By Ibiyemi Ibiyo
To hit the ground running means to start a new activity at full speed with enthusiasm, and energy as well as proceed at a fast pace with a great deal of forward momentum. This leads to quick wins, which also results to greater momentum that drives the successful achievement of the overall goals and objectives of any endeavour.
To hit the ground running in any given responsibility, one must know the job, know the organisation, its challenges, prospects and its social environment, as well as know the most vital relationships required for successful outcomes of the organisation’s goals and objectives.
In organisations, leaders who hit the ground running inspire enthusiasm and create a momentum and a dynamic that enables the organisation to achieve its goals and objectives successfully. People find it easy to move with a leader who hits the ground running because there are quick wins, which spur everyone to even more action to achieving organisational goals.
As it is with organisations, so it is with nations. Political leaders who hit the ground running especially if they have a plan that empowers and enriches the people inspire the people to achieve national greatness. Political leaders who are already involved and immersed in finding solutions at the top level for a society stand a better chance to hit the ground running, especially if they have great plans and a clear vision. Such leaders have drive, energy, passion, enthusiasm and vigour as they go about solving the problems of the society.
In view of the multifarious challenges Nigeria faces as developing nation in spite of the relative development so far, we need a leader who will hit the ground running as we prepare to elect a new one. This is because a lot of areas of our national life not only need urgent interventions but also uninterrupted ones. Nigeria at this time does not have the luxury of time and certainly cannot afford administrative delays because someone is wasting precious time trying to have a realistic understanding of the Office of the President, and then deciding on what to do.
To my mind, as the 2023 elections approach, Nigeria is fortunate to have in Vice President Yemi Osinbajo a leader who is not only privy to the workings of the government of the day, but who, by presidential preference, has carried out several important domestic and international assignments in addition to his constitutional duties as Vice President. With that, he has an unparalleled understanding and a good knowledge of the government’s operations and innermost workings – successes, challenges and all. This is a man who is not only the Vice President but has been Acting President when the President was on medical leave. And most people generally agree that he did quite well piloting the ship of state.
Any right thinking person will agree today that none of the aspirants for the Office of the President in the coming presidential elections has a hands-on understanding and clear knowledge of our nation’s situation like Vice President Osinbajo. What other aspirants who are presently running for the Office of the President for the 2023 elections have concerning the actual state of things, especially as it has to do with the economy, security and other vital sectors at best will be peripheral, cosmetic, or even wishy-washy and sourced from all sorts of assumptions. Such assumptions will have nothing to do with the objective reality that will enhance actual governance and deliver development to our nation.
All other aspirants for the Office of the President will by necessity require wasteful, valuable and time consuming months or even years just to be familiarised with certain facts to get them to understand the issues facing the country. Drawing realistic plans thereafter will not give them enough time to implement as their tenure will soon run out having wasted several months trying to come to terms with the actual situation of things with regards to finance, security, health, education or other sectors.
In Osinbajo, we will have a President who will not suffer this burden of ignorance and inexperience. Rather, he is best positioned to get right down to business immediately on assumption of office because he already has the knowledge and understanding, which makes him better placed to deliver in record time practical and workable ideas and solutions to the challenges facing us as a people.
Osinbajo will clearly not waste valuable time on assuming power as a result of the process of settling into governance which will be the case with others who are in the race for the 2023 presidency. For most of them, the transition process may disorient them for even two years of their four-year term. Our country will be the loser as a result. We certainly don’t have that luxury of time.
It is therefore heartwarming to note that Osinbajo recently declared that, “With utmost humility, it is now evident that if there is anybody, any candidate, or aspirant, who on Day One can hit the ground running, who on day one knows what to do, who will not spend another two years trying to decide what to do, that person is your son, Oluyemi Osinbajo. That is the objective truth”.
Honestly, I believe him. Osinbajo’s declaration to hit the ground running is nothing but the obvious fact that even the blind can see and the deaf hear literally.
What is more, Osinbajo symbolises what Nigeria yearns for at this point in time – servant leadership, order, discipline, rule of law, self-reliance, out-of-the-box solutions, empathy, innovative spirit that our country can escape the challenges of corruption, insecurity and poverty. For him to hit the ground running as he has promised means we should expect quick wins in several key areas of our national life in an Osinbajo presidency come 2023.
It is my firm conviction that all Nigerians should key into the Osinbajo dream for a greater and more prosperous Nigeria especially with his promise to hit the ground running. We cannot afford to have a time waster, an out-of-date or an inexperienced person to pilot the ship of state in 2023. That would be dangerous as there is so much to do – building and continuing the good things of this present administration and unleashing people-centred solutions across the various sectors of our national life. We need the man who is fully prepared and will hit the ground running. I believe that man is Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Ibiyo, public affairs analyst and CEO of YESS Integrated Trade Limited, writes from Jos