This paraphrase is inspired by the career-guidance-and-counselling age-old prototype, which remains an inevitable anthem at sessions where mentees openly fantasise about dream acmes or professional reincarnations. Our children have always had ambitions. In the past, some wanted to be journalists; others, doctors; many, teachers; and yet a handful: Priests, pilots, astronauts, lawyers, etc.
Not anymore. With standards falling into recession, these embryonic adults now want to be president, governor, parliamentarian, minister, commissioner, chairman, etc. They too want the power, wealth, big cars, escort, noisy convoys, and easy-life concomitant with Politics Nigeriana.
Politicians must sit up, because youngsters, who desperately want a piece of the forbidden cake are watching and electing own specs. See their models and reasons they gave me on Facebook:
Aniebiet Francis: Aminu Tambuwal. He knows when to shift base.
Jerry Clinton: Muhammadu Buhari, a man of uncommon integrity.
Unwam Etefia: Bola Tinubu. From just Lagos at some point; his party now governs Nigeria.
Imaobong Akpan-Akpan: Oh, just one? Let me see. Buhari, Tinubu, Attah, Amaechi, Abe, Tambuwal, Ambode, El Rufai. Since you insist on just one, I will say that Buhari is firm; Tinubu is a strategist; Magnus Abe and the other leaders I mentioned are fine politicians. But, Amaechi embodies their qualities and more. Amaechi!
Iberedem Daniel: Ayodele Fayose; rare, fearless.
Joseph Michael: Victor Attah, a fighter.
David Bassey: Donald Duke, development strategist, who transformed Cross River from civil service state to Nigeria’s number one tourism destination. Think Calabar Carnival!
Eno-enoo Efo: Attah; fought for Akwa Ibom and South-south interest. He’s quite sound and selfless.
Mfonobong Owu: Chris Ekpenyong, Akwa Ibom former deputy governor; a servant-leader.
Ini-ime Graham: Ben Murray-Bruce; transparent.
Anita-Teri Thompson: PMB; so I could travel around the world to learn how to fight corruption.
Ukpono Udo: Attah, great man; detribalised, intelligent.
Aniefiok Essien: Bruce; humane, rational.
Uyai Williams: PMB, an embodiment of perseverance and conviction.
Sylvanus Bassey: Attah, leader-cum developer; stood his ground during resource control struggle.
Dr. Emmanuel Nwusulor: Babatunde Fashola, rose through the ranks, and performed creditably at every stage.
ID Clem: PMB; Mr. Integrity; exemplary, visionary, focused.
Udeme Ebu: Patrick Obahiagbon (Igodomigodo); gigantic, articulate. Edo People must bring back our Grammar Guru to national.
Chrissy Michael: Goodluck Jonathan; first President of Nigeria from South-south; first incumbent to lose; first presidential candidate to call up winner and concede!
Chukwu Agwu: I want to be ‘The Maradona’, play the game, peck a mouthful, beat nemesis and retire as the don. Then someday at sundown, I’d perch on a high stool in Hilltop Mansion, look pen-trotting folks in the eye and declare, ‘I am the evil genius’.
Ezekiel Etim: Godswill Akpabio; his physique reflects his inner virtues; difficult not to like him.
Augustine Akpan: Abdulsalami Abubakar; gave power up at a critical time in the life of our nation.
Larry Thomas: Duke; innovative and visionary; gave his state something the world treasures to this day.
Nnenna Ewa: GEJ, a true leader with a human side. He proved that no Nigerian’s blood was worth his political ambition.
Bassey Joseph: Akpabio, brave and generous.
Joseph Michael: Solomon Dalung. I won’t need to prepare or mind what I say.
Joseph Eyo: I wouldn’t want to be like any Nigerian politician, but I have great admiration for Tinubu, who built a hitherto regional party into a national powerhouse, guided a political movement to defeat an incumbent president; and stepped into the big shoes of the late sage. In all, he earned national leadership, leisurely and almost unchallenged.
Anietie Edet: Attah; put his political life on the line for Akwa Ibom and Niger Delta.
Justina Nweke-Jee: Peter Obi, amazingly simple, visionary; surprisingly prudent.
Kufre George: Duke; youthful, innovative, visionary.
Joeralph Efiong: Akpabio, one man who doesn’t give up.
Jeremy Munachimso: Lai Mohammed, understands our political cravings and employed the knowledge big time; to talk his way into the hearts of his paymasters.
Emmanuel Odotukana: Amaechi; courageous.
Aniekan Akpan: Udoma Udo Udoma! Politics didn’t make him. He has stayed sane in it; unlike others made and destroyed by the vehicle that conveyed them to power.
Henry Akpabio: Tinubu, quintessential political strategist with an unparalleled mobilisation prowess; the 3c leader: Courage, charisma and candour.
Bazhigher Felix: Akpabio, an eloquent, influential, hyper-generous leader, who meets you poor like biblical Lazarus, but leaves you with the blessings of Abraham.
Nsisong Akpakan: PMB, for his integrity.
Ndifreke Akwaowo: Attah. No Nigerian politician is as politically, economically, socially, technologically, environmentally and architecturally visionary as this man.
Benard Abah: Ogbonnaya Onu; for his humility, patience, perseverance and sense of sacrifice.
Idorenyin James: Obi; simple, prudent, humble, intelligent.
Solomon Essien: Abubakar, considered nation above self in 1999.
Michael Akpan: Onofiok Luke, Akwa Ibom Speaker; simple and unique.
Peaceful Peace: GEJ, for his ideology (political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian); being the incumbent who conceded to his challenger long before final result; and during his time his dexterity insulated the masses from recession.
Ini-Ubong Udosen: GEJ, because of his humility conceded to PMB and how he handled the economy.
Menyeneowo Solomon: Duke; as governor, paid salaries and other entitlements in time; despite meagre allocations.
Raphael Peters: GEJ; for proving that his political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
Jane King; GEJ; was not intoxicated by power, and put the nation first. A rare gem!
Emmanuel Jimmy: Obi; kept a low profile and was very prudent with government funds while in office.
Wealth-Umo Iduk: GEJ; for the singular act of conceding defeat.
Ekomobong Dennis: Speaker Luke; selfless, humble, godly.
Juliet-Akpabio Ekong: Akpabio, goal getter, influential, generous.
Nzeaka Ihuoma: I know you won’t publish mine! I understand. He is so intelligent; and has a striking selfless and humane approach to leadership.
Golden citizen award!
The night of last Tuesday, I took a taxi that should not be in the business, let alone in Abuja. Perhaps, it plies the road only at night. Not so, the driver explains: ‘It’s my car. I’m a car painter but at night a cab driver’.
I ignited this conversation after the father of three punctuated the ride to offer alms. When I asked why he, who seems in dire need of money, would spare from his little, he spoke a classic: ‘Sir, that man is a cripple. If things are this hard with complete me; what about him’?
That’s the altruistic mindset our leaders should have. Meanwhile, Good People of Nigeria, please rise; as I present this special honour, Golden Citizen Award, this week to Abdulfatai of Osun State. Congratulations, Mallam Golden Citizen!
Booby prize of the week!
Conversely: for attempting to ‘illegalise’ the law profession with unbecoming grammatical and reasoning blunders; for dishonouring the office of Honourable Minister; and for making our Sport Ministry an internet laughing stock; the one-and-only Ministerial-Sit-Down-Comedian-of-the-Federal-Republic, Solomon Dalung, is the first-ever winner of this unenviable award.
Stop booing so we could hear it for Mr. Dalung: ‘I thank you for this award. I didn’t know I’d win; so I didn’t prepare for it since ‘the funds spended’ (sic) on uncertain victory, would not be deemed to have been ‘properly spended’ (sic). God bless United States of Nigeria’ (sic).