As part of General Ibrahim Babangida’s 80th birthday celebration, Arise Television conducted an interview with the one-time military president of Nigeria, who among other things spoke about the type of president that Nigeria needs to fix the current National challenges, who must be within a certain age bracket.
Arise’s sister platform, Thisday Newspaper, went to town yesterday to examine Seven Nigerians who fit IBB’s description including Gbenga Olwepo-Hashim. Here is a synopsis. This will be followed our own SWOT analysis start from tomorrow.
“Age-wise, exposure-wise and knowledge-wise, human rights activist and businessman,Gbenga Toyosi Olawepo fits the IBB template. He is clearly a self-made, emerging political leader. He was born on 28 June 1965.
He entered partisan politics in 1995, when he became National Publicity secretary of the National Democratic Labour Party (NDLP) in the transition programme announced by the Abacha regime.
Eventually his party and that of some politicians like Solomon Lar, Alhaji Rimi’s SPP, Ciroma and Bamanga Tukur’s ANC were denied registration. Rather than find accommodation in the military founded parties, Olawepo found association with principled politicians, who opposed the late Nigerian military dictator Sani Abacha.
This group of politicians first organised around the Institute for Civil Society and G-34 and later pioneered the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He has traversed Nigeria and has solid contacts. Gbenga, who contested the presidency in 2019 against Buhari is an inner-driven person with the boldness to follow his convictions and provide leadership.
Not a governor or minister, Olawepo brings a different mettle to the table ahead of 2023.”
In theory, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo should have had his position as Buhari’s successor dusted and clean. His eligibility is not in doubt. He is Christian and from the South-west. Age-wise, knowledge-wise, economy/politics savvy with a calm, cool competence, he fits the IBB template.
Being the Rivers State House of Assembly Speaker for eight years, governor for two terms and currently minister for almost eight years put Hon. Rotimi Amaechi in a very strong position ahead 2023 calculations.
Former two-term governor of Kwara State (2003 to 2011) and ex-Senate President, Dr. Bukola Abubakar Saraki, born December 19, 1962, is a sound, well-grounded politician with the sagacity to match. As Senate President, he demonstrated considerable control, charisma and mettle.
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, born in February 1965, with his current stint would have done two terms as a state chief executive by 2023. He has also been Minister of Solid Minerals Development in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, from November 11, 2015 to May 30, 2018.
Former governor of Ogun State Ibikunle Amosun (born in January 1958) and two-term senator is a hugely exposed personality and indisputably has nurtured strategic contacts across board.
The focussed, brilliant and workaholic ex-two term governor of Lagos State (from May 29, 2007 to May 29, 2015) and currently the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, was born June 28, 1963. Though a top-notch lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), he is also grounded in the economy and key issues of statehood.
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