I resort to use of rational thinking when faced with seemingly complex problems like the choice of the President Nigeria needs in 2019. My first application of Decision Quality Analysis (DQA) in public talks about a topical Nigerian issue I wrote a couple of months ago in the essay titled “My Decision Quality Analysis of why building or buying a house for rental income makes no sense”. You can Google it. Hence, we would not go into the details of a DQA but will go straight into the elements as it relates to the subject.
The “FRAME” of the Decision in this case will be summarized in an opportunity statement thus; in 2019, Nigeria needs a healthy, human, selfless, nationalistic, intelligent, articulate, responsive, civilian, young and dynamic millennial President that will lead Africa and drive the Nigerian vision, taking its rightful place in the committee of nations. It needs a President that believes in Nigeria and “genuinely” willing to sacrifice self and luxury for the common good. The risks of not achieving these are; stagnation, backwardness, unsustainable budgetary expenditures on symptoms rather than root causes, lack of quality education etc. These risks will lead to increased youth agitation, terrorism, death from common diseases, increase in corruption, death of infrastructure, population explosion etc. The good thing is that there are several people in this nation that can provide the leadership that is required.
On “Availability of Meaningful Information”, I believe Nigerians have the dossier on every candidate that has indicated interest in running for the Presidency. Most of them are either retired civil servants or military men. We know their states of origin. We know their antecedents or at least what they have put out there when Mark Zuckerberg asked them “what is in your mind”. We know what their salaries were when they served, for those that were in the public service. For those that have civil or criminal cases in court, we know the status of all the cases. In using this tool, we are mindful that “meaningful information” is aligned to the norm that an accused is innocent until proven guilty. We are also mindful of public perceptions and opinions.
On “Doable Alternatives” we list the entire anticipated contestants in that Presidential election that the writer knows at the moment (meaning my “meaningful information” element of this DQA may be challenged). Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB), ex Vice President Atiku Abubarkar, current Senate President Bukola Saraki, ex CBN director Kingsley Muoghalu, ex Kano Governor senator Kwankwaso, ex speaker house of representatives and current Sokoto state Governor AminuTambuwal, ex PDP chairman Markarfi, founder of Sahara reporters Sowore and numerous others that do not come to my mind at the time of writing.
The fourth element has to do with “Value Trade-offs”. In this case, we are looking at the opportunity costs for Nigerian and Nigerians. I have seen cases where scholars approach this element by first looking at the rock bottom option or “at all at all” in Nigerian parlance, and then build on it, highlighting the positives and negatives of the additional scope added. However, before they (scholars) do that, they first establish their targets and affordability. Hence for Nigeria, it is about what we want and can afford. In this case our “at all, at all” would be PMB who is the incumbent.
Retaining him as our choice will lead credence to that song “Shey na like this we go de dey” by wande cole. And I say “Yes”. That is if we decide to stick with the existing order at the end of our analysis. However, we have to link the choice back to our frame and check if he meets the intent. Adding on the choice of PMB in the value staircase, we bring in Atiku. Choice of Atiku will mean more articulated approach to economy, better integration and less feeling of marginalization for some parts of the country, at least going by his current rhetoric’s. It would also mean more direct engagement of the public on national issues, going by his active presence on twitter.
There is a public perception of Atiku as being corrupt and in fact numerous writers have challenged him to visit the United States where they allege he is being wanted on corruption related issues. Unfortunately, as much as I would like, this tool does not accept unsubstantiated allegations. As far as we know, there has been no conviction of Atiku in any court of law. If we add Saraki, he will also enjoy most of the positives of Atiku. Added to that is his youthful age and energy that comes with it. We would expect him to jump into the plane and be at the location of any crisis in this land within minutes as Presidents all over the civilized world do. He is also very handy with twitter and speaks “Queens” English. However, I do not think he is good in business as evidenced by the failure of the Society General bank. Unfortunately, the corruption perception Atiku carries seem to be much more for Saraki, to the extent of criminal implication for murder. Again, none of the allegations have been proven in court and Saraki has not been convicted of any crime in Nigeria.
Kingsley Muoghalu comes with a lot of vibrancy, intellect and youthful energy. He has no corruption barge.He has not handled political office before, so we cannot say if he can help himself or his “Umunna” (brethren) when he gets there.Unfortunately, this tool does not speculate but only deals with facts. His downside unfortunately may be acceptability, given his origin from the southern part of the country and an unwritten zoning formula. He also has not run any business of his own, so we cannot tell how he will handle ours. For each of the rest, we can equally attribute the good and bad to their persons to help guide us in the value staircase.
Making sense out of it all in the “Logical Reasoning” element is where Nigerians have to put on their thinking caps. We have defined what we want, we know what we can afford and hence, looking at the value table with all the greens and reds, we need to connect the dots. The strategic linkages all have to be put into context. These would include; need for national inclusion, acceptability by all national and international stakeholders etc.
Finally, we conclude by the “Commitment to Action” element. This means nothing more than getting your “PVC” as a minimum. We have to tell everyone that is important and needs to know. When we have analyzed and made up our mind, we must do something about it. We have to engage our colleagues, religious society members, village unions and all organization we belong to in an intellectual debate and convince them of our preferred candidate with solid superior arguments without sentiments.
I believe this is a powerful tool that can deliver positive results for the country if at least a minimum of eighty percent of the population is literate. This is doable as I understand that Zimbabwe we all joke about has ninety percent literacy rate. Nigeria can do better.