By Kelechi Henry
The Unity of Nigeria as it is appears is shaking with the spate of insecurity that has enveloped every part of the nation, it is no longer news that with the present development the country called Nigeria is in dire need of a ‘Messiah’.
For many who are quick to ask the question, What will the Nigerian Messiah look like or, what qualities must he possess?, that question to the discerning mind should not be far-fetched. This is because any man or personality that will save Nigeria from its present state of socio-economic quagmire and insecurity must as a matter of qualification be a ‘Bridge-builder’ and an ‘Easy-sell’ to the North and South of Nigeria.
Looking back at the political space presently and the candidates that have put themselves forward already, Nigerians have in the lineup pre-2023 candidates from across the divide of Nigeria.
From the South alone, there is the former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a man who ruled Lagos state from the year 1999 to 2007. Tinubu over the years has come to establish himself as a king-maker in the ruling All Progressive Congress a situation that has seen him personally install or being instrumental to the installation of governors across the six states of the south West of Nigeria.
Tinubu’s politics has always been well played in the opposition, even as governor of Lagos state, he was in the opposition when the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government under former President Olusegun Obasanjo withheld Lagos state allocation for the period he (Tinubu) was the Chief Executive of the Commercial nerve center of Nigeria.
Also from the South there is the former Governor of Imo state and now senator representing Imo West in the ninth National Assembly, Senator Rochas Anayo Okorocha, whose antecedents in the politics of the South East is public knowledge, it was he (Okorocha) that took all the missiles hurled at the APC from the opposition both within the ruling party and from outsiders when he decamped while still in office and moved the entire platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA in Imo state to the ruling APC, because of his conviction that the move will put Imo state in the thick of ‘National Politics’ in Nigeria.
The Move then earned Owelle Rochas Okorocha different names and titles, popular among the name tags was Okorohausa, but all these did not deter the former Governor.
Okorocha was convinced that the move will be appreciated by Imolites in the future, he was also of the conviction that with his acts of philanthropy which had preceded his tenure in office Nigerians from all walks of life will be able to see through what he was determined to do for the ‘Eastern Heartland’.
Okrocha’s educational philanthropy alone in the North and south of the country, if anything to go by is enough to convince any Nigerian that he (Okorocha) means well for Nigerians, if a statement recently attributed to an aide of Okorocha that ‘N25 million is spent daily on the education of indigent Nigerians scattered across the Rochas Okorocha foundation schools’, then Nigerians really need to look closer at the Imo lawmaker.
Another candidate that has appeared in the radar is the Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, who was also the former governor of Rivers state. Amaechi was one-time Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, before he was brought in to serve under former Rivers state governor, Peter Odili.
Close to the exit of Odili, the latter nominated Amaechi as his successor, though the choice was questioned by the then first lady of the state, Justice Mary Odili, but Amaechi eventually was elected governor of Rivers state.
Amaech’s foray into national politics enjoyed huge patronage under the Buhari government when he was made a ‘super’ Minister overseeing three ministries, a privilege he enjoyed alongside the former governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, SAN.
The former governor of Rivers state in what can be described as the continuous pursuit of his transport policy which was truncated as a result of the feud between him and his successor, Governor Nyesom Wike, however brought that vision to revitalize the transport sector to the federal level with the many Rail Transport projects meant to connect the Northern part of Nigeria with the south, a dream that has also inculcated some trans sahara trade routes in Africa.
A look at the few candidates from the south should prick the minds of Nigerians, as to who the cap really fits?.
The reason for posing this all important questions is due to the fact that the division that presently threatens the sovereignty of Nigeria needs immediate action. The country needs a next president that will act as a bridge-builder and will also attract voters to the poll, viz-a-viz a soft-sell as the case may be.