Any great nation that will ever experience great change as it were will start from great Leaders. This brings me to why this article has been birthed. John Maxwell, a Leadership doyen once asserted that ‘’Leadership is influence’’ and we must never forget that with great power comes great responsibility.
It is worthy to note at this juncture, that we are tired as a people and peoples group and the best is yet to come for Nigeria but we must know that the power lies in our hands as Nigerians and that is our power to vote and choose whoever of good repute we want to be our President or Governor or Local Government Chairman and so on. That is why we have with great heart out of open suggestions viewed these individuals to be liable and could be potential candidates for the 2019 Presidential election.
We must understand that this is not a poll nor is it any empirical study of some sort but a suggestion and hopeful opinion not just for me but for the numerous people who still have Nigeria at heart and believe that we are getting there thereby attaining lofty heights.
These are men that have stood times, pressure, intimidation, diverse oppositions and yet still stoop to conquer in their various occupation of power and political responsibilities that were given to them over the years. Some have been controversial while some still remain enigmatic but yet people have grown to have faith in them as political Leaders in their given geopolitical regions and in Nigeria as a whole.
Without much or do, here are some individuals and time testing Leaders that we suggest and seem deem fit to be candidates for the 2019 presidential elections and further electoral processes that will change the face of Nigeria to Nigerians and to the world at large. Below are a few mentions:
1. Professor Yemi Osibanjo
Oluyemi Oluleke “Yemi” Osinbajo (born 8 March 1957) is a Nigerian Lawyer and Politician who is the current Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in office since May 29, 2015. He is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), a Professor of Law, a Clergyman and until his inauguration as Vice President, a Senior Partner with Simmons Cooper Partners, a commercial law practice. He has published several books and written so many articles and journals alongside, Has a future vision to create jobs for Nigerians and those who will make it happen. Expect so much more from this rear gentleman.
2. Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote GCON (born 10 April 1957) is a Nigerian billionaire, and owner of the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities in Nigeria and other African countries, including Benin, Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania, and Zambia. As of February 2017, he had an estimated net worth of US$12.5 billion.
Dangote is ranked by Forbes magazine as the 67th richest person in the world and the richest in Africa, and peaked on the list as the 23rd richest person in the world in 2014. He surpassed Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi in 2013 by over $2.6 billion to become the world’s richest person of African descent. Don’t you think the future of our dear country will be better with the richest man in Africa as our President?
3. Donald Duke
Donald Duke (born 30 September 1961 in Calabar) was the Governor of Cross River State, Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. Studied law from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and further went to receive more degrees in law from Nigerian Law School, Lagos and an L.L.M. in Business Law and Admiralty in 1984 from University of Pennsylvania. Has always pushed against military rule, initiated Tinapa resort, created the idea of Obudu Ranch International mountain race and grossed the state’s economy and the nation at large running in to millions of dollars. Announced his presidential race in 2007 but stepped aside for the eventual winner Umaru Yar’ Adua. He is someone to watch out for.
4. Oby Ezekwesili
Obiageli Ezekwesili (Popularly known as Oby Ezekwesili) is a Nigerian Chartered accountant. She was a co – founder of Transparency International, serving as one of the pioneer directors of the global anti – corruption body based in Berlin – Germany. She servers as Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and then as Federal Minister of Education during the second – term presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo. She then went on to serve as the Vice – President of the World Bank’s Africa division from May 2007 to May 2012. In 2014, she was selected among BBC’s 100 women. She also used the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to draw global attention to the plight of the release of over 300 girls abducted by the militant group Boko Haram. She has the people at heart and we know aside being a woman of substance, can take Nigeria beyond the horizon of her dreams. Recently, she said she is going to campaign against PDP and APC come 2019 election.
5. Rabiu Kwankwaso
Rabiu Kwankwaso is a Nigerian politician. He was two times Governor of Kano State from 1999 – 2003 and 2011 – 2015. He was once a former Minister of Defense under Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo. He joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998 and in 2015 contested in the All People’s Progress (APC) Presidential primaries but lost to Nigerian’s incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari. He was then elected senator for Kano State central district sit on March, 02/11/2015. Despite previous controversies surrounding investigations with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), this man of high repute strives for a better future for the people of Kano State and hopefully for our great nation Nigeria.
6. Toyosi Akerele Ogunsiji
Toyosi Akerele is a Nigerian, Populist Social Entrepreneur and Human Development Expert with over 8 years on – the field experience. She was named by Forbes as one “The 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa 2014”.In 2014, she was also nominated for the MTV Africa Music Awards 2014.
Toyosi spent most of her growing years shaping Nigerian Communities and Youth. She is a devoted Mentor to hundreds of Young People in Public and Private Sector Led initiatives in addition to Tertiary Institutions across Africa. She has, along with a growing and highly professional Board and Team, conceptualized and designed effective programs to deepen the links and learning opportunities for Young people in knowledge acquisition, access to Jobs through skills development and Nation Building. RISE Networks’ National Youth Forum, the longest standing Pan Nigerian, Campus Wide Youth Empowerment Program has attracted hundreds of thousands of students and Young Professionals in hundreds of communities in Nigerian States in the last 8 years described in 2012 by US First Lady, Michelle Obama as the largest Youth Conference in Nigeria in a Live Televised Address ahead of her Official Visit to Africa to launch the Young African Women Leaders Forum.
She is the Founder and CEO of Rise Networks. The organization focuses on creating intellectual development and capacity building programs for young Nigerians between 16 and 30
7. Professor Pat Utomi
Patrick Okedinachi Utomi (born Fe6bruary 6, 1956), is a Nigerian professor of political economy and management expert. He is a former presidential candidate with a passion for the dignity of the human person and the spirit of enterprise. He is also the founder of the African Democratic Congress party and a Professor at the Lagos Business School. He served in senior positions in government, as an adviser to the President of Nigeria and in academia.
He has coordinated the establishment of several civil society groups on good governance and accountability such as Transparency in Nigeria, the Centre for Value in Leadership, the Concerned Professionals and Restoration Group.
We think this man has the drive to bring real change…Let’s hope him the best.
8. Nasir El-Rufai
El Rufai was born in Katsina State on 6 February, 1960. He is the incumbent Governor of Kaduna State and former Director General of The Bureau of Public Enterprises, the Head Privatization agency in Nigeria and also former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja from 16 July 2003 to 29 May 2007. He is also a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC). In January 2016, El Rufai launched a school feeding program to feed 1.5 million pupils in public primary schools within the state. He also abolished the collection of fees and levies in public primary schools and Junior Secondary schools in Kaduna state, thereby removing the financial burden of N3 billion from parents . There are great expectations from this pacesetter…Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
9. Fela Durotoye
Fela Durotoye is the Chief Executive Officer of Visible Impact; a social enterprise set up to tackle social and environmental challenges and limitations with the aim to build people into super-achievers and responsible leaders, build corporate organizations into global market leaders and responsible corporate citizens, as well as assist governments in developing blueprints and programs that create a desirable environment for their people to do great things. He is widely regarded as a nation builder, an internationally acclaimed national development strategist, best – selling author and an internationally renowned motivational speaker.
In 2009, Fela initiated the historic “Mushin Makeover” project; a one day physical beautification exercise of 294 houses along 7 streets in the suburbs of Mushin; where he raised a host of Nigerian Celebrities as well as over 2000 volunteers in what has come to be termed as the “largest volunteering effort in Nigeria’s history” to rebuild the city.
In 2010, Fela was invited to speak to a summit of the European Union.
This might be the hero we have been waiting for.
10. Ayo Fayose
Peter Ayodele Fayose (born 15 November 1960) is a Nigerian politician and the current Governor of Ekiti State. Fayose grew up in Oyo State where he attended Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo In 1985, Fayose was admitted for a Higher National Diploma (HND) program in Biological Sciences/Applied Medical/Biology by the Polytechnic, Ibadan and graduated in 1987.
Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose recently dispensed petrol to residents of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital at government approved price of N145 per litre. Fayose accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government of harbouring plan to increase the pump price to inflict n Lawhardship on Nigerians. (The Nations Newspaper, December 26, 2017).
Despite a long term controversy with the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a lot of Nigerian’s still look up to him as one man who has the masses at heart and this true change can be envisaged from this. Let’s hope he makes his word his bond come 2019.
11. Folorunsho Alakija
Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman, one of the richest African women and also one of the richest black women in the world. In 2014 she temporarily unseated Oprah Winfrey as the richest woman of African descent in the world. She is a business tycoon involved in the fashion, oil and printing industries.
As of 2015, she is listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa after Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Folorunsho has a foundation called the Rose of Sharon Foundation that helps widows and orphans by empowering them through scholarships and business grants. Her company is also a major sponsor of the Agbami medical and engineering scholarship scheme, one of the most reliable scholarship schemes in Nigeria with over a thousand people yearly as beneficiaries.
We see her as a woman full of great treasures and has Nigeria’s interest in her heart. Let’s see
what the future holds for us in Nigeria with a woman President.
As the saying thus goes “He who the cap fits, let him wear it”. In so doing, we must have it at the back of our minds as Nigerians that we want to move forward and not just beating around the same spot for decades yet still our Leaders and their drives and visions cannot hold waters. We hope for a better Nigeria and always remember that it’s not all about the political mantras but the results they produce even for generations to come. Make your vote count everyone. You hold the power of whatever becomes of Nigeria after 2019. John F. Kenney once asserted “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”.
Let us not miss it this time irrespective of your geopolitical location. There is hope for our great nation Nigeria and that lies solely in our whims and caprice.
- – Written by Olusola Adeoti & Eddy Itong