Letters To Our Leaders: A Letter to the Hallowed Aso Villa

Letters To Our Leaders

Dear Aso Villa,

I have heard a lot from and about you. And you’ll be correct to guess that they’ve been a mix of great and not-so-great stuff. For this once, please hear me. I want to make a request I am not sure you can grant. Nevertheless, it’ll do me good to know that I have told you, on this road to the 2023 elections, who I seek as the next president of Nigeria. I expect that you pay rapt attention to my message because whoever comes in as General Muhammadu Buhari’s successor will also be your next tenant.

Big Country, Small President - iNigerian.com
In over three decades of your existence, you’ve housed statesman after statesman, and they contributed significantly to the currency of Nigeria. We often attribute our euphoric and melancholic moments to our leadership over time—an action I won’t be overly self-righteous to praise or dispraise—and finger one of your eight inhabitants as the genesis of our daily dose of demoralizing realities. Funnily, we also blame ourselves for convincing you to admit them as tenants and ultimately blame you for not disagreeing with us. Thence, it’s only fair that you take responsibility and accept
only a leader that fits my description of a worthy tenant. I will be correct to say I speak for all Nigerians because I doubt any patriot will want less in our next president.

To begin with, your next tenant should have a clear and well-defined vision for the future of Nigeria. This vision should be grounded in sustainability principles, with critical consideration of Nigeria’s economic, social and environmental needs. He should also be forward-looking and focused on creating a better future for all citizens—irrespective of gender, and tribal, religious and political affiliations—and not a select few like the dividends of our ‘almighty’ democracy favour in present-day Nigeria.

Withal, Nigeria’s next president doesn’t only have to be a visionary. He must also possess the zeal, drive and tools to actualize his clear-cut vision. He should have strong leadership skills and the ability to objectively bring capable people together to work towards goals that will spell progress for Nigeria and her people. He should also be able to build consensus and forge partnerships with an array of stakeholders, including other tiers of government, the private sector, civil societies and international partners.

NigeriaDecides2023: APC leads in NASS election with 57 seats in Senate, 162  in HouseSimilarly, I hope that your next tenant will go down in history as a beacon of good governance and transparency after setting the pace for leadership in Nigeria. And as such, I expect that he embodies accountability by opening up to the people and ensuring that public officers utilize our common wealth to benefit all citizens. He must also be one who can wage an indiscriminate war against corruption and rescue the rule of law from the perversion that threatens to turn justice to the sole preserve of the ‘high and mighty’ few who have the wherewithal to grease palms. More so, I would appreciate that you choose a president who will prioritize initiatives that promote sustainable development and reduce inequality. Also, massive investment in education, healthcare, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and support for small and medium-sized enterprises should sit atop his scale of preference.

He must be capable of ensuring that education is affordable for the masses whilst directing policies at creating employment opportunities for the over 600,000 graduates this country produces annually and their jobless seniors. This, I believe, will address the flight of Nigeria’s burgeoning human capital to other countries that promise greener pasture.

In the same vein, Nigeria’s next leader should be able to channel policies into creating a healthy environment for local businesses, as it will enable the unemployed to stand independently rather than exude the indigency that precedes Nigeria as the former global capital of poverty. He ought to be able to concentrate on providing an uninterrupted power supply, motorable road networks connecting rural and urban areas and efficient and affordable communication frameworks. He must also be able to encourage the growth of local industries through restrictions on the importation of goods our domestic industries can produce and others with local alternatives.

Full details of National Assembly joint executive session's resolution -  Daily Post NigeriaKnow, dear Aso Villa, that I want someone who can develop proactive ways of addressing the root causes of the insecurity, conflict and violence that have made Nigeria a dwelling place for carnage. He should also be able to work towards promoting dialogue and reconciliation between aggrieved ethnic and religious groups through programmes that promote economic development, education, and social inclusion in areas affected by unrest and conflict. Likewise, he should be willing to prioritize protecting natural resources and ecosystems and work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the negative impact of climate change. He should be able to promote the use of clean energy and support the development of sustainable technologies.

Moreover, our next president should be one with sentience that the world is constantly changing and fully prepared to adapt to new challenges and opportunities arising. He should also be able to build the resilience of Nigeria and its citizens so that they can withstand and recover from shocks and crises.

Legislative rascality by National Assembly members — Opinion — The Guardian  Nigeria News – Nigeria and World NewsFurthermost, your next tenant should be a strong and effective communicator, able to clearly articulate his vision and policies to the public and build support for his agenda. He should be responsive to the concerns and needs of the people and willing to listen and engage with us meaningfully.

Revered Aso Villa, do not admit anyone as Nigeria’s next president and your next tenant until you see in him, unequivocal promise to bring back the good old days when Nigeria was the starting place of love, peace, hope and dreams. I will follow my heart and pray that my choice at the polls is the best for Nigeria. However, I trust in you to choose a tenant who will make Nigeria the land of ‘unity, faith, peace and progress’ that we crave because you are a fortress without sentiments.

With love and light from a concerned Nigerian,

Mazeed Mukhtar Olaleye,

Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto

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