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Home » Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim: Nigeria Needs a CEO, Not a Commander-in-Chief,to Rebuild Nation – THISDAY Newspapers

Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim: Nigeria Needs a CEO, Not a Commander-in-Chief,to Rebuild Nation – THISDAY Newspapers

Special INTERVIEW

Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim, the presidential standard-bearer of the Young Progressives Party in the forthcoming February 25 election, has expansive solutions to Nigeria’s perennial crises. He believes Nigeria needs a builder, a visionary, a thinker and a global citizen. In this interview with Bayo Akinloye, he stresses that the country needs a “CEO of the federal republic of Nigeria, someone seasoned in building, creating, developing and growing our nation like a Fortune 500 company, rather than a politician who’s there to service his party and his personal ambition.” He also bares his mind on the recent bomb explosion that rocked the palace of the revered Kogi monarch, Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr Ado Ibrahim. Excerpts:
You’re the presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP). Why YPP and not Labour Party, APC or PDP considered bigger political platforms with the national spread in terms of support base?
I joined YPP because I believe that the party had similar ideologies to those that I relate with, and I believe that political parties should be symbolised by ideology and not just a platform to run for office. The so-called bigger parties have failed Nigeria since 1999. If you look at where we were and where we are today. So for that reason, I don’t see why I should sell my soul. I can’t just join a party because it was or is a larger platform. If we don’t learn from the examples of the past, we will never know where our future lies. To be more specific, APC and PDP were the only large parties and large only in the sense that they had been more seasoned. The emergence of the Labour Party is really due to the fact that individuals, not ideology, had moved from one party to another, which created the illusion of a larger party. For me, the ideologies of all three parties that you have mentioned are all the same, and as far as I am concerned, it is not for the betterment of Nigeria. It’s for the betterment of self and individuals that want to wield power further into the next decade.
Much has been said about your tenacity as a successful businessman but do you think engaging in politics is the same kettle of fish as sitting atop a firm as CEO?
If I’m being judged on my tenacity, those doing the judgment should also realise that I am not an individual that focuses on one single dimension in life; neither am I somebody who believes that (the) impossible is something to fear. I believe (the) impossible is nothing but a challenge others fear, and for that, people call me tenacious. Yes, politics is not the same as business. But are we really being political in Nigeria? As I said, ideologies are important as we strive for change in our nation. What does your party stand for is the question, and does your candidate embody those ideas and ideals? I do not see a difference between any of the parties, other than people transferring themselves, cross carpeting for their own good and not for the greater good of the country. This is (the) politics of self, not (the) politics of nation-building. Furthermore, I firmly believe that in the current state of the nation, Nigeria needs a builder, a visionary, a thinker and, especially now, a global citizen. We need a CEO of the federal republic of Nigeria, someone seasoned in building, creating, developing and growing our nation like a Fortune 500 company, rather than a politician who’s there to service his party and his personal ambition. We, Nigeria, have done just this for over 30 years and failed. It’s about time we decided that enough is enough, and we pick somebody that’s focused on the development of Nigeria rather than the devaluation of the nation. We need a CEO, not a C-in-C (commander-in-chief). That time has passed us by.
So, why do you want to be Nigeria’s president come May 29 this year, and what do you intend to do differently regarding the country’s economic and security challenges?
Being president by nomenclature is not what I am trying to be. I strive to take a leadership role as the head of the country; as I have always said, a leader that plots and plans ways and means that will see us as a united country, developing faster, quicker smarter and better than we have over the last 30 years. I see the practical processes necessary to more than double our GDP into a trillion-dollar-plus economy. I would certainly upgrade and reform our wasted oil and gas mono-economy that feeds only government and diversify into a substantially different economic model. We have developed plans on expanding our economic base beyond the present stagnant model. We know we can supercharge our industrial base with greater urgency on electrical power generation as a cornerstone of our development. I know we can build a minimum of 10,000MW annually of connected power into towns and cities starting after the first year in office. Not only will this have the desired industrial boost, but (it will) also create tremendous jobs growth and a substantial multiplier effect on many levels nationally.
I know how to develop modern farming complexes that will certainly surpass the meaningless and archaic agro and allied industries (that) past and present governments have been simply talking about. They say agriculture without practice or expertise. That is what I bring to the table—real-life experience and a track record, home and abroad. The sheer magnitude of Nigeria’s mining sector has been completely underestimated and underrated. In fact, the mining sector itself could easily develop a $1 trillion economy over the next two to three years by focusing its intention not just solely on the extraction mining aspect but also on creating value-added (services) through beneficiation of the mined resources into highly valuable ores or even further into finished goods. Nigeria has a terrific amount of lithium, cobalt uranium, gold, iron ore, bauxite, precious and semi-precious stones, rhodium and rare earth products that lie untouched and underutilised throughout Nigeria.
As far as this topic of security is concerned, is important to note that we have not had a major security retool in Nigeria in decades. We have become totally transparent and predictable in our military footing. We didn’t rise to meet the challenges of the future in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, so this is why we are sitting on a 1980s security footing in 2023. My administration will carefully execute a plan that I have diligently worked on over the last five years. I believe that the current military architecture consists of more of the old and less of the new, in all measures, from men to doctrine, platforms and tools, to equipment and execution. I believe we need to encourage and recruit a younger modern generation of soldiers and security agents. Personnel that are very well educated, modern in their thinking, creative in their expertise, patriotic and diverse in their thinking. We must grow stronger, especially around sectors like artificial intelligence, cyber warfare, and unmanned vehicle proficiency on land, air and at sea. It is globally accepted that Nigeria’s teeming youth have what it takes to be world leaders in the hi-tech age, which is another reason why we need a young, dynamic, visionary leader in Nigeria. One that will be able to bring out the very best of these tens of millions of Nigerians, not just for security reasons but also for visionary leadership that recognises, prepares and provides ample opportunity for these young people to become world leaders from the various opportunities open to us on the global stage in the fourth industrial revolution. There are certainly already glorious examples of these brilliant young minds leading Nigeria, Africa, and the world in various technological disciplines.
Security also doesn’t just mean weapons of war and soldiers. We also have to think of the word security in global and holistic terms: digital security, economic security, food security, national security, border security, and cyber security. And as the CEO of Nigeria, Inc., my ideal position would be that I must secure, in all ways possible, the people, the resources and the integrity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, so help me God.
Let’s dwell for a moment on security, and it is fitting to cite the example of a recent bomb explosion in Kogi state from where you hail. On December 29, an explosion was recorded in Okene, not far from the palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland. The Kogi government claimed it was a bomb attack likely orchestrated by disgruntled politicians. However, the SSS said it had apprehended the masterminds of the bomb explosion. Charity begins from home; how do you intend to tackle security in your home state?
First of all, for full disclosure to your readers, I am the second son of His Royal Majesty the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland. I would also like to state that my family and I were deeply saddened by the loss of life that took place at the bombing on 29 December, and the prayers go out to the families of the deceased and those injured that day. There was also a tremendous amount of damage not just at the palace and in the mosque but also in residential homes in the vicinity of the blast. I certainly hope that the state government is considerate enough to assist those homeowners in repairing the damage of the blast and providing medical assistance to the injured. Now I have certain observations of what happened on 29 December, and I’ve also gone public with my thoughts. I believe that it was a reckless disregard for the safety of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as he visited the state to commission certain projects that the governor was so eager to present to Mr President. In any nation, a society that values the office of the president, the society that values the life of its citizens, such an event would have been cancelled, and the visit of Mr President would have been immediately cut short due to the clear and present danger. That a bomb detonated less than 200m from where he was to attend an event is even incredible. So to me, it is evident that the president’s security was either compromised or, more drastically, that bomb was some kind of a deliberate act. The initial narrative given to the Presidential Guard was that a transformer had exploded. Being so close to the event’s location, I would have expected that a security detail would have gone to verify that that was indeed the case. The extent of the incident would have also been very evident, indicating that a major explosive device had caused death and destruction. For me, that was a serious breach of security protocol. However, within 24 hours the narrative had changed, from an exploded transformer. The state government put out a press release that its security operators had been tracking politically misguided elements, and we’re fully aware of the situation. That in itself is a damning admission, but as if that wasn’t even enough, the third narrative was that DSS had apprehended an ISWAP cell in Kogi state that was responsible. For me, I am completely and utterly disgusted by the notion that over the last five or six years, my beloved state has become a hotbed of criminality, bloodshedding, kidnapping, assassinations and a number of dastardly deeds.
As this is an election year and elections only being less than 45 days from now, it is with full reasoning that a thorough spotlight and security spotlight be put into troubled states like Kogi state. If the shenanigans of December 29 can be done while the commander-in-chief of the armed forces is in that state, then no one can take their security for granted.
It is alleged that the bomb explosion was not targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari, who was visiting Kogi then to inaugurate some projects executed by Governor Yahaya Bello. Do you think your father, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, was the target? Or some members of the royal family? Or could you be the target?
There certainly have been rumours and conjecture about who the target was. I guess we will really never know, but there’s too much circumstantial evidence pointing towards foul play in all directions. Of late, there has been a widely circulated leaked letter from the state government asking my father to present reasons why he did not attend the presidential visit on December 29 and a query as to why he shouldn’t be disciplined. Now you don’t need to be Einstein or even the smartest man in the room to realise that the bomb had just exploded an hour before the president’s visit. My father’s palace was damaged, people had died, and properties were destroyed, not to mention the shock and confusion created by such an attack. But the state government, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that the oldest living monarch in the land, at 93 years old, should be agile and mobile enough to witness such damage, commiserates with his people, sympathise with those who have lost their loved ones, assess the damage to his palace. All within an hour, he must now attend to the visit of Mr President, who is also a close friend of his. This could not be done even by a 43-year-old. Not only this, the governor had publicly told Mr President that my father was unavoidably absent because of illness, and a representative had been sent to the event to read a speech on my father’s behalf. This last part is laughable because he was not even invited to the event or given notice officially of any gathering ordered by the governor of the state. Notwithstanding, the tension in the state, politically, has been considerable. When the chief executive of the state publicly announces that any traditional ruler that accepts any visits from non-ruling party candidates will be dethroned. Political parties are frustrated with their activities. We have seen what happened to the Labour Party’s presidential candidate on his visit to the state and the threats and damage done to the PDP senatorial candidate, not to mention the restrictions from even someone like myself, a presidential candidate from the state, one can only begin to wonder what the true state of democracy is in Kogi state and Nigeria as a whole. To me, democracy, freedom of speech, and freedom of association are what have been targeted, not any individual. The worst part of all this is that we all know they will get away with it, so what to do?
Has your father faced such an existential threat before, or have you ruffled feathers in running for president and supporting the ruling party?
Well, I certainly cannot see why all of a sudden, we are to believe that my candidacy has ruffled feathers. YPP has been a growing strength since I emerged as the presidential candidate, but I don’t see how or why that would cause any sane person to take such drastic actions. Furthermore, my father has been The paramount traditional ruler of the Ebira people for over 27 years, and it’s only in the last five that we have seen a crescendo of blatant disrespect and disregard for this traditional institution that he holds very dear and is very reverent to. For me, I believe all traditional stools have been under attack, and the events in Kano a few years ago have only emboldened governors to play and tease traditional rulers with dethronement for whatever whims or insecurities the executive leader may have. This is the gradual disintegration of all our traditional values that we hold dear as Africans. The onslaught of traditional versus state institutions has been enormous. I believe that we have to re-examine the role of the traditional institutions in Nigeria. I believe that these institutions play a vital role, yet to be appreciated by today’s governments, but highly revered by our colonial past. I believe the traditional rulers play a vital part in the security and intelligence gathering of the African culture. They live amongst the people and have enough granular intelligence-gathering methods that can be fed to state and federal mechanisms for safety and security. I believe that this would be one immediate action I would pursue in a government led by me so that the laws could be changed and the mighty values that our traditional institutions still possess can be appreciated by all Nigerian citizens. In doing, so, I believe I would reconstitute the full national traditional rulers council and abrogate any disturbances from the institutions of (the) state. Certainly, there are laws that can be used for renegade rulers, but it’s fair to say that Nigerians love their monarchs, and they, the rulers, symbolize everything that is great about our Traditional values. As we weave this mosaic tapestry called Nigeria for now and for future generations, let’s always remember where we come from so that we can know where we are going and how far we have come.
Let’s go back to your presidential hope, which will either be realised or dashed come February 25. Are you convinced you will win the presidential race, or you’re into it to make a name for yourself?
I don’t think my position as a young independent Presidential candidate can be seen as a failure in the circumstances that we are in, in Nigeria today. Walking a path less travelled requires hope, belief, fortitude, and a desire to lead those behind me to a better place. As I always say, the journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step. I believe that as much as everybody wants to be a winner, being prepared to win at all times is good personal doctrine. For example, When Argentina played Saudi Arabia in the recently completed World Cup, I believe the Saudi team got onto that field knowing that they could, a big could. I believe they knew they were in a contest, and as the match progressed, as the goals went their way, their belief grew stronger, and David eventually slew Goliath. I was always told during my days (of) racing cars that ‘in order to finish first, first you have to finish…’ so with this in mind, the winning post it’s not what happens after February 25 2023, but what strength I’m able to gather for my party, YPP. For the teeming youth of this country as they come to realise that there are political options and that there are leaders willing to carry them along; men and women, Christians, and Muslims. This we must strive to do and toil for as we build a better, more glorious Nigeria. I don’t need to make a name for myself in politics. I am grateful to God that I’ve already built one and I already come from the already substantially recognised Atta family dynasty, one that is amply represented by past generations and ancestors. I simply believe that by having that historical context as my backstop, I can help build a better country for all of us.
Last October, your party leadership stopped short of saying you were not serious about galvanising needed support and momentum for the presidential poll, issuing you a summons. Would you admit to having a sluggish start to the race regarding campaigning?
No, I certainly don’t believe that. I haven’t done anything that can be construed as being unsupportive to my party. I believe that under normal circumstances, YPP should have been a party with the momentum that the Labour Party is enjoying today. I joined the party in October 2021. It did not have a strong political presence, (and) it did not have a continued voice because the last flag bearer of the party did what every other disgruntled political aspirant or candidate does. He did not see the future in the party and decided to leave and seek greener pastures. I believe if he had stayed in the party, we might have built something quite sensational together today. In fact, we may have even had the dream team ticket. Notwithstanding, for me joining a political party the way I found it, and with the promise that I see in it and its leadership, requires that I am faithful to the cause and have the presence of mind and the vision to help build this great party into the future. I’m not a flash in the pan but a constant flame that can build a better and brighter Nigeria by galvanising that which the party stands for: Youth and Progressiveness.
To me, Nigeria has no opposition party. That is a bold and obvious statement. There are no ideological differences, just symbols and fashion statements. There certainly isn’t any differential political mantra amongst the older parties in Nigeria. The current large parties are simply clusters of men and women seeking the instruments of power under a platform, in fact, any platform that will give them a presence and platform. This is not politics. This is simply musical chairs of a political nature.
I also believe that there is no way on earth for a young New party to have the kind of engine needed to fight the existing political machinery of these large parties. YPP stands for something in my heart and mind, and I believe that, since I have never been in politics, taken public funds, or generated incredible wealth at the expense of the people of this great country, I must cut my coat according to my size. I must use every advantage that I have against my opponents. And I must play my game, not the expected games of politicians past. With INEC extending the political campaign season by two months into a five-month political season, it would be absolutely insane of me to think I have the financial wherewithal to play against those that have been playing this game for the last 30 years. Furthermore, with the state of the economy, it is clear to see that the other parties have also not engaged in political business as usual. 2023 will certainly prove that Nigerian politics needs to become more ideological than transactional or commercial. Therefore, taking my time to place my bets where they may best yield results could be seen as being sluggish by some, but at the end of the day, I don’t intend to play my cards and leave the political table anytime soon.
Some things the YPP leadership wanted you to address were your ‘blueprint and a comprehensive campaign plan going into the 2023 presidential election for speedy harmonisation to avoid working at cross purposes’. What is your blueprint for the forthcoming poll?
This I can categorise as an unfortunate misunderstanding that was made public. As I stated earlier, I believe I needed to take all the time necessary to calculate the moves I needed to make. I needed to bring onboard strategic thinkers, not political jobbers, and to create an environment not just for today but a sustainable one for the tomorrows to come. My manifesto, which was one of the first to come out, clearly highlighted the strategic planning that we had in place for this great country. Once we flagged off the campaign, I believe that the party hierarchy and well-meaning party faithful came to a meeting of the minds, and we are seeing the fruits of that labour. I don’t believe that David hastily picked up that stone that slew Goliath. I believe he will have searched for the right kind of stone and prayed for the aim to be true in order to deliver that fateful blow. We must also realise that the fight between the tribes of David and Goliath didn’t just happen on that day. It had built to a crescendo for that date to happen, and I firmly believe that YPP’s day will surely come.
Without the war chest of parties like the PDP, APC and Labour Party, how do you intend to gain further ground ahead of the February 25 contest?
When we realise that the battle is amongst former governors and a former vice president, it doesn’t take much to imagine from where most of that war chest would have come. As I previously stated, I have not been in government. I have not run a state nor been in any of the corridors of power in Nigeria. I have not amassed wealth through politics, I have not generated wealth through state capture, nor have I participated in any government contracts or tender to gain financial independence. Not having political people in high places is certainly detrimental to doing business in Nigeria, so I take it as a badge of honour that I don’t have questionable resources from prior political life, nor have I gained any advantage from having a father, who was a politician or a godfather, who is a politician.
You’re 59; 47 years of those years were spent outside Nigeria. Don’t you think you have stayed too long away from home and perhaps out of touch with the country’s realities?
Actually, I don’t think that there is any way one can judge when would be an appropriate time to get into politics. I believe it’s something you feel. I believe it is something you have ingrained in your soul or in your mind. I believe you must want to do something for your country and for your people. I don’t believe I’m out of touch with anything that I’ve seen since coming back home. I believe Nigeria has been in a repetitive tailspin for the last 30 years, and I believe that I bring fresh, new ideas to this race. I believe I’ve gained experiences and exposure that are far beyond those of my competitors. I believe that I have a modern outlook on life and the big wide world that we live in, and I believe that Nigeria has a place in that world. However, this requires that somebody like myself, someone that has the vision, knowledge, experience and know-how, must forge that path for the greater good and future of Nigeria.
Some might think you should have started your political career by contesting the governorship election. What do you think about that?
Well. That’s a shame that some might think that. I see a tomorrow that is unspoiled. I am untouched by corruption, nepotism, political favouritism, avarice or malice. These are some of the qualities of the leader we need in order for him to guide us out of this mess we are in. We need a nation builder that will focus on the task ahead and get the job done. We don’t want a leader that has had to make deals so that his leadership role is compromised by puppet strings, all in the hope of becoming president of Nigeria. We just cannot afford to have an imbecile as president. We cannot afford to have a corrupter-in-chief as president. We cannot afford to have a bigot as president. We cannot afford to have a hungry man in our kitchen. We’re at the precipice of very troubling times ahead in Nigeria. We know the problems, yet, We are being pushed to choose from individuals that have let us down before. We just cannot afford to be blind, desperate, and want to select a blind man to lead us. It is high time leadership was chosen from the content of one’s mind and heart rather than one’s wallet and ambition. Nobody contesting this office has ever been the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria before. No one has ever been responsible for the well-being of over 200 million people before. No one has ever been responsible to build up such a fallen economy as we have now in this great country before. So we cannot hold the yardstick of past political position as the litmus test for presidential elections. After all, all those so-called experienced persons left office some time ago. The world and the times have changed. Every one of us running believes we bring something of value to the table, but we must also bring two things that I believe are paramount to moving this great nation forward; patriotism and vision.
Insecurity and economic crisis have combined in Nigeria to plunge as many people as you can think of into poverty, as the National Bureau of Statistics reveals. In what specific ways will you address these two issues?
Unfortunately, the next president inherits a mammoth task ahead. The double threat of insecurity and economic collapse, also coupled with a high unemployment rate and out-of-hand inflation, will create significant hurdles for the next president. However, I believe that it is important that it is those skill sets I have, of being a creator, an innovator, a visionary and a patriot, that give me the confidence needed to fight these astronomical hurdles on behalf of my great country. I believe that the strategic planning that is needed to succeed is ready. We have already started working on an economic recovery plan that is firmly rooted In the redistribution of financial resources and economic and financial growth revenue generation away from the oil and gas sector as we know it today.
As the leader of a country with over 200 million people, a renowned base of Nigerian technological ingenuity in almost every field, cheap labour cost, first-class climate economy opportunities and a young, growing labour force, I’m confident that as CEO of Nigeria, Inc. I will create a master plan, a marshall plan for the re-growth and regeneration of Nigeria. This will be done by creating an exceptional enabling environment for all-round growth, which will. Be grounded on a bedrock of growing and visionary, planned sustainable development. I will also be sending out a signal to all well-meaning Nigerians to come home to help right this national ship. I don’t believe that we are looking disaster in the face. I believe that we are actually staring down at the opportunities in the making.
We can use these building blocks and opportunities to redefine Nigeria and our economy. It’s a chance to retool our nation and extract the best in human resources, natural resources, and climate resources, with the aim of making Nigeria great. I have served in many countries as a security advisor, and I know that we have the resources necessary to defend our country and provide military and paramilitary organisations with the right kind of tools and technology. This is an industry that I excel in, and I am confident that with the rudimentary elements on the ground and the vision and experience that I have, not only will I change the landscape of the security footing we are in, but I will create the template for sustainable and measurable security implementation for decades to come.
Earlier, mention was made about your party not being fully convinced about your preparedness for the presidential race. Are you now adequately prepared enough for the February 25 poll? Again, we ask you: how confident are you that you’ll win the presidential election?
Only a fool can say he is confident in winning the polls come February 25. After all, the people have not spoken yet. We hear of all these so-called polls, giving a win to this person or that person. The reality is that Nigerians have not voted. Polls are impractical and useless in Nigeria. The reality is we don’t know how many people will actually vote because of widespread voter apathy. We don’t know how many PVCs will actually be excepted during this upcoming voting exercise due to BIVAS. In 2019, 86 million people were registered to vote, and only 28 million people voted in total. That means 56 million people did not even cast a vote. The winner registered 15 million odd votes; the second place registered 12 or 13 million votes, and the third place had 114 thousand votes. Any politician that is confident that he can surpass those numbers and guarantee a win today is simply delusional. I am in the race to win, and it is up to the voters to select who they want to lead them for the next four years. After all, if it was all so predictable, we would be seeing such high drama by those who believe this was a do-or-die affair.
What do you think INEC and the incumbent government should do to ensure the election is free, fair, peaceful and credible?
I have no doubt that there are elements within the political systems that are trying to figure out how to cheat and create havoc during these upcoming elections. It is too late in the day to start proffering solutions to INEC, and we don’t have enough security agents to secure our polling units. However, the government must put a grande show a force. We must also provide comfort and security to every man and woman that wants to cast their vote, to feel secure and free to do so by any means necessary. Above all, the most direct threat to our democracy is the sale of one’s vote for (a) pittance. As usual, a meagre sum will be paid for four years of poverty and degradation in Nigeria. We need to vote smart in February 2023.
Will you congratulate the winner if you lose?
Absolutely once the system has declared a winner, who am I not congratulate my new president at that point? I know for sure that with the egos and personalities bruised, we will witness wholesale rancour and disagreement, which will eventually lead to legal battles. I just pray that we don’t descend into physical battles just because of elections.
About the Nigerian youths, there’s the claim that their philosophy is superficial and generally materialistic. At a point, they have been described as ‘lazy’. What do you see when you consider the Nigerian youths? What message do you have for them beyond the 2023 general elections?
We talk about the youth as if they were some abstract, independent, singular entity, when, in reality, they are a diverse, multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious group of people that politically get identified as youths in Nigeria. I just feel that the youth of Nigeria do not realise their true value. I believe they have been deceived into mediocrity in our nation’s political machinery. I believe they have been deceived by our elders, our religious groups and educators. I believe that the Nigerian condition has found its way into the psyche of the youth of our nation, and the youth, in general, believe the government is only out for themselves and not for the people.
If the youth of Nigeria became a movement with even 50 per cent of its constituents voting consciously for a better country, then we would see a miracle on the African continent and a tsunami of change throughout the whole of Africa. But those that want to stay in power and maintain their leverage, even in 2023, those that have had the steering wheel of Nigeria firmly seized in their hands, still want to play with our resources and continue to impoverish a nation of 200 million people for selfish gain.
Unless that sleeping giant is awoken and that ‘youth movement’ is ignited, I’m sad to say that after the next four years, we will be talking about exactly the same thing; repeating the cycle of insanity by doing the same thing over and over again and looking for a different result.
Nigerian youth; men, women, boys, girls, Christians, Muslims, and all citizens that want a better country: you need to realise that when they want votes, the old politicians call on the youth. When they want to go to war, the old politicians call out the youth. When it’s time to build, the old politicians call out the youth. But, when it comes time to share money, they don’t call out to youth. They restock their pockets for the next election. Wake up, Nigeria!
It is not uncommon that some electoral candidates disappear from the political scene once their ambitions are not realised. Should Nigerians expect to see more of you beyond the presidential race in case you didn’t win?
As I said earlier, I believe in political ideology. I believe that I am where I am for good reasons. I believe in the YPP, the young progressives’ mandate. I believe that 75 per cent of this country needs representation in order to create a better and brighter future. I believe that we have a duty to be politically aware of the democracy we have, as failure to do so is why we are a failing nation today.
Tell us about your Reset Nigeria Initiative.
I started the reset Nigeria initiative before even thinking about getting involved directly in politics. Its birth originated as an idea with the singular mission of encouraging young Nigerians to get involved in politics and leadership in the country. I registered this initiative in 2017 and began developing it through the 2019 electoral process and made it a cornerstone of my political involvement in 2021. The goals were simple., We wanted Nigerian youth not to be ignorant of their rights, not to take for granted their ability to vote and their vote, to take stock of who we are and what we are as Nigerians, and above all, to love and respect the values of the flag, and the nation that we represent, with unity and faith, peace and progress. I’m a firm believer in patriotism, justice and the rule of law, and I believe the Reset Nigeria Initiative embodies these elements wholeheartedly.
On a last note, can you tell Nigerians why you’re the best candidate for the job of Mr President and that you’re better than Atiku Abubakar, Bola Tinubu, Omoyele Sowore, Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso, et al.?
I think that at this point in time, we have to realise that it cannot be business as usual at the ballot box. The old adage ‘cometh the hour, come with the man’ is very apt. I believe I am the best applicant for the soon-to-be vacant job of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. To break this down even more significantly, I believe the times really need a man of the times, and I believe I fit the bill, a square in a square peg. So to define that more clearly, in the age of technology, in the digital age, and in the age of the fourth industrial revolution, Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in any way, shape or form. Putting an old hat on the young head will certainly not fit the bill now. I believe that the aspirations of young Nigerians can best be met by me. I have Built technology companies. I have built military and security platforms and companies. I have a global footprint. I have international credentials, I speak the global language of peace and empathy, and above all, I have a great understanding of the climate economy that is coming.
Nigeria has 18 candidates that are interviewing for the job of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In fact, the job of the leader of Africa, and I know that now is the time for us to set an example. Rather than for us to follow the anaemic, predictable African blueprint, one that puts an old man in the leadership of a young, dynamic people and expect nothing but the same sorry excuses. I challenge Nigerians to have faith and break the cycle of madness by putting a young, visionary, exposed, dynamic intellectual leader at the helm of affairs and watch over the next four years how incredibly fast and exciting our future will look like. That is why I am presenting myself as the best candidate for the job of president of the federal republic of Nigeria.
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