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By Simon Abah,

People aspire for the office of president of a country for many reasons. I hear Aliko Dangote is being pressured by admirers to run for office of president. If I were him, I wouldn’t run, because he has a stature greater than that of a president. What does a Bill Gate need the presidency for? His platform extends far and above one provided by the US political scene. So also is Dangote. They both don’t need political offices to make money, for they are already rich. Power right?


There are many reasons that make people seek political office. One of which is to serve humanity and solve pressing challenges, secondly to make history and have a good time and finally to steal.

Ken Saro-Wiwa in one of his books categorized President Shehu Shagari’s government of the second republic amongst the worst in modern history. I wonder the performance metrics that he used to arrive at that and what he might have said, were he alive in this fourth republic. And so maybe Shagari wasn’t prepared for office but went to make history and have a good time. I have heard people say that there aren’t legacy projects that Nigerians can remember that government for.

President Olusegun Obasanjo came to unify the country and to serve. He succeeded up to a point before he veered off, painfully. Today, some of the pangs of disunity that the nation suffers were planted by his actions and further entrenched by President Jonathan. But the quirks of Obasanjo notwithstanding, he never favoured any region above another and was not loyal to persons above national interests.

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua didn’t aspire to be president but his antecedent showed that he came to serve. I wish he lived longer. His death was a big disservice to this nation because his successor didn’t follow his agenda the way President Lyndon Johnson astutely followed the agenda of President J. F. Kennedy. There is today no justification for why we should be in a recession that was predicted in November 2014. Check the OPEC figures of Nigeria’s earnings in oil and gas during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan without adding earnings in taxes and you would know that President Jonathan like President Shehu Shagari went to the presidency to make history and to have a good time. And he really had a good time.

I voted for President Muhammadu Buhari because I saw him as a better alternative. A retired soldier who has history before him and could reform the system not change it. I never fell for the blarney of his party’s change mantra. It’s difficult to change a country without a clear-cut national philosophy. The president in my view came to serve. Regrettably, he hasn’t served well in my estimation but can do better. I hope he isn’t waiting to serve well in his second term, a return which is not guaranteed. He had better seek President Jonathan’s counsel on how not to wait for a second term to serve well. I refuse to judge him on the economy. Experts know that the straits we are in weren’t caused by him but he seems to be telling his lieutenants how to lead instead of showing them.

Aliko Dangote has what it takes to give PMB a run for his money in the next general elections, should he decide to run. The drawback is that, the business tycoon doesn’t have the popular appeal with the masses in the north like PMB and may not be supported by the establishment.

Dangote should be another John D. Rockefeller who was quoted to have said: “I believe the power to make money is a gift of God to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind. Having been endowed with the gift I possess. I believe it is my duty to make money and still more money and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.”

Culled from The Nation



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