Towards 2019 elections, Three Alternative Candidates
We were three Nigerian youths with laptops and full bellies enjoying the miraculous power supplied to us.
Unnaturally the conversation shifted from the need for international exposure, romantic relationships to Nigerian politics and the 2019 elections.
Oby Ezekwesili announced recently that she had an agenda to stop APC and PDP in the 2019 elections. She was committed to actively campaigning for the best candidates of all other parties in the election except in rare cases where the APC and PDP field new minds with strong records of public interest.
That was when it began. The midnight thought was on to see if we could pluck from all the names flying above our heads and create political couples that can rally nationwide support towards creating sustainable change.
This experiment was founded on the presence of an ideal situation, where voting and party lines did not carry weight, where zoning was a non factor and Nigerians were completely detribalised and where strong economic track record alongside public policy experience were key factors looked for in potential candidates instead of mottos and slogans.
Despite setting the rules in our bubble existence,we still struggled to find people who fit the bill. Here’s how we did, let us know your thoughts in the comment box.
Fela Durotoye and Biola Alabi
This pair had a big hand in kick starting the conversation. A picture bearing both names had circulated around social media announcing their intention to run for the highest office in the land.
Young Nigerians who were licking their lips in anticipation were forced to wake up when they both came out to deny any ambition for office.
Fela Durotoye is a motivational speaker passionate about Nigeria and constantly projecting his ideas via social media while Biola Alabi is a corporate hotshot famous for her remarkable stint at M-Net Africa.When their names came up, it got shot down by comments about how leadership was beyond good English and a strong social media following.
However, advocates of this pair believe that at some point in the future, they might stand a chance and ride on a wave similar to the ‘Trump phenomenon’ in a nation that is fast becoming sick of recycled politicians. They also note with caution how outside candidates like Fela and Biola must dedicate time and effort to building long-term support from the grassroots.
Donald Duke and Attahiru Jega
Enter Donald Duke and Attahiru Jega. Donald Duke is the suave gentleman who led the affairs of Cross River State from 1999 to 2007. Lauded as being forward thinking and progressive due to projects like the Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race and Tinapa Resort, he retains a lot of goodwill among Nigerians.
He had plans to try his hands at the highest office in 2007 but he stood by his party’s decision. Duke would be a huge winner among Nigerian youths who are desperate for someone with fresh ideas.
To match the political savvy Duke is Nigerian academic and former INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission ) chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega who is well liked for the reforms engineered during his stint as INEC boss. Also a former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU), Jega appears to be passionate about institutional and political reforms.
So we are having a forward thinking President Duke and a reformist V.P in Jega, what can possibly go wrong? Well if we are to poke our bubble a little bit, the long played zoning game might work against Duke with the present political order seeming to pay him no mind.
As for Jega, he has massive credibility having driven organisational change in INEC . The question is, will he be given the opportunity and can he deliver on a national scale ?
Peter Obi and Amina Mohammed
Peter Obi is regarded as one of the few financially astute individuals in the circle of Nigerians who have been involved in governance. This position was reinforced by Obi’s performance at the socio-political flagship event that ‘The Platform’ has grown to become. His talk on cutting cost in governance generated positive opinion on social media with a lot of people talking him up for the highest position in the land.
With a solid educational background and a track record of corporate excellence, who better to partner Obi with than the selfless Amina J. Mohammed?
Amina J. Mohammed is currently the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and a former Minister of Environment in Nigeria. Incredibly passionate about service and creating opportunities.
However there are concerns that Peter Obi still has strong ties to the Nigerian establishment which may hinder the sweeping changes needed while Amina Mohammed has been accused of impropriety in timber export, an allegation that she strongly denied.
No matter how we sit down and permutate history, Nigerian political establishment have always surprised us with unknown picks that have ridden to power; Yemi Osinbanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. I cannot wait for what 2019 will throw at us, but we must remember that we must do our part by registering to vote and supporting candidates we believe in.
Continue the conversation in the comments section and share your thoughts on ‘alternative’ candidates.