I would want a pro-democracy activist. A steadfast democrat who stood firm in the spitfire storm of military rule, and canvassed for the return to democracy. One who used his resources to support democratic compatriots in their quest for transparent and good governance. That person that was a rallying point, even abroad, for like minds who emigrated to find exile and solace from military rule. Of course, this means that the person must have travelled widely, and is infused with global ideas and trends, and equipped with the requisite knowledge and experience to move my nation forward if called upon, or given the chance to do so.
I would want my next President to have passed the litmus test of administration. He should be a tested and trusted, with sterling and exemplary performances, that have yielded legacies. His legacies must be lasting ones to stand the test of time. Someone whose work, art, skill, or leadership prowess is one to behold, as a model for others to follow or mimmick.
The agency he has headed, or the state he has governed, should stand out as a tower of good and purposeful leadership. He must be a fine custodian of resources and a good creator of wealth, boosting the economic viability of the institutions he once called the shots for.
One cannot just be a good leader by creating wealth, developing resources and leaving lasting legacies. One must be a good leader by being a cradle of leadership, and a school of thought for the future. He should be able to identify like minds and skilled or able hands, that are good enough; better still, even better than him at what needs to be done, to move our institutions and the society at large, forward. Youths and budding leaders should be able to have confidence in him, that they will be given a chance to showcase their talents, gifts, knowledge and experience, as the contribution of their own quota to nation building. That regardless of religion, tribe, age and gender, they stand a chance to make it in governance, in business and in whatever industry they choose to belong to.
That leader must have a track record of building democratic institutions and platforms from the scratch, and not just an opportunistic politician, who is just ambitious to rule and rule only. He must be part of a rigorous struggle politically, learning and developing man management skills, maturing in emotional intelligence; while navigating the nooks and crannies of our country. He must reckon with, and assimilate the complexities of our diversities, with a view to accommodating our differences and harnessing our strengths. Just like General IBB said in a recent interview, the ideal President should be a household name and must have a nationwide base of friends across the country. He should have friends in Kaura Namoda, just as he has friends in Otukpo. He should be at home with people from Ogun State, just as he is at home with people from Borno State.
One cannot lead alone. He or she must have a good lieutenant or superintendent, that shares the same ideas for growth and development, and the same visions of nation building. His Vice should be someone that can at any time, shoulder the duties and responsibilities, as well as the sensibilities that come with the office. He should be someone he knows quite well, so that the corridors of power, do not mislead both of them to miss their lanes at the expense of the millions of people they govern. His Vice should be a trusted ally he can always depend on at the most difficult or trying times of their working relationship.
As an APC stalwart in my constituency, I am confident that we have the best duo ever in our party’s history, put forward to contest for the 2023 Presidential elections. Call them our best eleven just as football does, or the best double as tennis says. Call them our best tag team just as wrestlers say, or our best coach and captain. The Tinubu/ Kashim combo is the most formidable team out there. Look at their performances as governors for 8 years each, at different times facing numerous challenges. Tinubu was hounded by the Federal might of the time. Yet he remained unflustered and Lagos flourished more than ever before, and still does.
He had a well planned and orchestrated blueprint that is second to none in the entire continent. Kashim rebuilt Borno from the doldrums of terrorism and has left a fine successor to build upon his blueprint, and footprints in the sands of time, seeing to the emancipation struggle for the rebirth of Maiduguri and environs. Tinubu’s successors are equally spectacular. These two are like war veterans and at this crucial time in our nation’s history, who else do we need? Replicating Lagos in terms of revenue, accountability, development of satellite cities, rapid transit systems, technological villages, sea ports, autonomous local government areas or councils, and political stability & continuity, is what we must desire, if we truly mean well for our country and our people.
Tahir is Talban Bauchi.