2023 Presidency – My Endorsement

2023 PRESIDENCY – MY ENDORSEMENT

Dr Uche Diala

This is a personal issue that does not require giving any reasons or explanation for but in my usual tradition and because I promised my friends and compatriots that when I finally reach a decision on this, I will make it known publicly with my reasons to leave no in doubt, I will keep to that pledge. I crave your indulgence to be patient with me while I take us through a rundown of the meticulous process that led to my decision.

PREAMBLE
For full disclosure, I am a card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and I have being since 2015 as the only party I have ever being a member of us. Even as my being an APC member played a significant role in my ultimate decision, it was not the most important deciding factor. This endorsement is a product of a meticulous, long drawn out and objective process that took into consideration a number of very important factors devoid of any primordial sentiments or emotions with purely the interest and future of the nation at heart.

My Goals …

Many will attest that I have said and repeatedly so that what Nigeria needs after President Buhari is a person who understands, acknowledges and appreciates the work President Muhammadu Buhari and all of us patriotic Nigerians have done in the last 7 years and one who is ready, willing and able to build us up and forward from where he will leave us in 2023.

This is because I have stayed actively engaged in the last 7+ years and in spite of every misgivings, drawbacks, disillusionment, disenchantments, difficulties and challenges, I know for a fact that a number of fundamental things have been put in place and some solid and verifiable foundations laid in several sectors; In Infrastructure including Roads, Railway, Bridges, Airports, Sea Ports, Power plants/Dams etc, Agriculture, Power, Security, Social Safety Nets, Oil and Gas, Housing, Legislative Reforms, Solid Minerals, Foreign Relations; to name a few; many of which I have religiously, intellectually and timeously showcased and written about on my platforms since 2015.

Unlike many other citizens, I did not go to sleep or sit at home in anger. In the same hardship and challenges we are all going through, I stayed alert and engaged like many other compatriots. Therefore I was not going to compromise on my resolve and desire that the next President of Nigeria would be one who knows and can build on those strides (not a denier) to ensure we continue the arduous journey towards a new Nigeria which we started in 2015. So that our forward, slow but steady progress will continue and so that our collective sacrifices and pains will not be in vain.

MY CONSIDERATIONS/CRITERIA
My task was to objectively assess the various political party platforms and their presidential candidates to arrive at a choice.

To avoid making it unwieldy, I used two parameters viz; Party History and Current Visibility for selection. I isolated three political parties namely: The All progressives Congress (APC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP). Consequently and in same vein, I found their Presidential Candidates viz: HE Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, HE Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and HE Mr Peter Obi worthy of my consideration.

1) THE PLATFORMS
The platform is very important in a Presidential democracy; not only in assessing the capacity and chances of a candidate winning an election but also in his ability to govern, lead and deliver on his mandate; with special attention to the political composition of the Legislature (National Assembly) as well as existing political structures nationwide; including past and present elective positions held; Councilors, Local Government Chairmen, Members of Houses of Assembly, Members of House of Representatives, Senators, Vice President and Vice President.

In doing so, I did a careful consideration and objective study of the MAT (Manifestos, Antecedents and Track records) of the political party platforms of the three Presidential candidates under my consideration (APC, PDP & LP).

2) THE CANDIDATES
In assessing the three candidates under my consideration named above, I deployed SWOT analysis technique to determine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats offered by each of them in line with my stated goals and in view of the position which they are aspiring to occupy to enable me make an objective decision.

Each of the three distinguished candidates offered strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in different and some overlapping areas and what one might consider threats in some areas; making all of them viable candidates. I was looking for the best out of three good options. In doing that, I deliberately shut out the noise and distractive primordial sentiments like religion; so as to arrive at an objective conclusion; knowing how important the task ahead is. In the end the candidate if they become President would be judged by Nigerians on how much they were able to better their lot and not on how pious or religious they were.

A Brief Round Up Of My SWOT Analysis …

In that painstaking process, I took a lot of things into consideration. For the purposes of time and space, I will briefly highlight just three key points in the areas of Strengths and Weaknesses:

  1. RELEVANT COGNATE EXPERIENCE AND TRACK RECORD

• All three presidential candidates under my consideration bring relevant experiences to the table.

• One of the three candidates under consideration had being a Vice President; with the limitations of the office.

• The other two candidates had held Chief Executive Positions as state Governors.

• While both former Governors have a lot of positives going for them as performing Governors during their time and did deliver some good performances with decent track records; one of them had gotten some exceptional things done as Governor of a far more cosmopolitan state. Things which no sincere and objective person can wish away or deny and many of them are still enduring and growing.

• When I took an objective look at talent identification, team selection, man management, mentoring and leadership selection capabilities and ultimately succession which are key ingredients in assessing a manager; based on widely available evidence; placing the two States (Anambra and Lagos) that these two candidates governed side by side, a clear and objective picture emerged which put a distance between the three candidates under my consideration.

  1. VISION
    Assessing the 3 candidates under my consideration, there is no question that all of them have and offer good visions for the nation. They only come from different perspectives owing to their varied experiences and backgrounds. They are all patriots. I also considered 3 of them to have sufficient national stature to handle the top job with minimal gaps between them. Therefore it was essentially a pass and a plus for three of them.

However, matching the vision as have been express by each of them in words with action (what they had each done in the past) would play a role in my ultimate decision. Vision and words are best when matched with reality with proven evidence and track records; where available; especially for no less a position like the President of the most populous black nation with a less than fully developed democracy, democratic systems and structures.

  1. AGE
    This is something I would ordinarily not consider but I was determined to look at all relevant aspects; especially considering how much issue has been made about it.

Two of the three candidates under my consideration are above 70 years of age while one is 61 years; demographically putting them all in the same top age bracket.

Constitutionally and medically there are no restrictions or encumbrance by age at that level of leadership and governance SO LONG as one has no known debilitating health condition(s) or terminal illness/disease that incapacitates one from carrying out one’s duties or that affects one’s mental capacity.

Therefore I concluded that age was not an issue in the instant case and even if it is considered a weakness for some of the candidates in my SWOT analysis, there is not much that separates the three based on their age range and information in the public domain; not speculations.

Furthermore, while it is a fact that advancing age would naturally slow one down physically, any one with the right mental alertness, competence, relevant experience, excellent track record and right team identification, selection and deployment skills as well good man management capability will make an excellent President; age notwithstanding.

In Conclusion …

While I scored all three candidates under my consideration high marks; all relevant factors duly considered; with the original goal and parameters I had earlier stated in mind; with utmost respect for the other two most distinguished candidates under my consideration and the 13 other Presidential candidates, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu had an edge in my personal, humble and objective assessment.

Furthermore ….

Bola Tinubu is a street-smart, intelligent, pragmatic and relevantly experienced individual with significant native intelligence, an eye for talent as well as the firmness required to be a manager (including the ability to hire and fire if and when necessary) and the decisiveness required to manage a complex nation like Nigeria; having been test run in Lagos state which is a mini Nigeria for 8 years as Governor and still relevant.

Tinubu is de-tribalized, liberal minded, self-confident and independent minded; with a nationalistic flair and commands respect across broad sections of the Nigerian spectrum. These are very important in view of the fact that the Nigerian Presidency is a complex undertaking within an equally complex nation.

When you add these to the fact that in my assessment of the political party platforms of the three candidates, I concluded that in spite of its shortcomings and failings (some of which I have being very vocal about at great personal cost) the All Progressives Congress (APC) after just 8 years in power (sentiments aside) presently still offers the most realistic platform to push forward my (our collective) goals of continuing the verified work we are doing currently of rebuilding the nation and moving us upward and forward without undue disruption, a bigger picture emerges.

With the equally experienced, younger, fair and liberal minded nationalist, Senator Kashim Shettima now unveiled as Vice Presidential candidate, I am even more confident that we can achieve more in building on the key foundations that have been laid by the Buhari administration, address current challenges; including with insecurity and the economy and by the grace of God move Nigeria closer to the dreams we all have; for ourselves, our youth and future generations.

We cannot keep going back and forth or ‘catching cruise’ as the youth say. For me it is beyond the APC and emotions. It is about moving forward; slowly but steadily in a determined, consistent, realistic and organized manner. It is a task that must be done and it will not be achieved by emotions, sentiment, bigotry, wishful thinking or by magic; rather by painstaking and persistent hard work and cooperation of all Nigerians.

MY ENDORSEMENT

In view of all the above, I humbly, objectively, responsibly and patriotically endorse SENATOR BOLA AHMED TINUBU and SENATOR KASHIM SHETTIMA for President and Vice President of Nigeria respectively in the 2023 Presidential election.

I make this endorsement of my own free will as a consenting adult and I make it without prejudice to anyone else’s decision or choice. This is a very important decision for me; one of the most important I have had to make since 1999; especially in view of current dynamics in our dear nation.

As a true democrat; Win or Lose, I will accept the consequences of this my decision and choice with equanimity. I will respect everyone else’s decision and I humbly expect that everyone else would respect mine as I look forward to a decent, issue based debate and campaign and a successful election. If we all love Nigeria and want the best for Nigeria as we profess, that would not be a difficult thing to do.

May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

© Uche Diala

21st July, 2022

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