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Sunday, July 14, 2024

2023: Gateway of New Guber Gladiators

2023: Gateway of New Guber Gladiators
By Bashir Kabir
Generally, we are at this point where the hope of having things going differently is down to minimal.
With a good reason, a good percentage of the populace feel that where the standard of living and quality of life is concerned, things have not been improving an inch and perhaps never will.
Being pessimistic on improvement even if a little bit is heard in people’s talks and seen in their actions. The question of whether the newcomers in 2023 will be able to steer things from the perilous course they are on now is not even worth asking for some.
There is this frustration of giving up that resonates and permeates through the societal interactions and translates into anger, frustration and cluelessness.
An opinion that the same set of people with the same vision would hardly make a difference to a problem that was created and keeps lingering by the same ideology for ages.
As the 2023 drums continue to beat louder, it validates speculating who are the next potential drivers of the country’s affairs at the crucial state levels, whether or not they are the right kind of people with the right vision and mindset, and what to expect from them.
Also, whether it is crucially inevitable at this point to give the arena to people of different ideological breeds and see how things turn around.
But before then, let’s look at the global, regional, and local indicators of what to or not to expect from within the sphere of progress or lack of it after the new actors might have taken over. Not neglecting the influence of the political money that sadly is the prime mover of the political engine that runs the country’s polity and politics.
By now, it is no longer a conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet done with and will probably stay on affecting several global activities for quite some time. The virus that started in China has spread to all the corners of the world and keeps mutating to even more deadly strains, Indian strain to Delta strain to whatnot.
This forces taking measures which include travel and transportation restrictions, production and supply control, and other aspects of the global economy. The consequences of these restrictions are felt in the decline in supply chain efficiency in the West where stores are continuously running out of supplies and the uncertainty of the global market in general. Trade and commodity pricing are no longer predictable as they were before.
In addition to the above and at regional level, the West African sub-Saharan is experiencing increased insecurity issues which is bottlenecking investments and slowing down agricultural productivity.
Speaking of agriculture, the erratic rainfall that is the reality of this year is a worrisome development with a catasptrophic consequence if it translated into food shortage by the next harvest.
Border closure and opening by the regional countries is sending commodities prices into random fluctuation patterns all across the countries and more so in Nigeria.
Above all, the intensification of banditry, kidnapping, militancy in Nigeria that is spilling to the southern parts is perhaps the most serious indicator of what is to expect in the upcoming years. What started happening exclusively in the North Eastern part of the country has now transmuted into different facades and diffused to the various enclaves in the country from Kebbi to Imo to Oyo states causing serious damages to lives and properties and further slowing down productivity and hampering commerce and investment.
Let’s sincerely ask this question and hope for an honest answer.
What would a 2023 gubernatorial aspirant promise to the polity during a campaign?
It used to be good roads, free education, employment, affordable healthcare, et cetra. Let’s have it in mind that those promises were seldom ever fulfilled by the politicians. We still don’t have near adequate roads, healthcare facilities are deplorable and overcrowded, public education is still far from being attractive yet, we know we don’t want to hear these promises now even if we still somewhat need them.
I was on an official road trip to Kebbi State and experienced firsthand what the security situation in the country is like at the present. At around the Bakura junction we came across a swarm of youth armed with guns in a typical war-torn scenario you would expect to see in Somalia, Libya, Syria, Gaza or Afghanistan.
Women and children were evacuated in trucks as these youth scouted their village environs because news reached them that attackers were on their way. It was not a good idea to hang around and cover the incidence so we hurried up to pass the village. Several weeks after the incidence, the saddening image that is the reality of our dear country still stuck in my mind.
Imagine what these people would expect to hear from a gubernatorial aspirant. The case might not be the same all over the country but we all will agree that security is very important now and aspirants are expected to have an idea on how to go about it.
Governors such as that of Borno state are the epitome of security-conscious governors in the country. He is adequately supporting the security efforts in the state at that level even though it is one of the hottest security spot in the country. future governors have a lot to learn from him.
Avoiding a problem might be a means of dealing with it but surely not always the best option. The continuous agitation to restructure and reform what defines the country as a political entity cannot be ignored as many would like to address as unimportant. Regional interests, aspirations and yearnings are important and worth paying attention to. the future will also include the country’s preparations for mutually beneficial understanding and coexistence to ensure safe-space for all.
So not only the presidential and reps aspirants are expected to know how crucial the regional interests are, the gubernatorial aspirants too are supposed to have this at the back of their minds. Where this comes in handy would be in developing their states resources to boost revenue, protection of lives and safety of the non indiginious residents in their states, ways to bargain into mutually fair sharing arrangements et cetra
Buying sewing machines and grinding machines to women, buying goats to youth for rearing, donating paracetamol to local clinics, buying keke napep or donation of broiler chickens to youth is not what we need. A 2023 gubernatorial aspirant should make these promises among others:
1.   Security and protection of lives and properties to citizens and particularly at schools and roads as well as the lives of those state indigenes living in other states (don’t tell me security is a national responsibility if he or he doesn’t have the plan on how to confront these issues that keep escalating, they’re not worth voting for).
2.   Resource management. A potential governor, particularly in the north should know that the oil dollar will not always be here so if he cares for the future of the state he or she needs to have a plan on exploiting local resources which include, solid minerals, agriculture, human resources trade et cetra to firmly ensure a better tomorrow.
3.   Leveraging on technology. This doesn’t imply buying electronic contraptions from china only to fail after a few usage and add up to the garbage pilled in our cities. Using technology in education systems for example will be some of the ways to tackle the security concerns at schools. Also technology leveraging in the workforce. As a civil servant I know many would not like to hear that with the proper technology in plance a large percentage of the civil workforce is not needed. But hey, that is the future we are heading for.
4.   Also for northern states, a good agricultural plan to boost food availability and attract investment.
If right now you feel stressed by a particular need, then perhaps you should expect the leaders to look into making that easier for you.


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