The media has been washed in recent times with claims and counterclaims from different regions of the country as to who should produce the president come 2023.
This was birthed by the stance of the Southern Governors in a recent meeting in Lagos where they unanimously agreed that the next president of the country should come from the southern region in 2023.
The demand was part of the six-point communique read by the Ondo State governor and chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, at the end of the meeting.
The communiqué reads in part “Rising from the meeting, the forum agreed on the following: Reaffirmed their commitment to the unity of Nigeria on the pillars of equity, fairness, justice, progress and peaceful coexistence between and amongst its people.
“The forum reiterates its commitment to the politics of equity, fairness and unanimously agrees that the presidency of Nigeria be rotated between southern and northern Nigeria and resolved that the next president of Nigeria should emerge from the Southern Region.”
While the derailing security situation in the country and the poor economic state, that has increased poverty level, has not been considered by the powers that be when deciding who should emerge President and capable of tackling and helping all of these situations, Nigerians have been put in a more difficult situation with the political system that produces presidential candidates.
It has become the decision of the ruling class to make through primary elections-whereby a political party produces one candidate that is sold to the entire populace as only a few have the opportunity of making a choice from the hundreds of qualified Nigerians.
A number of political parties could present candidates for the presidential election but the contest has been between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The question is: who then should decide who becomes the president? For obvious reasons, stipulates of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on how a Presidential candidate emerges cannot be waved aside but the country is in a situation where the electorates would have been given access to more options.
This is to help compare choices, in relation to the issues that needed to be tackled while in office.
While power has been given to political parties to choose flagbearers, they can sample public opinions through digital engagements with the use of social media, referendums and polls. This can help to pick their candidate from the electorates’ choices. It will no doubt shape future campaigns and drive better engagements and voter participation.
This may threaten Nigeria’s political elite as they could be dethroned as kingmakers but Nigerians can get the leaders they deserve.
In another gain, the popular insinuations that election doesn’t count in Nigeria could change as the electorates will now feel more involved in the process, thereby increasing political participation.
Nigeria takes elections seriously. It is obvious in the public discuss but a system that determines an outcome that moves the country forward must be created, regardless of who it is that does the moving. This is to avoid maintaining the dangerous and deleterious status quo.
_Dear reader, kindly share your contribution on who you think should decide who emerges as president. Thank you_