By Chukwuma Okirie
There is no gainsaying the fact that the Nigerian economy is currently comatose, citizens are hungry while unemployment rate keeps increasing. The condition of living has now become survival of the fittest with various agitations for national disintegration.
We are convinced that the positive change Nigeria desires at the top is inevitable in 2019. That change is so tasking that it will rob a good leader of his pleasure, so mindful that it will trim his appetite, so large that it will stop his personal ambitions. It is a dream to seek beyond applause, to seek beyond trophies, and seek beyond today. A dream to outgrow history; to dominate the moment and to design a brighter future. A dream to conquer tradition, to set a new standard, to create a legacy and to ensure sustainable development. It is obvious that history making does not require multitude, it takes only an individual. To form the human race, God just needed Adam. To discover America, God just needed Columbus. To simplify car making, God just needed Ford. To publicized golf, God just needed Tiger Woods. To restore the lost glory of Nigeria, God is bringing Atiku to occupy Aso Villa in 2019.
Americans began giving their all, Atiku has given Nigeria his all. Americans began laying their lives, Atiku has laid his life all because he understood patriotism. As a Customs sfficer and Vice President, he laid down his life even for causes that are not alive. He gave Nigeria a dance-salute even though Nigeria lacks country-music. He gave himself to service even if some of the results will speak after his life time. He is a patriotic Nigerian because he serves for the good of the people. He is a good citizen because he does not serve for rewards.
Atiku is the answer to 2019 Nigerian Presidency because he is coming to build bridges, to solve puzzles and to conquer mountains. Some see work as a means to earn but to Atiku, work is a means to mend. Some said life is to be enjoyed but to Atiku, life is a skill to be employed. To some life is a game to be played, but to Atiku life is a mission to be accomplished. Atiku is a giant; yet he works as if he is just starting. He is a victor that is not intoxicated by victories. He is a hero; yet he works as if he is the least servant. By his exploits, Nigeria will cease to be the Giant of Africa just by name.
In recent times, divergent opinions have trailed the call for restructuring of Nigeria. Some of the citizens seemed to have misconstrued the vision Atiku has for the country when he keeps canvassing for restructuring as the safest solution to the hydra headed predicaments presently bedeviling Nigeria. The records are clear that fiscal federalism and devolution of powers were adopted at the pre- independence conferences in London and their implementation accounted for the healthy and competitive development of the old regional governments. Our leaders made judicious use of the resources generated from their respective zones to carry out tangible developmental projects and that culminated in the establishment of the foremost University of Nigeria, Ahmadu Bello University and University of Ibadan by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sarduana of Sokoto) Chief Obafemi Awolowo all of blessed memory.
Like Atiku, we believe that a restructured Nigeria would empower the federating units and guarantee self development of their comparative advantages based on availability of natural endowments. As 2019 draws nearer, there is a dire need for well meaning Nigerians to decide early enough that the faulty federal structure Nigeria operates must be reversed for the sake of posterity. One thing is absolutely sure, Nigeria can only move forward if we totally jettison the present system of governance and retrace our steps to the type of fiscal federalism that was operated under the 1963 Republican Constitution before the military intervention in 1966.
The time for us all to join hands in saving the soul of Nigeria from destruction is now. Atiku has been tested to be a man who has demonstrated unprecedented leadership character, proven courage in defence of democracy and capacity to manage difficult economic situation. In the final analysis, what matters most in governing a heterogenous society like Nigeria is experience, which Atiku typifies. His experience is needed to cement the unity of Nigeria, provide more jobs for the teeming unemployed youths and continually attract direct foreign investments to the country. It is on this note that, we under the auspices of Make Nigeria Better Initiative (MNBI) lend our voices to the clarion call on Atiku to vigorously pursue his humble ambition to serve as President of Nigeria by making open declaration and rolling out necessary electioneering memorabilia without being deterred or swayed by the antics of detractors.
*Okirie is the national coordinator of Make Nigeria Better Initiative (MNBI) and writes from Port Harcourt, Rivers State.