From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Pressures have continued to mount on the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to declare for the 2023 presidential race within the next few days.
The indications emerged on Tuesday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, during the grand finale of the tour of the six geo-political zone of Nigeria, organised by The Nigeria Agenda (TNA). The group had earlier held similar programmes in the other five geo-political zones.
The speakers at a programme, tagged: ‘A Secured Nigeria is Possible’, held at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan did not specifically mention Fayemi’s name. But a short drama presented indicated that President Muhammadu Buhari wants to handover the mantle of leadership of the country to a young and vibrant person in 2023.
They, however, demanded good leadership, fiscal federalism, and solutions to the foundational, structural and leadership challenges besetting the progress of the country.
This was disclosed during the Southwest agenda meeting with the theme ‘ held at the university of Ibadan conference Centre. Some of the political appointees that attended the programme wore Fayemi’s lapels, with inscriptions: ‘JKF for President’.
In the drama, a man who dressed like Buhari was seen paddling the ship of Nigeria and at a time the ship had difficulty in moving forward. The president told the people in the ship, that represent Nigerians, that with their support, he would be able to overcome the challenges of corruption, insurgency, banditry and other socioeconomic and political challenges inhibiting the forward movement of the ship. With the support of the people, the ship started moving forward again, but at a slow pace.
The president later addressed his people and said he wanted to escalate the campaign against factors that did not allow the ship to move forward. He added that the only way to escalate the fight was for him to hand over the reins of power to a young and vibrant person. Then, the people in the ship looked around and asked a young man, who dressed like Governor Fayemi, with a typical eyeglasses and cap that are Fayemi’s signatures, to join the presidential race.
The character in form of Fayemi in the drama was reluctant to accept the clarion call. But he was prevailed on by the people and the president. He accepted to contested, and won. The paddle was handed over to him. He settled down to work, and the ship moved forward again.
The drama was staged in front of serving and former political appointees, as well as elected officers, across the six states in the South West geo-political zone of Nigeria. They include former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Yemi Faronbi; Osun State Commissioner for Political and Intergovernmental Affairs, Taiwo Akeju; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Ondo State, Mrs. Lola Fagbemi; Director-General, National Prosperity Movement, Ahmed Sajoh; and Director-General, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Seye Oyeleye.
The list also comprised former deputy governor of Oyo State, Iyiola Oladokun; and a legal practitioner, Segun Adebayo, who represented former Minister of Education, Prof Tunde Adeniran, among others.
The Director-General National Prosperity Movement (NPM), Ahmed Sajoh, urged Nigerians to be deliberate in their thinking in choosing a leadership that would work for the country. A cording to him, the only way Nigerians could make the country better is by choosing a good leadership.
His words: “We are urging Nigerians that this country can be better than what it is and the question we need to ask ourselves is what is the key to unlocking the potentials of the country and that key is good leadership. We should look for a leadership that will conform with the ideas and concept we have in Nigerian agenda and see if we can as a people form a leadership that will work for everyone.”
Chief Advocate for TNA, Niyi Akinsiju, enjoined Nigerians across the country to adopt attitudinal change on how to conduct themselves and make the right choices, saying: “As a united country, our choice of leadership should be guided by capacity, capabilities, good conduct and character of who we are going to invest in. Nigeria’s present and future needs to be determined by the will of the people. “
Former Nigerian Ambassador to the Phillipines, Faronbi, who noted that Nigeria has foundation, structural and leadership problems, advocated fiscal federalism as the way out for peace, unity and prosperity to return to the nation.
The Director-General of Dawn Commission, Oyeleye, harped harping on the need for a broad based constitutional development process for the sustainable development of the country.