A youth leader in Zamfara State, Mallam Lukman Mustapha, has revealed that the country’s democracy could have for long been aborted but for the intellectual prowess brought on board by Governor Kayode Fayemi and other intellectuals.
The Gusau based youth leader averred that the fact that intellectuals like Governor Fayemi were attracted into politics helped in salvaging the present dispensation from total collapse.
Mustapha, who stated that as the country’s 2023 presidential race gathers traction, opined that having a president like Governor Fayemi, with rich and enviable democratic records, would reform the electoral system and entrenched detrabilistic posture that would unite the divided Nigeria.
The youth leader said this in a statement issued on Wednesday in Gusau, cataloguing democratic credentials that buttressed the fact that Governor Fayemi is a numero uno among the contenders for presidency.
Mustapha appealed to the All Progressives Congress to critically assess the bigwigs that are indicating interest in the presidential ticket and make the most apt choice for the party to triumph in 2023.
Espousing his views on who is most apposite to be flag bearer among the political juggernauts scrambling for the APC ticket, Mustapha said Fayemi stands out among the contenders as intellectual, shrewd and astute politician, human rights activist and a detribalised leader with widespread tentacles and nexus across political, religious and ethnic inclinations.
“In my humble view, a leader like Dr Kayode Fayemi will be able to sanitise our electoral system with policies and programmes not minding if it would hurt him or his party. For him, service to Nigeria will come first and not service for selfish interest.
“At this point Nigeria needs a leader who sees Nigeria beyond its divides and beyond what he could benefit leading Nigeria. A leader who is prepared for the huge task of uniting the country and restoring its lost glory.
“A leader whose attention is on the people and not power. I’ve heard Dr Fayemi on different occasions say his next political move is in the hands of God because he is still busy with his state. That for me, is the kind of man we need,” he said.
Mustapha added that at Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, not many thought the military would not stage a coup and return to power soon after handing over.
He stated that highly futuristic intellectuals like Fayemi still took a plunge despite the pessimism, as part of the sacrifices to democratise Nigeria and conscientise the citizens.
“Perhaps, the pessimism was among many reasons decent intellectuals and bright minds stayed away from politics, allowing and rascals dominate our political landscape, a major reason our politics today is a dirty and morbid game.
“But thanks to courageous and bright minds like Dr Kayode Fayemi, who felt the system cannot be left for rouges to dominate. His venturing into politics has raised the quality of leadership in at least his home state, driving Ekiti State from cheap populist politics with no substance to decent and civil politics of substance, growth and development.”
Speaking on Fayemi’s eloquent democratic credentials, Mustapha maintained that he was first in Nigeria’s history to relinquish power peacefully despite being rigged and this he said remains a good precedence that no one can deny.
“Years after, we saw how former President Goodluck Jonathan toed the part of honour, imitating Dr Fayemi’s style based on firm belief that politics should not be a do or die affair but for peace, progress, development and betterment of our society.
“Many who praised Jonathan in 2015 indirectly agreed that Dr Fayemi introduced that to modern Nigerian politics and posterity will be kind to him for doing that when many thought it wasn’t a wise decision. Even his opponents agree he raised the bar by that singular act.
“By that, Dr Fayemi proved he is a democrat beyond cheap, glib talk. Thus, when the discussion of who to lead Nigeria out of its present political and economic mess comes up, I do not shy away from saying: give it to Dr Fayemi.
“We need a man who is not so attached to the office but with understanding that the office is to serve. In other words, a personality like Dr Fayemi who is not lusting after power or office for personal gains can take strategic and non emotional decisions for the country,” Mustapha concluded.