It is high time we told ourselves some honest truths. There is no other crucial time as now to be very frank about our existence as a nation and the anomalies along the way, on our bumpy journey of nationhood.
It is a fact that 10 out of 16 leaders of Nigeria till date are or were northerners. The south has had 6 including Ernest Shonekan whose tenure was an interim headship of government and only lasted a few months before he was ‘forced’ to hand over to General Sanni Abacha.
It is pertinent to note that one of the reasons why President Goodluck Jonathan was ousted was because the north felt it had to complete it’s tenure, with the fact that Ex-President Umaru Yar’Adua did not finish his term having passed on, unfortunately, while in power.
Fair enough, the north has had another eight years and if we are to adhere to the idea of rotational presidency, it is now time again for the south to unite and take over the mantle of leadership.
If we may reflect on our national culture of representation via federal character, we will discover a lot of anomalies and unfair treatment of the South especially in recent times, with the nepotistic government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari’s skewed distribution of appointments, projects and development has disadvantaged the south and devalued sense of equity which had hitherto kept the nation’s fragile unity.
Those making a case for northern presidency are indeed not being fair to this south and may not be looking at the far reaching implications of another northern president.
In the last presidential election, (2019), we presented a candidate from the north who we believed had the most credible credentials and required experience to move this country forward, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. There is absolutely no doubt that Atiku has done well in nation building. He is also a highly detribalised Nigerian but unfortunately, he did not get into power. Four years on, at the age of 75yrs, even if power were to be unfairly retained by the north,
Atiku Abubakar should not seek power again.
It is time for him to mentor a younger generation to take the country to the promised land. If he becomes president at 76, in four short years, he would be 80yrs. Baba, Atiku, please put Nigeria first, at this most critical period in our nationhood.
There is no doubt that we have credible men and women of the younger generation who are doing great in their various endeavours and are poised for leadership.
Some youthful Nigerians who have remarkably shown what their generation can do, include Governor Seyi Makinde, who is rapidly developing Oyo while adhering strictly to the principles of democracy, Governor Wike of Rivers State whose plethora of achievements are well documented, a man who has defended the democratic process against all odds, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, a man, transforming his state into a modern democratic haven, Ex Governor Peter Obi, a democrat per excellence and a man who has positively impacted both public and private enterprises, among many others.
In the corporate world, we must not forget the likes of Akinwunmi Adesina, a man who is doing Nigeria proud in the ADB. Nigeria as a matter of fact has so many more Adesinas.
The above point is just to encourage the south to unite en-masse and press for power shift.
We have had our fair share of Buhari, his failed leadership which has bred all sorts of ills including an unprecedented rise in terrorism and the influx of criminals his government have code named bandits.
Buhari’s eight years of hunger, neglect, poverty and aimless leadership is about to come to an end and we hope the north understands that the rules of justice and equity must apply in the next dispensation.
It is time for the south and I implore my brothers and sisters in the north to support a southern candidate in the spirit of fairness. Now is the time for the presidency to rotate southwards again. We are prepared.
*Dare Adeleke is a PDP Chieftain and former Youth Leader, South West.