Excerpt from Y! Magazine – Issue 4
We searched for and found supporters of the four major candidates for the presidency, and here share their perspectives on why their choice is the best. You should enjoy this!
Why Ribadu Matters
by Feyi Fawehinmi
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu
Nigerian politics is not yet at the point where democratic institutions have taken deep root so the type of leader we have sends a lot of signals down the food chain which in turn gives the government whatever character it is seen to have.
The President does not need to patrol every ministry unannounced to make our civil servants sit up at their desks. He only needs to send a strong enough signal, in word and in deed, that things will no longer be as they have and people will sit up.
Similarly, we need leadership that will send a strong signal to the rest of the world, that things are different now so we can attract the quality foreign investment we need along with the skills transfer this would bring.
But most of all, we need leadership that sends a strong signal to every Nigerian that things have well and truly changed and after so many false starts, our country can finally get going. One man cannot unwind our totally corrupt system but he can at least introduce punishment into the system so that people know that there will consequences for robbing the nation. A system whereby people facing trial for corruption are awarded multi million naira contracts sends out all the wrong signals to the clerk in the ministry.
Nuhu Ribadu’s candidacy excites me. For one, I know that the ONLY way he can be President is if Nigerians come out in their numbers to vote for him. Perhaps in my lifetime, this will be the first real transfer of power from the people, via a mandate, to a man they have deemed worthy of presiding over the affairs of the nation. He cannot rig his way into office neither can he buy his way to the Presidency.
I am also excited by the fact that this candidacy is getting a lot of its power from those who will own this country tomorrow. Those who will be called next. I need not bore you with the man’s biography or achievements. His Wikipedia page has all the information you need.
A foolish consistency, they say, is the hobgoblin of small minds; the time for doing the same thing ‘one more time’ hoping for a different result is gone now. It is getting boring even. No word has been as much abused as the word ‘change’ especially when it comes to politics and campaign. And because Nigeria cries out for change so obviously, change has become a single door through which a throng of politicians try to run through at the same time whenever elections approach leaving the race not to the best but to the most thuggish.
But I can make my decision based on those who indeed brought change when they had the chance to do so. Anyone can brandish a credit card with change written all over it. At some point, real cash will have to be involved to complete the transaction.
I am 32 years old. I was born in Nigeria. I believe a new Nigeria is possible. And on April 9th I will vote for Nuhu Ribadu as the man best able to deliver the vision of Nigeria I have when I close my eyes and imagine the possibilities. I am voting Nuhu Ribadu because Nigeria is crying out for positive change and nothing says change like his candidacy not just a change in the choice of headgear. Y!
Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan and You
by Dumo Lulu-Briggs
The right to education is unalienable and must be guaranteed every Nigerian. No government has a responsibility greater than to ensure the education of the next generation. Twenty six years ago (1981-1986) was the last time we had four years of uninterrupted university education in Nigeria. It’s common knowledge that Nigerian university graduates are products of a chequered and compromised system which is ranked among the lowest in the world.
With one of the world’s lowest life expectancy rates (44 years), Nigeria also sadly records one of the highest child mortality rates (178/1000) and maternal death rates (1,000/100,000). In simple terms, about 178 children born in Nigeria die before they reach age five. Shouldn’t we strive to change these statistics?
Nigerians are willing and able to work. Yet, 20% of skilled Nigerians find no work. A greater number are underemployed. The businesses which ought to provide the jobs strive instead of thrive because a huge chunk of their operating expense goes to generating their own power. In the face of untold helplessness coupled with an eroded value system, our youths have resorted to employing themselves as themselves as kidnappers, armed robbers and cultists. Isn’t it time to put our people first, fix what is wrong with our economy and create a prosperity circle to accommodate every Nigerian, even those who live in the shadow of life?
Nigerians have patiently endured treachery from their leaders; leaders that have punished the facts with embroidery. These empty leaders are even now tired of simulating a grief they don’t feel or an affection they don’t bear. It is time the hoe begins to till the soil.
The challenges we face as a nation are gigantic and they require solutions that match their size. Who better to captain the ship of State in these stormy seas than the man whose story is our story; who has demonstrated a heart and a head to steer the country to safety, stability, and security? President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, the fisherman’s son from Otuoke, is the man.
In just eight months in office, President Goodluck Jonathan has created a list of unprecedented and concrete achievements which touch on the lives of everyday Nigerian. He has removed the pain of fuel scarcity from our daily endurance test; unveiled a credible road-map to stable and uninterrupted power supply and is walking the talk to actualize this plan which will forever lay to rest the power crisis in Nigeria. He has approved nine new universities; and improved funding for existing ones. He is A thinker and scholar, he is in constant dialogue with the Academic Staff Union of Universities to maintain school calendars, ensure better remuneration, and training for teachers.
Our President has taken bold steps in ensuring universal and quality health care delivery and activated the “Save the Child” Programme to keep babies and their mothers alive. With uncommon courage, President Goodluck Jonathan has taken on the massive task of addressing the issues that stunt our economy and he has implemented programmes that have kick started our economy and these programmes are complemented with long-termed programmes that would expand our economy, stimulate business and create the much needed jobs. He has stated without equivocation that the Niger Delta question will be appropriately and adequately addressed.
In a continent spotted with leaders that disregard the electoral process, our President has pledged that our votes will count, effectively handing over power to “we the people” and he has put his money where his mouth is by strengthening our electoral commission. Undoubtedly, change is coming our way and there is plenty of unease in the camps of oppression, entrenched interests are threatened and they respond with terrorism and threats of same. Those who have for fifty years held Nigeria hostage and forced us to an addiction to silence, despair and emptiness; who have presided over a prosperity that has left 80% of her people behind; those who say we are too young today to be something and shall be too old tomorrow to be anything are working to thwart our collective resolve for good governance. But, we are not shaken. It’s not Jonathan they fight, but our liberation. But we say “Never again!”
Let he that desires the good life cast the first vote for President Goodluck Jonathan. Y!
Buhari We Did Not Know! Now We Know!
By Babasola Kuti
In 2011, General Muhammad Buhari (GMB) is not alone. He’s supported by a team of volunteers online and offline who never voted for him before. We didn’t vote for him, because we didn’t know. We didn’t know that he supervised and birthed our only existing refineries. We didn’t know that what he did in road construction while in the PTF hasn’t been matched by 12 years of the PDP, even though some claimed they were lopsided. We didn’t know that in his time as head of state he reduced inflation from 23% to 4%, by fiscal discipline and a homegrown economic team (not achieved under any other era, even military). We didn’t know that there was no religious crisis while he led Nigeria. We didn’t know that J.J. Rawlings of Ghana took over 2 years before him, and killed all the corrupt leaders, while GMB merely gave his own, long-term jail sentences. We didn’t know that the hospitals and universities around the country never witnessed as much benefits they got from the PTF from any government after or before his time. We did not know, that this man despite serving in senior capacity in the oil sector, has no petrol station, much less a rig, refinery or an oil block like so many of our leaders. We never voted him, because we did not know. But now we know. We know that he has followership in the north that money can’t buy. We know that those who follow him are poor, and follow him out of ope and belief in his values. I have met old men who know him, who have said, “All I need from Buhari is his word, I can take it to the bank”. Now we know that here is someone that has been in everything to make him an IBB or Danjuma, but didn’t take that road. We feared he was an Islamic fundamentalist, but he challenged us to provide any human being who can point at anything he did to show that. Now we know, that it’s about the values. The only former head of state that does not own a house in Abuja. Shine your eyes o! This is my take.. What is yours? Y!
2011: Between Jonathan, Buhari and Shekarau
As it is today, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau is the only credible, determined and upright presidential candidate in the race. This is a four man race – Jonathan, Buhari, Ribadu, and Shekarau. Though Shekarau belongs to an opposition party, his chances of defeating Goodluck Jonathan, Muhammadu Buhari and Nuhu Ribadu is very bright.
Given the circumstance in which the other trio find themselves, Shekarau is surely going to have an easy ride to Aso Villa in the April 9, 2011 presidential election. This is the simple arithmetic. Buhari, Ribadu and Shekarau. Among this three, only Shekarau has democratic experience and the pedigree to get Nigeria to the Promised Land, having successfully administered volatile state as Kano for eight years with clear achievements to show under democratic milieu.
Shekarau’s integrity, peaceful conduct of his state affairs, detribalized postures, etc are legendary. He should be more appealing to the aggrieved northern PDP leaders than Buhari and Ribadu. This is how Shekarau will receive more votes than Jonathan, Buhari and Ribadu.
PS: Last week, Prof Pat Utomi stepped down from the presidential race and endorsed Shekarau with these words, “I remain committed to institution building and will work with any person of goodwill to build a new Nigeria. In that regard one of my discoveries on this journey has been Kano State Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, who I commend to my friends and supporters.”
Finally, as we prepare for the 9th April presidential election, we should know that Governor Ibrahim Shekarau has comparative advantage over and above the rest of the presidential candidates. Y!