My dear friends and colleagues, good day.
Earlier today, March 25, 2022, I picked up the letter of intent and nomination form to contest the Primaries for the 2023 Presidential election on the platform of our great party, the Peoples Democracy party (PDP).
As you all know, Ladies and Gentlemen, N40 million is a lot of money in any currency but it is the big sacrifice we must make for the sake of this generation and generations unborn in our great country. Nigeria has been effectively hijacked by a political class that cares only about itself and almost nothing about unity, development and progress of the nation and the good people of our dear beloved country.
I want to thank all the kind-hearted Nigerians who contributed every kobo raised so far for this laudable project. I am particularly grateful to the young Nigerians who donated from N500 to N20,000 after my appeal on social media. I am deeply touched by their act of uncommon generosity, especially because I know of their tough financial situations. It is gratifying and humbling for me that from the very little that they possess, Nigeria comes first. God will bless them.
I’m proud to stand resolutely to challenge those who feel Nigeria and Nigerians can be bought or bribed by the highest bidder. The time for the rejection of such a notion is now. Nigerians will no longer sell their soul for 20 pieces of silver, and I make bold to say that they are prepared to make this statement and are relying on the political parties for the opportunity to demonstrate that this is the case, by giving to them worthy candidates rather than a recycling of the failed so-called political juggernauts.
Like many Nigerians, I’m vehemently opposed to ethnic jingoists who see where they come from as the only prerequisite qualification for aspiring to lead Nigeria, no matter how ugly and inglorious their past had been.
I wish to appeal to all men and women of good conscience to join me in this movement to put a stop to the rascality of those who feel Nigerians are permanently helpless and hopeless and that we can be Lorded upon simply because we have chosen to be silent. We will no longer acquiesce in this state of affairs. I modestly say that through our collective efforts, the silent and voiceless majority now have a voice and representative in me.
I humbly come into this political contest with a pedigree of integrity, reputation, solid education, tolerance, business acumen, sharp vision and competence. I possess everything it takes to win the 2023 Presidential election on behalf of my Party, PDP, and I will be greatly honoured to get the ticket and support of my esteemed party for this purpose.
The time has come for my party, PDP to take advantage of this unique opportunity to present an uncommon candidate who’s tailor made for this moment and purpose. I’m fresh and free from the usual encumbrances associated with most of our career politicians.
Despite not being in government or power, my business and I have been one of the biggest brands out of Africa in the last three decades. I have the capacity to reunite Nigeria instantly. I am instantly recognised and warmly welcomed and received wherever I go by the generality of our people whether elites, middle class or the common man.
Without being immodest or boastful, I am glad to profess that I have verifiably touched lives in every part of Nigeria. The youths of Nigeria and Africa see me as their role model. I have created enduring opportunities for them and used my talents and material resources to reproduce multiple millionaires in farming, fashion, music, comedy, Media, events, hospitality, and entrepreneurship. I have personally given succour and palliatives to thousands of Nigerians in all parts of Nigeria without any discrimination whatsoever. Without access to government money or Constituency allowances, I have touched more Nigerians globally than our career politicians. I have given scholarships to hundreds of indigent students at home and abroad.
You may be wondering how I intend to defeat the Billionaire and powerful politicians in the two mainstream political parties with the reckless Naira and Dollar rain with which they are already flooding everywhere, I place my faith in God Almighty and in the long-suffering people of Nigeria as well as in my unblemished record of excellence, integrity, youthfulness, mental capacity, tolerance, courage, wisdom and global experience and exposure. It would be difficult to find anyone with more intimidating credentials amongst the members of the current political class.
I expect our party PDP to hearken to the cries of Nigerians for a new type of leadership and not a rehash and regurgitation of the same monied class or cabals who have nothing but calamitous corruption, monumental misery and unprecedented disaster to offer our unfortunate citizens.
The world has already left us way behind as a result of our addiction to narcoleptic leadership and the inability to exorcise the daemons of democracy. We can rid ourselves of the manacles and shackles of the depressive state and oppressive nature created by much vaunted purported political demigods and warlords.
By so doing, we will free ourselves from our current dire predicament and make brisk progress in nation building which is what all well-meaning Nigerians desire and deserve, desperately.
On the issue of zoning or no zoning, I believe that allowing all aspirants to buy their forms at N40 million suggests that the race is open to all, regardless of what part of Nigeria they come from. It is practically and legally impossible for a political party to disqualify an aspirant on account of zoning after collecting a whopping N40 million for services not rendered. I’m therefore happy to join this race and I’m expecting a “level playing ground for all aspirants” as repeatedly promised by our respectable and cerebral National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu.
Rather than dissipate too much energy on fighting ourselves, our leaders should vent their humongous energies on presenting their credentials to the electorate and as a matter of urgency tell Nigerians how they plan to get them out of the cataclysmic mess we have found ourselves in. We must never forget that our Party and most of its present crop of leaders have been largely blamed for the morass that Nigeria finds itself. With great humility, I declare that I am the bridge-builder that our Party needs to regain the trust of our great people and nation.
Leadership is not always about politics and politicking but about managing people and resources, successfully.
I wish to humbly suggest to the formidable Southern leaders not to panic about Zoning at all. I love their resolve on insisting that power must shift to the South and the only assured way to achieve this is for all the Southern Regions to unite and reach out to their friends in other parts of the country. The unity of our country should be paramount, but it should be based on mutual respect. Our Governors must be commended for the way they have invested in keeping our Party alive and well at a time some of our leaders were nowhere to be found.
Those who truly love our Party should do nothing to suggest that they can and will bully or cow other members into submission.
On my part, I’m confident that I’m well positioned to galvanize a new class of young and first-time voters to support and vote for our Party. This is a tried and tested formula for winning elections in most climes. Nigeria is not different.
Indeed, it is this generation that we need most to participate in the process because it is for them that we seek to govern. It is a known fact that no political party in opposition can hope to win in elections against a ruling party in power by relying solely on its members for votes. I’m the only aspirant currently who originates from the two major zones of the South South and South West with extensive links in the South East and friends across the nation. No serious political party can ignore those zones, and not do so at its own peril.
Let me quickly respond to the unfortunate suggestion that no Southern candidate can win the Presidential election. This is a total fallacy based on absolute distortion of facts of history and Mathematics.
In 1979, Alhaji Shehu Shagari of NPN polled 5,688,857 votes (42.37%) to defeat Chief Obafemi Awolowo of UPN at 4,916,551 (36.61%), Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe of NPP at 2,822,523 (21.02%) with a grand total of 13,427,93 votes. Thus, had the South stayed united, Shagari would not have been the President.
In 1983, with alleged widespread electoral fraud, Alhaji Shehu Shagari of NPN polled 12,047,648 (47.33%) to defeat Chief Obafemi Awolowo of UPN at 7,885,434 (30.98%), Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe of NPP at 3,534,633 (13.89%), Alhaji Hassan Yusuf of PRP at 1,037,481 (4.08%), Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim of GNPP at 640,128 (2.51%) Dr Tunji Braithwaite of NAP at 308,842 (1.21%) with a grand total of 25,454,166 votes.
In 1993, Chief MKO Abiola of SDP polled 8,341,309 (58.36%) to defeat Alhaji Bashir Tofa of NRC at 5,952,087 (41.64%) with a grand total of 14,293,396.
In 2003, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo of PDP polled 24,456,140 (61.94%) and defeated Major General Muhammadu Buhari of ANPP at 12,710,022 (32.19%).
In 2011, Dr Goodluck Jonathan of PDP at 22,495,187 (58.87%) defeated Major General Muhammadu Buhari of CPC at 12,214,853 (31.97%) and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of ACN at 2,079,151 (5.44%). Both Northern candidates together did not obtain 50% of the votes.
It is obvious from the foregoing, that Southern Candidates have regularly won elections in Nigeria albeit with support from the North. President Buhari had lost twice to Southern candidates despite the seeming cult followership that he enjoyed in the North. It is clear to me that there is no PDP aspirant from the North today who enjoys half of Buhari’s fanatical support, yet Buhari was only able to win at his fourth attempt in 2015 because of the massive support from the South. We all know what happened in 2019 and why it sems that the North could go it alone. With recent electoral reforms, it is clear to me that those manipulated and skewed figures will not occur again.
The last elected president of PDP was a Southerner, Dr Goodluck Jonathan while the last contested PDP candidate was a Northerner, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who I supported wholeheartedly and voluntarily. Also, the current serving President, General Muhammadu Buhari, against whom Alhaji Atiku contested, is of Northern Fulani descent. Therefore, the two main political parties fielded Northerners in 2019 and the heavens did not fall. The South supported the candidacy of one or the other Northerner, without protest or complaint. I see no reason that cannot be the case in respect of a decision by the two main Parties to field Southern candidates in the upcoming 2023 elections. Indeed, it is very right and sensible to do so in view of the serious agitations for a breakup of Nigeria into several nations.
I have made wide, extensive and positive visits and consultations to every Region of Nigeria and have felt the pulse of our nation. The general consensus is that our Party, PDP, should seize the opportunity of a fresh leader from the South to take over from the octogenarian Muhammadu Buhari and offer Nigeria a new lease of life and novel kind of leadership that fits the modern 21st century world in a digital, technological and knowledge driven generation. Age, integrity, competence, capacity, technology, exposure and cosmopolitanism are major attributes that a good leader must possess in the 21st century.
In these areas, I am more than fully qualified and stand tall amongst all those who are presently aspiring for the highest position of leadership in our land.
Some key notable issues facing Nigeria and Nigerians today range from disunity and distrust among the various ethnic groups in Nigeria to inequality, spiralling inflation, disruptions to academics through incessant strikes by ASUU, insecurity, less career and job opportunities, fewer considerations for women and youths in governance, poor medicare, escalated corruption and profligacy in government and dwindling economic prospects in the entire landscape. All these and more will be adequately addressed in our masterplan and policy document to be released soon.
I look forward to a very robust contest in the months ahead and your continued support.
Thank you all.
CHIEF DELE MOMODU