Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Nigeria: Jonathan, step up to the lectern

They should show up

Sometimes all you just want is for people to show up and stop fobbing us off with platitudes, legalities and technicalities. With the recently conducted NN24 Vice-Presidential Debates [1] which had the incumbent Vice-President conspicuously absent, the ruling party gave up a rather unique opportunity to participate in a very vibrant exchange of ideas and views whilst appealing to the electorate.

One is quite saddened that the hubris of incumbency tends to overtake the better judgement of people who having been elected for office to serve the people suddenly think their political gains have placed then in the stratosphere of demigods only to be lauded at rallies but never questioned on their views, ideas and plans for the nation.

In an ideal setting one would expect that incumbents to take every opportunity to prove that they should be retained and show that their opposition might not be up to the job, the quality of the debate appears to have forced the incumbents to reconsider but not commit.

Nigerians deserve better

It is really not good enough for Nigerians, we will not allow our intelligence to be insulted with sops of rice and biscuit donations or allow our lives to be endangered by trigger-happy security personnel who are clueless about good crowd control in the quest to show that politicians can draw multitudes to their supine feasts of megalomania and unwarranted adulation of those who need their bellies filled.

Nigeria needs heads, it needs brains, it needs competence, and it needs articulation in the forum of ideas that should be tested by probing questions and answers that would pass a greater standard of ability than sound bite, rhetoric or carping.

Step up or get out

Each time the President and his running mate stalls on committing to the contemporary requirements of intelligent scrutiny they become less eligible for consideration at the polls nor are they people who should represent us for one more day after the elections.

We should insinuate all we must and definitely challenge them at any forum we can, the case is simple; if Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo would not appear at the next planned presidential debate that their opponents without the luxury of incumbency subscribe to but have the clout to be recognised as worthy contenders, the incumbents have no business campaigning for votes.

The time has come for people who aim to lead Nigeria to make themselves available to forums where they can be assessed for what they bring to the table considering the future of Nigeria.

Step up to the lectern or get out of the race.

Sources

[1] Watch the Nigerian Vice Presidential Debate hosted by NN24 [Videos] | Celebrating Progress Africa

» Jonathan, Sambo ready for debate – Aide - Vanguard (Nigeria)

234Next.com | Jonathan may shun presidential debate

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