Almost every Nigerian of voting age, has an ideal choice of candidate whose profile they believe, is worthy of bringing the desired change; (in local parlance), the “un-APC like” kind of change the country hankers for at this time. However, the ‘best candidates’ are not exactly known to win elections in Nigeria. Neither are they known to belong to the clan of political gladiators, or the adopted political sons and daughters of pioneer kingmakers/godfathers.
Interestingly, it doesn’t require rocket science to meet the most relevant criteria that propels one to run for President in Nigeria (under the shade of either of the two dominant parties) with a clear intent to win, as opposed to the ‘mushroom’ political parties, who merely scramble for the best technocrats with impressive academic qualifications.
To compete favorably for the Presidency; most importantly, one must be of considerable advancement in age: preferably mid-fifties and above, (candidates with chronic ailments are most kindly welcome as well), a long serving pioneer or “anointed” member of either of the two giant parties, an illustrious son of the geo-political zone to be favored based on zoning calculations (which of course, must be of non-Igbo extraction), and a strong personality (with or without post-secondary education) that can present a fictional manifesto in such a way that it appears irresistibly marketable and capable of gathering votes across regions. Favored candidates, need not worry about scandals or corruption charges levied against them, as such ‘malicious distractions’ fizzle out with the wind in no distant time.
If we’re genuinely eager for electoral reforms (as a “progressive nation”) in a bid to erase the continual mediocrity in governance at the federal level, considering the prospects of Independent Candidacy won’t be a bad gamble at all. What’s more terrific than having voters scan through their scale of preference, in order to make an informed decision on their ideal choice of candidate whom they believe is suitable and outstandingly qualified to meet their age-long demands?
Relying solely on political parties to anoint and foist candidates on us (many of which, have no legitimate business in the corridors of power), will keep us going round in circles. We’d continually be swindled every four years by the same marketable strategies of our entrepreneurial political parties, who only seem to be driven by power tussle and economic gains, than the actual deal of fixing what’s left of a weak and malnourished economy.
Bio: Nimi Princewill is a Nigerian-born writer and social reformer.