by attracting over 423 mega industries and over 1,000 medium and small scale industries for just a period of eight years. During his period, NSIA and InVivo signed a letter of intent for land reforestation project in Imeko and Awowo forests covering 108,000 hectares
He took a bold step by taking Ogun to the world stage by initiating the signing of a memorandum between France government and the state as part of his move to make it one of the most industrialised states in Nigeria. The signing of the deal was witnessed by President Buhari and President Emmanuel Macron of France. This remains a commendable feat to reckon with.
In his relentless efforts to ensure the transformation of the economy of Nigeria as a Senator of the Federal Republic, Amosun sponsored a Bill titled “National Industrial Technology Park (Establishment)” in the senate. This is a gigantic move that has received wide commendations from a cross section of Nigerians.
Before becoming the governor, Ogun state was at the bottom of the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index in the 2010 report. However, owing to Amosun’s critical thinking ability, the state was ranked as one of the five most-improved states in the country in 2014.
Amosun is known to be a welfarist who believes that those who are well to do should cater for the poor and the underprivileged in the society. His ideology as a governor was anchored on a strong partnership between public and private sectors in such a way that it would not affect the average residents of the state. His welfarism pinpoints to the fact that throughout his reign as the governor, unlike some of his colleagues governors, Amosun did not owe a dime in salaries and pensions.
Everybody knows how Ogun State enjoyed security during his tenure. He fully demonstrated zero tolerance to crime, he was not just sitting down in the office. In fact there was a particular period when he had to risk his life to board a local boat with some security operatives to deal decisively with some notorious hoodlums who were allegedly terrorizing some Ogun riverine communities.
This testifies to the fact that through his political will and result-oriented approach, he would tackle the issue of insecurity appropriately and make the country a safe haven for foreign investors; which Nigeria needs seriously at this moment. He is a fearless leader who always leads by example.
His letter signifying interest in the post of presidency which was read to the Senate partly said;
“I have been blessed by God to serve as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 2003 and 2007 and as a two-term Governor of Ogun State between 2011 and 2019. I have also had the privilege to be elected a second time to the Senate of the Federal Republic in 2019 where I currently serve the good people of Ogun Central Senatorial District.
“My varied experience in private and public life has imbued me with requisite insights, experiences and network of relationships adequate to provide a leadership that will galvanize our dear country to achieve her manifest destiny as leader in Africa and of the black race.”
His words above are a testament to how he can turn around the county positively if elected as the president. My submission is for his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the electorate to give him the opportunity to prove his worth like he had done in Ogun.
Olarinoye is a political analyst.