It is difficult to debate Nigeria today without stirring up emotions. From North to South, the problems are so numerous and obvious to citizens regardless of our differences.

Major subjects of newspaper headlines are: killings, kidnappings, agitations for secession, economic hardship, unemployment and poverty.

These are not just bad news to hapless citizens. They are serious issues threatening  the existence of our dear country, while leadership appears to be overwhelmed by these challenges.

With these issues in mind, it is good to remind ourselves that all hope is not lost. Keeping hope alive is important in whatever we do. Hope they say never gives up. We might be disappointed but we should not give up on Nigeria.

Nigeria is ours and hoping that Nigeria will work again is not a bad idea. Nigeria is not doomed beyond salvation or ruined beyond repair. 2023 is fast approaching. Everyone abreast with issues and developments in the country know it is an election year. More importantly, a year we will all once again determine what becomes of Nigeria.

The last eight years have provided us more than enough to make informed decision on who becomes our next leader and no doubt that we will all agree that our next president should be:

Educated, disciplined and full of energy to physically drive and coordinate governance, have an exellent public service track record, be devoted to civil liberty and democracy, be a honest personality without attachment to region or religion.

The last eight years has shown the personalities of 36 governors across different states and political parties. We have listened, monitored and followed developments in their state and we know the one who possesses these qualities of a true leader.

For us at Hope For Nigeria, more than any other, one governor comes to mind talking about aforementioned qualities. He might not be talking like others because talk is cheap. But an average Nigeria will testify to his strong character, prudent leadership, devotion to democracy, vision for a better Nigeria and the selflessness of Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.

With proven years of experience in public service, Dr Fayemi stands tall amongst his contemporaries in different spheres. His involvement in pro-democracy struggle against military regimes position him as one leader with vast understanding of Nigeria and how to run and manage  the diversities of our dear country.

When he was rigged out in his first attempt for a second term in office, we heard how he proved indeed that power is not worth clinging unto by wishing the winner of the election good luck.  He has shown same spirit through his magnanimity when he eventually won a second term. No witch-hunting. No attack on opposition. No distractions. Eyes on the ball – good governance.

When he recently said “leaders are elected to solve problems and not to complain”, he reminded us of a leader who is prepared and armed with all it takes to manage Nigeria. No wonder he has not complained of the huge debt he inherited from his predecessor but has kept Ekiti State working regardless.

We saw all he did laying the foundation for diversification of Nigeria’s economy from a oil-based economy to exploration of solid minerals in the short time he served as minister of solid minerals. His presidency will unleash Nigeria’s solid minerals potential, opening up our economy  and creating more opportunities for young people.

His intervention and stance on national issues have been solution driven and devoid of sentiments and emotion. Be it his condemnation of police brutality, a menace that triggered historical #EndSARS protest or his stance on Fiscal federalism and how to overcome insecurity in Nigeria, Dr Fayemi has proven to be a wise and an emotionally intelligent leader with focus on solution always.

In deeds, words and his comportment in office both as Governor and a minister, Dr Fayemi has shown beyond reasonable doubt that he is not a power drunk leader but an approachable bridge builder. A leader who is not attached to region or religion, but preoccupied with getting the job done.

For us, Dr Fayemi is hope for Nigeria.

Bukar Lawan writes from Yobe State