By Chesa Chesa
As the country continues to grapple with leadership challenges ahead of 2023, renowned pharmacist and entrepreneur, Mazi Samuel Iheanyichukwu Ohuabunwa, has explained why he wants to be president of Nigeria, after several years of his advocacy exploits.
The President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, and member of Nigeria Political Reforms Conference (2005/2006) lamented that the country’s leadership has lacked the political will to implement several well-meaning recommendations that would have consolidated progress and development in Nigeria.
In a virtual interview session with the Abia Media Forum at the weekend, the author and former Chairman of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) said he had gone to great lengths since 1990 to express his views and touch the hearts of the nation’s leadership to implement basic ideas that can pul the country out of the woods, but without much success.
The 70 year-old Abia State-born Ohuabunwa who was part of the Vision 2010 and Vison 2020 presidential committees, said he desires to change the narrative if Nigerians are wiling to “give me the opportunity to have the redemption of this country from the hands and clutches of wickedness and darkness and bring it to a place of light, progress and prosperity”.
The ex-president of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Council (NECA) leads a think-tank of like-minded Nigerians and believers in the redemption of the country, which he tags ‘New Nigeria Group’, to fashion out how to make the vision a reality.
According to Ohuabunwa: “In my desire to express my views and to see if they would touch any hearts to do commonsensical things to repair our nation, I have done everything and gone to every length.
“But in 2019 it dawned on me that all the writings, speaking, economic summits and conferences will not cut the ice needed to get into the rink, to see if we can implement what we have been preaching and put into practice our strategies captured in Vision 2010 and Vision 2020 as well as all the other economic and political recommendations made over the years to see Nigeria fulfil its mandate and become a nation we can be proud of and that which treats everyone equally, and gives evey citizen a sense of ownership and belonging – country that works for all.
“This is my motivation. I therefore decided to step out an throw my hat in the ring and offer myself to see if Nigerians are wiling to give me the opportunity to have the redemption of this country from the hands and clutches of wickedness and darkness and bring it to light, progress and prosperity.
“That is my motivation that made me begin to to lead a group – the New Nigeria Group – that will coordinate and recruit like-minded people to create a leadership cadre that can take Nigeria out of this chronic underdevelopment and poverty.
“I have decided by the motivation from God and well-meaning Nigerians to offer myself to serve Nigeria in the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that is where I believe I am going to make the greatest impact.
“We need leadership at the topmost level, someone who understands what leadership is all about. It is sacrifice, influence and motivating people to achieve the desired goals, not to serve themselves but the community.
“Leadership at the national level is harnessing the resources that belong to the people and to do the best good for the majority of the people, not for a group or a section of the country. That is what I see that has been lacking.”
Asked what political party by which he intends to actualise his ambition, Ohuabunwa explained that he was still consulting across political blocs and would announce at the appropriate time, especially as there is hardly any ideological differences between the current major political parties.
In his words: “I have been a member of a political party since 1998 but I am not insisting that I must come to the office of the president though that political party because the party may decide its own way.
“I am looking onto God and my supporters and those who buy into my vision and believe that a new an better Nigeria is possible, that we can build a nation where corruption, insecurity, injustice and poverty can be dealt with.
“What I am leading now is a group called The New Nigeria Group, which spells out the vision that it is possible within four years to change this country and make it what we can all be proud of.
“When people buy into this vision, with these believers in my mission, we shall move to the appropriate platform to seek power. It is either PDP or APC or a third force. There is no ideological difference between these main parties. Parties in Nigeria are just political platforms to seek office.
“So, at the appropriate time I will announce which platform I am going to use, based on how I am led by God and my supporters of my mission who agree that together we can go to a political party and use it as a political platform in an effective manner. That is why I have not announced a political platform yet.
“I have been a member of PDP since 1998 and it is my first choice if it was all in my hands. I will announce at the appropriate time because I am consulting with leaders of PDP and other Nigerians. My focus is not just political party because I am not just another politician looking for office but I am looking for a new Nigeria.
“If there was another way to get it without a political party, maybe I would have chosen that option; but since that would not happen, I will choose a political party through which we can deliver this new vision for Nigeria.”