What Have You Done Lately For Democracy In Nigeria? (2)

by Bode Eluyera

If you are buying a product or service that you will use for the next 4 years, more so that is not returnable or replaceable, don’t you think that you have the right to know as much as possible about the product that you are buying? Will you buy a product that the manufacturer is trying to hide as much information as possible from you? Definitely NO! Has it ever occurred to you that it is the same thing with election? If the man that you vote for eventually wins the election, he is going to represent you and your country as the no.1 citizen at least for four years. Do you want somebody whose health is found wanting to represent you for 4 years? Most likely NO. Do you want your President to be going to Germany every 4 weeks for 5 days to treat catarrh, instead of him solving the country’s major problems concerning availability of electricity, portable water supply, adequate pension and medical service, education, security employment e.t.c.?

Wouldn’t you prefer that he spends his time equipping our schools with modern studying facilities, books and qualified teachers so that your children can get the same quality of education available in developed countries? Wouldn’t you prefer that he builds more modern hospitals, equipped with the state of the art equipments, and qualified personnel, so that you and your family can enjoy the same level of medical service available in the western world, without traveling to the west? Wouldn’t you prefer that he build more power plants so that you can have regular supply of electricity at home, enough power to run your business or factory, and improve your standard of living in general? Wouldn’t you prefer that he set up an effective security system, so that you and your family’s lives and property will be protected? Wouldn’t you prefer that he builds more factories and create a conducive environment for business, so that your business can prosper, and your children too will have no problem with employment when they finish their studies? Wouldn’t you prefer that he build more water dams, so that you and your family can have access to pure water in your house without having to spend precious time searching for water thousands of kilometers away from your house? Wouldn’t you prefer that he provide functioning and affordable public transport, so that you can easily move from one end of the city or country to the other wasting precious time? Are you aware that availability of water in your house, and efficient transportation can save you enormous amount of time that you can spend on other important ventures? At the end of the day, you are able to do much more.

Are you aware that a sick president will not be able to provide you with all the above mentioned facilities and amenities simply because he will so much be occupied with his own catarrh, and health in general, every second that he won’t be able to think about his obligations before you as the president, talk less of fulfilling them? Imagine if Yar’Adua spent 3 days in Germany treating catarrh, how many days, weeks, months or years do you expect him to spend abroad treating kidney problem? Mind you, I will like to remind you again that it has been officially confirmed that Yar’Adua is suffering from chronic kidney disease. Do you want somebody with chronic kidney problem to represent you and your interests for 4 years? From the human point of view, it won’t be fear. If you really love the man, then, you should understand that all the man needs is a good rest and treatment, after completing his two terms as the governor of Katsina state. Believe me, the fact that he was able to complete his eight-year term as the no.1 citizen of Katsina state, without giving up the ghost, is itself a miracle! But, the post has been a big drain and strain on his already bad health. The eight years has taken a big toll on his health. It is obvious that the remnant of his health can’t survive or take him through another four years in the capacity of Nigeria’s President. By contesting the presidential election, the man is definitely daring his Allah. The last thing Yar’Adua needs now is the post or title of “The President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.” You can’t even wish your enemy that. Can you?

After giving you a comprehensive explanation why neither Buhari nor Yar’Adua are my candidates in the April 2007 Presidential election, which I believe are convincing enough, of course, provided that you are objective and open minded. I am pleased to tell you that Professor Patrick Utomi is my candidate. Why Utomi? I will give you comprehensive explanation as regards to my choice. But, before I do that, can I ask you a little favour? Can you please be open-minded and be objective before you continue reading? That is all I need from you as of now.

Utomi is my candidate because he has a solid background in economics, finance and management. He has proved himself to be a real professional and successful manager from all the previous jobs that he held. Utomi is my candidate because he runs a business school in Lagos, which means that he has both a strong theoretical background and rich management experience, since real management cases are solved in management schools. Utomi is my candidate because he is a successful and honest entrepreneur. Utomi is my candidate because he runs a TV program where social, economic and political issues concerning the country are discussed. Nigerians of diversified background take part in this program. This, in essence means that he is very much aware of the problems facing Nigeria and Nigerians, and not just from the newspapers, colleagues, TV, or the tainted glass of his car.

Utomi is my candidate because he has a concrete economic and social programmes designed mainly by him, based on his rich personal professional experience and his first hand knowledge of Nigeria’s problems. I want to bring it to your attention that Yar’Adua and Buhari did not design their programmes themselves. They were handed over to them by their parties, or those footing their bills. Utomi is my candidate because he is not known to be corrupt. Utomi is my candidate because he has tested professional people like him, with whom he has worked throughout his professional career, to implement his complex programmes with him.

I want to make some very important clarification here. Some people wrongly believe that you don’t necessary have to manage a company in order to become a good president. They are citing Tony Blair, George Bush and previous American presidents as examples. I completely disagree with that. And, I will definitely explain. I am ready to forgive these people for the simple reason that they lack basic analytic skills. That explains their myopic views. Secondly, some of them wrongly believe that the fact that they reside in America or in a western country makes them to be automatically knowledgeable, better educated or superior to somebody who lives in Moscow. Thirdly, they lack a simple understanding of what a company or an enterprise is. Let us start with George Bush. How many people are aware of the fact that The Bush family; including George Bush, snr., are involved in the oil business, especially in Texas? George Bush has already made his millions in the oil business before he contested for the gubernatorial election in Texas. It is very unfortunate that some of my antagonists don’t even know this. So, in essence, both George Bush jnr. and snr. were already successful entrepreneurs before they dabbled into American politics. Therefore, they managed successfully a vast oil business before going into politics.

In addition, I want to bring it to the attention of my antagonists in the part 1 of my article that most of American presidents were lawyers. Are you aware that lawyers are one of the highest paid professionals in America? Moreover, all modern American presidents were millionaires before going into politics in order to serve America and Americans. They made their millions from running a successful law practice. Are you aware that in order to run a succes

sful law practice in America and the west in general, it is not enough to be just a brilliant lawyer? You need much more than that. You need to be ingenious, possess entrepreneurship skills; which include excellent management and communication skills. The simple logic is that if you have not managed a big project or company before, you simply cannot manage a country, simply because it is much more complex.

Managing a country successfully is much more than not being corrupt. Imagine if you need to pass 10 subjects before you can be promoted to the next class or get admission into the university. If you have distinction in just one subject – out of 10 – is that enough to promote you to the next class or get you a place in the university? Of course not – under normal circumstances, if we don’t take into consideration quota system. Unfortunately, we know that in Nigeria, circumstances are not normal. We settle for mediocres. We are contended to have as our president those who meet just one criterion out of ten. Being corrupt free is just one of the criteria for assessing a presidential candidate. We should not limit ourselves to that, if we are determined to be a great nation. So, going back to Buhari. First, I want to say that I don’t have a Buhariphobia. Nevertheless, my objective analysis tells me that Buhari does not have the appropriate background and experience to provide a ‘quality leadership’ for Nigeria and Nigerians in the 21st century. I strongly believe that in order to get the best out of our rich human and mineral resources, we must reject anybody who has a background either in the military or from the north. These people have ruled Nigeria for 46 years. Can you see the result? Are you satisfied with the result? Do you want a continuation of these policies? The bitter truth is that we are in the mess we are in today because the north and the military have misled and misruled the country. This was inevitable, simply because they were not only not prepared for the task that they illegally and forcefully took upon themselves, they also did not have the required background and experience. To be more precise, better to say that they do not have the brain to rule a sophisticated country like Nigeria successfully.

Yes Eisenhower, an American general ruled America after his performance in the Second World War. But, what I want to bring to your attention is that training in American military is totally different from that of Nigeria’s. Nigerian soldiers have a totally different mentality, level of patriotism, discipline and education vis a vis their American counterparts. Nigerian soldiers are totally undisciplined. They don’t obey simple rules, because they believe that the rules are not meant for them. They believe that they are supernatural human beings who are above the law. A couple of days ago, I read with utmost disbelief and shock how a Nigerian soldier stabbed a conductor to death in Lagos because the latter had the guts to ask him to pay the correct transport fare. A couple of weeks ago, I also read about the serious headache “thugs in uniform” are giving the Lagos state government due to their constant violation of simple road instructions.

Nigerian soldiers don’t believe that it is their professional responsibility to protect Nigerians. I do not know any point in Nigeria’s history where Nigerian soldiers laid down their lives protecting Nigerians. If anybody reading this article has such information, I will be very grateful if he could take the pain and time to update me. Please for God’s sake, don’t cite the civil war! However, unfortunately, I know many occasions when Nigerian soldiers have not only terrorised, brutalised and humiliated Nigerians in different forms, but also sent a countless number to their untimely deaths. Recently, I have been wondering how did all those northern generals get their stars. Is it for killing millions of Ndi-Igbos in the civil war? One of my articles in many parts titled “Leadership, decision-making, The North, The Military and Development in Nigeria” treats this topic comprehensively. Please read part 1 of this article – the other parts will follow later, as time permits me.

In a nutshell, emotions and prejudice apart, I strongly believe that Buhari has nothing substantial or tangible to offer sophisticated Nigeria and Nigerians of the 21st century. I consider it a very big insult that Buhari is being presented as the man that will lead Nigeria to the Promised Land. His spirit may be willing, but his flesh is definitely weak. It is very sad, disappointing and unfortunate that out of the 24 candidates, some educated Nigerians, who are supposed to know better are clamoring for Buhari. I sincerely hope that after reading my articles, you will do a serious soul searching, and consequently change your mind for the sake of a prosperous and better country. Better late than never.

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1 comment

Paul Odu (USA) April 2, 2007 - 9:03 pm

Bode, this is very good and I hope that the Nigerian electorate will choose the right person for the job. I think that Prof. Pat Utomi is the best candidate that is available in Nigeria today considering the needs and aspirations of the country in this 21st century. I'm still asking why Obasanjo decided to choose someone with a deadly kidney problem to run the affairs of the country. How would Ya'adua cope with the demands of a president in both the domestic and global arena? Nigeria does not need a president that will be a misfit, and is incapable of setting good domestic and foreign policy agenda for the country. Importantly, since Ya'Adua was a mere Chemistry teacher before he became the governor of Katsina State, his acadeic profile shows that he is really lacking in business ideas and economic development abilities. Pat Utomi has these basic qualifications and I'm hoping and praying that Nigerian will choose the right candidate that would transform the country by creating jobs, stimulate the economy, provide basic infrastructures and security at least in the shortest time possible. We do not need a president that will have to consult with his master before he implements any program for the citizenry and the country.


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