JKF and this nation-building task | The Guardian Nigeria News

Whoever becomes president of Nigeria in 2023 will severely curse his luck. First, he or she will inherit nearly empty cash, a hangover, and more creditors trying to pay off maturing loans. Second, a country widely divided and without security. Third, a people still fantasizing about the idea of ​​a God-ordained miracle worker who should tackle all the problems and change the country overnight. In their impatience, the population will threaten social tension through and further distract the rulers. So no matter which way the president is looking, the numbers don’t add up. It is neither a prophecy of doom nor an express prediction by an astronomer. These are all realities of our lives and a reward for the perpetual mismanagement of our country.

The paradox is that the post-Buhari era is already likely to be worse than the malaise Nigerians seek to heal. The reason for this is that the disorder created fortuitously by incompetent leadership will reach its full gestation in 2023. Insecurity will determine the governability of the country, while weak economic prospects will determine its ability to survive. Anyone in doubt should take a look at the crisis in Sri Lanka. And that’s why the next president matters more than just a general election. Unfortunately, it does not seem that the majority of our political elites are aware of the task ahead of them. Otherwise, the scramble for the next president would have transcended more political pageantry than the recruitment process has become for aspiring presidents.

Clearly, the task at hand will be daunting and a good reason why the South should side with candidates like John Kayode Fayemi (JKF) – strictly on the merit of his credentials. Personally, I have seen the Governor of Ekiti State at work and heard him talking about problems. He showed a rare understanding of the problems with Nigeria and a clear-headedness about the step-by-step requirements to solve them in a sustainable way. This is how you fight for the highest office in a country at its tipping point and have a good chance of being handed the bend. His candidacy has good merits which should also be the yardstick to measure others aiming to bully their way to Aso Rock in 2023.

First of all, Fayemi has both the personality and the drive to lead a modern Nigeria in a fiery 21st century world. With a PhD in war studies from King’s College, University of London, he is steeped in civil-military relations and a world-renowned public intellectual. His research and policy interests, which include democratization, constitutionalism, security sector governance, and regionalism, have earned him footprints in global affairs. And he is a formidable character to have in charge of affairs in times of peace or war! In international affairs where the perception of a country’s frontline ambassadors is just as important as the strength of the state, Fayemi, 57, carries the intelligence of a credible Nigerian voice that can speak and be heard, and negotiate more favorably for the Nigerian state. With such a quality of conscience and experience in astute diplomacy, Nigeria will no longer be a plaything in the game of world politics.

However, the presidency is not just about personal excellence, the subtleties of rhetoric and the discipline of logic. There must be more to demand of applicants. And that prompts the second point worth noting in Fayemi. He is also a proven practitioner in the public sphere and the game of Nigerian politics. He did not emerge overnight or accidentally as a two-term Governor of Ekiti State, Minister of Steel and Solid Minerals and incumbent Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). He actually began his foray into leadership as a student union leader at the University of Lagos, and has been a consistent voice for civil society and the political movement, with a pan-Nigerian and pan-African vision without shame. He is a tireless advocate for human rights and democratic governance dating back to the military era. He is a thoroughbred Nigerian who knows the country inside out.

Third, he is also trustworthy and capable. Trustworthy to support Nigerian unity. Able to mend his flaws. To him belongs the clear vision, the clear thought process and the program of action to etch a national renaissance on the solid foundation of true federalism and decentralization of governance for efficiency. Clearly, the starting point of his Marshall Action Plan is relevant: tackling insecurity with a carrot and stick approach. He was right when he declared the implementation of a holistic and integrated response to multifaceted security crises in his declaration speech.

It starts with the re-equipment of the armed forces, intelligence agencies and border guards, all in tandem with a complete overhaul of the police system. To complete the fight, crime must be deterred by progressively implementing bold universal social policies that will decisively tackle poverty and improve human capital. “With this in mind, the deliberate expansion of employment opportunities, youth entrepreneurship, skills development and innovation, support for the weak and vulnerable as we have done in Ekiti State for the elderly, and the socio-economic empowerment of women will be treated as a dimension of our overall response to the costly security crises that have destabilized us, as will the pursuit of broad social protection policies that are part of a new agreement between state and society and the empowerment of citizens,” he said.

By extension, the adoption of broad socio-economic measures that strengthen national capacity to combat insecurity has continued alongside investments in strengthening the deterrent capacity of the state through its armed forces, of its security agencies and police authorities. “Authority, legitimacy, deterrence and rapid response go hand in hand, just as we need to better articulate economic policies with broad social goals and goals of political inclusiveness towards a well-defined outcome, namely lasting peace. , stability and progress of our country. And let there be no doubt: to ensure that the economy serves broader social and political goals that strengthen human and state security, stem poverty and promote national prosperity, my program for Nigeria encompasses attention issues of productivity, diversification, domestic value addition, investments and incentives for research, development and innovation, and the expansion of domestic revenue mobilization, among others.

Not done, Fayemi has an agenda to accelerate infrastructure modernization and expansion through public investment and private sector partnerships while simultaneously ensuring that we enforce accountability and achieve better value for money. In the same way, a major rescue and investment program for the education sector, the health system, the civil service and the local government system will begin, to reorient each of them towards the task of overall national development, progress and prosperity. . “Each of these areas can benefit much more from a deliberate and systematic deployment of digital technologies according to its context; opportunities will be pursued as an integral part of our revival program,” Fayemi hinted.

Talk may be cheap, but in hindsight, these are clear strategic action plans from a deft hand that knows how to rebuild from rubble. And it’s a blueprint that has rarely been seen among presidential hopefuls. Without a doubt, Dr. Fayemi is worth his weight in gold when it comes to strategy and development. He has the credentials of a president who should not be rattled or sucked into the current mess. Born in Nigeria’s first decade of independence, he has seen the country work before and he remains patriotic and determined to make it work again – for all, not the few. Therefore, to him belongs that standard that others should uphold and a reason to still hope for a new Nigeria that will soar – not waver – in the post-Buhari era.

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