By Inuwa Bwala
If truly Nigeria’s diversity is an asset, then our quest for peace, justice and equally must be seen in our attitudes towards each other, in trying times, as we seem to be now.
To this effect,where the next President of Nigeria should come from ought not elicit any form of debate. It may not be in our written laws, neither does there need to be an agreement that power should rotate between the North and the South, but common sense dictates that we should give each other a sense of belonging.
We all know and are witnesses to attempts by particular groups in other climes to dominate leadership and the often disastrous outcomes of such attempts.
It may be needless restating my position that in the spirit of justice and fairplay, the next President of Nigeria should come from the Southern part of the country. Those who argue that it can come from any part of the country are being uncharitable to Nigerians, in the face of the tension being generated.
Except if we accept that the North wants to dominate political power perpetually, we need to give others a chance. Since 1999 when Nigeria returned to Democratic rule, the position of the President has been oscillating between the North and the South. The attempt to breach that unwritten accord was what saw the back of Goodluck Jonathan from the Presidency in 2015.
Many highly placed Nigerians who are concerned about a future peaceful country have echoed this position to the effect that the South should produce the President after Muhammadu Buhari. It is therefore needless restating justifications for the call to allow the South produce the next President, as the reasons for it are all known. What should occupy our minds, should have been the type of person who has the capacity and who commands acceptance across regional, ethnic and religious lines.
This argument supports the submission of the South East, to the effect that one of their own should be given the chance. This throws up such names like Rochas Okoraocha, Peter Obi, Ike Ikweramadu, Hope Uzodinma amongst others. But the activities of IPOB has generated too much suspicion lately, and insisting on a South Easterner at this point may not be the feasible. Perhaps, we need someone who will stabilize the feelings of exclusivity.
Many people also want former Lagos State Governor, now National Leader if the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, but the odds do not seem to favour him either, given his state if health and other considerations.
It was while musing over the right calibre of person Nigerians should consider in the days ahead, that my mind switched to the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Nobody seems to be talking about Osinbajo, since he cautioned against using his perceived ambition to heat up the polity. And he does not appear ambitious either.
But come to think of an Osinbajo leadership, in the face of the potentials he has exhibited as vice President. We have seen the impacts he made on governance and politics, during his regency, when the President was away.
I have not met the Vice President before in life, but I have keenly monitored his activities and utterances and I dare say the man is intellectually well grounded, easy going, unambitious, God fearing and exhibits high sense of patriotism and deligence.
In his several outings, I have seen a man, who even as a lawyer, has good organizational ability, high economic sense and brutally frank, besides his noticeable unalloyed loyalty to the President.
If truly we seek for a leader with broad knowledge of contemporary trends in governance, and who has the requisite connections in every endeavour, I think there cannot be a better choice for the APC than the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. This is assuming if the party hopes to win the 2023 elections.
He may not have showed any form of desperation, neither exhibited the type of contumacy often displayed by people in leadership,
rather, he has demonstrated rare sense of retrospection towards the good of Nigeria.
I know that Professor Yemi Osinbajo is being nudged to join the fray, but he may feel it is too early in the day to speak. But if the journey of a thousand miles starts with a step, then I feel it is time we begin taking that step now by identifying suitable combination for the Presidency in 2023.
Should Yemi Osinbajo be the APC joker, I am if the view that his running mate should come from the North East. This is given the fact that, the region will be better off with the Vice Presidency than they would with any other position, Is including that of the National Chairman if the APC.
After a more critical reexamination of the situation, I feel the North East, should produce the Vice President to make up for what it lost with Ambassador Babagana Kingibe in the 1993 annulment. The region should therefore support the emergence of the National Chairman of APC from either the North Central or North West, while pursuing the possible emergence of the Vice President from the Norrth East. I will not suggest names, as that as a more likely choice, as that will be a topic for another day. But the body language of Nigerians are suggestive of the likely choices from Borno in particular, who could fit into the combination.
With Osinbajo, a Christian from the South West and a Muslim , North Easterner, I feel Nigerians will be coming closer to erasing perceived notions about domination and suppression. The South East could have the Senate Presidency for now, and the North Central the Speaker of the House of Representatives or National Chairman of the APC, while the Secretary to the Government of the Federation or the BB ational Chairman of the APC goes to the North West. The next Chief Justice of the Federation can go to the South/ South as well as the Head if the Civil Service. The Security Chiefs and heads of Security agencies will be evenly spread.
This arrangement could go a long way in assuaging the feelings of neglect, now rampant amongst various interest groups.