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I think Donald Duke summed up last night in his closing statement. ‘Talk is cheap’, he said. It was a bit condescending in the context he meant it. He said he was the only one among all the Candidates, except President Buhari, who has actually governed. He might be right. But he was wrong to downplay the possibility of competence or capacity, simply on that basis. Prior to becoming Governor, he too had never governed.

But he was right in the totality of last night’s context. Talk was quite cheap. It was no debate, in the sense we know it or it could have been. It was largely dull. It was more of a conversation among a group of men who seem to have resigned themselves to the end that is only a touch away.

There were flashes of brilliance, but the limitation of time and the structure of the ‘debate would hardly let that out. It was easy to see that most of the men were not in tune with the demands of the office they aspire for, unlearned about the rudiments of the governance structure and process. They simply are not happy with the way things are and have some ideas on how they assume things should be run. But that applies to over 170 million of us. Does that mean we should all run to be President?

Ideas are great. But they are just that – ideas. They are there all over the place. They amount to nothing if you do not lock them in with a good sense of timing, planning, strategy and resourcefulness. A good ideas man should know when to run or not to run. He should be able to design a strategy that will make him successful at executing the idea. That sense of timing that will help you in running a successful campaign, not necessarily winning immediately, will establish the force of your idea. Time will validate it.

Last night was a gathering of men of ideas. But so are our many isi ewu, nkwobi joints, beer parlour, newspaper stands, danfos and molues. They are gatherings of ideas. Ideas are everywhere. Don’t misunderstand me. Ideas are powerful. But translating them to opportunities is the key.

Donald Duke is a man of ideas. He made a good impression as Governor. First time I stepped into Tinapa, I was in tears. At the force and audacity of his idea. Had the privilege of watching him from close quarters too. Urbane, polished mind. Tinapa speaks to both his strengths and weaknesses. His friend, Imoke, has a lot to say on how Tinapa became what it is.


A gathering of men of ideas. Last night. One of the wonders of this campaign season, for me, is how many people seemed to have been won over by the Professor. I have read his books. Not quite impressed with this one on Nigeria. Full of sound bites. Lacking in depth. He says he is a professor of practice. You know what that means in the American sense. Not even the ‘Professors’ in the more familiar sense to us, tout the title as much as he does. Well, it is all politics.

Omoyele Sowore is a much more brilliant and grounded man than is often acknowledged, perhaps for his body language and a no-nonsense mien. He has his fingers rightly placed on some of the buttons.


But some of his ideas, like many touted there, have no feet to run with. You might be mistaken into assuming that it was a gathering to share an already baked cake, whereas there is really no cake. People kept talking about allocation of resources, spending more on this and that as well as employing more people. They seem to have forgotten that the greatest challenge is that there is no cake in place yet. Of course, plugging loopholes here and there, doing things differently might put some puff puff on the table, which is what it is now. The money is just not there, yet. How to get the cake baked should be the focus of men of ideas.

Not sure what to make of Fela Durotoye. Not quite sure with the other man. But my Brother, Tope Fasua, has his fingers on some of the fundaments. Some of his ideas might be out of the box, but that is what make them interesting. His thoughts are original and deliberately couched with our peculiarities in mind. We share the same economic philosophy. He is not one to regurgitate the failed ideas handed down to us from the West. His objective, he has said, is to use this race to give his ideas wings to fly so they can impact policy directions. I hope that happens.


**”Ideas are great. But they are just that – ideas. They are there all over the place. They amount to nothing if you do not lock them in with a good sense of timing, planning, strategy and resourcefulness.” **

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