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Buhari should expose corrupt past presidents – Momoh

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Prince Tony Momoh, a former Minister of Information and ex-National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) is an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain. In this interview with TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE, he speaks on the state of the nation, the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari, the anticorruption war, and state of insecurity, among other issues

 

What is your take on last Monday’s declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari to seek re-election in 2019?

There is no argument about his entitlement. He is entitled to two terms under the constitution. So, if he expresses interest, then he can move to the next level and that is the party primary. He will attempt it and if he wins, he will become the party’s candidate and goes into the poll. If Nigerians like and love him, they will vote for him. If they don’t, they will vote him out. That is the due process. So, it is a very good thing that he has declared because I am one of those who believes he should continue to serve Nigeria in the two terms entitlement that he has under the constitution as long as his health is good. Nobody can say that his health is not good. He is quite well; he is strong and he is fit.

Do you think the diverse appeals, clamours, and adoptions by some governors, APC leaders and groups actually pressurised the President to declare to run in 2019?

Everything is politics. One thing that brings politics out is engagement. It is the same energy that you use in talking that you use in doing. That is why dictatorial regimes usually perform better than democracy because they channel all their energy into doing things. But democracy is by and large talking; everybody is talking, shouting in the marketplace. And when that is happening, people say there is confusion; it is not confusion. It is talking and in any case, people don’t have to tell him to contest before he agreed that he will contest. There has always been pressure and there will always be pressure. So, it is not the pressure that you will say made him to want to contest. Even if there has not been pressure and he knows he is entitled to contest, why not? He would have contested. But it is a good thing that many of us pressurised him and pleaded with him because we believe he has achieved more than other people have done since 1999.

But some people are of the view that President Buhari has not done enough to warrant seeking for reelection?

Let them go and vote against him. That is one beauty of democracy. People should not just talk, they should go and register and on the day of election go to the polling unit to vote. There are people who are permanently in the opposition and will never see anything good in the party in government or the one they opposed. But this is understandable because there Momoh is freedom of expression. But only the blind, deaf and dumb will say that Buhari has not done anything because all the presidents before him: Olusegun Obasanjo, Umar Yar’Adua, and Goodluck Jonathan, didn’t do as much Buhari has done in their first terms. There is none. If there is, let people come and put him down. To even take it further, what some people did in two terms is not up to what Buhari has done in his first term. Is it in the area of the economy? Is it fighting the insurgency? Is it in the area of agriculture? Is it fighting corruption?

So you believe that the chances of President Buhari are very bright in 2019?

Of course, his chances are very bright. It is ruling party, the APC, that is there. In spite of what some people are saying, APC has no problem. I have heard people say APC is in trouble but the truth is that APC is not in trouble. And you can see that many people are moving into APC. How many people have massively moved out of APC? In terms of organisation, APC is organised in every polling unit; 120,000 polling units in Nigeria. So, APC is on the ground. Yes, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had that type of organisation but it lost the centre and since it lost, it is apologising to Nigerians but their apology is nothing if you don’t return the stolen loots. So, PDP has degenerated to a regional party and has a lot of work to do. More work than a lot of people think.

Are you saying that PDP is not a threat to APC in 2019?

Everybody is going to try but I don’t see what the PDP can do in 2019 when it comes to the presidency. I don’t see it.

But they are saying that they are going to take over from your party in 2019…

There was no coup that was ever resisted in Nigeria that succeeded. Are they going to do a coup? If they want to do a coup, it would be resisted and it will fail. The only way to win an election is through votes. Where is the organisation in the PDP? I believe that PDP has more hurdles to cross than a lot of people think.

Apart from the PDP, the likes of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) and many others have opposed the idea of President Buhari running for another term and they even advised him publicly not to run in 2019…

Is Babangida, my former boss, not in PDP? He is not a member of the APC. He is a member of PDP and he knows that he cannot dictate what happens in another party. He has even been a presidential aspirant in PDP. Obasanjo was PDP candidate at a time. He has torn their membership card and he is also not a member of APC. He has just formed a group. Let us see how that group moves. And Obasanjo is too clever and too enlighten to risk forming a political party because if he forms a political party; it won’t fly and that is why he said if you people as a pressure group move into a political party, I will resign. Obasanjo has his own very good area to commend him for but not on the issue of party. Where are his structures? Even in the South-West, where are they?

With the present state of things in the APC and the controversies that trailed the tenure elongation of party’s executives and other issues, don’t you think the internal wrangling may affect your party in the next general elections?

There is no problem in APC. So many things being done by the party are constitutional. There was a proposal to extend the tenure of the party’s executives and we reassessed the issue and came to a conclusion that we are going to have congresses and convention. So, where is the problem in APC? There is none.

Do you think the APC can manage the usual fall out of conventions given the state of the party and the several interests hanging on the balance?

The party has polling unit organisation, ward organisation, local government organisation, state organisation, geo-political level organisation and of course the national level organisation. It has a caucus and then of course, we are restructuring the Board of Trustees (BoT). In other words, all the structures that we have our members are populated with all the organs of the party and they are working and on the ground. So, where is the problem? We don’t have any problem. So those who are hoping that we have a problem would be disappointed because there is no problem that cannot be resolved.

Internal wrangling and interests have torn some state chapters of APC apart. Will this not affect your party chances in 2019?

Sometimes, when I look at the way people think, I wonder whether they know that we are practising a democracy. Everybody has his own followers. The governor in Edo State has his followers but that does not mean that since the governor has his followers, other leaders like senators, members of the House of Representatives and House of Assembly should throw away their followers and follow the governor blindly. In a democracy, everybody has his own little area of politics and control. It does not mean there is a quarrel. It is democracy. If one person is not happy with another, that does not mean there is a quarrel. And if two people are fighting today, tomorrow you can see them laughing. That is democracy. Was there no quarrel when PDP was in power? Everybody has the right to struggle to occupy any positions he is qualified for anywhere in the country. It could be ward councillor, chairman of local government, members of the House of Assembly, members of the National Assembly, Governors and President. These are positions one can contest for and there are pockets of support and even resistance, quarrel and fighting and yet the ballot box will eventually decide. So, why are we giving the impression that we must have peace of a graveyard before we say our democracy is successful? No.

So you believe that APC will put its house in order and address all its internal problems?

The party house is in order. People said there is going to be fighting and quarreling at the NEC meeting of last Monday but that was the shortest NEC meeting in the history of APC. All issues were resolved. That is politics for you.

One of the issues raised by those opposed to Buhari’s second term bid is about his health and age. Why is APC insisting on Buhari for 2019?

We have not insisted on Buhari. Buhari has said he wants to contest. If there are others who want to contest, they will go to the party’s primary during the convention and whoever wins will take our flag. And I can assure you that there are lots of us who want Buhari there. So, it is our choice. Are you denying us the right to choose? Do you want to choose for us when you are not in our party? If for instance, Buhari is not a popular candidate, then those who are in opposition to us should celebrate that they have someone they can easily defeat. They should celebrate that we are presenting Buhari, who is not a popular candidate, who they say is too old to rule, who they are saying all sought of things about. They should go and field the candidate who will just have a walk over.

When President Buhari was coming on board, he promised to address three issues: Insecurity, Corruption, and Economy. But some people are of the view that the president has not fulfilled his campaign promises…

The fact is that he has fulfilled the campaign promises. Even international bodies are ticking us right, right, right. So, those who are opposed to him are only doing so because they are in opposition. And they have the right to do so.

But there are still killings and kidnappings in different parts of the country…

If Buhari has not come, those of us in Abuja today will not be in Abuja. Before Buhari came on board, was Boko Haram not everywhere? Were we not running helter-skelter in terms of Boko Haram? Where is Boko Haram today? What about the problem we have in the Niger Delta, IPOB and all other areas are being resolved and we can never deny that our own security agencies are trying, even overworked. Security is a key issue and unless you secure the land, you cannot stabilise infrastructural development. Infrastructural developments are all over the place. I saw a Senator last week on television saying that in Adamawa State, the people in the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps have all relocated to their farms. That is good news. We recovered from the recession. Before Buhari became president, millions of dollars was spent on importing rice every day but now we grow rice in different parts of the country. We are trying to be more independent on our resources than waiting for others to feed us. Are you saying people can’t see all that? The way school children are being fed; all over the place, children are being given free food and even now there is free registration to go to school. If people don’t see all these achievements, then they have right to do what they do, close their eyes.

But despite the Federal Government and the security agencies claims that Boko Haram has been defeated, President Buhari recently approved $1million to fight insurgency… Who said $1billion was approved to fight Boko Haram?

The money is meant for security. Is it only Boko Haram that is a threat to our security? Don’t you see cattle rustlers killing people in Zamfara? Don’t you see the killings in Benue? Don’t you see the problems we have in South-East? Can’t you see the presence of the Navy and other security agencies in the Niger Delta? They are stabilising the area. Are you not aware of the different groups; military and other security agencies in all the six geo-political zones? Do you know the cost of a bomb that is dropped in Sambisa Forest? Military and security is a very expensive thing. What is $1billion compare to the amount of money some country used on security? One of my friends said the money is N365billion, N1billion being spent a day. If there is any threat to this country, it must be attended to. And there are people who must ensure that Nigeria is stabilised and it is security and stabilisation that leads to prosperity. There is no magic to prosperity. Is it not when you are secure that you can work and stabilise? If Buhari has not come, we won’t be here today. People who are talking on social media; may God not let them experience IDP. Do you know what it takes to be in an IDP camp carrying a plate looking for food? The security you have in your house is not there; you have been driven out of your house. May God not let us experience war?

The Federal Government recently released lists of looters’ and the PDP also released its own looters’ list. What is your take on the two lists?

Those who have stolen should be exposed whether PDP, APC or anybody. But one thing that the president seems to be unwilling to do is to expose those who have been presidents before in this country. If for instance all those people had also been exposed, then Nigerians will know where their money went to.

Will you say the Buhari administration is really fighting corruption when some people are not exposed?

There is nobody who is not exposed if there are issues. The other people, PDP or any other group can blow whistles; whistleblowing is for everybody. There is no political party involvement in blowing the whistle. Anybody who knows there is corruption anywhere should blow the whistle. You won’t get canned for blowing the whistle. So, let those who have the names of looters bring them forth and see if they won’t get a commission. Buhari is fighting corruption and he is leading the fight against corruption and everybody should join in that fight. Corruption is not a one-man affair.

There is a perceived face-off between the executive and legislature at the national level despite the fact that the ruling party is at the helms of affairs in the National Assembly?

There is division of power and separation of power between the executive, legislature, and judiciary. People think that because they belong to the same party, then all of you must be on the same page; no way. The legislature has its own personality and functions. It has its own oversight functions to do in respect of the executive. Once they are inside the legislative chamber, they are on the same page in that house and you cannot come from outside to come and dictate to them. That is what people must know.

Looking at the issue of the Fulani herdsmen, how do you think the issue can be addressed considering that killings by herdsmen have become a recurring problem in different parts of the country?

What is happening today is not those Fulani herdsmen that carry stick; these ones killing innocent Nigerians are killers and they should be dealt with as killers. You can’t say Fulani killers just like we shouldn’t be saying Igbo killers, Yoruba killers or Edo killers. My take is that killers are killers; don’t associate killing with any particular group. I believe we are playing politics with security and we shouldn’t do that. For instance, nobody can mess up the Igbo people because they proved what they are when they held Nigeria to a ransom for 30 months during the Civil War. Nobody can overcome or undermine the militants in the Niger Delta because they successfully brought our economy down to its knees until there was amnesty.

Nobody can take the Yoruba, the South-West for granted. They did not fire a shot in National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) when they fought the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election struggle. And at the end of the day, we had a process that brought in Obasanjo as president. That is to tell you that the major confidences of Nigerians are strong enough to call the shot in certain areas.

The Tiv were never defeated by the Fulani. The Kanuri were never defeated by the Fulani. When there was Jihad and Usman Dan Fodio was quoted as saying he will keep the Quran in the Atlantic, did he go beyond Ilorin? All these people held their head high as an ethnic group related to the Hausa- Fulani. Now everybody is saying Fulani, are you aware that through politicking, we are bringing up our children to be afraid of Fulani in their mindset all because of the greed of playing politics.

So, what Usman Dan Fodio could not achieve, we are achieving for him through the fear of Fulani we are putting in the mind of our people. But the fact is that these herdsmen are also afraid of the insurgents because it is insurgents that are making them thrive. We must all unite to fight the insurgency.

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Bode George to Oyinlola: You couldn’t have been governor without me 

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Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has warned a former governor of Osun State, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, to desist from casting aspersions on him over comments he made about former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s newly formed Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM).
Reacting to Oyinlola’s statement that he should go and beg Obasanjo, the PDP chieftain said he bears no grudge against the former president.
George had in an interview over the weekend dismissed Obasanjo’s CNM movement ahead of the 2019 elections.
While stating that Oyinlola should have acted like a true born when he was sent a message to vilify him, George noted in a statement personally signed by him on Sunday that he was the one that introduced Oyinlola to Obasanjo.
The statement reads: “I read today the untidy, uncharitable and irritable vituperations of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola against my good self. I was rather astonished at the level of uninformed , reckless, misleading verbiage against me.
“Prince Oyinlola was very junior to me in the military. I am very senior to him in age. It was my humble self and the late Chief S.M. Afolabi who introduced him to our former President and my Egbon Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
It was through me and the grace of God Almighty that he was elected Governor of Osun State.”
George noted further that: “Oyinlola should not dabble into issues he does not know anything about at all. I have served several Generals with hundred percent loyalty. I have no grudge against our former President. I have a lot of respect for him. I greet him wherever we meet with deep respect and reverence as a well born Yoruba man.
“Oyinlola, please don’t start to open any can of worms that you do not know where it will widen and spill over. When one is sent a slave’s errand, you should behave like a true, well born,” the Atona Odua of Yorubaland said.

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Lai’s looters’ list is a comic relief -Orbih

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Chief Dan Osi Orbih is the Edo State chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In this interview CAJETAN MMUTA he speaks on some of the knotty issues on the gazing bill in the state, 2019 elections, the looters list and many more

 

What is the situation now with the bill sent by your party to the House of Assembly seeking the ban on open grazing in Edo State?

The situation is that Governor Godwin Obaseki has been playing politics with a very serious issue concerning the lives of innocent citizens of our state. Today, we are disturbed and challenged by the rising incident of herdsmen unwarranted attack on our people. We proposed a bill to the State House of Assembly to actually address this very serious problem. Having realised that the government was unconcerned about this ugly development they now instructed their members in the House who are in the majority not to treat the bill. The same government now rose to say that it is going to ban night grazing and we came out again to tell them that ban on night grazing cannot address the issue holistically. In Edo State, we educate the governor who maybe, is a stranger that cows don’t graze at night in the state, the people who are being attacked by herdsmen don’t go to their farms at night, but are attacked during the day. So banning grazing at night was not a solution to the problem.

 

The governor in a statement said they have started addressing the problem. To some extent, I am beginning to feel that the governor has suddenly realised that not taking steps to address this problem was not in the best interest of the state, but he is now in a situation where if he decides to take the step which we advised him to take people will say it is PDP that asked them do it.

 

If he decides not do it our people will continue to suffer. So it is based on this I want to call on him to play the role of a statesman and put aside the party that proposes the bill and put the interest of the state first in addressing the problem.

 

Just last week, he came with a policy that they are going to ban grazing both day and night in Odiguetue and Odighi communities and its environ. Why not go the whole hug? It will appear that it is PDP that is dictating policies of this government and that is why you are seeing the selective ban for 90 days.

 

I don’t think the partial embrace of our position is the way to go. What we proposed is an all-encompassing solution that will protect the interest of herdsmen and farmers. What about communities like Lampese, Ekperi, Agenebode and Ugboha where farmers are afraid to go to their farms and that will lead to famine in the state? I think he should put aside his ego problem and partisan politics. I think the right thing is for him to invite us to educate him on our position and that will put to rest the entire problem. Look at the unfortunate killing of Pastor Eromosele.

 

 

I expect the family of the late pastor to take legal action against the state government. It is not enough for Obaseki to pride himself as the chief security officer when he is not providing security for the people of the state. It is not enough for Obaseki to be collecting N400m security vote monthly, the money that should have been deployed to security agents to help in providing security in the state. People don’t feel safe in Edo State anymore.

 

 

2019 is around the corner and the All Progressives Congress (APC) is trying to consolidate in Edo Central where the PDP is strong. How do you react to this?

 

The APC has the right to say whatever it wants to say but we know the reality on ground. Today, I can frankly state that APC situation in Edo Central is worse than it was in the last election. Edo Central is one senatorial district it has denied everything politically. Look at all the appointments in the state. Edo is made up of three senatorial districts and each senatorial district has been well represented by previous administrations but today under Obaseki for reasons best known to him and Oshiomhole his political godfather determine and dictate what is done under his administration. For reasons best known to Obaseki, the position of the speaker was taken away and given to Edo North, Edo North that had a governor for eight years and now has the deputy governor. Is that what will make them consolidate their dream support in Edo central? That is one district they should not expect any support from the next election. It is very unfair to Edo Central people. It is an insult for the APC to even consider coming there to ask for votes.

 

 

Is your party going to give automatic tickets to your members at the state and national assemblies?

 

We have a party constitution, we have guidelines of party primaries, and anybody applying for any positions must subject himself to the party’s guidelines. That is not to say that where the people are very happy with their representatives based on their achievements, they cannot decide to return such person, I don’t see anything wrong with that. As a party chairman, date will be announced nationwide for party primaries to nominate candidates. For us, we will abide by the guidelines and wait for the approved date and forms for intending contenders will be made available. But till the close of nomination it will be difficult to say who will get what.

 

 

Don’t you think the release of looters list by the APC, will affect the chances of PDP in the 2019 general elections?

 

I see the release of looters list as announced by Lai Mohammed as one of those occasional moments when the man will go into a period of delusion just like he exhibited when he went to London and wore suit on top of agbada. He comes up with something comic. Let us face facts, we have all seen what is happening in Nigeria; all those who are members of PDP accused of corruption and looting, the moment they join APC they are now regarded as saints. I think it is hypocrisy of the highest order and it shows clearly that these people don’t have regard for the rule of law. One is not too surprised that the APC today is a party that came into power without preparing itself for governance. Little wonder that President Muhammadu Buhari came to power and it took him more than six months to name cabinet. The other day, elections were held in France and within 48 hours the President was able to assemble a cabinet and sworn into do the job. What we have seen in Nigeria is a party that was not prepared to govern and in the process was unable to proffer solution to the problem we are having today. Each time they are confronted with non-performance they blamed it on perceived looters and PDP. But you all know that it is not correct. Even the man who is shouting on top of the roof calling on Buhari to be ruthless, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, we said that Buhari should start with Oshiomhiole and he should be number on the list. Here was a governor who came with nothing and left with so much, we have vouchers that show clearly how money left the treasury. Petitions were written against him and nobody has called them to come and substantiate their allegations. Today, he is the man shouting that Goodluck Jonathan should have been in jail. Are you telling me that in drawing the entire looters list you don’t have any APC members who have looted? APC should find other reasons of telling Nigerians why they have failed.

 

 

Don’t you think that the PDP’s apology to Nigerians was a confirmation of its failure?

 

Fortunately, I was present at the event where that apology was purported to have been made. I want to state boldly that APC is taking what was said at an event they were not present out of context. Prince Uche Secondus, our National Chairman came out to say looking back memory lane some mistakes were made which is natural. If all was perfect then we will not be where we are now and the man said mistakes were made and apologized to party leaders to put the past behind and work for a brighter future. The apology was that we made mistakes that brought a government that is grossly incompetent. What is wrong with that? A situation where one pound now exchanges for N500; where $1 now exchanges for N350, at a seminar, PDP challenged them to name one project initiated and completed by the APC and till this moment they are yet to respond to the challenge.

 

 

Don’t you think Obaseki deserves some commendation especially his efforts to develop the state in the area of job creating and investment?

 

The present Obaseki’s government is the worst we have seen in this state. He has done nothing and he will do nothing. Few hours ago, I commended him for coming out with a statement that it is the primary responsibility of a state government to secure the lives and property of the citizen. Unfortunately, he has failed in that responsibility to protect lives and property. Every day, people are killed; he has failed in providing logistics for the security agencies in the state to up their security arrangements. Is that not commendation? When he came about banning night grazing what came to my mind was that the governor spends more time outside the state. He has travelled far more times than Oshiomhole did.

 

 

But saying Obaseki has done nothing maybe an unfair assessment or comment; some may argue that you are playing politics?

 

In every government there are praise singers. There are those who feel that the only way to have food on their table is to sing praises of Obaseki, so that they can get patronage, it is expected. Have you driven on the streets when it rains? Obaseki was the chief economic adviser to Oshiomhole who took N30bn to check erosion problem in Benin City. As we speak, the problem still persists. Can you name one single project started and completed by Obaseki? What we are seeing is patching of selected existing roads and that will never make us to credit him. He prides himself with ‘wake and see’. Have you seen anything?

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Young turks eyeing Buhari’s seat

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As the 2019 elections draw near, the move for generational power shift from older politicians to younger ones has continued to gain traction. Such agitation has been buoyed by the election last year of Emmanuel Macron (39) as President of France and also the emergence of Justin Trudean (46) in 2015 as Canada’s Prime Minister.

Most importantly is that provisions of the 1999 Constitution are being amended to reduce the age limit for specific political offices. One of such is the passage of the “Not-Too-Young-To-Run bill” also known as the Reduction of Age for Election bill, by the National Assembly, and consequent transmission of same to the president for his assent.

 

It allows the age qualification for the offices of the president and governor to be reduced from 40 to 35, and for Senate, House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly seats to be reduced from 30 to 25 years.

 

Over 100 youths aspiring for various political offices in the 2019 elections had converged on Kaduna last week to brainstorm on how to bring the youths into Nigerian politics. They just concluded a four-day training workshop organised by Youngsters Foundation, with support from the FORD Foundation, West Africa.

 

Consequently, several individuals have shown interest in the Presidency and other top government offices.

Sen. Baba-Ahmed, 48

 

Pro-Chancellor of Baze University, Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed (48) has indicated his intention to run for the presidency in 2019. Baba-Ahmed, who holds two Masters Dergrees and PhD, had earlier served as elected member of the House of Representatives, and was later elected senator of the upper legislative chamber.

 

Baba-Ahmed, who is seeking the highest office on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also established his own university with two other companies employing over 600 people from every state of Nigeria.

 

An on-line platform, abusidiqu, said: “Sen Datti Baba-Ahmed has built a solid reputation in credibility known to fearlessly speak against corruption, misgovernance, and societal problems. His unquestionable credentials are only matched by his firm commitment and proven ability to deliver on promises.”

 

He is said to epitomise modesty and “believes presidency is a transformative engine to promote good and suppress evil for the enonomic prosperity, social security, and political stability of Nigeria as he now solemnly presents himself for 2019 Presidential Election to achieve the desired noble objectives.”

 

A couple of days ago, he accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of failing Nigerian youths through its inability to address the challenges in the country. In his reaction to President Buhari’s statement regarding Nigerian youths at the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the United Kingdom, he described the comments as unfortunate.

 

Baba-Ahmed said the comments portend a lot of negative consequences for Nigeria’s young people, who seek to forge ahead in different fields of endeavour. He is from Zaria in Kaduna State.

 

 

Hon Ibuzo, 46

 

The member, representing Onitsha North II Constituency in Anambra State House of Assembly; Hon. Edward Ibuzo, is also interested in running for the presidency in 2019.

Hon. Edward Ibuzo (46), a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), lamented poor performance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, describing it as a tragedy.

 

He wondered why “an educated, refined, well travelled young Nigerian should not govern the country.” On why he wants to rule the nation, Hon. Ibuzo said that he is a Nigerian citizen and so eminently qualified to run for any public office in Nigeria.

 

He said Nigeria will be better for his presidential aspiration considering the recurrent accusation of Igbo marginalization, adding that he is qualified and prepared to deliver modern governance obtained in Western countries.

 

The well-travelled lawmaker, who had lived in Germany, England, Canada, Netherlands, United States of America, said: “In all honesty, I am 46 years old. I was born in 1972 and after the civil war which ended in 1970 till now, we have not had any Igbo president and Igbo people are of age to run the affairs of the Nigerian nation.”

 

Stating why the present crop of old leaders should relinquish political power to the younger generation, he said President Muhammadu Buhari was younger than him in 1983 when he became military Head of State.

 

 

Fela Durotoye, 46

 

Motivational speaker and leadership trainer, Adetokubo Olufela Durotoye, (46), is one person who has formally declared his ambition to run for the Presidency, come 2019. Last February, he was at the office of the Alliance for New Nigeria, a party recently registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), where he obtained membership card and declared his intention to run.

 

He put his intention clearly on his twitter page: “I stand here on behalf of this generation of leaders to declare that we are now willing, able; ready to serve our nation through the elective office; we are not too young to run.

 

“We are young, but we are strong; we are ready to deliver the quality of leadership; governance required to build a new Nigeria.

 

“To build the Nigeria of our dreams would require exceptional candidates who would emerge from a pool of excellent; credible aspirants chosen by the people to represent them at the general elections. And so, over the last few months, I have researched into several political parties to determine if their ideologies, vision and values resonate with mine.

 

“I am glad to announce that one party has resonated more with me than any other in sharing common ideology, principles and a truly democratic internal political process that is open to all to aspire…

 

“A party that provides a level playing field for the best candidates to emerge at all levels for Legislative and Executive offices. That party is the Alliance for New Nigeria. It Is Our Time… And together, we will deliver the future”. God Bless You all. God Bless our Alliance For New Nigeria. And May God Bless our Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.

 

Durotoye, an alumnus of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in the United States, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science with Economics, Masters degree in Business Administration (M.B.A) and a Master of Philosophy Degree (M.Phil) in Strategic Management, from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State.

Yul Edochie, 36
Nollywood actor, Yul Edochie (36), has also declared his intention to run for the presidency in 2019, after his unsuccessful bid in the last Anambra State governorship election.

 

At the governorship election, the younger Edochie, who was the candidate of the Democratic People’s Congress (DPC), could only muster 145 votes in the race that pitched him against 36 other aspirants.

 

Using the auspicious moment of his birthday to make his interest known, Edochie said in a video posted on Instagram that he might seek election as Nigeria’s president in 2019.

 

He said: “So, it’s my birthday today, January 7, 2018. I just turned 36, so happy birthday to me. 2018 is just unfolding, we pray for more blessings so let’s just keep our fingers crossed. Who knows, I may just decide to run for president of Nigeria this time, in 2019, and I will win.”
The last of six children of veteran actor Pete Edochie, Yul attended the University of Port Harcourt where he studied Dramatic Arts.

 

He hails from Nteje, the headquarters of the Oyi Council Area of Anambra State

Omoyele Sowore, 47

 

One time Students’ Union President at the University of Lagos from 1992-1994, and CEO of Sahara Reporters is one of the youths who are latching on the clarion call. He said since the establishment of Sahara Reporters in 2006, he had used it as platform to fight corruption both in Nigeria and other African countries.

 

Regarding why he wants to be President, he said: ” http://themomentng.com/index.php/2018/04/20/zinox-boss-bets-on-keystone-bank/ There are three reasons why. ‘Firstly, I understand Nigeria and I have worked tirelessly for our nation’s progress. For the last 30 years, I have been an activist that has worked to build alliances across Nigeria – across all religious and ethnic groups – with one aim in mind, which is to move Nigeria forward, to protect the welfare of its great people and to help to unleash the immense creativity and capabilities of the Nigerian people. I have been tried and tested. My resume in this regard bears no dispute. Many Nigerians already know my story. My body bears the scars of arrest, detention and torture over the years. My work at Sahara Reporters has helped to safeguard our democracy and amplified voices that were hitherto unheard.

 

“Secondly, I have the leadership skills and the political will needed to move this nation forward. I have no godfathers. No godmothers. There are no sacred cows, snakes, monkeys or goats. In 30 years of service to this nation through principled activism, I have established a track record as a straight shooter and truth teller that operates strictly based on principles.

 

“When our constitutional order was in jeopardy – I worked to ensure that the legitimate transfer of power to Goodluck Jonathan occurred. Our work in 2015 to shine a light on the electoral process through real-time electoral results reporting helped the opposition led by Muhammadu Buhari to win. Between 2010 and 2011, some said I was working for Jonathan. In 2015, the same people said I was working for Buhari. What they all missed was that I work only for the Nigerian people using my conscience as a GPS- no matter whose feet are stepped upon, and regardless  of whose ox is gored, I have been an equal opportunity offender.

 

“Thirdly, I am a proven manager of people and resources. In 12 short years, I have worked to build a globally-acclaimed media platform whose influence stretches across the African continent and the world.” He said he is not just an activist, but also an entrepreneur and a teacher as well

 

Speaking on the development, Alhaji Yerima Shettimas, who has been the National President of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, and recently, he became the National Co-ordinator of the Coalition of All Youths Wing of Ethnic Nationalities in the country, said youths should take up the challenge.

 

Yerima, who is giving close consideration to seeking election into the Senate, said this is time for youths to throw their hearts into the ring.

 

In a recent interview with Sunday Telegraph, he said: “To be fair I want to say there are pressures on me to represent my people, the Kaduna Central at the Senate, but I am still consulting with my people and family. I am reaching out to friends and political allies too. That is why I call it a call to serve and very soon, I will make my position clear to all Nigerians but I am still considering a lot of things.”

 

He said development in the international arena and the fact that youths must take the driver’s seat in the issue of governance drive him into this. “Look at what has happened in France, Canada and very close here – Liberia. They have scores of youths occupying legislative and executive positions. So our case should not be different from that and that is why I continue to clamour and call on the younger generation to buckle up, to get their PVCs, especially the youths who constitute about 70 per cent of the voting population.

 

“And that is why I say the 2019 election is going to be a war between the older generations and the younger ones. That is what will come into place in 2019. That year will witness the battle line between the youths and the older elements. That is the way our nation will keep pace with the generational shift that is taking place all over the world. I am talking about not just younger elements, but those ones that are tested and trusted, because some of our youths, if elected into office can also perform worse that the older generation. We need young leaders who are committed to the growth of the country, who are detribalized Nigerians.

 

“There have to be alternatives so that at the end of the day Nigerians can have a choice, but I must emphasise, the battle line in 2019 is going to be between the older and younger generations. I am not saying the old people should be completely wiped out, because there are some older ones whose ideas and advice can be tapped into, but anyone who is above 50 should go to his farm and stay with his family so as to allow the Nigerian people to use the newer generation to lead the nation.

 

Otherwise we will continue to move in circles because you don’t expect anyone to give you what he does not have. Hence we must be upbeat this time around. In fact 2019 serves a better time for us as Nigerians, but Nigerians will have to decide.”

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