The Ondo State governor and Chairman of Southern Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has chosen knowledge over agility as the basic requirement for anyone who’s aspiring to be Nigeria’s President in 2023.
Akeredolu said this while granting interview with JOHNCHUKS ONUANYIM of The Telegraph.
The governor spoke on a wide range of issues: from the All Progressives Congress (APC) forthcoming National Convention to the zoning of President to the Southern part of Nigeria.
In the interview, Akeredolu made a strong case for a Southern Presidency, noting that his position has nothing to do with tribal politics, but only to uphold the tenets of equity and fair play. He maintained that the presidency has been rotating between the North and South since the advent of democracy, and that any honest observer of political events since 1999 will have little to disagree with him on that position.
Akerodolu maintained that his party, APC, has performed well since coming into power in 2015, and that he is confident that the party will retain power in 2023.
In his word: “The APC is still the party to beat in the next general elections in the country. The party may not have fulfilled all electoral promises during the campaigns, even the most cynical person will not deny the fact that there have been some remarkable interventions by the government since 2015”, Akeredolu said.
When asked about the personality, age and health of the person he preffered to become president in 2023, Akerodolu noted that while it is important to have those who are physically and mentally fit in public offices, it is equally necessary to have someone who has adequate knowledge of governance to be president.
In his word: “While it is important to have those who are physically and mentally fit in public offices, it is equally necessary to have the knowledge of the specific assignment as a prerequisite. A knowledgeable person will move mountains even on a wheelchair. Let us not dwell too much on human frailties as if they have ceased being human conditions”, Akeredolu said.
The Ondo state governor emphasized that knowledge is key in governance because a person with knowledge could move mountains even on a wheelchair. He stated further that, removing mischief and dirty politicking, human frailties shouldn’t be taken as an inability to govern. According to him, what should be of concentration are the programmes of candidates aspiring to hold public offices.
For those who are close observers of Nigerian politics, Akeredolu’s position could be taken as a reply to those who have been castigating a certain presidential aspirant based on age and health grounds. He seems to understand that experience and knowledge are far more important to provide the right kind of leadership than mere agility, and that every man is subject to frailties as he grows with time.
He said, “Anyone subject to time cannot be said to be whole perfectly. This is, however, without prejudice to the logic which elicits the insistence on the seemingly new demands. If we remove mischief and dirty politicking, it should not be difficult for us to concentrate on the programmes of candidates aspiring to offices. A public must be in the best form to be able to serve.”
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