A renowned pharmacist and a former chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Sam Ohuabunwa, has declared his intention to run for Nigeria’s presidency in 2023.
He is the president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.
The interview was published on Sunday.
Mr Ohuabunwa is a technocrat who is known to have stayed off partisan politics in Nigeria.
He told his interviewer, Deji Badmus, that it was time he got involved in politics to provide the needed leadership that could help transform Nigeria, instead of offering advice from the background.
Mr Ohuabunwa said he “ran away” for too long from politics, but that Nigeria “was not getting much better”.
He likened his entry into politics to the fate of a biblical figure called Jonah, who was forced to accept a divine call to go and preach to a set of people after living for three days in the belly of a fish.
Mr Ohuabunwa said not contesting for an elected position before was not a problem, same with not having money to “buy” voters because, according to him, the time has come for change to happen in Nigeria.
“We are accustomed to a particular way of doing things, when the new ways come we easily ignore or do not notice. Nigeria is about to change.
“All the prayers we have prayed, all the things we have spoken about in the past, I believe the time to see them happen is now. And when things need to happen, strange things begin to come.
“There is a man called M.K.O Abiola, I am not aware he ran for any office. I don’t think Donald Trump ran for any office (before he became the US president).”
He, however, refused to disclose the political party he would be running under.
“I belong to a political party, so you may not know because I have not advertised it. But I am not willing to disclose it for now, until when we get to the point where we are talking about elections.
“We are just selling our ideas under the platform of the New Nigeria Group.”
The group, he said, is a socio-political movement.
When prodded by the interviewer to mention his political party, Mr Ohuabunwa said there was no difference between the different parties in Nigeria.
“People go from one party to the other overnight, they don’t even consult their constituencies and we clap for them, we vote for them. People are not principled. I am not that kind of person. Why I can’t say it is that by the time I take a decision, I have taken a decision,” he said.
Mr Ohuabunwa said he supports the agitations for the South-east to produce the president in 2023 as a means of “healing” the nation.
“But that’s not why I am running. I am running because I believe I am competent, I believe that I have the character, I believe that I have the appropriate courage to make a difference. But that I happen to be from the South-east may be an added bonus if Nigerians are willing to buy into the need to have the South-east given opportunity.
“We have followed money for long, I think most Nigerians have come to the conclusion that this money politics has not paid us.
“In this little time I have been in this business I have gone (to the) north, I have gone south, I have gone east, I have gone west, I meet ordinary folks, I meet the youth, I meet all those who collect the N5,000 and N2,000 and whatever to change their opinion. They are tired because they have gone through this cycle many times,” he said.
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