Some professionals, who are not so popular in Nigeria’s political circle, speak on why they want to become president of Africa’s most populous nation in 2019
As President, I’ll empower women, children — Adesanya-Davies
A presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies, tells CHUKWUDI AKASIKE how she will tackle insecurity and other issues if elected as president
What informed your decision to go for the position of the President?
I have always believed that power to the women and power to the youth are the only solutions to guarantee the future of this generation and to secure the posterity of our unborn children. I believe that when a woman is in power, the youth and children are better empowered and catered for, so also is the entire society. My academic exposure and reputation as an experienced teacher or lecturer like all and every past Nigerian civilian president, is my assured basis of confidence to win the next presidential election. For instance, Liberia’s former president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has successfully performed and made history. I have the New Nigerian project on my mind. It is time to restructure Nigeria. It is time for a new Nigeria.
Do you have the financial strength to prosecute your campaign considering the fact that presidential campaigns are capital intensive?
Campaigns ideally are not supposed to be that expensive; it is supposed to be a people thing, an intellectual game and not an all money thing. I intend to demonstrate how to contest an election without the usual bribery and corruption involved. It will definitely not be business as usual type of moneybag and money politics campaign style. We have started the campaigns and it shall be successfully completed.
How do you intend to tackle insecurity, which has brought some parts of the country to their knees?
Insurgency in Nigeria will be tackled when the government has the willpower. Tackling insecurity is by decision making. My government will address it with relevant policies and programmes.
How will you fight poverty if you become the President in 2019?
Industrialisation of Nigeria, growth of indigenous enterprises, development of other sectors, diversification of the economy, appointing and allowing technocrats to do what they know how to do best as regards the mono-economy, and many other significant methods would be appropriated as a way forward. Nepotism, tribalism, greed and corruption have led Nigeria into her current situation.
In which area do you think the current President of Nigeria has failed Nigerians?
President Buhari? Lopsided appointments, no appointments of Minister of Petroleum, in a mono-oil economy, no economist co-ordinating the economy and technocrats are not involved. Again, expatriates were scared away in the name of fighting corruption, one sided-fighting of the so-called corruption, growing nepotism with Fulani herdsmen, increased insecurity, Nigeria has never been so polarised in history. The list is endless; all round. APC is a disappointment to Nigerians as far as I am concerned. We thank God, 2019 is around the corner. It is time to change the change by choice.
I’m best positioned to fight crime, corruption — Nwanti
In this interview with GIBSON ACHONU, a Nigerian, who describes himself as an international detective, Sam Nwanti, pledges to fight crime and corruption if elected as president of Nigeria
What can you say is the major problem of this country and how can it be addressed?
The problems of Nigeria are crime, criminalities and corruption. They can be addressed by electing a seasoned detective at the helms to squarely take care of them. As a trained detective in the US, I have a solution to the crime problems. As it is, I strongly believe that based on my training, I am the only person that can fight it better than any other person aspiring to the same position throughout the country. It is pertinent to state also that fighting corruption falls within my jurisdiction as a trained detective.
Do you have the relevant political experience to lead the country?
In 2010, I was in the US when I got an invitation from late Chief Anthony Enahoro to come back home and contest the Presidency on his party’s platform, the National Reformation Party. However, I returned and I was interviewed on December 6, 2010. Unfortunately for me, on December 15, 2010 he (Ehahoro) slept and did not wake up. Ever since then, I have been stranded in the country.
What have you been doing since then?
Since then, I have been into series of investigation about Nigeria’s crime problems and solutions to them.
I am vying because other contenders do not have what I have. This is the first time in the history of Nigeria that a seasoned detective from a civilised country is contesting.
Do you have the financial muscle to take care of it?
I vividly know that a very huge sum of money will be involved in the project. However, the people know that I am the best aspirant. I also have foreign financial connections to take care of it.
What is your political party platform?
My party platform of success is Labour Party.
But Labour Party is not considered as one of the serious political parties in Nigeria. Do you think the party will aid your ambition?
The Labour Party makes a lot of meaning to all progressives in Nigeria. It belongs to the working class and their manifesto is superb. Apart from that, a credible candidate can win election on any party’s platform. Mine is Labour Party. I tenaciously hold on to its manifesto and I must succeed.
Is this your first time of vying for the position?
No. I have contested the same position in 2015 as the candidate of Mega Progressives Peoples Party. I later withdrew for the sake of the then President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, of the Peoples Democratic Party.
I’ll ensure 24-hour power supply – Omotosho
A US-based accountant, Omololu Omotosho, tells SUNDAY ABORISADE that his administration will guarantee uninterrupted power supply if elected as president
Why do you want to become Nigeria’s president?
I want to contest the presidential election because Nigeria has been ruined by people who have no agenda. They are just there for selfish reasons; basically to enrich themselves, their families, and gain power for egocentric reasons. I will lead a team that will respectfully, always offer real solutions to problems.
Do you have the capacity to lead the country?
I have the capacity to lead Nigeria because I was trained at a renowned historically Black college and university, theTexas Southern University. During my studies there, I was prepared to always think about issues in a critical manner, to adequately analyse issues, and solve big problems with statistics and tested methods not just by fiat. I will surround myself with experts when making decisions. I graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and went on to gain political experience by serving as a Fellow in 2013 with President Obama’s political organisation, Organising for Action. My father served Nigeria as a civil servant for more than 20 years. I used to visit my father’s office during holidays and that exposed me to the engine of governance. I once met former Head of State Sani Abacha at a conference, which was a defining moment of my life as a child. My experiences at the boarding house of Government Secondary School, Bwari, while I lived in Abuja, exposed me to northerners, easterners, westerners, and the South-South people.
Do you have enough financial resources to run for the office?
I obviously do not have the financial strength to defeat career Nigerian politicians that have been recycled over and over again because they have tasted power and the financial opportunities that come with occupying office. These Nigerians have more money than I do. My agenda is to take my message of a new Nigeria in a humble way, to the Nigerian elite and everyday Nigerians at home and abroad, for financial support. Nigerians will support me because I am a Nigerian and Nigerians are desperately searching for a leader
What will you do differently if you become president?
If I become President, I will immediately inaugurate a task force with professionals in order to study why Nigeria cannot experience 24-hour power supply in the 21st century and use solutions offered to bring the country together and unite stakeholders towards achieving 24-hour power supply to Nigerians. I will focus on food security; provide a living wage for workers; professionalise security forces of Nigeria; enforce the laws of Nigeria without deference to my personal opinion; enforce human rights and strengthen systems and laws that will ensure that judiciary and legislative arms are truly independent. I will provide favourable environment for the creation of jobs for Nigerians through a respectful partnership with the private sector.
What will be your major agenda for Nigeria?
My agenda for Nigeria is to bring Nigerians together, help encourage peace among Nigerians through my utterances and actions, provide 24-hour electricity across Nigeria, and maintain and encourage our beautiful culture and language as Africans.
I’ll turn Sambisa Forest to arms manufacturing hub – Omike
Filmmaker, photographer, and youth activist, Lewis Omike, tells SUNDAY ABORISADE that welfare, security and job creation will be his major focus if elected president
Why do you want to be president?
As a vibrant youth, I know I can do a lot differently from our past leaders. I have come to offer myself to serve as president that is why I intend to contest the 2019 presidential election. I seek the opportunity to offer this country an intellectual, vibrant, competent, accountable and transparent leadership to build our great nation, Nigeria.
Do you really think you have what it takes to lead a great country like Nigeria
Yes, I have the capacity, courage, and competence to be the President of this great country. I have the ability to lead the nation and make it great because I have a divine leadership talent. I have served people in my day-to-day life and I have received credit as a good leader. In Nigeria today, we need new generational leaders to cleanse the country of its past leadership atrocities. It will only take a new face, new background, and a younger person (like me) who is open and diverse to be able to bring peace among Nigerians
Do you have enough financial resources to prosecute your dreams?
I believe in my movement, (Nigerian Youth Alliance Forum). I believe that my family, friends, Nigerians, home and in the Diaspora, will support me financially because I won’t allow the rich heavyweight politicians kill my moral. Money is needed in setting up any business. I won’t allow the issue of money to frustrate my dream. I will encourage Nigerians to shun the money-for-vote syndrome and elect me as president.
What will you do differently?
I will definitely work towards creating a reliable and sustainable government built on trust, openness and accountability. I will make gender ratio equal in my cabinet, bringing cultured and vibrant youths to take up leadership roles and also make sure every other tribe is carried along. I associate with everyone and this is the type of leadership I will offer the country.
What is your main agenda?
Since the Nigerian youths constitute the majority of the population, I believe that the empowerment of every individual in this country, especially the youth, will be the starting point of success and development. Therefore, my main agenda is to improve the major sectors that will lead to innovation and change. I will focus on critical sectors like power, health care, education and job creation. I will turn our problems to solutions by establishing a massive national armament in the Sambisa Forest, where ammunition and weapons will be manufactured to fight and protect our nation. The herdsmen and farmers on the other hand will be trained on how and why they need each other to grow their businesses, thereby bringing peace among the community.
I will abolish immunity for president, governors –Ikubese
Presidential aspirant on the platform of the National Conscience Party, Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese, tells SUNDAY ABORISADE that he will abolish immunity for elected officials if he becomes president in 2019, among other plans
Why are you in the presidential race?
I proposed 23 recommendations on how to make Nigeria a functional state and I published them on www.mpfng.blogspot.com. It is the failure of our leaders to implement the recommendations that prompted me to vie for the office of the President using the book as my benchmark for governance.
Do you have the financial strength to actualise your ambition?
I am not a money bag. It is the people, at the appropriate time, who will donate their widow’s mite to fund my campaign. Our government in 2019 will be answerable to the people and the only way this could happen is if the people fund the campaign from their own pockets. They will have the sense of ownership and the government will be accountable to them.
What will you do differently as president?
Within six months of being sworn in, there will be uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria. I know that if we have functional electricity, we have solved 75 per cent of the country’s problems. We are not going to depend on Kainji Dam; we are going to use the gas turbine. We will also allow each state to generate and transmit its electricity without having to pass it through the national grid, which is actually the headquarters of frustration. I will also address the issue of the Peace Corps. There is no reason Mr. President should not assent the Peace Corps bill. He cited two reasons, which are duplication of duties of other existing security agencies and secondly, that there will be no money to pay their salaries. That is not true. Eighty per cent of the Nigerian police officers are into guard jobs. They are protecting VIPs, politicians, top government functionaries and captains of industries and their wives. Only 20 per cent are responsible for doing core police responsibilities. I will make sure that the Peace Corps personnel take over the guard jobs currently being handled by majority of the policemen, who will then face their core mandate of policing the country. We won’t pay the salaries of the Peace Corps personnel from government coffers. Their salaries will be funded by the VIPs that required their services.
We will also invest heavily in agriculture and we will also ensure accountability because we will publish details of our income and expenditure every month. We will also not condone corruption. If any member of my cabinet is accused of corruption, he must step aside and allow investigation to go on; I won’t shield anybody. I am going to sponsor a bill to remove immunity. The President, The Vice-President, the Governor, the Deputy Governor, none of us will have immunity. Government should be for service and not for the accumulation of wealth. The Nigerian constitution will be taught in secondary schools just like English and Mathematics. I will also abolish the practice of two terms for elected political office holders. Once you complete your one term, park your belongings and go home. I will make governance unattractive to people. It will only be for those who have interest in serving their fatherland.
I want to turn Nigeria around into an industrialised nation, so much so that no Nigerian will have any reason to travel abroad to hustle except for holidays and for business transactions. We will empower the states to manage their resources and pay tax to the centre. My administration will sponsor an executive bill that will make the centre very weak. There will also be a bill that will institutionalise rotational presidency among the six geo political zones, single term of five non-renewable years. I will eradicate marginalisation. I will make health insurance scheme mandatory. We will revive all diary industries, the Nigerian airways, Ajaokuta steel company, Nigerian Telecommunications Limited among other dead national assets.
My presidential ambition began in secondary school —Durotoye
A presidential aspirant of the Alliance for New Nigeria, Fela Durotoye, tells TOBI AWORINDE that Nigeria needs nation builders
When did you start thinking of contesting as president of Nigeria?
As far back as when I was a secondary school student. My best friend used to call me ‘Duro for President’ and he recently reminded me of that nickname after I declared my presidential aspiration. Many people say my passion for Nigeria has been so intense and consistent for so long that they feel it was inevitable that my journey would lead me along the path that I have now chosen to serve my nation through the highest office in the land.
You have complained about the two major parties and their ideals or lack of ideals. What principles would you say you are running with?
I believe the most important principle that I am running with is the principle of leadership and service to the people as opposed to ruling over the people and being served by them. Leaders must serve the general interest of the people and build our commonwealth rather than serve the special interests of a privileged few.
I believe that power belongs to the people and not a privileged few within the political system. This is why I believe that parties must run on the principles of true internal democracy where it is the members of parties that must exercise their right to vote during primary elections, to choose their candidates amongst the aspirants. This is different from the conventional way that many of the existing parties in Nigeria ‘select’ their candidates through delegate voting at party conventions.
What is your reaction to people’s opinion that you have no chances of winning the election?
Looking all around the world, it is clear that we are in an age of disruption, and people are choosing to liberate themselves from the power of the establishment. This is why the people all over the world are choosing to elect young, vibrant visionary leaders, who offer to lead their generation into a different future from the established past.
Clearly, there is a generational shift going on at a national level of leadership all over the world as younger leaders are emerging on the national stage in France, Qatar, Canada, Yemen, Austria and even in Liberia. The overwhelming response to my aspiration has been remarkably positive and when a few people express their concerns as to whether the young people have what it takes to choose a different path to our future without the establishment structure and funding, my response to those few people is always: “2019 elections would be a pleasant surprise.”
Federal allocation to states should stop — Garba
Thirty-five-year-old entrepreneur, Adamu Garba II, speaks to TOBI AWORINDE on his presidential ambition
As a presidential aspirant running on the All Progressives Congress, who are your political backers?
Backers, to me, are not only the people currently within the APC. Backers, to me, are Nigerians. We should not be looking at that institution as belonging to some people. We should be looking at it belonging to Nigerians. Why do we sit behind the window and point the finger? Why can’t we run for all (elective) offices? That will be one of my principal missions once I start the campaign: I would ensure that all Nigerians come into the APC today. So, we can’t just subject our destinies to the mercy of the few. You and I know that the strongest presidential candidates are determined at the primary election; it is not from the secondary election. So, who are those voting in the primary election? This is where we never paid attention to.
As a northerner, do you think you have the advantage since your party has zoned the 2019 presidential election to the North and the incumbent president might contest again?
I don’t really see myself as a northerner. I don’t even believe in westerner, northerner or whatever; I believe in Nigeria. I don’t believe that where you come from, your origin or identity should determine why you should be what you are. I believe your competence and capacity as a leader should determine who you should be, and what I am bringing to the table is not a northern Nigeria, a southern Nigeria, a Muslim or Christian Nigeria. I am coming as a person born in Nigeria, who wants to be president of Nigeria.
What is your take on restructuring?
I support restructuring in some aspects, not all aspects. For instance, (I support) the aspect of removing state of origin. It should be state of residence. Why would the constitution force your choice? I don’t believe some people will gather in Abuja at the end of the month to collect money they didn’t work for. I believe the reason why I am in government is to create value, not to come and consume my share. All those things need to get out completely of the constitution. I also think we should remove religion completely from our setting.
On the issue of resource control, I have a little concern because resource is what you need to build the country. Nigeria is like a marketplace. Nigeria is not a country that is defined by natural borders. It is actually an integrated microeconomic unit. There are things in western, eastern, southern and northern Nigeria that all Nigerians require. A market of 180 to 200 million people is a large market. These are the areas in which I have a little concern.
I’ll name my cabinet the day I’m elected President –Sowore
Publisher of US-based online media, Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, tells GBENGA ADENIJI why he wants to be Nigeria’s president
Why do you want to contest the presidential election?
I am simply tired of reporting and monitoring elections that bring rogues and mediocre persons into office in Nigeria. I have spent the last 30 years fighting hard to make this country a better place. As a Students Union President at the University of Lagos in the early 1990s, I was one of the leaders of the national students and youth movement that fought against military tyranny and advocated a return to democratic rule.
Do you have the capacity to rule Nigeria?
Of course, yes. I have the capacity to rule Nigeria. First, I have a track record of almost 30 years of integrity and principled service to my nation. I am one of those few Nigerians that have offered relentless and selfless service to Nigeria. I have bled for this nation. I have been harassed, harangued, detained and tortured. I have had my assets seized. My life is constantly under threat because of the work that we do in exposing corruption – regardless of whose ox is gored.
Through it all, I have been unflinching in my beliefs. I have been true to my beliefs.
Secondly, I am a proven manager of people and resources. In 2006, I started Sahara Reporters with just a $600 laptop. I was not a trained journalist. I had never built a website. I had nothing else, but a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve for Nigerians through the platform that I wanted to build. Fast forward 12 years later, today, Sahara Reporters is a globally-acclaimed brand.
Do you have the financial strength to defeat the heavyweight politicians already jostling for the seat?
I know, money is essential for elections and we are aiming to raise $2m or just about N750m for the elections. This is a far cry from the billions that traditional politicians spend on elections. But we are not playing politics as usual. This is a movement.
What are you going to do differently?
I have been dreaming of a greater and better Nigeria for over 30 years. My vision is crystal clear. I will do a lot of things differently. I will address my duties with urgency.
I will name my cabinet on the day after I am elected to the Presidency. I have a team that is looking at every single sector of the Nigerian economy.
It’s a shadow cabinet that is developing action plan for our policies and monitoring what government officials are doing wrong so we know how to respond to Nigeria’s pressing issues from day one.
What are your main agenda for the nation?
I have a simple six-point agenda: security, power, infrastructure, anti-corruption, employment and restructuring (S-P-I-C-E-R).
I’m better prepared to rule Nigeria — Moghalu
An ex-Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu, talks about his presidential ambition with GBENGA ADENIJI
Why are you interested in the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari?
My reason is simple and straightforward. Nigeria needs a capable, experienced technocrat to run the country. We are now the poverty capital of the world (worse off than India.) Is this what we want for our youths? I have had enough. Nigeria needs a bold and decisive leadership that can bring something different to how this country is governed.
Do you think you have what it takes to tackle the country’s challenges?
My record speaks for itself. First, I was Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria between 2009 and 2014 immediately after the 2008 global economic crisis. We carried out the most radical reforms to protect the Nigerian banking industry from collapse and brought inflation down. Before that, I had worked in the United Nations for 17 years rising from entry level associate officer to the highest career rank of director. These were 17 years of developing and enacting policy at the highest levels in four continents – from the UN Headquarters in New York to Cambodia, Croatia, Tanzania, and Switzerland. I have experience in risk management and I have been a professor of practice in International Business and Public Policy at the globally-renowned Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, teaching students from across the world how to make successful development policies in their countries. I am better prepared than anyone else seeking the office of President today.
Do you think you have the wherewithal to match others already in the race?
When we emphasise the depth of the pockets of candidates without truly scrutinising how they came about the funds, we end up with leaders whose priority is not governing but to recoup their “investments.” I have begun a fundraiser that will root my candidacy in people’s donations — no matter how little. This means I will be accountable to the people — not to a bank and certainly not to some godfather.
What is your major agenda for Nigeria?
My agenda is clear: To build our nation. This will be powered by a massive investment in our human capital to ensure the economic growth of Nigeria. My goal is to work together with Nigerians. I have laid out my vision for this country through my book ‘Build, Innovate, Grow: My Vision for Nigeria’, (or BIG, for short) and on www.tobuildanation.com.
On leadership and governance, I intend to compose a world-class, “first eleven” team based on merit and inclusive governance to drive government policy. On the economy, we will establish an innovation-led economy, with intellectual property and commercialisation of local innovation as its bedrock. We will also establish a Venture Capital Fund with a minimum of N500bn as a public-private partnership to invest in the creation of new businesses by presently unemployed youths in Nigeria. The new businesses created with support from this fund will, in turn, create new jobs. The fund will be managed by private sector partners while the Federal Government of Nigeria will be a core investor.
There is an agenda for gender parity; overhaul of the police force; engagement of Nigerians in the Diaspora and so much more. It is time for Nigerians to think BIG.
I’ll secure Nigeria with modern technology, personal policing — Hagher
A former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Canada and Mexico, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher, speaks with JOHN CHARLES on his interest to contest the 2019 presidential seat on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party
Why do you think you should be president next year?
I will be president next year because Nigerians are tired and sick of the status quo; they want a change. Nigerian leaders are not looking at the future, they don’t plan for the youth. God did not hate Nigeria to the extent that he will allow our country to degenerate and collapse into a failed country, broken into pieces. I will win the presidential election because many of the aspirants on the ground do not share my passion for this country. As a university professor, I am not happy that our graduates don’t have jobs.
Having mentored, taught and train youths, it breaks my heart when I see that their potential are grossly underutilised due to idleness. So, to me it’s not even about winning the presidential election because I know I have already won in the hearts of Nigerians.
Herdsmen are killing farmers while the Boko Haram insurgents are still on the rampage. How will you solve these problems if you become president?
It is unfortunate that there is no place that is secured in this country. Apart from the killer herdsmen and the Boko Haram insurgents causing havoc and mayhem in the middle Belt and the North-East, there are serious cases of armed robbery and kidnapping. People are being killed at will and there is no solution. The government is not holding anybody accountable. Our security agencies have compromised.
When I become president, everybody will be a security officer. That is what is being done everywhere in the world. We have technology that can be used to effectively map and secure our areas, but nobody is using them. I will ensure that functional, modern technology, especially the Close Circuit Television cameras, are installed strategically in every nooks and crannies of this country which will equip security agencies with adequate information that could be used to prevent crime instead of waiting till when a crime has been committed before they take action. I will also tackle unemployment and the rots in the education sector. Many young men engage in these senseless, barbaric killings because they want to sell human parts to make money. Why should such barbaric attitudes continue? Our government pretends as if it is not aware of a global trend where human parts are being harvested for sale. So, wicked people take advantage of our weak security system. They come to Nigeria, kill our very strong men and women, and harvest their parts. This is a new reality, but with modern technology and everybody involving in security, we can solve this problem.