By Ebele Orakpo
ONE of the most vexing issues in Nigerian politics today is rotational presidency and the parliamentarians decided to bare their minds on the issue.
Said Martins: â€œPDP, Turn by Turn Nigeria Limited. This rotational presidency bug is killing this nation slowly. Itâ€™s all about tribe and religion. Canâ€™t we put those aside? For how long shall we continue to sacrifice excellence on the altar of mediocrity? This is the 21st Century for crying out loud! Left to me, we should do away with this bug because as long as we continue to hold on to it, our Vision 20 – 2020 will be a pipe dream.â€
â€œI am not against rotational presidency. The proponents wanted it for equity, fairness and justice, in appreciation of the fact that Nigeria is a multi-cultural and multi-religious nation so each group must be given a chance to produce the president,â€ said Timi.
â€œWe claim to be practising the US style of democracy, yet we are still tied to the apron strings of tribe and religion,â€ stated Ifeanyi. Continuing, he said: â€œ Is the US a homogeneous society? Hell No! The society is as diverse as it comes.
There are the Red Indians, Chinese, Africans, Irish, British, Greek, Germans, Japanese, Arabs, name them. There are Christians, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, African traditional religion practitioners, atheists etc.
They all live together and see themselves first as Americans before any other thing. When itâ€™s time to choose their leaders, they make their choice based on what the candidates have to offer. They take time to ask each person what he has to offer the people and why he thinks he is better than other contestants. Itâ€™s a game of wits and intelligence, a game for the matured mind and not for money bags.
They speak on their plans for the different sectors of the economy.â€
â€œHmmm, you and I know very well that it is a different ball game in Nigeria. The First Republic politicians played the game well.
They were guided by ideologies. Their campaigns were interesting. Some of them were so eloquent that some people went to the campaign grounds just to hear them talk. It was such fun but what do we have today?â€ askedÂ Uche rhetorically. â€œItâ€™s all about money, tribe and religion and not about getting the best person for the job. Every money bag wants to rule Nigeria whether he has something to offer or not.â€
â€œRotational presidency will not allow us to get the best people. I think we should all rise up as a people and put a stop to all this nonsense. I would like a situation where each candidate is made to address the people on a live television programme, tell them why he wants to be their leader and what exactly he intends to do for them when he gets their mandate and then the people should hold him accountable every step of the way,â€ declared Uzo.
â€œHow? knowing full well that most of these media organisations are controlled by government in power,â€ Timi wanted to know. â€œWe must do away with this lackadaisical attitude if we want a change and stop being pessimistic always. Any time they seem to be derailing, the programme should be aired to remind them of their campaign promises which got them to power in the first place.
That way, they will sit up and know that itâ€™s not business as usual. And if they donâ€™t, the electorate should call for their impeachment. As for the media houses, many are privately owned, â€ noted Uzo.
Said Mike: â€œMy take on this is that we as a people must change our attitude too. A situation where a money bag who has nothing upstairs comes along and calls together some deprived, jobless and hungry youths together, gives them some little money and sends them out to rig him into power with the hope of recouping his investment when he gets into power does not augur well for our country.
â€œLike the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson said when accused of hiring whites more, â€˜I hire competence and not colour,â€™â€ said Uche. â€œI think that should be our watchword. Look for the best and forget religion and tribe. Until that is done, we should forget about making progress,â€ he concluded.