By Kayode Samuel
A compelling case exists for a person of character and competence; pedigree and proven performance to seek to build upon the many successes and few challenges of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as his incumbency now winds to a close.
Every administration has a credit and a debit side, with its assets and liabilities. It is the legitimate expectation of Nigerians that the successor to the present administration would inherit its attributes and baggage while seeking to make the best of the situation that these impose on the polity, economy and society.
Recognising that governance is a continuum, the candidate for succession that Nigeria needs at this point is one who will take the good of the exiting government with the notso-good. And then compose these into a purposeful plan that elicits hope in the citizenry.
Nigeria does not need a candidate, and especially not one from the ruling party, who would abdicate the principles of collective responsibility and party supremacy by seeking to distance himself from the administration’s minuses while eager to claim the pluses.
The Rt. Hon. Dimeji Sabur Bankole is the successor suited for the Nigeria of these times. He is the aspirant in whom preparation meets with opportunity towards creating the new Nigeria that its people desire and deserve.
Nigeria is in crisis. But Nigeria is also resurgent. What she needs at this point in its history is a crisis manager who can, with trained intellect and deep empathy, marshal the resurgence to put the crisis to rest. Especially, one who has a similar experience to share.
Our people today yearn for a leader who would bring the various strands of the national community back together; grow the economy; promote inter-faith harmony; and offer the hope of becoming economically active citizens to our teeming youth.
Bankole has been prepared by both Providence and progeny for exactly a time like this. His is a parentage and pedigree with a strong history of standing up and “chesting out” for a united and progressive Nigeria. The Bankole family has built its reputation on honouring agreements with broad segments of Nigeria’s plural society.
His traceable personal history and trajectory of life experiences, combined with a rich family genealogy that spans over seven generations, put him in good stead to give hope to a country saddled for far too long with political actors of indeterminate provenance and opaque dealings. His background offers a certainty of credible referrals as to his conduct, character and capacity. His wife, Aisha Shinkafi Bankole complements these attributes.
Over the years, and especially since the commencement of the Fourth Republic, Bankole has nurtured cross-cutting friendships all through the national spectrum in all 36 states and 774 local governments of Nigeria.
He gave stellar service as a member of the House of Representatives, as House Speaker, and as member of the African Parliament in Johannesburg. In particular, his contributions to the economy, budgeting and strategic negotiations give Nigerians a most salubrious sneak preview of what to expect from him as President.
As speaker, Bankole stood firmly with the late President Umar Yar’Adua to institute farreaching reforms and policies, foremost amongst which is the landmark Freedom of Information Bill, Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Electoral Reform Act. Happily, the current administration is now commendably further building upon this latter legislation.
Bankole also exhibited exemplary character, at great cost to his personal fortunes and political future, by standing with President Yar’Adua all through his health challenges. In standing on the side of the principle that says you do not kick a man who is down, he lost his seat and his exalted office. But he, in the process, alongside other patriots, kept our country’s fragile unity intact and its then nascent democracy on the move.