Bayo Oluwasanmi

The race for the presidency is shaping up. In the right-place-right-time theory of politics, the moment matters. It’s scary to visualize the return of the political prostitutes and the prodigals in 2019. To be sure, there will be events that will try our souls between now and then.

With the disappearing act of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerians are looking for the next strongest leader to take over. Nigerians are fed up with the leadership of Buhari.  In the absence of a leader, Nigerians are like sheep without a shepherd and we yearn for a leader. 

Like any other group of people, we focus on our immediate needs, we struggle with delayed gratification, we feel insecure and begin to worry without abundant signs of hope, and we always ask: what has the leader done for us lately?

Leadership, like life, is the sum total of the decisions we make. Every decision has consequences. The president decides how he’ll respond to issues, decides on the size of the budget, decides on whom to hire, and decides what values and priorities are worth fighting for, and most importantly, decides what will be his legacy.

It is evident that the three-year presidency of Buhari portrays him as a leader who lacks commitment, suffers from a scattered focus, looks for excuses, forgets the big picture, go public with private thoughts, behaves inconsistently, creates poor relationships, and avoids change.

In 2019, we need a president who will separate himself regularly from the crowd. A president who will pursue truth over popularity.  A president who is willing to take risks, who is ready to be watched by the public even though it feels intimidating to be watched and scrutinized.

We need a president with character, a leadership with competence – ability to get the job done and leadership that produces results. We need a president with conviction – a president that has backbone, someone who will always stand for what is right. Tomorrow’s production begins with today’s preparation. We need a president that will solve problems because the fastest way to gain leadership is to solve problems.

The cost and expectations of leadership are high and expensive. The failure of a president usually results in consequences far more greater than the fall of an ordinary person.  We need a president that will live at a standard higher than others. A president that cares for the interest of the poor, who lives with integrity and keeps his word. We need a president that manages time and the nation’s resources well.

Nigerians need a president who is ready to listen to the people, who practices patience of silence and submission. He must be faithful and committed as a trustworthy partner of the people. We need a president with charisma, a man who enjoys a sense of giftedness.

Example is the most important tool a president possesses. People do what people see. We need a president that will set example. “Example is not the main thing influencing others,” says Albert Schweitzer, “it is the only thing.”

By now, Nigerians are sick of scheming presidents who will do anything for the sake of power. Our political history informs us that our presidency revolves around Machiavellian leadership style based on amorality, deception, power, ego, and personal advantage. By contrast, the president we need in 2019 should be a moral power house of truthfulness, servanthood, humility, and one who meets the needs of our people. He should be a person of self-giving and not self-preservation.

We need a president who projects confidence, strength, hope, optimism, and sincerity who can always inspire Nigerians through personal power in seemingly hopeless situations. 

We don’t need a skilled manipulator with superficial charm without the ability, values, and character that make an authentic president.In short, we need a president like no other with a sense of “I am eager” meaning a sense of passion and urgency about reaching Nigerians and meeting their needs, a sense of “I am obligated” that is, a feeling that he cannot do anything else vocationally, and a sense of “I am not ashamed” by way of conviction to do what others may think illogical. 

So, let the race begin. Let’s go there!

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