2019: Nigeria Needs A CEO President -By Jerry Edo

Filed under: Democracy & Governance |

Nigeria is in dire need of astute leadership that can get her out of the quagmire of social-economic challenges that she is currently enmeshed. The extant leadership in the country is not only rudderless but has shown no signs or capacity to bring about positive changes in the polity even in the next ten years.

But thank God for democracy, the Nigerian people have the power to periodically elect a new set of leaders through the ballot box.  That time is nigh. 2019 is another opportunity for the Nigerian people to get it right or get punished with another four years of bad leadership and its attendant hardship on the people.

Talking of getting it right, we can only get it right this time if we approach the elections with our heads and not with primordial sentiments of ethnicity, religion or geo-political affiliations. The most important question we should be asking as we count down to 2019, is who is best suited or qualified for the job of leading the nation at this critical time? Who is that man or woman in the political firmament that can lead the nation from the doldrums and restore hope to the Nigerian masses?



In the 2015 Presidential election, we were deceived with slogans and bogus promises to vote for a man who as it turned out, was not adequately prepared for the office he vied for. In 2015, we were regaled with the story of a saint, a man of integrity and a Messiah who was coming to take the nation to El Dorado.  Today, we are disappointed, disillusioned and heartbroken over that choice that we made.

We cannot afford to make the mistake we made four years ago. In electing another President, we must do away with sentiments and face reality. We must stop day-dreaming and expecting a mythical Messiah to come and magically solve all our social-economic and political problems.

The reality that should be obvious to us by now is that the Presidency is like the job of a CEO (chief executive officer.) The man who must occupy that position must be knowledgeable about the Nigerian state, adequately prepared with proven track records in both his private and public life, and have the capacity to take on the challenges that come with the job.

The presidency is a job for fecund minds and not one for the indolent. It requires a man or woman with the attributes of a CEO. A CEO is a problem solver. He is someone who proffers solutions to problems and not one who trades blames and passes the buck. A CEO is someone who has the capacity to build relationships across all divides and not a segregationist. He is someone who is innovative, who takes calculated risks that will bring about changes in a polity. The CEO is not reticent, reclusive and reactionary. He is innovative, proactive and passionate about his job.

I have personally assessed the major gladiators who will vie for the Nigerian Presidency in 2019 and with all objectivity singled out former Vice-President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the most suited for the job. Nigeria needs a man who is Mr Nigeria himself- who totally understands Nigeria- to fix it. Saints and angels will not descend for heaven to fix Nigeria. Only a Nigerian who has been part of the system, understands the intricacies and complexity of the Nigerian state can fix it and Atiku Abubakar strikes me as such a man. Atiku is a CEO personified. He is a detribalized Nigerian, a bridge-builder and one whose political and business tentacles spread across the nation. His experience and successes in business will be invaluable in running the nation.

I have objectively listened to Atiku Abubakar speak a number of times about Nigeria and what he would do if elected as her President. He is not only passionate about the job he seeks, but strikes me as someone who has read and understood the job-description of the office. He doesn’t reel out barrages of highfalutin promises of “I-will-do-this, I-will-do-that,” that the Nigerian electorates are usually assaulted with during electioneering campaigns. On the contrary, Atiku Abubakar speaks with an air of practicality and realism. He tells you what he will do if elected as President, but more importantly, how he will go about it. He has promised true federalism which he believes can be realized through the restructuring of the Nigerian state. Atiku believes and preaches about a knowledge-driven economy as against our current hydrocarbon dependent one. He believes this is achievable by investing heavily in our youths and education. He believes so much in building strong institutions that can stand the test of time rather than searching for strong-willed individuals to run weak institutions.   Atiku as a CEO believes and promises to appoint the brightest and the best brains in the country to executive positions because if they succeed, we all succeed.

On the whole, Atiku Abubakar strikes me as a man who will deliver. Beyond the unsubstantiated claims of corruption being hauled at him, his traducers have not been able to credibly fault his vision, competence and experience to aspire for the job of the Nigerian Presidency. If for anything, the lampooning of Mr Abubakar may just be the fillip to truly fight corruption holistically when elected as President as he would want to erase that negative image he had been unfairly tagged with.

I am more than convinced he will perform well as a president all roundly. He will not be learning on the job. He has been Vice-President for eight years. He understands politics of the Nigerian brand and how it is played. He is not a neophyte and will hit the ground running.

Jerry Edo Esq