– By Comrade Ifeanyi Daniel Ofodum
“Good leadership is what it takes to make good things happen.” – Atiku Abubakar
The 2015 general elections in Nigeria, if not for anything, changed the political narrative of this nation, altered the structures of our political matrix, and birthed a new political paradigm within our political stratosphere. Never in the history of our political lineage has a propagandist theory influenced the outcome of a presidential election.
But with four years of the incumbent political leadership going down history lane, one would summarily assert that the ‘change mantra’ was nothing other than a political charade driven by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to gain political power for pecuniary interest(s) rather than a paradigm shift in the processes of governance driven by a patriotic spirit.
The ‘perceived’ weakness of the Jonathan-led government was the precipice this propagandist campaign for ‘change’ leveraged upon to produce the ‘messianic’ Muhammadu Buhari-led government with a promise to transform the matrices of governance across all sectors of the polity to produce a better livelihood for the citizenry.
But four years down the line, the ‘change agenda’ has only remained a success in the realm of propaganda, leaving one to wonder what might have been had the Otuoke-born messiah and real agent of transformation continued in office.
The anticipation in 2015 was that a Buhari-led government would not just fight corruption and corrupt public office holders but will create institutional framework for sustainable socio-economic development whilst integrating all interest groups into the mainstream of our socio-political system through policy intervention initiatives.
But four years down the line, corruption and political looting took an ultra-dimensional proportion under the ‘change agenda’; at the mention of the name APC, you are transformed from a ‘sinner’ to a Saint in spite of all the charges against you.
Four years down the line, the agitation for self-determination and restructuring dominated the social discourse because we have been divided across ethnic lines with cabalistic politics of calumny, capitulation, clandestinity, chauvinism, and calamitous 97/5percent developmental policy equation that makes some wonder if they are still bonafide citizens of the State.
Four years down the line, still, recession, cash-crunch, unemployment, poverty, hunger, untold miseries, suicidal tendencies and death became synonymous with the term ‘change’.
Four years down the line, still, ‘snake’ swallowed money in millions, ‘cows’ caused the death of thousands, ‘pythons’ danced to the death of hundreds, and rats cum roaches restricted the running of governance in full responsibility of the Commander-in-Chief; one can only wonder whether we are now a ‘Zoological Republic’ as opinionated by the paradigmatic cum prophetic Mazi Nnamdi Kanu?
As the 2019 battle for the Villa rages, we are faced with two realistic political options in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); with a third alternative being a change in the status quo.
In January 2018, I advocated for ‘The Third Alternative’ in one of my articles in view of the thinking that Nigeria needs a break away from the old models of politicking and political processes to make room for ‘The New’; a new-breed of socio-political cum economic patriots and technocrats that carry the burden of nation-building at heart.
This third alternative is predicated on creating a new political model, a new political methodology, a new political mentality, a new political perspective, a new political strategy, a new political aura, and a new political paradigm that is devoid of party sentiments and personal dogmatism. It is projected to be a coalition of Youths, Technocrats, Patriots, Progressives and Proponents of the New Nigeria Project under one political umbrella.
But the political reality in today’s Nigeria in view of the 2019 Elections is that ‘The Third Alternative’ lacks the political paraphernalia to wrest power from the incumbent in the next political dispensation.
Rather than unite under one political umbrella, just like the alliance of political parties in 2015 that produced ‘The Alternative’-APC that defeated the incumbent PDP, ‘The Third Alternative’ has created multiple political platforms in pursuit of the same objective – The Presidency; such strategy, as good as it seems on a personal level, cannot match the political capacity of the existing options in APC and PDP thus lacks the political clout to make any significant impact at the national level.
However, the good news is that ‘The Third Alternative’ have started on a bright note by producing young progressives contesting for the highest political office in the land thereby making in-roads to political stake-holding at the national level; thus if the current momentum is sustained beyond 2019, and this coalition of young progressives established under one political umbrella, I strongly believe that 2023 and beyond would be a realistic political dispensation to takeover.
Now, with all due respect to all presidential aspirants, the two realistic options before us for 2019 is between the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, and the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Now, having Buhari-ed Nigeria with the people’s mandate for the past four years with little or nothing to show for it in juxtaposition to the promised ‘change agenda’, it is now time to Atikulate Nigeria with a new mandate on a ‘JOBS AGENDA’ that seeks to create Jobs for the unemployed, create Opportunity for all and sundry, create the enabling environment for Businesses to thrive, and to create the requisite Security apparatus to guarantee safety of lives and properties in the new political dispensation.
In categorical terms, the realistic option before us for 2019 to wrest power from the incumbent in order to set Nigeria on the path progressive development rather than the propagandist path of recession and retrogression is Atiku Abubakar!!
Having served as a Vice President under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007, the impact of their administration laid the foundational structure for democracy to thrive in Nigeria.
As a former head of Nigeria’s Economic Management Team, he superintended the macroeconomic stability and transformation of critical sectors of the economy such as the consolidation in the banking sector and the opening up of the telecommunications sector that are major employers of labour in the country today. These reformations brought about stability of the exchange rate of the Naira, reduction in inflation rate, and the payment of the national debts to avoid economic recession.
As an astute entrepreneur with business tentacles spread across different sectors of the economy rather than a mere cattle-rearer devoid of economic pragmatism, Atiku Abubakar has a practical knowledge of economic dynamics and knows what needs to be done through policy interventions to boost economic activities across the personal, micro, and macroeconomic levels of our economic strata.
With his hands-on-deck approach to governance rather than a flight-to-flight approach, he believes that confronting the challenges of modern day governance with his depth in state-craft can only lead to good leadership; and good leadership is what it takes to make good things happen in Nigeria and for Nigerians.
But the million dollar question remains, will all interests represented in the party and the Leadership Elite in Nigeria work as a united font to support this destiny-beckoning objective in spite of personal grievances? Only the polls will tell!
Let’s move from Buharinomics to Atikunation!! I am Atikulated!!!
Comrade Ifeanyi Daniel Ofodum (Danfod) –
Author & National Transformation Advocate;
Lead Resource Person – Passion & Living Resources Int’l.