Close your eyes for a moment and just imagine that Professor Kingsley Moghalu, Nigeria’s brightest mind running for office, actually won the presidential elections. APC and PDP had had interesting but gruesome campaigns that decimated each other’s voter base such that the popular vote went to a third force—The Young Progressives Party.
You may think it wishful thinking but this was the exact case when an unknown Sir Michael Otedola emerged Governor of Lagos State in 1992 after Chief Dapo Sarumi and Professor Femi Agbalajobi went head to head in a bitter contest that weakened by their political bases.
Drawing parallels with the political climate of Lagos in 1992 and today’s national interplay may seem outlandish until you realize that the same political actors back then are still very much around today. More worrisome is the fact that these actors have not changed at all. They touted one-man agendas back then, lording their choices on the electorate and this is what they have continued to do, even today. In 2019, they are going to tell you that you have no choice but their ‘strongman’ who has failed on matters of economy, security, education, jobs, healthcare and even disaster management. They are going to showcase him as the slayer of corruption, even though corruption has been more institutionalized under the current arrangement than the last. One may argue that past administration was corrupt and this is true, but Jonathan opened employment opportunities to all Nigerians with fairness and the level of publicity that has not been seen during the current administration. Employment into the Central Bank of Nigeria , Federal Inland Revenue Service and many other government agencies since 2015 have been characterized by the kind of cronyism of any criminal organization.
Like a beautiful woman with self-worth issues, susceptible to falling for ‘bad guys,’ Nigerians have continued to abide ‘vagabonds in power’ as music maestro, Fela Kuti put it.
Plagued by all kinds of self-sabotaging emotionalism, we have set our country back nearly 50 years with the kinds of leaders we have let through the doors at Aso Rock since 1999. The fact that Nigerians are five times poorer in terms of the state of the economy is a testament to the fact that we do not know how to choose our leaders.
A leader does not have to share your faith, social affiliation or even, race to lead our country. When we choose a leader, we do not have to like him. And even though we have allowed sentiments guide the decision of who became president in the past, we must not do so now because Nigeria’s survival depends on it.
We heard Jonathan ‘had no shoes’ and we voted for him in 2011. We heard Buhari was ‘Mr. Zero-Corruption and we voted for him in 2015. In hindsight, these were bad choices comparative to the quality of intelligent people in Nigeria. As Soren Kierkegaard once said, ‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.’ Understanding what we did wrong on both occasions to help us do better in future elections is vital. We did not vote for competence but incompetence.
Competence should be all that matters my people, not sentiments. And if there is anyone more competent than Kingsley Moghalu then let us vote that person. Incompetence is why Nigeria is where it is today. Incompetence is why currency devaluation, unemployment, insurgency and pervasive poverty have worsened the lot for many Nigerians. We must own and correct this mistake in 2019 by voting for competence.
Many Nigerians pray to God to save Nigeria and make it a better country; and God has answered. Just like good and evil, He has set before us competence and incompetence. If we choose competence, many will live better, but if we choose incompetence, more will die. Don’t beat about the bush with your vote this time around. Don’t give four years of your life for N5,000 as some did during the gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun States. Don’t vote for people whose school certificates are in question, vote for someone who was a professor at one of the best universities in the world. Vote for competence. Vote Kingsley Moghalu for President.