By Cheta Nwanze
Behold, the fool saith, “Put not all thine eggs in the one basket” — which is but a manner of saying, “Scatter your money and your attention”; but the wise man saith, “Put all your eggs in the one basket and — WATCH THAT BASKET.” — Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar.
There are lessons that should be learned from the disastrous government we have had over the last two years. Some of those lessons, have been alluded to before.
But it is important to note this — today is 7 September, 2017. This means that we have 527 days until 16 February, 2019, the scheduled date of the next Presidential Election. That we are already discussing who should be on the ballot in 12,648 hours time, rather than focusing on how to raise growth from the 0.55% announced by the NBS two days ago, is an indictment of this government. It is also an indictment of the system we run.
Buhari has failed, there is no doubt about that, and that is not going to change. But is he the only one who has failed? There are thirty-six other men, who have in varying degrees all failed. They are closer to us, than Buhari is. There are also a hundred and nine others, seven of them women, who have failed as well. Their actions, or inactions, are also very important in these discussions. Then there are three hundred and sixty others. All this talk about Buhari, Atiku, El Rufai, etc, misses the point.
The point is we have to focus first. Within the limited time we have, there is a constitutional amendment process underway, which will change some of the ground rules for 2019. Have we forgotten about it?
The bigger battle headed into the 2019 election season is how to change the current system from this crappy stuff that throws up flawed candidates time and again.
Now, let me ask a practical question: Nasir El-Rufai, the current governor of Kaduna state, is one name that is consistently mentioned as a candidate for 2019. His supporters swear that he is the most competent person to lead the country from that time on. From all the incompetence that we see floating around, that is an argument that sounds rational. However, El Rufai has shown that he lacks something that is quite vital to run Nigeria — empathy and emotional intelligence.
But we must ask, what if he is thrown up by the APC? What if, the PDP decides to opt for Ali Modu Sheriff to run against him? Before you remind me about Makarfi’s victory, let me remind you that in our byzantine system, anything is possible. Makarfi and Sheriff can kiss and make up tomorrow. If that is the case, and it is El Rufai v Sheriff on the vote, who then will you vote for?
Both men are deeply unpalatable, but if we don’t focus on the process which might throw them up, we risk wasting another four years.
Dear Nigeria, the basket we need to watch over the next year, is Bukola Saraki’s constitutional amendment process. Let us watch that basket.
This piece was first published on Cheta Nwanze’s Medium.
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on TheSheet.ng are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of TheSheet.ng.”
Got a news tip/information for us? Email email@example.com
Follow us on twitter @thesheet
Like us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com / The Sheet
This is a 2017 Copyright of thesheet.ng. You may wish to request express approval from thesheet.ng to republish.