2023 may be jeopardized unless politicians are sensitive to threats facing Nigeria – Momodu

2023 may be jeopardized unless politicians are sensitive to threats facing Nigeria – Momodu

A former presidential candidate and publisher, Chief Dele Momodu, talks about 2023, his political ambition and reasons for joining the Peoples Democratic Party among other issues with GBENGA ADENIJI

Did you recently join the Peoples Democratic Party to contest the presidency in 2023 since you hinged your decision on the resolve to “contribute to the development of the country?”

No one joins a political party simply to contest elections, and certainly not one as massive as the PDP. It would be foolish and foolhardy of me to enter the political arena and join a party, not to mention PDP for the sole purpose of contesting presidential election or any other election for that matter. The PDP parades some of the most experienced politicians as well as many of the brightest technocrats in Nigeria. It would be preposterous and premature to assume you are the messiah and would be welcomed as such instantly, as soon as you join the party. You must know that you have to demonstrate your ability and capability before you can offer yourself for any position. All I am doing now is making myself available to assist the party in the gargantuan task of rebuilding and uniting our dear country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But you once vied for the presidency?

I’m sure you’re asking the question because having contested in 2011 and with 2023 drawing close, it must mean I am back to contest 12 years after my first shot at the presidency. Some analysts have even compared this to how Chief Moshood Abiola left the National Party of Nigeria in 1981 and returned 12 years later in 1993 to contest. The watershed election of June 12, 1993, will be 30 years old in 2023, and Nigeria has known no peace since them. So they believe as an Abiola protege, I must be out to see if I can replicate the Abiola magic from the private sector. Of course, I’m aware that politics is a game of permutations and it would definitely be a privilege to be given such an opportunity by my party especially since I know that this is something I can do. I am a much better, broader and experienced person than the Dele Momodu who contested in 2011. Besides, if I believe that the time is right, and I am given the nod by the party, I would be challenging on the best possible platform. I can deliver for my party in this role, just as I can assist any other candidate that the party may choose to succeed. I see myself as a child of destiny and my trajectory is clearly indicative of this. Time will tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has changed about your past political decision that you wouldn’t re-contest the presidency because you knew what it entailed and didn’t have it?

I have not told you I want to contest or that I have changed my mind. However, I am aware that everywhere is already awash with such speculation. Even the big fish in our party, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, wasted no time in telling me at our national convention that he’s been told that I want to contest the presidential election and that “we shall meet on the field.” For me, that was a special acknowledgement of the maturity of my brand and the possibility of a healthy clash between the older generation and the younger. I must confess that I have been under intense pressure from the young and old, at home and abroad, since I joined the PDP to contest the 2023 presidential election. Many have told me I fit the recent description painted by a former president Ibrahim Babangida on the people he has discovered in their sixties who are capable of leading Nigeria successfully; that I’m accomplished in my private capacity and untainted; that I’m a detribalised Nigerian with friends in every part of Nigeria; that my parents cover both South-South and South-West while I have been a non-Igbo champion of Igbo presidency and inclusiveness in Nigeria. I have been preaching to my friends who wish to contest or even contribute to the urgent regeneration task ahead to be in either of the two mainstream political parties to have a good chance of winning and improving our country with our bright ideas and technical savvy. Sadly, most are not convinced of my suggestion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They include Professor Kingsley Moghalu and Mr Omoyele Sowore. I’m back in politics to practise what I’ve been preaching and hope my fellow youthful travellers on this road will heed my call and make the challenge stiffer for the older generation and corps of politicians who need to be made more accountable. Politics is not a vocation or a means of patronage in any form. It is a call to service.

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