By Francis Nwaze
Thomas Jefferson referred to the term good government as: “One that most effectively secures the rights of the people and the rewards of their labour, which promotes their happiness, and also does their will.”
It means that, for a government to be appealing to the governed, it must have these qualities.
In the words of the United States civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr.:
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Ideology, on the other hand, is said to be a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy. Hence, we have different politico-economic-cum-social ideologies. These form the basis with which the propounders are known while they lived and even after their demise.
Nigeria is fragmented, at a crossroads and earnestly needs a man to turn its fortunes around as 2023 beckons. Anybody denying these visible signs is not wishing the country well.
The drums of ethnic agitations and numbers of non-state actors bearing arms are geometrically on the increase. If the country can get it right in 2023, it will put to rest a greater percentage of the challenges confronting the nation. This is where the question, “how do we do it” comes in.
Like in all the critical cases that have bedevilled the human race, some leaders have shown the capabilities of solving such problems. And they have been called upon to wade in and help in taking the nation out of the political/economic quagmire. These are men whom Martin Luther King Jr. described as people with “hearts full of grace and souls generated by love.”
At the height of cluelessness in Singapore’s political/economic history, Lee Kuan Yew was prevailed upon. At the end, Singaporeans were the best for it. The same could be said of the former German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, Patrice Lumumba of Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, etc.
Governor David Umahi is a political thought hinged on certain cardinal points. These are: infrastructural development, security, human empowerment, intentional fiscal responsibility, international camaraderie, equitable and inclusive distribution of the commonwealth, obeying the rule of law, transparency, accountability, etc.
The uniqueness of Nigeria’s challenges does not require a political neophyte, one who is improvident or one who is indifferent to the challenges, or even an ethnic bigot. It much requires a frugal nationalist who is very much concerned with making Nigeria the “beautiful bride” in Africa and the world. And this is where the experience of governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, comes to play.
Gov. Umahi has proved to be a good manager of human and economic resources as deputy governor and governor in a stretch. His management of the meagre resources of his state has left many in awe, and it is a dynamism that many people have been studying. This attribute is what Nigeria needs.
In the area of infrastructure, Gov. Umahi has proved his capabilities most. He has turned Ebonyi into Dubai of Nigeria and placed the state on a high pedestal that has made a once-obscure Ebonyi come into the limelight. He has even taken his infrastructural drive to the domains of people who did not vote for him in 2015 and 2019. Have we imagined what he would do with bigger resources at his disposal when he becomes Nigeria’s President?
As a servant-leader, Gov. Umahi has made it a point of duty to always carry along his subjects in all his plans for the state. He has organized town hall meetings to get the inputs of Ebonyians on budgets, critical projects and overall running of the state. Although he enjoys the constitutional power to override their inputs, he never did.
The issue of insecurity in Nigeria has seen the country drawn in the same category with countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Cambodia, Syria, Yemen, etc. It is said that a good dancer is known by his first dance steps. With the way Gov. Umahi has handled the numerous security challenges that faced Ebonyi, ranging from communal crises to farmers-herders’ clashes, it is proof that he would restore peace to Nigeria and cause the citizens to sleep with their eyes closed.
Direct foreign investment mostly occur when foreign investors see the leader of a country as incorruptible, where their businesses are secure, and where return on investment is guaranteed. Gov. Umahi has made Ebonyi a haven for investors. Love him or hate him, you cannot dispute the fact that he is a good human manager who is friendly to his foes. This quality has endeared him to many outside his party or geopolitical zone. With this quality, Nigeria will regain the trust of her estranged partners in Africa and the world.
As the heat of the 2023 gets hotter, it behooves on Nigerians to make this one giant leap to select the best hand to transform the country exponentially. The Umahi Divine Mandate ideology has become a movement that will lead to Nigeria’s Eldorado. The idea has come to stay and has proved to be the best bet to revamp Nigeria in every aspect.
•Nwaze is Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to the Ebonyi State governor