Mixed reactions continue to trail the decison of popular motivational speaker, Fela Durotoye to become Nigeria’s next president come 2019.
In this piece by UK based journalist, Lekan Fatodu, he says Fela is threading a familiar path that some recognisable Nigerians like Chris Okotie, Pat Utomi and Dele Momodu have throd for this same purpose with not much result.
To start off, I don’t agree with those who have said this guy is inexperienced neither do I take seriously those saying “even if he failed, it will be said that he tried”. While the former simply doesn’t hold water, the latter would mean that failure is cool as long as someone has tried by just putting his name and face out in a presidential contest. Naija!
Having said that, it seems to me that the guy is setting his ambition on a familiar path. A path some recognisable Nigerians like Chris Okotie, Pat Utomi and Dele Momodu have throd for this same purpose. They pursued their presidential ambition based on their personal accomplishments and professional-cum-clique popularity.
And they got far behind that ambition.
And this can be attributed to one of two reasons. One, they were in gross denial of the harsh reality of Nigerian politics. Two, they were surprisingly living in a world other than a Nigeria occupied by over 180 million people, 70 percent of which are living in extreme poverty (according to government and World Bank’s report) and with over half of the country’s low voting population having to be incentivised (short of saying bribed) to vote!
Interestingly, many of these Presidential aspirants emerge from Lagos where they’ve not succeeded in showing strength against powerful grassroot political forces who maintain the interests of the godfathers at top of the political ladder at the local level.
From Ikoyi-Obalende to Ikorodu, the political representations around these communities are filled with the proteges and associates of the powerful political men and women. Not a single so-called social media popular political crusader is seen or represented at that important leadership level.
In spite of this, the attention is still on the executive while governance keeps going down at the State and Local Government level and the same thing within the State and Federal Legislature.
That, I reckon, should be a great concern for Fela and people of his ilk.
You will wonder why after his undesirable presidential adventure, Pat Utomi is now eyeing the Delta State governorship seat.
Also, these guys should know that winning Nigerians over shouldn’t be an 11-month engagement as the next election comes up in February 2019.
Hillary Clinton, Obama, Macron, Weah and Nana amongst those who lost and won impressively had made strong impressions within their local political environments and prepared their plans and strategies years before their shot at the zenith of leadership. And these are people coming from environments that are not as complex and complicated as Nigeria’s political space.
As they say, all politics is local. So Nigerian young people need to create a mass of promising and committed local political champions that would later occupy seats and become champions at the national level.
Otherwise the “older ones” and their cronies will continue to dominate the space and prove that they are more “thoughtful” and “better organised” than the young ones and that creates even more danger for the country.