Let me explain the concept of the Supreme Leader using Iran as an example. In Iran, the Supreme Leader is considered the Head of State and is more powerful than the president. The Supreme Leader appoints the heads of many powerful posts in the military, the civil government, and the judiciary. While the president is the face of most of the government, the quiet, legal power behind him is the Supreme Leader.
Nigeria needs a Supreme Leader. We need a powerful person behind the curtains pulling the strings, someone who will not just hide or deny being the power behind political events, but be recognised by the constitution and respected by all. The reasons for this are many. For one thing, if the law recognises the power behind the curtain, it will stop people from going against the wishes of the Supreme Leader.
I will use a fictional example. Let us say a person – we will call him Ubunit – is very rich, influential and is the power and money bag behind big political events like say, a change of government. Ubunit will naturally want things to go his way after spending all that money and using his contacts to make things happen and cause the election of people into public office. Ubunit will expect to make recommendations for appointments to key government positions. In Iran, the Supreme Leader cannot be challenged by just anyone. No one can wake up and accuse him of corruption or ask him how he amassed so much wealth. The law makes it possible for him to make official pronouncements and appointments. All you can do is grumble and tell your concerns to God in prayer, expecting that God, who works in mysterious ways will either hasten the Supreme Leader’s journey to heaven or touch his heart to make him change.
But in the case of the fictional Ubunit, you might have some small boy who, just because he won elections feels he can go against the unofficial Supreme leader. He will challenge Ubunit. He will ignore Ubunit when Ubunit writes down his choices for appointments on a piece of paper. He will squeeze the piece of paper, flush it down the toilet and do the opposite of what is written in it. And because of social media where any idiot can become popular, his supporters will hail him and even insult Ubunit. But you see, Ubunit still has the power. It may take him a while to root out dissidents through ingenious means but he will. The problem however is, once people sees one person challenge the godfather, everyone will want to try challenge him. Once they know it is possible they will poke their fingers in Ubunit’s eye. This is where my suggestion comes in handy.
I propose we get a Supreme Leadership Authority Council (SLAC) in the constitution. The job of this council will be looking at who the biggest godfather is and appointing him to become Supreme Leader. This Supreme Leader will not have to go through the hassles of politics and face idiots who try to undermine his power. His appointments will not require senate confirmation. In fact the Supreme Leader will select the Senate President and possibly the Vice President, by law. This is to avoid any confusion. Once he does this, his decisions will become binding on all in the country.
As things are in Nigeria, power belongs to nobody. And this is not very good. Godfathers who should be respected now have to resort to legal means to push dissidents out of office. No godfather should have to use things like the EFCC or the ICPC. It is too stressful. Plus these days everyone has grown wings and can do things like refuse to respond to court summons or even tell EFCC they will respond to an invitation when they feel ready. That is why we have the crises in the national assembly where politicians go against their own party. The Supreme Leader will be required to wear a cap and glasses. There is a kind of respect a person gets when they wear glasses and a cap.
Back to the fictional example of Ubunit. Ubunit needs protection under law so that the country can run smoothly. As Supreme Leader, he can move around in convoys and not have anyone ask why. He can buy up estates and nobody ask where he got the money from. And he will not have to keep proving his power and clout to young politicians who have no respect.
With the position of Supreme Leader we can let the president focus on things like security and the economy. Look at Iran. When was the last time you heard they had serious internal political turmoil? That is because they let the Supreme leader decide and not have him hiding behind curtains and making decisions in closed-door meetings. That is because their Supreme Leader does not need to hide.
We need an Ubunit to become Supreme Leader so that the political crises, especially with the senate leadership will be a thing of the past. I am saying all this because I care.