Uthman Dan Fodio said: “Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it.” If you ask any Nigerian of his views about politics in Nigeria, without hesitation and equivocation, he would respond by saying that telling truth is a scarce commodity in the Nigerian political sphere. This is because most Nigerians find it difficult to speak truth to power. Like Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and a few others are different. They say what they mean and mean what they say. They face the issues the way they are, not minding whose ox is gored.
In recent times, there has been a clamour for the 2023 Presidency to shift to the Southern part of Nigeria. On the basis of equity and fairness, no one can question such quest. By 2023, the Northern part of Nigeria would have occupied the Presidency for 8 years (two consecutive constitutionally-guaranteed terms).
It will be unreasonable, irresponsible and unpatriotic for any Northerner to nurse the idea of becoming the next President after President Muhammadu Buhari (a Northerner). Nigeria is a multi-tribal State and for the sake of ethnic balancing and equitable distribution of power and resources, every part of the country must be carried along.
What El-Rufai and others are saying is that fairness and equity give citizens the belongingness needed to optimize opportunities in the Nigerian socio-political and economic environment. The aggregation of the microcosm of fairly distributed power and resources would necessarily leave a macrocosm of positive effects beneficial to all, thereby enhancing national ethos and healthy nationhood.
Nation-building and the attainment of nationhood and national cohesion is critical. If and when we jettison parochialism, selfishness and greed, we will achieve our dream of a great nation. As we make progress as a nation, we must eliminate anything that would work against our collective existence.
The clamour for a President of Southern extraction in 2023 is a call for equity and fairness. All Nigerians must support that call in our nation-building effort.
-Achor Omodu, Esq. writes from Port Harcourt.