Taking Back Nigeria: The Role of Students Vol. 2

Sitting down to write on this topic, especially at this critical period in our national history, when the 2023 general election is barely 48hours from now, so many things flood my mind to the extent that it becomes a heavy task sorting them with a view to putting down the appropriate words here. However anyone chooses to look at it, Nigeria is at the crossroads of making history, positive or negative, the people – the electorates will decide. But it has become abundantly clear that this election stands the chance of correcting our past errors as a nation or putting us into a state of eternal perdition. This election has the capacity to make or mar us forever, therefore, we must think carefully before making a decision of who to entrust the leadership of this country into his hands. 

This is truly the moment of Decision, and at this point there is no need to go on babbling on playing with words, it is a time to be firm and spit it out as it is, for in this struggle, every onlooker is either a traitor or a coward, more so, it is better to take stand, even if it turns out to be a wrong stand, than not taking a stand at all. In the light of the above, I want to say to my readers, and indeed all students and student leaders in Nigeria, that our collective destinies now lie bare before us, and it is time to take positive action to actualize our destinies. According to Fidel Castro, “Every generation must, out of relative obscurity, realize her destiny, either achieve it or destroy it”. May we never be counted among the generations that destroyed their destiny. We shall actualize our destiny!

We have watched and followed with keen interest, the Presidential campaigns of the three major Presidential Candidates namely; AsiwajuBola Tinubu of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr. Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP). From the contents and thrust of their messages, their vision for the nation have been variously and clearly deduced and established. It is now time to make a decision based on their visions for the country as contained in their messages, and based also on their ability to deliver on their promises putting into consideration their proven track records of keeping to their words and most importantly the three Cs of basic leadership quality – Character, Competence and Capacity

In regard to the above, the job of deciphering the real, coded and hidden traits of these frontline Presidential Candidates has been made easy with the establishment of the yardsticks for evaluation in line with the all-time proven principle of SMART. Accordingly, of the three frontline Presidential Candidates, I make bold to say that Mr. Peter Obi clearly stands out as the only Presidential Candidate with a clear message of audacious hope – Hope for the economic recovery and restoration of our lost glories, hope for the restoration of nationhood for our dear country, hope for a new Nigeria. Indeed, with Peter Obi, a new Nigeria is PO-ssible! I therefore call on all Nigerian students and leaders of the Nigerian students constituency at all levels, the leadership of our noble organization, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), all stakeholders in the business of fixing Nigeria, to rally round and support Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party, so that we can actually begin the journey of recovering Nigeria and restoring our lost glories.

It is easy for mischief-makers to try to paint my assertions with ethnic coloration based on the fact that I am of the same region with Mr. Peter Obi, but even so, it is much easier for me to establish the clear reasons or bases upon which these assertions were made. The choice of Peter Obi was not because he comes from the Southeast – the only region that is yet to produce President of Nigeria, it is not because he is an Igbo man – the most marginalized of all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, it is not because he is a Christian – the only Christian among the three major Presidential candidates. Far be these from the person of Peter Obi and his towering image based on the strength of his character, competence and capacity built over the past three decades, as if he has been preparing for a day like this. I have listened to Peter Obi addressing people where he said, “If your support for me is based on the fact that I am your fellow Igbo man, please keep your support to yourself. I want you to support me because you are convinced that I have what it takes, the roadmap for the economic recovery of Nigeria, the capacity to return Nigeria from Consumption to Production”. This is the reason I have chosen Peter Obi. In fact, choosing Peter Obi based on the sentiment of coming from my region will amount to dwarfing the personality, character and competence of the man, Peter Obi, and will inadvertently amount to an insult to the multitude of Nigerian youths and technocrats who have chosen Peter Obi based on the qualities enunciated above, over their own kinsman. I will not allow any mischief-maker drag me to that path.

Comrade Igwe Patrick Afubera writes from Abuja.

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