Introducing the book, “Becoming President of Nigeria: A Citizen’s Guide” by Magnus Onyibe
A new book focused on how to become president of Nigeria, written by Magnus Onyibe, a development strategist, public policy analyst, and media columnist has just been released to the public.
The 357-page, twelve-chapter book chronicles the evolution of political leadership in Nigeria and outlines the turning points in the nation’s checkered political history. With keen eyes on the ethnic and religious sensitivities responsible for the mutual suspicion of one another by the multiple ethnic nationalities that make up the country, the author shines a light on how Nigeria is practicing zero-sum politics via the rotation of presidential power between the north and south, an agreement that has inadvertently been undermining the unity of the country and is responsible for the lack of real socioeconomic progress even as it is fueling ethnoreligious disharmony in Nigeria.
In the foreword written by Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, former foreign affairs minister (1985–1987) and Deputy Chairman of the 2014 National Confab, the erudite professor of international affairs makes the case that “Nigeria is not a zero-sum politics where what one gains, the other loses” and concludes that “it can be a multi-sum politics where structure and gains are shared with equity.”
The book traces the origin of the entity known as Nigeria and dwells on what should bind the multiple ethnic nationalities that formed Nigeria in 1914, such as trade, and notes, regrettably, that a combination of ethnicity and religion has been thwarting the progress and prosperity of the good people of Nigeria. And according to the author, Onyibe, the book is guaranteed to enable readers to learn firsthand how feasible Nigeria as a nation is via the nuanced, sometimes vulgar, even coded granular details about political power plays in high places in our country and ultimately guide citizens on how to become president of Nigeria.
The author recalls that Nigeria became a country after Frederick Luggard, a British merchant turned statesman, determined to reduce the administrative inconvenience of leading the northern and southern protectorates of the British empire, convinced the Queen of England in 1914 to amalgamate both of them into one country.
And over 62 years after independence from Britain, the much sought-after transition from a country that the British founded into a nation nurtured by Nigerians for Nigerians has been a torturous and tumultuous journey in which only a few baby steps have been taken.
That is as opposed to the giant strides that the founders of the country had envisioned that Nigeria should have taken by now. Hence, they fought vigorously to secure her independence from the British colonizers in 1960.
According to the author, the ultimate mission of the book is to enlighten citizens on how to become president of Nigeria by highlighting the prerequisites for ascending to the exalted office.
Remarkably, the timing of the release of the book is significant as it comes at a critical period when the politics of who will become the next president of Nigeria is occupying the right and center of national discussion.
For instance, as the incumbent, President Mohammadu Buhari is currently in the twilight zone of his two terms, eight (8) years of opportunity to lead Nigeria, which ends next year (2023), the author of the book, Magnus Onyibe, posed the following questions:
How can Nigeria elect a president who will pursue an agenda of multi-sum politics rooted in equity and inclusiveness and driven by patriotic leadership that would build upon the foundation of progress laid by our forebears? How can a system that eschews the current winner-takes-it-all attitude of ethnocentric leaders emerge, propelled by presidential rotation policy, evolve? Would the 2023 general elections be the turning point?
There are multiple salient points in the book, but the most striking is the fact that, of the five (5) presidents that have become president of Nigeria since independence, Shehu Shagari, Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and Mohammadu Buhari, three (3) of them—Shagari, Yar’adua, and Jonathan—have been school teachers, and two (2) of them—Obasanjo and Buhari—are ex-soldiers.
The author avers that the major purpose of the book is to share with every Nigerian, no matter their station in life, the knowledge and hope that they can become the president of Nigeria if they try hard enough.
So, the likes of Dele Momodu, Omoyele Sowore, Kingsley Moghalu, and Sam Ohuabunwa, as well as Dumebi Kachikwu, amongst others, who are not professional politicians but have thrown their hats into the ring for the presidential primaries race in 2022/2023, should not despair.
And that is because history is on their side.
If they don’t win now, perhaps because they lack the political structures and household name recognition required to accomplish their mission, they will be in a better position to win the next time they contest because they can build on their experience and exposure, as they will have chalked up some national name recognition and built some structures in the course of campaigning for the presidency in 2023.
The book also emphasizes the belief that all hope is not lost for the unity and progress of Nigeria as there is a sort of convergence in the reports of the panel set up by the ruling party at the center, the APC, to chart the way forward, led by Kaduna state governor, Nasir El Rufai, and a similar committee established by the main opposition party, the PDP, led by the governor of Bauchi state, Bala Mohamed. The nuggets of wisdom in both reports, according to Onyibe, can engender national rebirth in our beloved country if implemented.
The book, which is published by Inspire Media Services Limited located at inspiring Automotive City, (Former LAPAL House Showroom), 235 Igbosere Road, opposite Igbosere magistrates court, Igbosere, Lagos Island, is embellished with illustrations by the award-winning political cartoonist, Tayo Fatunla.
It will be formally launched in Abuja on May 10th, 2022. It is currently on sale by the publisher via telephone number 09077958606.
The book can also be purchased from reputable bookshops nationwide and is available to a global audience via the Amazon platform too.