Nwajiuba, Onu and Nigeria's dream – The Sun Nigeria – Daily Sun

“Rather, people should be governed by those with the greatest knowledge, abilities, and virtues, and who possessed a deep knowledge of themselves.” –Socrates
Last Sunday, presidential aspirants from the South East region seeking to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari next year made a bold and profound statement about their seriousness to engage in the contest and to win also. The aspirants, including Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Ogbonnaya Onu, Ken Nnamani and Uju Ohanenye, had met at the residence of Rochas Okorocha to take a common position as all political parties interested in fielding candidates for the presidential election work towards their primary elections.
For the aspirants, taking a common stand as regards supporting any of them who scales the primary election hurdle to emerge the APC standard-bearer was an action in furtherance of the demand by the South East political region to have the presidential pendulum, equitably, swing its way. The decision means a lot to the South East because it presents Nigeria with options in human resources, especially given that the list of those at the meeting, and others absent, presents to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and to Nigerians a mix of knowledge, abilities, virtues and qualifications. This is from aspirants who have very deep insights and understanding in appreciating the Nigerian dream and seeking its actualisation.
In that mix, most people are agreed that Nwajiuba, immediate past Minister of Education (State), presents a capable and competent option. Most people who have had the opportunity to see through his mind have come to find a mind that not only understands the complexities of the Nigerian problem but readily plots the graph with solutions that are practical and implementable, solutions that would free the country from its self-inflicted underdevelopment curse. The problems are self-inflicted because, as an independent nation, Nigeria has, since 1960, been governed by Nigerians. So, its failures and disconnection in leadership and development are purely a Nigerian problem, which Nwajiuba understands perfectly well, unlike many on the APC bus.
From his days in the National Assembly when he was elected to represent his federal constituency in Imo State on the platform of PDP, Nwajiuba has remained consistent in his focus on progressive politics, which seeks to redraw the map of Nigeria’s development and create a new meaning and a new sense of purpose in national leadership. The drive for a progressive ideology in the political, economic and social development of Nigeria led him to the opposite platform and then to the Congress for Progressive Change, where he aligned with like minds to push for a departure from the conservatism of PDP.
Understanding a problem is critical to finding a solution. This is where Nwajiuba shows capacity. For instance, in analyzing the frequent industrial actions by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nwajiuba would, rather than walk the same road that had stagnated university development and growth, proffer a solution that funds the university system through funding of the students. In other words, rather than pump funds into a pit that never gets filled, which would also be bogged down by legal constraints that exposes procurement to inflationary trends, Nwajiuba would work a system that keeps both lecturers and students in school without funding constraints. This is new thinking. Like I had said in the past, resolving many of the problems bugging Nigerians like insecurity, unemployment, energy crisis, etc., requires thinking outside the box. Thinking outside the box is what smart leaders do.
The other aspirant from the South East who also presents a capable and competent option is Onu, immediate past Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation. Onu’s service to the country has been remarkable. From his days as governor of the old Abia State, Onu has also remained consistent in his progressive thoughts about Nigeria’s future. For the love of his country, Onu sacrificed his presidential ambition even when he had the ticket of his party to contest to be President, to pave way for a southern combo of Olu Falae and Olusegun Obasanjo. That sacrifice created the possibility of an all-South West contest for the President in 1999, thus placing Onu on a pedestal.
As minister, Onu has used his office to drive policy enactments that would, if properly implemented, land Nigeria on a platform where technological innovations would become the driving force for poverty eradication through massive job and wealth creation in the country. As it is, what else is government but the enactment of policies that transform society and adds value to life and living?
However, the quest for the Nigerian leader of the 2023 era should be properly understood and contextualized as leadership recruitment and not a reward for friendship and service to a political party. In this regard, what is most important is an evaluation of the aspirant’s qualifications and learning, his/her capabilities, and skills. Imagine for once that Nigeria is a conglomerate and is in search of a CEO. Applicants for that job will be reviewed on their education, skills, and capabilities. Age and health status will also come into focus.
How deep their pockets are, do not even come into focus. In business, you look out for deep pockets when you need to shore up capital base through private offers. These are parameters that delegates to the APC convention ought to put in focus on when they converge to do the needful for the sake of the future of Nigeria.
Nwajiuba and Onu epitomize the Socratic thought that “great leaders are great readers and learners. They absorb the wisdom of others and complement it with their own experiences and failures, thus accelerating their growth.” This is why both men come forward as South East’s best legs forward in the APC for the leadership of Nigeria from 2023.
As Ludwig Wittgenstein said, it is “either, or”. It is either Nwajiuba picks the ticket, or Onu flies that flag. Either way, the southeast, the third leg of the tripod, would have been assuaged. It also means that Nigeria’s unity would have been re-energized.
It also means that APC, as a political party, would have saved itself from the disintegration that may likely become its fate if it fails to honour the agreement it reached with its members to rotate the pendulum to the South after eight years in the North.

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© 2019 The Sun Nigeria – Managed by Netsera.
© 2019 The Sun Nigeria – Managed by Netsera.

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