I watch and read with consternation the growing debates and conversations, on traditional/social media, over choice of political candidates for 2019 general elections, in particular, the Presidency.
Sadly, little seem learnt from our sad political and socioeconomic history occasioned, in the main, by horrible leadership. Views seem riven by selfish parochial interests than altruism for the country.
Perspectives are unabashedly driven by barely concealed tribalism, north/south divide, personal greed, silly cult worship of leaders and lack of mental depth in analyses. Thus, views are often peppered with mudslinging, abuses, emotional rage and outright falsification and denial of facts. All to the benefit of an entrenched rogue elite and decadent political system.
But our country deserves better. It has been rolling inexorably, over the decades, to the precipice of political and socioeconomic destruction. We do not, therefore, have the luxury of selfish vituperation and destructive elements seeking to push Nigeria over into the abyss. We must rise as a people to assess our core challenges. To choose leaders who can deliver on these challenges if we must achieve national prosperity.
I have listed below, seven critical areas of agenda, with which we can assess candidates seeking elective offices. You may add more. My select seven are:
1. Poverty alleviation for the over 100 million citizens living below poverty line today.
2. Manufacturing & Industrial productivity growth (which today is less than 5%) and diversification to cut our dependence on oil which today provides over 90% of our national import revenues. This should be cut drastically to less than 20% in 4 years.
3. Massive investments in social services delivery: health, education, water, housing which are abandoned and decrepit until today
4. Wholistic strategy to eliminate widespread corruption and enthrone integrity, ethics, and others as national core values.
5. A nationwide and comprehensive Infrastructural development strategy and plans with projects, financing and execution details.
6. Political and socioeconomic restructuring to stop free sharing of oil revenues and to drive Nigeria’s local and global economic competitiveness and modernization.
7. Effective image rebranding to boost foreign investors’ confidence in the economy and ensure massive FDI inflows.
On the basis of 10 points for each of the seven agenda, what will your choice candidate score? What would other candidates score compared to your candidate? What will be the basis for you awarding the scores in terms of candidates’ stated plans on each agenda (as articulated in projects, strategies, plans, objectives, milestones and timelines), capacity, pedigree, experience, achievements, credibility, clear vision etc What also may be the impact of your candidate’s plans within a year in respect of the following:
• Improved GDP, Income & wages, unemployment rate, inflation, currency strength, interest rates, corporate profits, balance of trade
• Growth in the stock market, startup businesses, manufacturing, retail sales, housing & real estate and standard of living of our poor and most vulnerable.
I believe these will help us assess our candidates more rigorously and enable us make the right choices of leadership for the sake of country and all of us.