Niger 2015: Merit should trump zoning

By Letters
In Nigeria
May 26th, 2014
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SIR: As 2015 general elections crawl closer, Niger State deserves a honest, credible, trustworthy, experienced and dedicated statesman to lead her. A governor who will not govern with negativism and fear of the future, but with vigour, vision and aggressive leadership—one who will not be isolated from the people, but will feel our pains, share  our dreams and take his strength, wisdom and his courage from us. Like “Oliver Twist”, the state is asking for more in the areas of infrastructure (roads) education, agriculture, health and job creation.

The aspiration of the masses is to see more indicators in terms of human and infrastructural development, as the state is lagging behind many of its counterparts in the country. It’s worrisome and disheartening that despite its abundant human and natural potentials, the evidence of good governance is not being felt or seen in many sectors. Now that the state is preparing to elect another governor in 2015, it’s imperative that the mandate be given to an aspirant that is endowed with public and private sector experience in order to meet the yearnings and expectations of the people. The state deserves a visionary and charismatic leader, with economic policies that will encourage growth and development of all sectors.

The state needs a chief executive whose policies are realistic and innovative. A type who will stand by his words and promises to the electorates. It’s time to vote for a governor with fresh perspective and foresight for a changing world, a kind who understands the unconventional challenges we face and who can lead us to overcome them, not a tough talking type without anything to show.

Going by the zoning agreement in the state, it’s the turn of Niger North Senatorial zone to produce the governor. Abdulkadir Kure served his term from 1999-2007 for the Niger South Senatorial zone and the incumbent, Babangida Aliyu from Niger East Senatorial zone would be completing his term of 2007-2015. Now that it’s anticipated, the next governor will come from Niger North Senatorial zone, Nigerlites should not sacrifice merit despite the zoning arrangement; the electorate should look out for the best so as not to sacrifice merit in the governance of the state. It will be a setback to the state if we vote in someone that is coming to learn the job on how to pilot the affairs of the state. It is necessary for us to re-launch ourselves; it is not in our interest to continue to have anointed, puppets or an inexperienced person as governor. The state has tested products of anointing and the end results have not been too palatable.

Engineer Mustafa Bello’s credentials as one of the candidates from Niger North Senatorial zone has shown that he will not be a round peg in a square hole, if elected as governor in 2015. Going by his rich experience in the private and public sector, his election would definitely open the door to a balanced solution to the state’s problems.

Mustafa’s election would curb the growing power of pockets of special or quack interests, which so often conceal their self-serving agenda behind a facade of fist-in-the-air patriotism and unfulfilled promises. He represents humility, wisdom, loyalty, discipline, exposure, honesty, hard work, know-how, patriotism and accountability. Now that we are prepared to make another choice, let’s choose wisely in order not to put our lives into the hands of those gamblers, deceivers or chance takers.

The choice is therefore ours to either choose to rebuild our future, by positioning the right candidate or continue to sustain what we will inherit; unfulfilled promises and disappointments.

• Ibrahim Muye Yahaya,

 Muye, Niger State

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