Posted by News Express | 2 September 2018 | 2,873 times
Nigeria has little excuse for underperforming as an independent nation over the past 58 years. Consider that Nigeria already has all the trappings for an economic top performer, even if it relied on domestic interstate commerce alone. The huge internal market in Nigeria should make for a robust bee-hive of domestic economic activities.
Therefore, why has the country consistently underperformed, even during the heady days of the Oil Boom? The answer is straightforward; some of the country’s leaders have been incompetent and visionless. There has also been massive greed, and clannishness; that frequently prevented the best and the brightest from taking power from the status quo. However, all that is about to change in 2019.
It was not always doom-time in Nigeria. Some recent leaders of Nigeria actually deserve credit for the few positive steps that moved Nigeria forward. Foremost among these well-intentioned leaders is Olusegun Obasanjo. However, it appears that whenever five steps are taken forward, seven steps were often taken backward.
Today, Nigeria has stepped backwards, especially in its failure to contain internal security. As a result, two regions of Nigeria, the Northeast and the Northcentral, have become a cesspool of violence and strife. The recent violence is mostly perpetrated against Christian farmers in northcentral Nigeria, whose farmlands are frequently attacked by AK47 wielding gunmen.
New Leadership and A New Beginning for Nigeria
However, today a new wind of leadership is blowing in Nigeria; a candidate by the name of “Okey Samuel Mbonu” showed up in Nigeria’s political space a few years ago, and joined the presidential race fully in May of this year.
Mbonu earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD), from the University of District of Columbia, Washington, DC. In the early 2000’s, he was appointed Commissioner, for Housing & Community Development in the Washington suburbs of Maryland, home to the famous National Harbor outside Washington. The National Harbor which was developed during Mbonu’s term as Commissioner is a $1.5 Billion project, and the single most expensive mixed-use development in the US East Coast. As Commissioner, Mbonu spearheaded many multi-million dollars development projects in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC.
Upon transitioning to the private sector in the late 2000’s, Mbonu co-founded the Nigerian-American Council in Washington, and as the Council’s first Executive Director, led the Council to become a powerful and trusted think-tank in the US. His frequent appearances in US institutions and the media, to provide expertise on Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa has been viewed widely worldwide.
Mbonu is a leader with world-class credentials, impeccable record of international achievements, and has total comfort in every region of Nigeria. Based on candid observations, Mbonu is miles ahead of other candidates for the Nigerian presidency in 2019.
We dare say that greatness finally awaits the African giant, if the new crop of leaders wrest control of the country from Nigeria’s status quo.
Mbonu particularly interests us because he is a thorough-bred of sorts; born in Nigeria and partially bred in Washington DC; he exudes the charm and confidence of a natural-born leader, with an affinity for building bridges across various Nigerian ethnic groups. Finally, Mbonu is not among the corrupt status quo Nigerian politicians, who have turned voters off in Africa's largest democracy.
World-class experience to the rescue
In the World Press Conference announcing Mbonu’s Campaign on May 11 this year in Abuja Nigeria; Mbonu listed four critical areas of intervention he would deploy, if he wins the 2019 elections. They include:
(1) Insecurity (secure the country from domestic terrorism to attract domestic and foreign investments);
(2) Electricity & Communications Infrastructure (revamp infrastructure for transforming the economy);
(3) Youth & Women’s Empowerment Programs (including education reform for 21st Century Skills);
(4) Diversify the economy away from Petroleum, and refocusing Healthcare toward preventive care
If Nigerians stay the course in 2019, and elect a candidate like Okey Samuel Mbonu, then a new Nigeria would be ready to arise. The world awaits the African giant.
•Charles Adeyinka, Media Advisr to Labour Party presidential aspirant Okey Samuel Mbonu, writes from Lagos.
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