Syndicated newspaper columnist and TV analyst, Mr. Tope Fasua, may be the first Nigerian to publicly declare interest in replacing President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock in 2019.
The chartered accountant and economist made the declaration of his ambition to rule Nigeria in 2019 on his Facebook page on 26 November 2016. The Ondo state born social media influencer posted: “Tope Kolade Fasua for President, Federal Republic of Nigeria 2019. You best believe it. Stay Tuned.”
He made series of other posts as a follow up to the post, most notably:
Imagine 25-30 guys and ladies like me, spread across Nigeria. Over 40 years old, so constitutionally qualified for the role of the No 1 citizen. Quite educated. Knowledgeable and opinionated. Preferably pan-Nigerian in mindset; meaning they KNOW what to do with such a large population without breaking it up, and are ready and intelligent enough to sell constructive UNITY rather than the alternatives.
Imagine these sharp guys – and sharp ladies – from different parts of Nigeria. Give me 3 igbo guys or ladies, 3 yoruba guys or ladies, 3 kanuri and environs guys and ladies, 3 or 4 Hausa or Fulani guys and ladies, 3 or 4 from the Middle Belt and North Central (Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Niger), in fact, from everywhere, whether majority or minority, for what Nigeria needs right now are these fairly young people who are connected with reality and modernity and are ready to stand up for their beliefs and convictions rather than sit and complain and further damage the country.
Now, imagine such vibrant people should step up and declare that ‘hey, no biggie, we can each do the job’ (and why not? In our fathers’ generation many military men and even civilians became governors of states at 27 or 30, they even led the country, so from whence comes our ‘wimpishness’?). These guys/ladies don’t have to be connected to each other for starters. But by their daily engagements, they begin to create awareness and give confidence back to the young, disenfranchised people of Nigeria bit by bit, and DEMYSTIFY LEADERSHIP in Nigeria (for there is too much mystery around it). These are people who understand the RISKS, but are knowledgeable enough to mitigate in many ways than one.
Imagine that at some point, we can get platforms to bring these disparate ‘contestants with no political parties’ together, for town hall meetings, televised debates, online chats etc, and rigorously test their ideas. Imagine that like-minded media businesses will give them an opportunity to air their views on critical issues at discounted rates?
THE RESULT: THE RHETORIC WILL CHANGE. THE NARRATIVE WILL CHANGE, AND THEY WILL BE THE TOPIC. Gradually even the poor people in the village – and they are not as unenlightened as we think – will sign up to the idea that yes, Nigeria is due for proper overhaul beyond who is ready to gift them garri, groudnut, salt, rice and 5 yards of cloth. They are even going through excruciating suffering and unprecedented disappointment with politicians of all hue presently, so that itself may be a blessing to the newbies. Nigerians seem to have tasted both sides of the ideology in Nigerian politics as formed from the beginning; and they aren’t finding the results funny.
So imagine that at some point, these youths could try and create a political party with a pan-Nigerian outlook, with crowdfunding or any other means, whereby people can rent very small but functional offices in at least 20 states of Nigeria. INEC will be forced to recognize such a party. Note, you must not use any word like ‘youth’ or ‘young’ in the party, but there are clever words that will depict newness and honesty of purpose.
Can they not continue reaching out to the 10million Nigerians on Facebook and another 5 on other social media? Did social media not partly win the Change we are under even though the young people were promptly dumped? CAN THE SUPPORT GARNERED ACROSS THE NATION AND BEYOND BY THESE YOUNG-ISH PEOPLE NOT BE COALESCED FOR THE FEW THAT STAND OUT? Yes, there will be those who are power-hungry, and those who will be moles to the old order. There will be all sorts of people and all sorts of quarrels but its all good. Even if this party will not win a presidency, it will alter something permanently in Nigeria. That was how change started – for good or ill – in most parts of Europe and even the USA. Note that Nigeria needs more CHANGE from the old ways than these developed countries.
And who knows, the idea could catch on properly and the people of this country would actually take back the country from the politicians who are using our times for a game of musical chairs where they have been taking turns. Who knows? It could work
But first things first, NIGERIA NEEDS YOU. Stop the cowardice. God is waiting for you. By all means He is. Or you don’t think he needs Nigeria to change from its wasteful ways?
So, can we find 25 people out of 170 million, who are wise enough, and angry enough, and caring enough? Sounds like a question they would have asked many centuries ago… in the time of the great prophets…
Mr. Fasua, who has been touted Malcolm Gladwell of Africa is an author of 6 books on political economy. He was a very vocal supporter of current President Muhammadu Buhari in 2011 and 2015 elections. He has serially expressed his disappointment in the performance of his man in the last 20 months.