Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill is best known for his wartime leadership as Prime Minister. The Sandhurst-educated soldier, was also a Nobel Prize-winning writer, a historian, a prolific painter, and one of the longest-serving politicians in British history. Apart from two years between 1922 and 1924, he was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1900 to 1964 and represented a total of five constituencies. His ideology is built on economic liberalism and imperialism.
Churchill succeeded as an orator despite being handicapped from childhood, and this got him listed as one among the top 10 greatest orators which had the likes of Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, John .F. Kennedy, Mohandis Ghandi, and Barack Obama just to mention a few.
Churchill’s oratory was impressed on me when I read his book; “The Great War Speeches” authored by him. One of the highlights of the book was the account of his speech on 20 August 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain, Churchill addressed the Commons to outline the war situation. In the middle of this speech, he made a statement that created a famous nickname for the RAF fighter pilots involved in the battle. He said;
“The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”
Winston Churchill went on to play a huge role in the drafting of the Atlantic Charter which outlined the goals of both countries for the future of the world and it is seen as the inspiration for the 1942 Declaration by United Nations, itself the basis of the United Nations which was founded in June 1945.
It is never in doubt that Churchill’s oratory brought about the much-needed inspirational leadership at that critical time. Every war strategist and analyst will tell you that the only thing which saw Great Britain through those trying times were no military might, weaponry or intelligence network, it was just the HOPE given by Winston Churchill through his words.
At a critical time of the life of one time largest political party in Nigeria, and when the party is in dire need of a strong leadership with focus, direction, purpose, determination, wit and deftness, there is a need for the Peoples Democratic Party to look at a charismatic leader who will not only talk the party back into the heart of Nigerians, but talk the PDP back to power. If there is one person whose oratory skills which can offer PDP the semblance of HOPE and REVIVAL Winston Churchill offered Great Britain at such a critical period, then the party should not look beyond Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu, the former governor of Niger State.
I have had encounters with Babangida Aliyu, and the former governor of Niger State will leave you impressed after every encounter. The seasoned administrator in January 2008 while as a governor and playing host to a delegation from the Association of Nigerian Authors, in Niger State, he said; “I think Niger State will be the most published state in 2008. We want to publish you; we shall publish you…” The state was to publish at least twenty titles in 2008 alone.
This simply means in Babangida Aliyu, PDP will find a leader who will always get the party in the news for all the right reasons, create a new perception of the party among Nigerians and project it as a serious-minded opposition willing to serve the interest of Nigerians and protect it.
He has also demonstrated that he has mastered the art of public speaking with enormous emotional intelligence, thus, always saying the right things at the appropriate time in response to public sentiments. An instance was at the December 2008 symposium on poverty eradication in Northern states, Babangida Aliyu said the traditional rulers, particularly in the Northern region, were “corrupt, support corruption and have lost the respect and moral authority to correct their subjects. As indicting as those words were, it captured the mood of the nation and rather than face harsh criticism, he will be applauded across the country.
Without any attempt at disparaging the person of leadership offered by Chief Uche Secondus as the Chair of the PDP, his tenure is known for it uninspiring, bland, petty and comical leadership which made many Nigerians to see the party as a greater failure out of office for not playing the role of a viable opposition to the ruling All Progressive Congress in the face of bad governance, poor human rights records, economic ruins and endemic insecurity across the country.
What PDP needs at the moment is a man who will inspire HOPE in the face of huge hopelessness which will give its members something to cling on to and get the party back to reckoning. I have seen those