2023 Leading Presidential Candidates
OpenLife Nigeria reports that Professor of Political Science and former Minister of External Affairs from 1985 to late 1987, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi has faulted the path taken by leading presidential candidates in the build up to the February 25 poll.
Professor Akinyemi it was who championed the novel concepts of how Nigeria’s diplomatic chess game should be played through the National Institute of International Affairs, NIIA.
Remarkably, Professor Akinyemi steered the course of NIIA for eight long years to be a continuous intellectual cauldron where ideas sparked against ideas in the form of lectures, conferences, symposia, seminars, round tables workshops involving the most illustrious Nigerian and foreign incandescent brains and statesmen, including Presidents and Prime Ministers.
Speaking about foreign policies on territorial waters early Wednesday on Arise TV, the professor took serious exemption to the penchant of presidential candidates who have tuned Chatham House, London to political Mecca of sort.
He noted that ability to govern Nigeria at presidential level cannot be garnered at Chatham House, describing the exercise as the continuation of colonialism and sell out of self esteem.
He rationalized the worthlessness of the Chatham House exploration and asked: “How man English people did you see at Chatham House during those interactive sessions?”
He added that “In the early 60s when we had great leaders like Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alhadu Bello and Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, did they go to Chatham House to be able to achieve what they achieved? The answer is no,” he stated.
He however pointed out the President Muhammadu Buhari who has failed Nigerians in all sectors made a show out of Chatham House debate preparatory to the 2015 general elections.
It would be recalled that Chatham House, also known as The Royal Institute of International Affairs which serves as an independent policy institute headquartered in London, has been a spot for Nigerian presidential enthusiasts to offer cardinal objective explanations.
As of the last count, ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar (Peoples Democratic Party – PDP); a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu (All Progressives Congress – APC); a former governor of Anambra Srare, Peter Obi (Labour Party – LP) and a former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso (New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) have answered questions at the Chatham House.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu was also at Chatham House to speak about INEC’s preparations for the election.