Metropole Magazine

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27 Jan Written by  Japheth Omojuwa

The President Nigeria Needs in 2015

If everything goes according to the plans of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the presidential elections will hold on the 14th of February 2015. Apart from the general needs of every country, Nigeria has essential needs that must be dealt with by the next dispensation. One of such needs is the fight against corruption.

Depending on who you ask, the current administration of Dr. Jonathan Goodluck has succeeded in transforming Nigeria or it has failed woefully. There would be a lot of context to that argument. There have been oil boom cycles that ought to have sparked major foreign reserves savings and the increased funding of the Excess Crude Account which ironically continues to suffer depletion due to yet unclear withdrawals.

The fact that the government had to deal with unprecedented levels of insecurity is likely to stand the administration in good stead about defending itself before those who say it has not done as expected. Few will argue against the fact that this administration has failed to fight corruption. Some will argue for the sake of it but the Jonathan administration has failed to keep up with the previous fight against top-level corruption.

Nigeria would need a president with the balls to take corruption head on. Dr. Jonathan even as he continues to deny the fact that corruption is a major issue in Nigeria will never be in a position to fight the scourge. His body language, to quote the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in fact shows that he subtly supports impunity as long as those involved are cronies and allies.

The next president of Nigeria must be ready to take on vested interests. Nigeria continues to suffer under the weight of vested interests across all the spheres of its polity. We have powerful cabals running our petroleum industry, powerful forces behind smuggling, highly placed individuals behind women and child trafficking and what have you. Nigeria needs a bold president who’d forget about his re-election and indeed be ready to not just step on toes but even on faces for the sake of the Nigerian masses.

Nigeria needs a leader the country can unite around. The last time Nigerians were united around a political figure was in June 1993. That was 21 years ago and the country has repeatedly suffered from ethno-religious challenges fueled by selfish and desperate politicians ever since.

Our people need a leader that one would not remember upon seeing him as being from one part of the country but as being a true nationalist, competent enough to steer the country forward and passionate enough to drive the country around the Nigerian dream. One that’d help define the Nigerian dream. We don’t need a president that’d see government positions as currencies to be traded for political favours. These things can only continue to run the country down!

In 2015, Nigeria would have suffered more years of socio-economic retrogression if somehow we end up with yet another leader who knows next to nothing about how economies are run or what it means to be the leader of the world’s most populous black nation. We need a leader that can answer the question, “what do you stand for?” in the most refreshing and articulate way possible. In 2015, we need a leader that’d speak and immediately inspire belief in the populace.

The year 2015 is upon us. We cannot afford to risk getting a president with any less than the values described above. If by now we do not know that religious background and ethnic affinity have no bearing on the performance of a leader, we will of course never know. Nigeria needs a leader in 2015 and now is the right time to ask, 'who will be that leader?'