Date Published: 11/26/09
Introducing the Realistic President for 2011 By Saka Raji Audu
He was born some fifty five years ago to a humble and God fearing family in the ancient city of the Pyramid State. His parent sent him to school to acquire both western and Islamic education so that he could be useful to himself and the society. He tried as much as possible to be of good behavior through out the duration of his studies. He came out in flying colours, both in knowledge and character, having attended and graduated from Aminu Kano Community College and Ahmadu Bello University.
It was then time for him to serve the society and system that produced him. He started as a teacher so that he can also impart the same knowledge he got to the people for the growth of the community. He did this successfully for many years and his contribution to the growth of knowledge was highly acknowledged by the people. He had also served diligently in various rank and file of the civil service.
As a result of the bad government we had that produced so many crises in the society, he was called upon to take the mantle of a higher leadership responsibility through the popular vote of the people called "democracy". He became the governor of his state. He rolled out his action plan and did his best to give the people purposeful leadership, which was highly cheered. His people became satisfied with the level of achievements he recorded for them.
They are particularly grateful and noted with nostalgia the reduction in the crime rate and social convulsions. He put checks on the bastardisation of the society values that are fast being eroded by alien culture. He knows what it means to be educated. So, he invested heavily and paid high premium on education by providing enabling environment for learning. Health, as we know, is wealth. To enable the people have access to basic health care, he abolished hospital cards and employed qualified medical personnel. Drugs were provided for both in and out patients. There was relative stability in power supplies as some villages in the pyramid state were provided with electricity and connected to the national grid. Electricity transformers were also distributed among the villages and towns. Teachers in the state came to realize that their reward is not only in heaven but also on earth because they are well treated.
Road rehabilitations and construction of link roads to decongest the ever increasing traffic are other areas of his achievements. He ensured high level of accountability and transparency through the establishment of anti-corruption agency. His administration, on monthly basis publishes all incomes and expenditures of the government to give room for public checks and balances. As a detribalized man of impeccable substance, he accommodates people of divergent ethno-religious affiliations in his administration. His unprecedented achievements have attracted and greeted with public acceptance through awards and conferment of prestigious titles across the country.
In the areas of stability and peaceful co-habitation, there has been relative peace in the state and this in particular gave impetus to the various progress and developments that have been taking place in the pyramid state for the past six years. As a democrat, he knows the dynamics of power and what democracy stands to achieve. It is in this retrospect that his people and the progressive people of Nigeria want this man to be entrusted with the leadership of the country, having tested and trusted his capabilities. They are calling on him to contest for the 2011 Presidential election because they know that he will be in position to move the country from her present baggage of hopelessness to development, progress and sanity. This man is no other personality than MALAM (DR) IBRAHIM SHEKARAU, the Sardaunan Kano and the man, who in spite of all odds, broke the Kano political jinx by being the first governor to administer Kano twice, which most people of the state had baselessly thought it was a taboo.
Some political pundits would like to argue that Shekarau's performance credential qualifies him to contest for the 2011 presidential election, the opposition party that may present him is not strong enough to make him win the election unless he cross-carpets to the so called big party of PDP. In the valid belief of Governor Shekarau, it amounts to betrayal of trust for a politician to be given mandate in one political party and later jump to another party with other party's mandate. This type of action, he says, has a serious moral burden on the politician, and therefore, he, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau would not be part of such bandwagon device. This explains why he has remained the only man standing in his north-west geo-political zone.
At a time when politics has become a 'do or die' affair, where desperation to win election at all costs becomes the dominant paradigm, only an extremely few politicians would assume the posture of not joining the bandwagon device. This is one reason why some politicians leave their party in search of greener pasture in another party. It therefore beholds that if the Nigerian electorates really believe in what the Sardaunan Kano can offer to them in terms of socio-economic advancement of the country, it does not really matter what platform of the political parties he seeks the people's mandate. It happened in the north-central of the former Kwara State in 1983 when a certain Pious Lasisi won the House of Assembly Seat on the banner of GNPP, a place where NPN and UPN were the bandwagon and domineering parties before the military junta rudely intervened.
In any case, there is no state of the federation where ANPP has not got base, no matter how weak or powerful. If for instance, Shekarau gets the nod of his party to fly her flag for 2011 presidential election, the 774 chapters in each local government including ANPP members and well wishers in the Diaspora should be able to effectively coordinate and mobile the local people in support of Shekarau's candidature for 2011 contest. One is also convinced that from the good record of Governor Shekarau, there are many lovers of Shekarau across the breadth and wide of the country that are in other political parties and who are ever ready to cast their precious votes for Shekarau as President of Nigeria by 2011.
Having done with the above, the next issue the political pundits would raise is the issue of whether or not Shekarau has the money to win the 2011 presidential election in view of the fact that "Nigerian politics" has been seriously monetized, in which only the highest bidder carries the day. Although, money politics has really eaten down the fibre of our national political psyche, this factor alone contributed immensely to the endemic corrupt practices that have invaded our society and has in turn caused serious havoc and disaster to the country's progress and development. We must however and in all sincerity of purpose try to stop this ugly political trend that has caused us more harm than good. It is in realization of this fact that no one should expect money from Shekarau or his agents to exercise his civic responsibility. This is because any thing built on corruption would certainly crumble and does not last. This is particularly why our ten years of democracy has been in a state of rancor, hopelessness and disaster. We should therefore be able to make change by casting our powerful votes for Governor Shekarau because of his ability, strength of character, goodwill and integrity.
It is by exercising this civic responsibility that our leaders can be responsible enough to give the country the desired dividends of democracy, progress and advancement. It is also by doing so that the electorate can honestly assess and evaluate their leaders and in the event of none performance, they would have the moral rectitude to condemn and use the same powerful votes to remove such none performing leader.
But if we continue to think in line with how much one gets to be able to exercise one's voting right, then we should not expect our leaders to live up to our expectations because we could not simply had our cake and would still want to eat it. One is however not unmindful of the fact that as a result of the chronic poverty pervading the nation, there is the implication of people being susceptible to money- politics. It was in realization of the high level of poverty among the people due to diversion of public fund meant for development that made the national Chairman of PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor to feel that PDP would rule for 60 years or take over Kano and Lagos in 2011 at all costs, knowing full well how much of public fund his party has diverted to purchase the electorates preparatory to 2011 election.
Essentially, what PDP leadership requires from the masses is just votes and not their welfare. This is why we must not allow this type of anti-masses show of shame to happen again as the 2011 beckons. As a matter of fact, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau is a good example of how absence of money-politics can spur a leader to perform creditably for the interest of the masses. In 2003, PDP deployed and distributed huge sums of money so that Shekarau could be defeated. This was in addition to deployment of the federal might against the humble man, but all these went in vain as the Kano people massively voted and defended such votes in favour of Shekarau. In 2007, similar thing happened. There was internal conspiracy by some powerful party men who were jealous and envious of Shekarau's marvelous mass oriented achievements. They jacked up the cost of the governorship form, believing that Shekarau being a transparent and God-fearing leader who deprive them of the desire to loot the public fund, would not get money to purchase his second term governorship form.
As a result of the many good things Shekarau did for the Kano masses, the Kano Pensioners in particular contributed money to purchase the second term governorship form for Shekarau to contest. In spite of all sorts of blackmails by some of his party caucus and the PDP to cripple the second term ambition of Shekarau, he went, saw and conquered at the poll. This was how he broke the Kano political jinx.
In conclusion, therefore, no one can pull down any person God has exalted. Whether or not Shekarau can win the presidency of this country is a matter of divine decision. Should ANPP decide to choose Shekarau as her flag bearer for 2011and heaven backs it up, no mortal can do otherwise. As a Nigerian and a humble servant to his people, Shekarau has the track record that qualifies him for any political position in this country. No individual or group of people, no mater how highly placed and powerful they are, should not think that they can take decision(s) against the wish and desire of the entire populace. In view of this, Shekarau stands a good chance of winning the election of 2011 as the President if his party nominates him since he is healthy, energetic, project and human oriented, and prudent in financial management as well as enviably transparent in all his dealings. Nigerians need nothing less than these qualities.
Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email: firstname.lastname@example.org