A couple of weeks ago, I was watching Moments with Mo Abudu on TV when she had as her guests the former and current Governors of Lagos state, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Babatunde Raji Fashola S.A.N respectively.
On the show, Tinubu revealed that a few months to the SDP House of Assemblies primaries in 1992, he had had no intentions of running for public office until one 'party elder' tapped him to run for the Senate in his constituency. He did and he won.
Fashola too revealed that one month before the AC gubernatorial primaries in 2007, he did not intend to run for any office but was just rounding up his activities as Tinubu's Chief of Staff, when his boss and some other 'party elders' tapped him to file his nomination. He did and he won.
This actually prompted me to look at the past leaders (rulers?) of the Nigerian state and how they got to there. Of all Nigerian heads of state/government from October 1st 1960 to date , only three of them could be said to have actively sought and got to the highest seat in the land. More instructively is that all three of them got there through the machinery of the most effective political structure in Nigeria - The Armed Forces! (you wanna argue that?)
These gentlemen are the late General Murtala Mohammed (1975 -1976); the very alive General Ibrahim Babangida (1985-1993) and the very late General Sanni Abacha (1994 -1998). Of these two died in office while the third was unceremoniously booed out of office.
Of all the 36 governors in Nigeria in 2006, Umaru Musa Yar Adua, Governor of Katsina state had made it quite clear that he intended to retire to his country-side farm and spend the rest of his days smoking Benson & Hedges and enjoying his family. However, in the eyes of the PDP 'elders', that made him the best candidate for President in the 2007 elections. Today, he is president.
Hapless, sometimes clueless, obviously in ill-health, but he IS the President.
Solomonsydelle asked: 'Is An Obama possible In Nigeria?'.
I will say No. And not because of the reasons given by Walter Carrington.
You see, in Nigeria, power is given to the unprepared not to those who want it. To get power in Nigeria, just be unprepared or pretend that you don't want it. Forget Jimmy Cliff. You can get it if you really don't want it. Am I even making sense?
In my last post, I mentioned Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state as the only person to have become governor on the orders of a court without contesting in an election. Till date, some 'king makers' in Rivers state are still reeling under that judgment.
Most of you do not really have interest in political office in Nigeria and from the foregoing, that makes you prime candidates for political office? But what if you -yes, YOU -were tapped today to become governor of your state in 2011, what will you do?
What if you were tapped to become the President in 2011? What programs would you have in place? What would you do first?
Its possible you know.