When the euphoria, self-congratulatory celebrations and hoopla over third term ends, Nigerians would have to settle down 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?