You sound so confident when talking about your chances. You just told a gathering of young people that you’ll be president elect this time next year. Where is this confidence coming from?
'This election is not about me but the next generation' says presidential aspirant
In this exclusive chat, presidential aspirant Fela Durotoye tells Pulse he's confident of beating all comers to emerge Nigeria's president in 2019.
I believe my confidence comes from the quality of the vision that I carry in my heart and I believe that that vision is not unique only to me. It’s the same vision in the hearts of 180 million Nigerians—young and old, rich or poor.
I think that everyone wants a new Nigeria. I think everyone knows when someone is just proposing a vision because you are running for election.
I have been carrying this vision in my heart for 14 years. And I believe that it’s a vision that Nigerians want. I think Nigerians will vote for that vision.
I believe that the set of values that I carry and I share and I live by are the same values that almost every Nigerian wants for their children, for their wives, for their homeland and I believe people will vote for those set of values.
And more importantly, on the 29th of May, 2018, we are going to be unveiling the journey to a new Nigeria. And I know that it’s a journey that people will believe in. I’m confident because of the vision. I’m confident because of the values and I’m confident because of the road map that we have. I believe that Nigerians want a new Nigeria and we will get it together.
There was this article published in the back page of ThisDay where you said God has told you you’ll be president….
It’s not in there. I said God told me that Nigeria will be the most desirable nation to live in. There’s nowhere in that article….and I’m sure you probably can go and read it..If you read it…because a lot of people have wanted to say that that’s what’s in there..most of those people obviously did not read it.
There’s been that debate online about you saying God asked you to run....
But this is one of the things that is very interesting about a generation. We are a most powerful generation. We have the power of technology, information and communication on our hands. On that phone, we can always check. People should not just believe things because somebody said so. If you Google it, you can always find it.
The article said: “On the 23rd of November 2004, I had an encounter and God said to me that by 2025 Nigeria will be the most desirable nation to live in".
I never said to anybody…and everybody can go and read the article. Don’t take my word for it. Go and read the article yourself. I didn’t say to anybody that God said I’ll be president of Nigeria.
People want to say that that’s what I said. But that’s because they either didn’t read it or they are just being mischievous.
There’s this whole thing about experience. I know you touched on it on ThePlatform and you dwelt a bit on it here again. They are those who say, why don’t you just wait for 2023? That 2019 is too soon…
You know, like they always say, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is always now. And for me I think that Nigerians are tired. We are all tired. And the next best time to start doing what we should have started doing 10, 15, 20 years ago is now.
So, ask anybody who wants a new Nigeria when is the best time to start running for a new Nigeria. The best time is now. It’s not about winning an office or not winning an office. It’s about building a new nation. And the best time to start getting people involved in running for office across all the levels is now.
The best time to start getting yourPermanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) to vote for people who carry and share your vision and values and your dreams for a new Nigeria is now.
The best time for you to go and join a political party and insist that that party will have voters’ rights for members is now. The time to join INEC and to help to bring free and fair elections is now.
We should never postpone our dreams. Now is the best time. There is no better time than now.
A school of thought says you should have started as a senator, maybe run for Governor first….
Some people have even said I should have started as a ward council member. Some people have even said I shouldn’t have run for anything, that I should just be a member of a party.
Look, I always say it doesn’t matter what Fela is doing, the question is what are you doing? Take your focus off Fela because it’s not Fela alone that is going to help to build a new Nigeria. You are going to help to build a new Nigeria. Wherever Fela starts from, where are you starting from? And I think that that’s the real big question people should be asking.
If you are tired of the way things are in Nigeria and you know that Nigeria can be better if we were able to just get people who have a good heart, who are competent, who have demonstrated leadership in whatever area they have done..if you know all that, then I will ask you, when do you think that anyone should start and whenever you think that they should start, where are you starting from?
And if you want to start in the political space, go and start from any level you want to start and that’s fine. I will not judge that. But the most important thing is start something. Do something. Don’t sit down there, wondering where somebody else is starting from and that becomes a distraction to you. You go start something wherever you are. Start from where you are.
Your political party doesn’t have the kind of grassroot structure to beat the PDP and APC at their own game. We are just a few months away from a 36-State general election. Seriously, how do you even think you stand a chance?
We are going to do it by doing what we are currently doing and we are moving very fast. And today, in literally every local government in Nigeria, we already have people who are local government coordinators, we are at the level of getting ward coordinators in almost all 19,000 wards that are in Nigeria.
Let me be clear about something. Nigerians all across, want a new Nigeria. This is not about Fela Durotoye. This is about the Nigeria that people want and that is why people are adjoining.
And this is not just about getting Fela Durotoye to become president because even if Fela Durotoye becomes president and we still have the people who throw chairs in the legislature, or steal maces they are still going to hold our bills and say if you don’t pad it, they will not approve the budget.
The point we are making is that we need a whole transformation. In the words of Donald Trump, we need to drain that swamp. That is what is exciting people.
This is not about getting one man elected. This is about getting a whole generation to win an election. This election is not about Fela. This election is about our generation. And our generation is ready. And that’s why we are doing everything we are doing as quickly as we are doing it.
We are ready and 2019 will be a very pleasant surprise to all of the people who think that this generation is not ready.
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