2023 Presidency: What Option for the South?


Time is racing and very soon, the nation will come face to face with another tinderbox:  who is better placed to represent them as presidential material. In the past, choosing a candidate has always been as problematic as the process has often left not a few breathless. If not hijacked by “money bags” or party “big wigs” other forces with immense potentials have always been known to step in and produce aspirants with stained backgrounds. That’s how past exercises have thrown up Lilliputians with controversial and questionable statistics.  Much later their dismal performance in office ends up spinning yet another of Pandora’s boxes.  It is, therefore, envisioned that to avoid the pitfalls of the past, three years is not too far to begin the scout for men with impressive records who will certainly not disappoint; at this time of the digital ages, the country cannot afford to lag behind in terms of development and technology.  Just as people all over the world talk about the spectacular performance of Nigeria’s iconic Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala so also Nigerians must be careful not to fall for another sporadic and loathed choice. In this wise, extreme caution must be exercised to look deeper than before. By the turn of 2023, when both the All Progressive Congress party (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are expected to look down to the south for their presidential flag bearers the need to eliminate unhealthy rivalry which may be detrimental to the interest of the majority of Southerners should not be taken for granted. The nation must get it right this time and avoid the pitfalls of the past. That is why the newspaperman organization is taking more than a cursory glance especially as some hideous elements have begun to sell the idea of another possible Jonathan presidency. True Mr Goodluck Jonathan has left an indelible mark as a real democrat for conceding defeat in an election in which he was the incumbent –something considered strange in most African countries; but it was his dismal performance in the office that led to massive rejection at the polls. Nigerians were fed up by the wildly believed excesses of his wife which led to the overwhelming acceptance of President Muhammad Buhari. Those contemplating Mr Jonathan return so soon—no matter what has changed—are definitely not in tune with reality. Nigeria is not a playground for anything goes; there are more serious and genuine southerners who can fit into the bill as presidential material other than Mr Jonathan. One of such is Dr Ogbonnaya Onu who is currently honourable Minister of Science and Technology This second time minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has the stellar qualities anyone can easily identify with. A former governor of old Abia State and party chairman, it is thought that if given the chance he may be the strong candidate that will string the north and the south together neatly. He has so far avoided scandals often associated with people of his calibre and has kept his immediate family outside the public glare. Above all, he is a reputed workaholic who likes to get things done properly. In the years to come, this is likely to be the man to be watched—not the other way round. And so for the South, the prospect of getting it right this time is a task for all.