By Prisca Sam-Duru

With the aim to ignite a paradigm shift from what it described as the failed social contract between the ruling elite and the Nigerian people, Citizens Intervention and Accountability Nigeria (CIAN), is set to present to the public, a book and audio resource tools titled, ‘Nigeria’s Next President’.

‘Nigeria’s Next President’, written by President of CIAN, Mofe Jeje, will be launched on December 3rd, 2021 in Abuja.

CIAN, a civil society organisation (CSO) dedicated to advancing democracy and good governance, is presenting the empowerment resource material as “Essentially a civic education handbook, written to engender a renegotiation of the failed social contract between the ruling elite and the Nigerian people, in addition to empowering civic patriotism that will challenge conventions and demand accountability from elected officials”.

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As a project, ‘Nigeria’s Next President’, rests mainly on the organisation’s concern for Nigeria’s leadership recruitment process as well as the organization’s intension to become a driving force in promoting civic activism, civic responsibility, accountability and good governance in the country.

CIAN believes that the only way to come around the unwholesome developments undermining the country, is for the Nigerian electorates to first, see themselves as critical partners in reordering the country’s faulty leadership recruitment process; not just as spectators, or passive partners, but as active compatriots who are conscious about their votes, and the inherent power that lies in their votes to make a change”.

Speaking during a press conference held at the University of Lagos to herald the book launch, the Committee Chairman, Mr. Olawunmi Olaniyan said that the purpose of the publication was to lend a helping hand and be part of the solution to addressing Nigeria’s leadership recruitment process.

According to him, “The recent rumblings in both the Nigerian Senate and Federal House of Representatives over the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021…, is a disgrace and a complete betrayal of public trust”, adding that “Nigerians cannot afford to throw their hands in the air and watch helplessly, as this development portends the gathering of anti-democratic forces, with a tendency towards a one-party state”.

In order to ensure that the materials get to every Nigerian including the unlettered, Olaniyan disclosed that CIAN has commenced the first phase of the national project with its translation into several other languages including, pidgin English, Efik, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, etc.

Also speaking, CIAN’s Director of Information and Strategy, Dr Candyfidel Onwuraokoye, pointed out that ethnicity should not be a prerequisite when electing the country’s next president, stressing that only a candidate that can deliver the desired good governance to Nigerians should be elected come 2023 elections.

“It does not matter if Nigeria’s next president is from the north or south. What matters is good governance. The population needs jobs, education, good motorable roads, pipe-borne water supply, 24-hour electric supply, clean environment, health services, etc.

“And as politics is a contest between people and political parties of divergent views, then the electorate should be allowed to elect the best candidate in a free and fair election”, he said.

Dr Onwuraokoye further said that “With our faulty leadership recruitment being exacerbated by the controversial Electoral Act that was recently passed in both chambers of the National Assembly, we undoubtedly have four possible problems in our hands- integrity of the electoral process, acceptability of election outcomes, voters’ apathy and turnout, and legitimacy of winners…if nothing is done, the leadership question will continue to be the main challenge of the country.

“In the prevailing lack of faith in the Nigerian project, giving rise to agitations, call for secession and self-determination amidst circles of insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and skyrocketing food prices, we offer to Nigerians a new ray of hope to get a fighting chance over these developments which have intensified hopelessness, despair and depravity”.

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