We’re nearing election time in Nigeria. And so in the spirit of the season I’ve drawn up a list, made up of people who to the best of my knowledge have declared for the presidency, those I think are serious contenders for the presidency and those who in my opinion are worthy to hold the highest office in the land. The analysis and opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone and are based on what I know about the people in my list. The criteria I used in ranking are 1) charisma, 2) eloquence, 3) intellect, 4) accomplishment, 5) political experience, and 6) election success possibilities. The ranking is in descending order of worthiness and voting possibilities. By voting possibilities I mean the chances of me casting a vote for them at the polls. Yep I voted in the 2003 elections. On that note let’s rumble!
D = Declared. Those who have declared their intention to run for the presidency
ND = Not Declared. Those who have not declared their intention to run for the presidency
WVF = Won’t Vote For. Those that you won’t catch me voting for
1 – Nasir El Rufai (ND)
Presently the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, El Rufai has done very well in office and has made Abuja a much better and orderly place to live in. Although in the course of his work he has also rendered thousands homeless and jobless, something his opponents are quick to point out. But in a place like Nigeria an attempt to restore order unavoidable means you’ll step on toes and make some unfortunate people suffer. All in all the man is intelligent, hardworking and eloquent and would make a really good president. Besides he’s familiar in political circles and in the media so he’s good to go.
2 - Dora Akunyili (ND)
Presently the Director General of NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) Dora Akunyili is a blessing to the nation and a wonderful worker indeed. Rendering the magic she did in NAFDAC to the whole nation would be fantastic. No doubt about it she’s presently the most popular female in the country; she’s brave, bold, upright, intelligent, a feminist’ dream come true and indeed a great material for the presidency.
3- Donald Duke (ND)
Presently the Governor of Cross River State the Youngman is charming but more importantly has done an excellent job in his state environmentally and tourism wise. Donald Duke has a sort of clean slate and has not involved himself in the religious or North-South bullshit that possesses a lot of Nigerian politicians. Of the thirty six governors in the country he’s most suited to the presidency in my opinion.
4 – Orji Uzor Kalu (D)
For reasons best known to President Obasanjo, Governor of Abia State: Orji Uzor Kalu has been seriously victimized in the life of this administration and I’m really bought over by his courage. In these days of EFCC swoop if he’s really bad why then has he not being brought down. Take nothing away from him the man has done well in office scoring major points in sports (football) promotion and has good business acumen. He’s one of the major Ndigbo leaders and the most realistic option for Igbo presidency. But unfortunately outside of the South East he might struggle for votes.
5 - Peter Odili (D)
If you’re talking of Governors in the good books of the president, Peter Odili Governor of Rivers state will be amongst the first names. He’s in the media a lot and seems to have done well in office. But some other people will tell you that the phrase “all that glitters is not gold” aptly applies to him. Nonetheless in these days of pro South-South presidency he’s the forefront contender.
6 – Buba Marwa (D)
Retired Brigadier-General Buba Marwa who hails from the North but did very well as Military Administrator (in the military years. Equivalent to Governor) of Lagos State is one to be taken serious with in the presidential race. Presently an astute businessman (although it seems he benefited from the years of military financial misrule) he’ll make a really good consensus candidate. If he gets the blessings of the kingmakers he could really sweep the polls.
7 - Jerry Gana (D)
Before Femi Fani-kayode and Frank Nweke Junior there was Jerry Gana. The man who people say is a Chameleon has survived many administrations as a high political office holder. Presently he proclaims he’s born again and uses it as one of the core points of his campaign. Personally i'd say he’s not such a bad choice for president and as a Northern Christian who is popular in the media he stands quite a good chance at the polls.
8 - Pat Utomi (D)
Pat Utomi is the Director of the Lagos business school and one of the heads in Nigerian economic circles. But me thinks he’s dull, lacks charisma and is the greatest enemy to his own current affairs TV program: Patito’s Gang. He shouldn’t dream politics and is better off continuing in his present career. But if you go by opinions in the other school of thought he’s a gem whose brains is needed in the administration of the country.
9- Chris Okotie (D)
The greatest if not only quality of Reverend Chris Okotie is that he’s a man of God and so will rule the country in a God fearing and upright way. But his opponents say he’s more of a businessman then a pastor. Currently and in the near future he has no realistic hope (especially in the Muslim North who might be uncomfortable with him) of being president but he relentlessly pursues his goal (he stood for the elections in 2003).
10 - Rochas Okorocha (D)
The only thing that can be said about Rochas Okorocha is that he’s a Youngman with money to spend. His campaign strategy is centered on the fact that he’s a philanthropist (which is in no doubt). Maybe if elected the national cake will be distributed more evenly and the poor would get a better share.
11 – Abubakar Atiku (D, WVF)
Abubakar Atiku is the current Vice President but unfortunately is not in good terms with the President. Thus he faces an uphill task in his quest to step into his boss’ shoes. He’s also receiving heat from some section of the public who seem to hate him. In my opinion much of the hate is unjustifiable. But on his part he made little use of his opportunity as Vice President achievement-wise. His only notable accomplishment to date is that he was anti-third term and thus gave a lot of people courage to oppose Obasanjo’s sinister moves. He won’t likely run on the platform of the PDP and he won’t likely win on the platform of any other party.
12- Ahmed Sani Yerima (D, WVF)
Ahmed Sani Yerima is the Governor of Zamfara State and the foremost crusader for the Sharia legal system in Nigeria. An attribute which has made him the most Popular (popular as in everyone knows him) Governor from the North. There’s little else to say about him except that his presidential ambition will not be fruitful because he’ll get little or no support from the South.
13 – Bashir Tofa (D, WVF)
Bashir Tofa was M.K.O. Abiola’s opponent in the June 12 1993 presidential elections. Not much has been heard from him since then. And I don’t know where he suddenly woke up from but I think it’s in his best interest (financially) if he goes back to sleep.
14 – Muhammadu Buhari (WVF)
Retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari is a former Head of State whose years in power were not at all wonderful. He’s also a known hardcore Muslim, an aspect which will work seriously against him in the South. He contested against the incumbent President in the 2003 elections, using the late Chuba Okadigbo (his running mate) as back up to see to his dreams. Personally I think he should quit bitching about his defeat and do something else with his life. He’s not worthy to be president at all
15 – Ibrahim Babangida (WVF)
Retired General Ibrahim Babangida a.k.a Maradona or The Evil Genius is a former head of state that’s famous for annulling the results of the June 12 1993 presidential elections. To this day he has refused to apologize or explain his actions and is thus unforgivable. A man who calls off a widely free and fair electoral process has no moral right to stand for elections in another one. Besides when he was in power he didn’t do much. His only friends in the media and in the public are the sycophants and the easily gullible and I don’t think he’ll declare for the presidency as a lot of people say he will.
Extra: An animation inspired by this post.