If NIGERIA is a car – Finding the Best Driver!

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Deolu Akinyemi

The Nigerian political scene seems quite chaotic, and many of us whose preferred candidates didn’t seem to go past the primaries are either quiet or exhibiting some sympathy for particular candidates.

I think it’s only right that I come out and share what my thoughts are for Nigeria going forward, for the benefit of those who read and follow me but do it quietly and many times don’t even dignify the post with as much as a like. My current sojourn has shown me that there are many people like this who read, take in the lessons and keep mute. For their sakes, and for those who are more vocal about their position and support, and for the sake of the future, when this can be a reference point it is important to be clear about exactly where I stand.

I have a little illustration that is my basis for rating each of the candidates. Let’s assume that Nigeria is a car, and that we need the best driver for this car.
Who are the Drivers that have made it to the final interview stage?
Let’s simplify the profile of the top 3 candidates. I will use the driver analogy of the car and the driver, to make it easy to comprehend.

1. Driver 1 – The BAT! This driver has a solid track record of not only driving well but enlisting competent people into right offices to help him drive further and faster. BAT has both driving and driver management experience- He has been able to do well and ensure that subsequent drivers continue his long-term plan for the state. The major challenge is that his pre-office references are not checking out. He seems to have got himself a new name with little or no history – good or bad tied to it. Another challenge that he has is that the public profiles him as corrupt. This candidate is from Southwest Nigeria, and was screened by the APC agency, which screened off over 15 other contenders based on who was able to buy the victory.

2. Driver 2 – The ATIKUlate! This driver has a solid record of being a super support driver being instrumental in assembling the economic team for Obasanjo – one of the most impactful Government cabinets that this country ever witnessed in recent times. He has also detribalized himself by marrying from different regions in Nigeria and has managed to show interest in being the next president for the last 15 years. The major challenge is that the reference written by his past boss makes him out to be crooked a corkscrew. Getting a driver’s job after the person you worked under gives your character a smash like this is tough. There are other smaller challenges, but let’s rest this so as not to take space. This candidate is from Northeast, same northern region with the current national driver. The candidate was screened by the PDP agency, which also has a penchant of defaulting to the biggest spender.

3. Driver 3 – The OBIdent! This driver has a solid track record of living on a low budget and saving his state money towards investments across different sectors. He is also a youth-friendly driver, as his investment in youth-oriented policies (e.g., education) was unprecedented. He drove personally and passionately. What people have against this driver is that all his achievements are not sustained as his people didn’t even like him enough to allow him to install the next driver. He also seems to tell fibs that make him look better than he really is. This candidate is from the Southeastern part of Nigeria and was screened by Labour Agency, an agency with no track record and not many other drivers for lower cars screening with it.

The first question before trying to find the best driver is to first understand what type of Car Nigeria is. If we fail to establish the type of car Nigeria is, we will not successfully get the right driver for it. So, let’s look at a few distinguishing features of this Nigerian Car.

1. Security: The car has no security; you don’t even need a key to start it
2. Economy: The car has no fuel – is as broke as you can care to know
3. Disunity: The car was coupled from spare parts of different cars that have divergent objectives
4. Decay: The car’s engine has been stolen. Even though it’s still moving, it’s going down the slope.
5. Right Road left Steering: The road system is set to America, but the car steering is on the right. Our constitution makes Nigeria undrivable.

Let’s first establish that the evidence in support of the above are overwhelming. To deny that we are in these realities is to really play the ostrich. We don’t have a car for the nation at the moment, we have a carcass.

What type of driver do we need to drive us with the condition of our car? Tell me honestly, do you think it’s a driver that this nation needs?
My honest opinion is that these 3 drivers have their merits and demerits. I’m sure we are averagely used to demonizing a few and angelizing the other. They however can all drive, and probably drive better than the current driver based on his current history.

In view of the issues Nigeria has however, what we need right now is not any of these drivers. We need a trained automobile engineer. We need a disruption from this our election miracle seeking template, and focus on changing our constitution, changing to a federation, and working hard together against our common enemies.

Analysts have said that even a genius cannot run Nigeria as it currently is and have good success. The state of the Nation requires a complete overall before the next elections occur. The sad part is all the applicants believe they can win and are feeding their people false hope. It’s the audacity for me. At least if one or two of them know it’s a steep chance, they can focus on making the Nigerian car drivable before seeking to drive it.

I recommend the following
1. The president takes these issues seriously and forms a panel around getting them sorted before these elections. We currently have a carcass, remember?
2. Well-meaning Representatives can meet to demand that the VP and President step down so we can have a caretaker committee that seeks to drive the reconciliation and re-integration initiative before talking about economic federation before other things.
3. The president should reconstitute his cabinet and honorably step down. He should leave the country in the hands of competent Engineers who will first fix Nigeria (Review the constitution, renegotiate our terms of engagement as an interdependent region, etc.), then raise funds to keep Nigeria afloat.
Outside of this model – any candidate that wins the next coming election doesn’t take us any further in my opinion. Honestly, it can be any of them. I however believe in God and what He has promised that He will intervene in Nigeria’s polity this year!

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