Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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is the season for make-believe when reality is suspended in favor of fantasy. Old codgers become spry, villains become saints, and politicians peddle howling whoppers to masses swathed in euphoric amnesia. Neither the liar nor the lied-to wish to admit their culpability in the impairment of the incumbent nor incoming administration. Neither do they want the responsibility of electing individuals capable of ensuring a collaborative rebuilding of a better nation.

So, we do the song and dance:

"If elected, what would your administration do?" asks the hard-hitting moderator.

"My first line of action is to end the threat of Boko Haram." The candidate pronounces, adjusting his babariga and settling into the "hot seat." He was adroit at this game. After all, he's been here before. Same questions, same answers. Promises. Promises. Promises.

Before we get to turning water into ogogoro, and multiplying jollof rice and asun, let's take a moment to consider some criteria for leadership:

  • Track record: Many of the frontrunners have been here before. They are not unknown entities and thus, we don't have to dig deep to uncover their track record. Our people say, "a leopard cannot change its spots…" Thus, what they did before, if given another opportunity, they will do again.

  • Capabilities as demonstrated by track: Is this candidate capable of delivering what s/he is promising? If all you have to recommend you is that you're not the incumbent, perhaps we should stick with a known devil.

  • Running mates: These days, we seem to think a vice president position is of no account thus, a former vice president is not culpable in the in/actions of the administration in which s/he served. Why would we entertain such erroneous thoughts? If a vice president is of no account, why not elect a goat to fill the seat?

  • Vision: what empowerment plan does the candidate have for the masses? At the end of the day, the crux of Nigeria's problems is unemployment otherwise known as too many people, too few jobs. Whether we look at kidnapping, terrorism, armed robbery, and vagrancy, we find a common root cause of unemployed youth. Thus, resolving this one issue, would have a major impact on settling others. The candidate of choice must acknowledge issues on the ground, their connectedness, and possess a clear vision for fixing it.