Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Nigeria Needs A Change Of Leadership

It appears that power is fast slipping from the grasp of President Goodluck Jonathan.

If he does actually lose the election, perhaps he can redeem himself in the eyes of the vast majority of ordinary Nigerians - who clearly feel that he has failed their country - by gracefully conceding defeat: so as to avoid widespread post-election violence.

If he does so, he will be remembered by posterity, for sparing Nigerians the ordeal of experiencing post-election violence, after a closely-contested national election for the federal presidency.

That millions across Nigeria's 36 states defied Boko Haram's threats, and queued patiently for hours to vote, is evidence of the determination of ordinary Nigerians to change the destiny of their country, at what is a defining moment in its history.

And, for the west African sub-region as a whole, a peaceful transfer of power from one party to another, in the sub-region's most populous nation, and its biggest economy, will bring a huge sigh of relief to many. It will be a much-welcomed development.

A stable and prosperous Nigeria, contributes significantly to the growth of cross-border trade in the sub-regional grouping, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

It has been obvious for some time now - as the extremist Islamist terror group, Boko Haram, has spread its terror-footprint both inside Nigeria, and across Nigeria's borders to its immediate neighbours, Niger and Cameroon - that President Goodluck Jonathan lacks the leadership qualities needed to stop Nigeria from being destabilised by Boko Haram's terrorism and ruined financially by high-level corruption.

As events unfold in Nigeria, it is vital that ECOWAS leaders are proactive in preventing hardliners in the ruling party, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), from rejecting the results of what many observers feel has been a mostly free and fair election.

They should counsel President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the PDP to act like statesmen  - and remind them of the judgement of history awaiting them, and the need for them to think of the welfare of the long-suffering citizens of  Nigeria: instead of scheming to hang on to power.

Whiles the world  awaits the final results of the presidential election,  ECOWAS must move swiftly, and send a high-powered delegation led by Ghana's President Mahama, to Nigeria - to engage with the leadership of the PDP, and stress the importance of their accepting defeat for the greater good of both Nigeria and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

Victory for the incorruptible Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) party's presidential candidate, will be good for a nation that is black Africa's only potential global power - which needs to tackle high-level corruption and defeat Boko Haram's terrorism simultaneously.

Nigeria definitely needs a change of leadership - and Muhammadu Buhari is the most suitable politician  amongst the country's current crop of politicians to provide the incorruptible and disciplined leadership that that sister nation so desperately needs.

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