By Emmanuel Onwubiko
“Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance”Saint Augustine
Moshood Kashimawo Abiola of the blessed memory is obviously and indisputably, the only Nigerian alive or dead, who introduced the most melodic campaign jingle that has resonated for over three decades and if it is sent in for Grammy Award, it could possibly win it at a go.
In that jingle that heralded his very energetic campaign to be President of Nigeria from 1993 in the election that the military junta organised on June 12th, the choristers said that Nigeria was on the match again in search of Mr. President.
Then the last verse says “MKO IS OUR MAN OOO”.
In actual fact what that campaign jingle conveyed was a message that the Act of getting a President for Nigeria is not about enabling a very ambitious individual to achieve his earthly ambition or what you may call lifelong ambition to become President.
MKO Abiola in that campaign jingle said the search for who is to be elected by the voters as the President is a COLLECTIVE SEARCH because the people collectively searching for the most befitting servant of the people are to be identified singularly as NIGERIA.
So it is US and not I. The search for a Nigerian President is not that of a question of ‘I-THOU’ transactional event but a business of a United COLLECTIVE.
Next in line to the above explanation is also the issue of the ATTRIBUTE required of who should be the President of Nigeria.
In the MKO very short and straight to the point jingle, the choristers said the President must be the man of the people and the way to know the man of the people is not about what the person says but from the antecedents of that individual and in what ways have the people of Nigeria noticed his hidden talent as being CHARISMATIC.
This brings us to this present time which ironically is another campaign season.
As I write, the economy of Nigeria is grounded.
Poverty is ballooning out of control and unemployment has skyrocketed and by official estimate, the National Bureau of Statistics has just rated inflation at above 15%.
This is even a Conservative estimate and one factor for the high inflationary trend is the costs of petroleum and that of electricity because both sectors have collapsed.
The national electricity power grid is down.
The fuel supply situation is recklessly lawless and street urchins and saboteurs are in charge of the distribution and sale of petroleum products all across Nigeria for over one Month with the holder of the office of President staying away in London to attend to his health. This is a President that for 7 years has not built one General hospital from start to finish but goes to White man’s land fir medication. .
It is therefore fair to say that the best quality needed from a good Presidential material is CHARISMA.
All the English grammatical experts say these are the definition of CHARISMA.
They are as follows-: “A special charm or allure that inspires fascination or devotion. A special quality of leadership that captures the popular imagination and inspires allegiance and devotion.” Also charisma is defined as “(Christian theology.) A divinely inspired gift, grace, or talent, as for prophesying, healing, etc. The definition of charisma is a special and rare charm held by someone that makes others want to follow or obey them.”
The last definition of charisma mentioned Christian theology. So I will borrow from scriptural writings before I proceed.
From the NationalGeographic.com we read a recording of how the finest charismatic leader seen in recorded history, DAVID, emerged.
The author said thus-: “King David was not born into royalty. He entered life as a humble shepherd, rose to found a dynasty, and became a central figure in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In the Book of Samuel, Saul, the first king of Israel, failed to reach a decisive victory against an enemy tribe, the Philistines. God sent the Prophet Samuel to Bethlehem and guided him to David, a humble shepherd and talented musician. He brought the young man to Saul’s court, where his harp was so soothing that Saul called for David whenever he was vexed by an “evil spirit” sent by God (I Samuel 9:16). Saul was so taken with this young man that he appointed David his armour bearer.”
The author continued on the emergence of King David thus: “Soon thereafter, a major Philistine battle loomed. This time, the Philistines fielded a fearsome new weapon: a giant named Goliath, carrying a huge bronze spear (I Samuel 17:5-7). The Israelites were frozen in fear—except young David. Armed with only a sling, he picked a stone from a riverbed and slung it at Goliath’s head. David’s aim was true; the stone struck the giant and killed him, prompting the Philistines to flee. The Israelites were jubilant. Saul was compelled to place young David at the head of his army (I Samuel 18:5).
“Soon the country was once again torn by war as Philistine forces gathered at Mount Gilboa, and Saul and his sons, all serving as commanders in his army, rushed to meet them. But God had turned against Saul, and the Israelite ranks were decimated. All of Saul’s sons fell to Philistine swords, including his heir, Jonathan. Badly wounded himself, Saul then fell upon his own sword (I Samuel 31:1-7).”
Importantly, we learnt also that: “Israel’s army in headlong retreat, the Philistines swarmed over the Hebrew highlands. Saul’s only surviving son, Ishbaal, was anointed as his successor, supported by the northern tribes. But the southern elders went to Hebron, David’s military base, and in due course anointed David king “over the house of Judah.” At first, David chose to ignore the Philistines and instead marched on Jerusalem (II Samuel 5:6). After capturing Jerusalem, David was then able to defeat the Philistines. Eventually, all of the regions in Canaan came under David’s control.”
This was all about how the attribute of CHARISMA aided David to defeat Goliath.
Currently, Nigeria is facing economic Goliath and the way to defeat these social crises of poverty, high crime rates, insecurity, food insecurity, unemployment, despondency and open brigandage by government officials at the risks of making millions of Nigerians impoverished and at the precipice of economic extermination, is to elect a DAVID to defeat these Goliaths confronting Nigeria in real form.
There are two kinds of Presidential aspirants.
One is self conceited, arrogant, proud and over ambitious.
The second type is humble, unassuming, charismatic, open, friendly and industrious.
These two characteristics are represented in human forms by Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Orji Uzor Kalu.
Ahmed Bola Tinubu has failed to show CHARISMA but has maintained that becoming PRESIDENT IS HIS LIFELONG AMBITION.
So for Tinubu, becoming President is to satisfy a selfish ambition and not to answer a collective vocation to serve like we see in the second characterization represented by the Chief whip of the senate Senator Orji Uzor Kalu who is humble and charismatic.
The following tales and recorded history of events involving the two individuals will convince us to believe that Orji Uzor Kalu may as well be the DAVID OF OUR TIME.
These two men of no mean repute have been very active lately in the media and their body languages are explicit.
And as aforementioned, ahead of 2023 Presidential election, the National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu asked the Senate Caucus of the party to support his lifetime ambition to be the President of Nigeria.
Speaking on Wednesday when he met with the APC Senate Caucus at the New Senate wing, the former Governor of Lagos State said that having served as a state Chief Executive Officer and as a Senator, he has the experience and capacity to be the President of the Country.
Asiwaju Tinubu who promised that he will not step on the toes of President Muhammadu Buhari, but to step into his shoes as the President of Nigeria.
The APC National Leader was received by the APC Senators as led by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan in room 301.
Tinubu who hailed the National Assembly for sustaining the nation’s democracy, said that the interest of women is necessary, adding that APC is doing its best to include the interest of women.
When Tinubu wanted to tell Nigerians if he has the vocation to seek for our votes to become our President in our own terms, he missed that opportunity but instead said he was a King maker who now wants to be king.
After months of speculation, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, formally declared his intention to run for the country’s number one office in 2023, confirming The Guardian’s exclusive report that he has informed President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of his ambition, so writes a reporter.
He, Ahmed Bola Tinubu disclosed this to journalists after a closed-door meeting with President Buhari in Abuja on Monday. In his interview with State House reporters, Tinubu said it has been his life-long ambition to lead the country one day.
Tinubu in his arrogant and majestic format stated thus: “I have informed the President of my ambition but I have not informed Nigerians yet, I am still consulting. There’s nowhere in the world where a kingmaker cannot himself be king.
“About the cap of a kingmaker. I’ve never seen the cap of a kingmaker before. That is the truth. And I have never seen where it is written in the rulebook anywhere in any country that a kingmaker cannot be a king unless he has committed murder. So, whatever you write is your own opinion. Me, I want to pursue my ambition without the title of a kingmaker,” he said.
The former Lagos State governor added that he plans to actualise his ambition under the platform of the ruling APC, noting that with what he did in Lagos in his time as governor, he has the capacity to lead Nigeria.
“You will soon hear. All you want to hear is the categorical declaration. You’ve gotten that truth from me that I have informed Mr. President of my ambition, and you don’t expect more answers than that,” he said.
He reportedly shrugged the question of a potential race for the APC ticket between him and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, whose support groups have since begun mobilising for his candidacy. On Osinbajo’s potential ambition, the APC national leader maintained that he would not be drawn into any discussion on any individual.
Tinubu said: “I don’t want to discuss individuals now. I must discuss myself. I have the confidence, vision and capacity to rule, build on the foundation of Mr. President, and turn Nigeria better. I’ve done that before in Lagos State. You’ve seen that experience and the capacity to turn things around and that is what we are doing.”
Answering a question on President Buhari’s response, Tinubu said: “That’s our business. He is a democrat. He didn’t ask me to stop. He didn’t ask me not to attempt and pursue my ambition. It is a lifelong ambition. So, why do I expect him to say more than that?
“You are running a democratic dispensation, and you must adopt the principles and the values and the virtues of democracy. That’s it.” On the Electoral Act Amendment bill and what Nigerians should expect, Tinubu responded thus: “You want my manifesto now? Not yet. Not yet.
“First of all, the National Assembly and the President must be encouraged to review and review again. Whatever they come up with electoral amendment is what we must comply with. There is no unlimited elasticity in what we face, because we have to plan and plan well, and be able to manage the time effectively.
“The great roadmap to success is the ability of a leader to do what he must do at the right time that has to be done. So, to me, we will still look at the amendment bill collectively. It is our country. It’s our democracy. We had adopted it and we will push it rigorously.”
Also, the APC national leader said as a bonafide citizen, he was in the State House, Abuja, to also discuss a number of other national issues, including security.
“I have not lost my citizenship. I came to see the President on general issues concerning Nigeria, including our political party, APC, security issues and the New Year agenda. That’s all I can tell you.”
In the above conversations, we see a man Bola Ahmed Tinubu who thinks that it is his birthright to become the President not by popular votes but just by any way since to him, it is about achieving a LIFELONG AMBITION.
On the other hand there is a Man who is talking and doing everything that depicts him as being CHARISMATIC and this man is not telling us about his LIFELONG AMBITION but about the CALL TO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF NIGERIA WITH HUMILITY AND CHARISMA- He is Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. Orji Uzor Kalu like Tinubu was a governor of Abia State for eight years and since the last three years has being in the front roll of Senators as the Chief whip of the Ninth session of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Yes indeed. Senator Orji Kalu, the Senate’s Chief Whip, said he decided to run for the office of president after leaders from the six geopolitical zones approached him.
This comes after he revealed that he had previously told other presidential candidates, including former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu, former Senate President Pius Anyim, and Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi, that he would not run.
Kalu, in an interview with Silverbird Television which was monitored by The Guardian, said the leaders cited his capability and experience, adding that he changed his mind about not contesting after due consultations and a request from prominent national elders to participate. Orji Uzor Kalu said his aspiration to be President is not about achieving a LIFELONG AMBITION or a do or die project.
He expressed confidence in his ability and experience to turn around the country’s economy and combat insecurity.
“I didn’t want to join this contest before. When I met with Senator Tinubu, I told him I was not running. When I met with Governor Umahi, I told him I was not running. When I also met with Senator Pius Anyim, I told him I wasn’t contesting. A couple of days after my discussion with them, elders from the West, elders from the North, the South-East and Niger Delta came to see me on the 5th of January and I also went to see a couple of them,” he said.
“I flew from my village to tour some places and I met with them in the North, West and somewhere in Lagos and Warri and I returned on the 8th back to Igbere, my home town, and also met with the elders of my community and they said that it’s a possibility. And that is why I have not gone back to tell these people who I initially told that I will not run that I am now going to run. I will still have a meeting with them and tell them formally that I am going to run for president.”
In response to media reports that he had attacked Tinubu, Kalu stated that the two have a deep friendship and that the former Lagos governor’s presidential ambitions do not threaten his own.
“Tinubu is not a threat to my ambition and I am not a threat to his ambition. We are very close friends and our friendship is deep-rooted. When I and my wife went back to Abia as governor, nobody was occupying my house in Victoria Island, Lagos. So my children were in school at that time and some were schooling at Corona Schools while one was in French International School in 1998 and they were living with Senator Oluremi Tinubu. So we are like a family and politics cannot separate us,” he said.
“In 2003, when Tinubu was seeking re-election and I saw that he was lagging behind, I assisted him and it’s part of what caused my problem with former President (Olusegun) Obasanjo. So we’re a family and we cannot quarrel because of politics. He might have his idea on how to do it and I might have my own idea on how to do it. But all I know is that if we meet at Eagle Square I will give a very good account of myself.”
The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu, has said leaders of the six geopolitical zones convinced him to join the 2023 presidential race despite having told other aspirants that he won’t be contesting for presidency.
Nigerians can now discern from amongst the multitudes that are already jostling to become our President, who amongst them is the David of our time.
I think Senators Orji Uzor Kalu, Anyim Pius Anyim are some of the finest individuals with the requisite attribute of CHARISMA to become acceptable, transparent and development focused LEADERS because they are out to serve and not to be served.
Someone with a LIFELONG AMBITION is out to be served and has arrogantly arrogated to himself the title of a KING MAKER who is now ready to be KING.
EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO, a former National Commissioner of Nigeria’s National Human rights commission is a media and political Strategic Thinker.