December 28, 2022

2023: Time for candidates to get serious

female governorship candidates


THEY say if you want to hide something from an average Black man, put it in a book because we never care to read. And if we do not read, how do we find solutions to our problems? As the elections draw near, let us hope that the minders of candidates for the various elections are reading and passing our messages to their principals. The general feeling is that the campaigns are boring, lacking depth, only full of theatrics, insults and lot of sophistry. 

One observer noted that we should begin to interrogate these candidates further, focusing on the “how” and not just the promises, which they always never go back to once they have achieved their goals. So many interesting debates happening on the sidelines, which is not in mainstream media, on closer reflection, some of the positions held are actually the solutions to our challenges. 

Blakey Ijezie, chief administrator of the Ite- Oz- intellectual forum says: “Let the truth be said. We need to interrogate the plans of the presidential candidates instead of the current mob action that is trending in the social media and everywhere”. 

For example, somebody said one of the candidates has decided to privatise power. But Ranti Omole, CEO, Radial Circle and very active member of Ite – Ozu- forum says: “It’s not as simple as we think. It requires proper articulation which is not a big deal. Very simple- how do we generate power: hydro, thermal and gas fired turbines? What is the maximum from hydro and the peak and average lowest due to weather seasons? Gas fired – what are the turbines capacity and locations? How do you fire the turbines or provide the gas? 

Is gas available for supply? Are there adequate incentives for gas providers to explore more gas, produce and transport gas to the power plants? Do we have adequate gas transportation infrastructures to the power plants. Who manages the power plants? Most if not all of which have been privatised to the GENCOS.  

After we have looked at that and satisfied with the adequacy and strategy to ramp up generation if there is enough gas and competitive pricing. We now talk about power evacuation from the generating plant to distribution plants. 

This aspect is majorly handled by government and some of the key distribution facilities are inadequate and collapses when overfed with generated power. Need for redesign and decentralisation of the transmission pipe like regional transmission based on the location of the plant. Why are we still feeding a central control centre? Why not to a regional location and to regional based discos for distribution to the end consumers?  

There is need for a total evaluation of the nationwide power generation, populate power plant closer to gas sources like Kwale Agip IPP, Oji River IPP, etc., and then distribute around the regions. Also upgrade of transmission control centre and decentralisation. Of course, improvement in various step down transformers by the DISCOS. Only the transmission control centre and path is still under government;  the rest have been privatised already. 

On containment of the current insecurity nationwide, which of the presidential candidates has robust thought on how to tackle the problem? If you know of any, kindly provide us with the link. I must confess that I haven’t read from their campaign trains of how any of them wants to take the country back to pre-2015, on this issue. There is also agriculture, food security, insecurity, foreign exchange; let them let us know how they practically want to solve these problems”. 

These examples, as espoused by Ranti Omole, are part of the details the people are yearning for. Some of us have been privileged to go through the books of the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo. He not only tells you what he wants to do, he goes ahead to tell you how he is going to do it, so you are not misguided.

When he talks about agriculture, he will tell you how he is going to give full support to the farmers through agric loan empowerment, monitoring from government through support staff, establishing cooperative farmers society, helping in storage and most importantly for the farmers, buying their products at the appropriate prices and helping in the export line. 

That is what we are talking about; we do not feel that our candidates have engaged themselves in rigorous researches of the problems of this country and how they can hit the ground running with solutions. As it is, the country is very much divided on ethnic, religious, regional and other lines, including banditry. You say you are a unifier, what measures will you adopt to remove these obstacles to our country’s prosperity. 

We have lived as one united country in the past, where did we get it wrong? Is it in our education, culture, religion, elites and foreign influence? We must tackle these problems from the root causes, everyone knows that the country has potentials, how we harness them is our challenge. 

That is what we are asking our candidates to do, tell us how you are going to make this change happen, not with promises. 

They should also desist from the Trump school of politics, where everyone is dragged into the pigpen, it does no one any good, but diminishes us in the eyes if decent communities. It does not matter what your background is, you should be able to aspire to any position of Leadership in the land, as long as you are a full blooded Nigerian. The model we propose apply to all institutions in the the land, our candidates must be able to provide for us, hands on solutions to them. So, if you are are candidate in the forthcoming 2023 elections, please let’s get serious.

Ikhioya wrote via: