THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Since replacing military rule with democratic governance in 1999, Nigeria has continued to battle the twin evils of corruption and underdevelopment till today. Our hope of breaking free from the abyss of these moral and social decadence has fallen and risen with successive governments.
As a kid in the 90s, I can still recall how adults lament about social ills like bad governance, poor power supply, unemployment, among others, when they caught up at informal gatherings or bumped into each other around the neighbourhood.
When acting head of state Abdulsalam Abubakar handed over to the democratic government of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, Nigerians anticipated salvation. Long before then, many of us believed democracy was the ultimate solution to the problems that plagued our nation. But after several years of adopting the acclaimed democratic system of governance, we are yet to find the transformation that we have long yearned for.
Obasanjo failed. Yar’adua gave us hope but died in office. Goodluck lost it too. Now, after winning democratic election in 2015 and ruling for 4-years, Buhari is aged and comparatively underskilled to rule us in this era, yet some of us are still clamouring and agitating to bring him back to office. Others are chanting atikulation and hoping to bring Atiku, the vice president of Obasanjo’s failed regime, into office as president.
We fail to consider the fact that global development in the 21st-century demands much more from a president than that of the 80s and 90s. A president who can keep up with the development of this century is what we really need.
Among the presidential candidates running in the forthcoming election, the only candidate I see fit for this is Omoyele Sowore, the 47-year old human rights activist and technocrat of the African Action Congress (AAC). He is the founder of Sahara Reporters, an online media platform that has repeatedly challenged and exposed corruption and bad leadership in Nigeria in recent times.
In the ongoing election campaigns, Sowore has displayed a strong level of intelligence and proactivenes. Writing about 2019 Nigeria election in a post published on Sahara Reporters website in 2018, Martin White-Ufuah commends Sowore’s ‘presentations and swift responses to questions’ he was asked at different town hall meetings he has had with Nigerians.
With Sowore’s accomplishments as a technocrat, he might be Nigeria’s chance to get a slice of technocracy, a system of government where decision-makers are selected on the basis of their technical expertise rather than political affiliations. Now, more than ever before, we need to rely on technical knowledge and performance, not political parties. Otherwise, we will return to the same narrative.