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2023: X-Raying Ibikunle Amosun As Governor, Senator And Potential Nigeria’s President

By Ajibola Olarinoye

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Nigerian politiical landscape has been beaming with different interesting scenes being performed by the political gladiators from every part of the country.

One of the interesting scenes the political actors have been acting in the past few months, eliciting reactions and attentions, is the declaration to contest for the post of the number one seat in the country, the enviable post of the Office of Nigerian President. Some chose to declare in the presence of President Mohammadu Buhari, some disclosed it on their social media pages, while some declared it to the press.

Some of the political juggernauts that have declared intention so far to succeed President Mohammadu Buhari in 2023 is youthful Governor Yahaya Bello, the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Abia State Governor, Dr Orji Uzo Kalu, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi, Governor Nyesom Wike, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, Senator Ibukun Amosun, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, among others.

Of course, all those activities are normal in every democracy, especially when an election is drawing near. But, one thing I notice is that many Nigerians who are keenly following the situations are mostly concerned about the region that will produce the next President snd how famous or influential the aspirants are. It is just few that are taking their time to dissect the personalities of each aspirant to understand their level of preparations, coupled with  practical past  records that cannot be disputed at all.

The issue of power rotation is necessary, but should not be the one largely dominating the media space the way it is doing for now.

Considering the current state of Nigeria, no doubt, we need a leader with excellent track records that is so glaring that it cannot be disputed or argued on. I mean a leader who has been groomed with excellent management of human, natural and financial resources and no evil is found on him just like the Biblical Daniel. The person that has for years prepared himself for the hot seat;  not an arrangee President who just got there by luck or influence of cabals.

In my own humble opinion, due to terrible state of things, a person with the political experience of governoship seat is the most suitable to take over the seat from Buhari. This is very necessary because they have experience of managing millions of population and resources.

After painstakingly x-raying and analysing the former  and the past Governors who have openly made known their intention, I have noticed the one that perfectly suits the attributes that I highlighted in paragraph six.

Without any form of bias (thank God I am not a card carrying member of any political party), without any form of ethnic  sentiment ( I thank God I am not from Ogun,) without any form of religious sentiment (I am not a Muslim); in  my humble and personal  opinion, I want to submit that the former Governor of Ogun State who is currently a Senator of the Federal republic, Senator Ibukunle Amosun, meets up with all the standards of the new President we need at this crucial moment in paragraph six above.

Before declaring his intention recently, politiical observers had been on look out if he would also throw his hat into the ring for 2023 presidency. However, he had remained mute on the matter until Wednesday when he broke the silence as he wrote a letter to his colleagues in the upper legislative chamber on the new development in his political career.

Amosun is not an amateur in the political terrain. Even before getting into public office, his popularity among his people was fantastic and enormous. That was why he overwhelming defeated an incumbent Senator, Femi Okunrounmu, during the election for the senatorial seat in 2003 under the platform of People Democratic Party.

In 2011, he was overwhelmingly elected as the Governor of Ogun State. He was re-elected in 2015. After completing the limit of two-term as the Governor in 2019 as specified in the constitution, he decided to go back to the Senate to continue his service to the nation.

Looking at the current state of the nation where the country’s debt profile has hit a level of N39.55trillion going by the statistics of the Debt Management Office. Nigeria is in dire need of an astute administrator who can think outside the box to work things out.

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Nigeria is one of the most unsecured countries in the world at this moment due to the way bandits have been kidnapping and killing people on a daily basis. People are now afraid to travel to any part of Nigeria by air, road or railway.

We can now all see that anybody taking over from Buhari is taking over a very enormous task, perhaps, the most enormous task in the world. So, Nigeria needs someone who has the ability to think ruggedly outside the box. We need someone like Amosun whose whose track records of practical experience cannot be disputed due to how glaring it is.

As the Governor of Ogun State for eight years, he displayed astute administrative skills to bring the state out of the “desert” it was to an economically viable state that has since become attractive to both foreign and local investors.  For instance, he bought Ogun State out of liability states that totally depend on federal allocation to survive. Within a space of eight years, he fantastically and unbelievably increased the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from paltry sum of N700 million monthly he met it and nurtured it to the tune of N7b monthly. A rare feat that can only be achieved by a genius.

He made Ogun State a cynosure of business activities by attracting over 423 mega industries and over 1,000 medium and small scale industries for just a period of eight years. During his period,  NSIA and InVivo signed a letter of intent for land reforestation project in Imeko and Awowo forests covering 108,000 hectares

He took a very bold step by taking Ogun State to the world stage by initiating the signing of a memorandum between France government and Ogun state as part of his move to make Ogun one of the most industrialised states in Nigeria. The signing of the deal was witnessed by President Mohammadu Buhari and President Emmanuel Macron of France. This remains a commendable feat to reckon with. 

In his relentless efforts to ensure the transformation of the economy of Nigeria as a Senator of the Federal Republic, Amosun sponsored a Bill titled “National Industrial Technology Park ( Establishment)” in the Senate. Ths was a gigantic move that has received wide commendations from cross section of Nigerians.

The infrastructural facilities he built in Ogun State are just too much to be enumerated. Every nook and cranny of the state had the touch of viable infrastructural project that are too glaring to see.

Before becoming the Governor, Ogun State was at the bottom of the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index in the 2010 report, however, due to Amosun’s critical thinking ability, the state was ranked as one of the five most-improved states in the country in 2014 in the report of the global financial institution.

Amosun is known to be a welfarist who believes that those who are well to do  should cater for the poor and the underprivileged in the society. His ideology as a Governor was anchored on a strong partnership between public and private sectors in such a way that it would not affect the average residents of the state. His welfarism pinpoints to the fact that throughout his reign as the Governor, unlike some of his colleagues Governors, Amosun did not owe a dime in salaries and pensions.

Everybody knows how Ogun State enjoyed security during his tenure. He fully demonstrated zero tolerance to crime, he was not just sitting down in the office. In fact there was a particular period when he had to  risk his life to board a local boat with some security operatives to deal decisively with some notorious hoodlums who were allegedly terrorizing some Ogun riverine communities. This testifies to the fact that through his politiical will and result-oriented approach, he would tackle the issue of insecurity appropriately and make the country a safe haven for foreign investors; which Nigeria needs seriously at this moment. He is a fearless leader who always leads by example.

His letter signifying interest in the post of prresidency which was read to the Senate partly read, “I bring you warm greetings from my family, my constituents, the entire people of Ogun State, and my support groups across Nigeria.

“It is with the greatest respect that I write to notify you and my Distinguished Colleagues of my intention to contest for the Office of President of our dear country, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to respectfully invite you and my Distinguished Colleagues to the formal declaration ceremony.

“I have been blessed by God to serve as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 2003 and 2007 and as a two-term Governor of Ogun State between 2011 and 2019. I have also had the privilege to be elected a second time to the Senate of the Federal Republic in 2019 where I currently serve the good people of Ogun Central Senatorial District.

“My varied experience in private and public life has imbued me with requisite insights, experiences and network of relationships adequate to provide a leadership that will galvanize our dear country to achieve her manifest destiny as leader in Africa and of the black race.”

His words above were a testament to how confident he is that he can turn around the county positively if elected as the President. My submission is for his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the electorates to give him the opportunity to prove his worth like he had done in Ogun State.

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