As the nation prepares for the 2011 general elections to usher in the Fifth Republic, the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, has advocated for national debates among those aspiring to lead the country at all levels of the society- to ensure the emergence of th right candidates and the right calibre of leadership for the country.
Mr. Fashola, who stated this at the Muson Centre, venue of the public presentation of ‘Diary of a Debacle: Tracking Nigeria’s Failed Democratic Transition (1989-1994)’, a book written by Olatunji Dare, said such a culture of debates was necessary to identify those who are in real sense qualified to be entrusted with the affairs of the nation and the welfare of the people.
“What is important now is a public debate. We need a public debate at all levels if we must identify those who we will entrust with the leadership of this country; those who are best prepared to provide us with water supply, those who are best prepared to provide us with electricity, and other basic needs”, he said.
According to Mr. Fashola, “This debate must start in our universities and in gatherings such as this. We must know which of the candidates is best prepared to meet our needs. These are the things we must do to enthrone democracy and good governance in our land.”
Noting that democracy is about the rights of the people to choose those they wish to govern them, Governor Fashola declared, “Democracy does not concern itself with good or bad governance. It does not guarantee whether or not those elected will perform well or deliver good and quality leadership”
Governor Fashola has spoken the mind of millions Nigerians across the world who continue to question the type of emerging leadership for Nigeria.
It will be recalled that that prior to 1993 election, the denied winner of June 12 election, Late Chief MKO Abiola called for debates among presidential contestants which was held in a national Television.
Senatorial aspirant, in the Ogun State East Senatorial District, Engineer Adewale Adenaike reacting to Governor Fashola’s request said the issue of debate must now top the priority lists of the Independent National Electoral Commission programmes for the 2011 election.
” Such debate would provide the right type of leadership for our country in all areas of the nation’s political life and shield off mediocre leadership”, Otunba Adenaike said, noting that the nation had for long been denied the right type of leadership due to certain forces of retrogression holding the nation down in perpetual stagnation.