Bashorun Dele Momodu has officially applied as presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP). in the 2011 presidential polls. The Labour Party presidential hopeful presented his formal Letter of Intent to the National Chairman of the party, Chief (Dr.) Dan Uwanyanwu on Wednesday September 15, 2010 at the party headquarters in Abuja.
Bashorun Dele Momodu who was accompanied by his Campaign Manager, Ohimai Godwin Amaize and other members of his campaign staff was warmly received at the Labour Party headquarters by the National Chairman, Chief (Dr.) Dan Uwanyanwu; Deputy National Chairman Alhaji Ali Abacha, National Secretary, Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdulkadir Salam.
Presenting the two-page letter and a series of other documents, Bashorun Dele Momodu extolled the great vision of Labour Party under its current leadership as the last hope of the common man unlike some other parties that have been taken over and corrupted by the highest bidder phenomenon.
In his response, Chief (Dr.) Dan Uwanyanwu commended the courage, foresight and vision of Bashorun Dele Momodu describing him as a loyal and financial party member since he joined Labour Party early last year. He also noted that by this letter, Momodu is the first member of the party who has so far officially declared his aspiration to be the party's presidential flagbearer in the 2011 presidential election.
Also today, the Dele Momodu Presidential Campaign Organisation released its official logo and slogan for the campaign. According to Ohimai Godwin Amaize, the logo is a creative expression of a human thumbprint protected by a circle of thirty-seven (37) stars symbolizing the power of the exercised mandate for Bashorun Dele Momodu protected by the Nigerian people in the thirty-six (36) states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The campaign has adopted "OUR TIME HAS COME!" as its official slogan.
Text of the Letter to Labour Party
15th September, 2010
RE: REQUEST TO BE THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF LABOUR PARTY IN 2011
I wish to formally request the pleasure of our great party to be the flag bearer during the Presidential election coming up on January 22, 2011.
I have been a very loyal member of Labour Party since I met you personally in Abuja early last year. I was deeply encouraged by your vision of making the Labour Party the hope of ordinary Nigerians who have been yearning for good governance and accountability. I remember in particular your dream of giving Nigeria her own Obama.
The time has now come for all members of our party to pick the right candidate who can fulfill the dreams and aspirations of Nigerians. And we must stand out as a party of the common man and not that of the highest bidders who are on the prowl to buy up any available party.
It is for this reason and purpose that I humbly present myself as the perfect choice for this important mission.
Please, permit me to quickly enumerate the basis for my assertion.
* I hold both First and Second Degrees from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
* I have worked variously as a teacher, journalist, businessman, publisher, social crusader, public speaker, polemicist, publisher, political activist, etc.
* I have extensive networks cutting across all strata of society, including government, business, entertainment, media, world leaders, etc.
* I cut across two regional zones, the South/South and the South/West, with my father from Ihievbe, Edo State, and my mum from Gbongan in Osun State.
* I represent the delicate religious balance in Nigeria, with my grandparents who were Muslims and parents who were Christians.
* I’m a fresh blood who has not been tainted by political appointments or public office. Most of the current aspirants carry one negative baggage or the other, with criminal charges dangling on some of them.
* I have demonstrated the traits of a competent builder with the way I have built a global brand from scratch.
* I’m one of the most popular Nigerians around today cutting across all ethnic groups. I have interacted with Nigerians at home and abroad in over 60 countries.
* I have an excellent relationship with local and international media.
* I would be able to raise funds through the youths who see me as their role model as well as members of the business community who are hoping Nigeria would have a cerebral bridge-builder, a successful businessman, a dependable ideologue and a visionary leader as President, opposed to the rabble-rousers who would further inflame our polity.
* My candidacy would enjoy worldwide appeal and acclaim.
* I have a formidable collection of campaign materials and they are ready to be deployed as soon as I’m privileged to secure the ticket of our great party.
Other relevant materials are attached.
Sir, I would be most delighted to answer any further enquiries on this application.
Together we shall move this nation to greater heights.
11 THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT DELE MOMODU
1. The Technocrat: He is the man who without access to public funds, successfully built a brand in less than 10 years from zero level to Superbrand status.
2. The Democrat: He is the man who has proven himself a tested, trusted and tried democrat. We cannot forget how he was thrown into detention and almost lost his life for the June 12 struggle. He was also forced into exile in London.
3. The Politician: He is the man we describe as the experienced politician who understands the art of politics well enough but has not been corrupted by power. He connects effortlessly with all classes of the Nigerian people.
4. The Media Icon: He is the man who has contributed over 2,000 essays to national discourse on all issues affecting Nigeria. He has caused a major revolution in African publishing.
5. Mr. Integrity: He is the man who stands proven in business as an enterprise builder committed to the values of integrity. No business has ever failed in his hands. His business associates attest to his uprightness and he has made a success of all his business concerns.
6. Mr. Transparency: He is a true homeboy who has made his personal life and conduct open to all without pretending to be who he is not. Our Bob Dee: friend of the rich; brother to the poor.
7. A Large Heart: He is the dream builder and philanthropist who within his modest resources has empowered others to stand on their own.
8. A Global Citizen: He is a world-traveller, a worthy son of Africa, and ambassador plenipotentiary for Nigeria. A friend of many nations, respected by presidents and world leaders.
9. A Worthy Protégé: He is the loyal godson of Nigeria's martyr of democracy and has become MKO Abiola's biggest gift to Nigerian politics.
10. The Underrated: He is the dark horse but now the game-changer in Nigerian politics. He is the man who holds the key to the new Nigeria of our dreams. He remains resolute and motivated by the possibilities available for a new Nigeria.
11. Harbinger of Change: He is the embodiment of HOPE in a new Nigeria; the symbol of unity for a one Nigeria.
A PROFILE OF BASHORUN DELE MOMODU
In the Beginning
Dele Momodu’s life is spectacular; he has been a scholar, teacher, administrator, writer, polemicist, reporter, columnist, photographer, publisher, political activist, detainee, refugee, actor, restaurateur, speaker, and a world traveller.
It is doubtful if any one of his age-mates has travelled more than this gentleman who caused a revolution in magazine publishing when he started OVATION INTERNATIONAL magazine in the city of London in April 1996.
The story of Dele Momodu is a must read and a classic for young people who want to achieve greatness. Dele Momodu is a classic example of grass to grace destiny. He obtained his first degree in Yoruba from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in 1982, and earned a Master’s degree in Literature in English in 1988. He’s the only Nigerian ever to have such a rare combination. During his 1982-83 NYSC service, he taught A-Level Yoruba at the Oyo State College of Arts and Science in Ile-Ife. Shortly thereafter, he became private secretary to the then Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Chief Akin Omoboriowo.
Career PathIn 1986, Dele Momodu served His Royal Majesty the Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, when he managed the Motel Royal Limited owned by the influential monarch. He later resigned to pursue his post-graduate studies in English Literature. During this period, he was contributing powerful articles to The Guardian, Sunday Tribune, and others. In May 1988, he got his first job as Staff Writer with the African Concord magazine, owned by Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. In 1989, Dele Momodu was transferred to Weekend Concord as one of the pioneer staff to start what soon became the largest-circulating weekend paper. He wrote the first cover story for the news-magazine in March 1989 and got many exclusive stories for the same magazine, which endeared him to the Managing Director of Concord Press of Nigeria Limited, Dr Doyinsola Hamidat Abiola, and the Chairman, Chief Moshood Abiola.
Dele Momodu was a hot item on the stable of what was easily Nigeria’s biggest newspaper conglomerate. The prolific writer contributed to other titles such as the National Concord, Sunday Concord, Business Concord and the Yoruba newspaper, Isokan. In May 1989, he earned a double promotion and became Literary Editor, and another promotion within six months when he became News Editor of Weekend Concord. This made him the third in command after the Editor, Mr Mike Awoyinfa and his Deputy Editor, Mr Dimgba Igwe. It was around this period that the responsibility to edit Nigeria’s most popular MEE column fell on his desk. The column was written by the prodigiously talented May Ellen Ezekiel. Dele and MEE struck a chord which blossomed into inviting him to edit MEE’s celebrity magazine, Classique, between May 1990 and September 1991. This appointment made him the highest paid Editor in Nigeria.
After his resignation, the humble journalist tried his hands at doing business and became a bread distributor for Chief Moshood Abiola’s Wonderloaf. For him, there was dignity in labour. He also started a public relations outfit, Celebrities’ Goodwill Limited, which managed the accounts of Chief Moshood Abiola, Dr Mike Adenuga, Mr Hakeem Belo-Osagie and other distinguished Nigerians. Dele Momodu married his heart-throb Mobolaji Abiodun Momodu on December 19, 1992, in Ijebu-Igbo. The star-studded wedding attracted Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Chief Alex Akinyele, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, Mr. Kola Abiola (who bought him his first car) and Chief Moshood Abiola who was the father of the day.
It was at this period that Dele Momodu was invited by Nduka Obaigbena to assemble the core staff that would start a new publication, Leaders & Company, which later became the parent company for Africa’s most prestigious newspaper, Thisday. He was also the Founding Editor of Leaders & Company. He was able to attract some of the brightest journalists of the era to the company and the strong bond between him and the Publisher endures till this day.
Dele and the June 12 Struggle
In 1993, Dele resigned to join the Moshood Abiola Presidential Campaign Organisation, while Nduka Obaigbena supported Abiola’s main opponent, Alhaji Bashir Tofa. Despite their political differences, they remained friends. Dele Momodu was arrested and detained at Alagbon Close in Lagos, after the annulment of the June 12 Presidential election by General Ibrahim Babangida. He was severely punished for his views but was unbowed. In 1995, he got into a bigger trouble when he was to be arrested and charged for treason by the Abacha Junta. He was accused of being one of the brains behind the pirate radio station, known as Radio Freedom and later changed to Radio Kudirat, after the cold-blooded murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola.
Dele Momodu managed to escape through Seme border into Cotonou, in Benin Republic, he fled from there to Togo, Ghana, and eventually landed in England. This sad episode would totally change his life and that of his entire family. It was a most excruciating experience for a young family whose first son was under one year old. They lost all their possessions and could barely pay rent in London. For three agonising years, Momodu could not enter Nigeria.
Building a Global Brand
He started OVATION INTERNATIONAL in 1996, and it was a big struggle to keep the business afloat. He and his team were under constant harassment of court bailiffs when they couldn’t meet their financial obligations.
It was when Chief Abiola died in prison, one month after Abacha’s death, that Dele ended his exile. He was then able to restructure his business, and worked assiduously at publishing what is today seen as Africa’s hottest celebrity magazine. Today, OVATION INTERNATIONAL is a global brand. The magazine has showcased the best of Africa by promoting those who would never grace the covers of HELLO, OK, EBONY, and Oprah magazines. Ovation is also the leading events magazine dishing out the most glamorous pictures of the lifestyles of the rich and famous Africans. Ovation has resisted the temptation of discriminating against anyone and has left its readers to be the judge. Its critics who reason that certain families should not appear in the magazine often forget that the tenets of journalism abhor censorship. Every Saint and devil must be afforded their fundamental rights of fair hearing and freedom of association. Ovation has never written anywhere that a rogue is a Saint or vice versa, and it has been globally applauded for its objectivity and world-class quality.
In the 14 years of its glorious existence, OVATION INTERNATIONAL has covered stories and events in over 60 countries and on all the continents of the world. Dele Momodu has enjoyed worldwide acclaim and has met the High and Mighty, including Her Majesty the Queen of England, African Presidents, former American Presidents, and world scholars. He has used his wide contacts to benefit the poor and the needy in many African countries. He has sent many poor students to school. He has created wealth for the boys on the streets of Africa by providing employment and paying the highest commission ever to news distributors and vendors. OVATION INTERNATIONAL is also a fashion catalogue to young tailors who are making brisk business by dubbing fashion styles from the glossy and colourful pages of the magazine. Event planners are also smiling to the banks by picking different ideas for their clients. OVATION INTERNATIONAL has remained a blistering phenomenon in the publishing business in Africa. It is only popular bilingual magazine out of Africa at the moment with a French office in Cotonou.
The doggedness of Dele Momodu and his team is highly recommended to the youths of today. Dele Momodu attributes his success to God and relentless hard work. Let’s all rise and propose a toast to the enigmatic man who has brought so much pride and joy to Africans all over the world.
WHY I AM RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT
- Dele Momodu
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO RUN FOR THE POST OF PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA?
Let me start by saying that I turned 50 on May 16, 2010. I have lived in those 50 years the lives of many people put together. I have experienced what many would never experience at age 80. I was not born rich but was proud to have had good parents who brought me up in the ways of God. I started life early. I earned my first degree at 22, from the Department of African Languages and Literatures, University of Ife, with a bias for Yoruba. I taught A-Level Yoruba and Literature-in-English at the Oyo State College of Arts and Science, Ile-Ife, while on national service. I was a private secretary to former Deputy Governor of Ondo state, Chief Akin Omoboriowo, from the time I was barely 23. At 26, I was already working for one of Africa’s most powerful monarchs, The Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II. I soon resigned to start a Master’s degree in Literature in English which I finished in 1988. I’m the only Nigerian with a Bachelor’s in Yoruba and a Master’s in Literature-in-English. I love to be different.
At 28, I moved to Lagos and was appointed a Staff Writer with the African Concord magazine, which was owned by Chief Moshood Abiola. Before long, I was transferred with a few others to start Weekend Concord newspaper and distinguished myself in little time on the job. I wrote the maiden cover for the newspaper. It must be noted that mother-luck follows me everywhere. I was soon awarded a double promotion within two months, and was rewarded with another promotion six months after, and became the News Editor. My meteoric rise was attributed to dint of hard-work and the good grace of God. I was noticed by my employers as a goal-getter, and became an adopted son of my Chairman, Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
At the age of 30, I got a fantastic offer from the publisher of CLASSIQUE magazine, May Ellen Ezekiel Mofe-Damijo, to edit her celebrity journal. The offer made me the highest paid editor in Nigeria, exactly two years of arriving in Lagos. I resigned from that great job in 1991, and tried my hands at doing business, and also set up a public relations outfit. In 1992, I was invited by Mr. Nduka Obaigbena to midwife a new media company called Leaders & Company, which metamorphosed into the parent company for what is now the most prestigious media organisation in Africa, Thisday newspapers.
In 1993, I joined the Moshood Abiola Presidential Campaign organisation as a media consultant. We travelled the length and breadth of Nigeria and it afforded me the unique opportunity of knowing my country better, her prospects and frustrations. I discovered a land over-flowing with milk and honey but with none available for the generality of the people. I began to appreciate why a man as rich and powerful as Chief Abiola would risk his comfort zone to dive into the murky waters of Nigerian politics. The great philanthropist had witnessed enough anguish of the people and had reached the conclusion that his personal wealth was incapable of banishing poverty and was determined to use the natural resources of the people for their common good. Unknown to me then, I was being groomed for a greater task in the future.
On June 12, 1993, Nigerians voted overwhelmingly for Chief Abiola, and we thought we were close to the promise land. But the election was suddenly cancelled by General Ibrahim Babangida and his military junta. I joined other Nigerians in protesting that irrational annulment. My writings also became very acerbic and I was picked up one early morning in July 1993, and was hauled into detention. The harrowing experience never deterred me from carrying on with the campaign to revalidate the best election that ever held in our great country. The winner of that election himself Chief Abiola was thrown into detention without any proper trial in 1994, till he died on July 7, 1998.
In 1995, I was accused of being one of the brains behind a pirate radio station, Radio Freedom, which was later changed to Radio Kudirat. I was to be arrested and charged for treason, an offence that could be punishable by long time imprisonment or even death. Fortunately, I got tipped off and had to run out of Nigeria as fast as I could. I found my way eventually to London. The next challenge was what to do for a living in a strange land. That was how the idea for Ovation International magazine was conceived and delivered in 1996. It was a very difficult period for me and my young family. We were hounded severally by bailiffs when our bills began to pile up. We trudged on believing in God to bless our hard work. Sooner than later, the doors and windows of opportunities began to open, and Ovation became a household name. We spread our wings across the world and became a global and super brand.
The magazine has since been published to the highest international standards in English and French. We’ve covered events and stories in over 60 countries. I have met Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, world Presidents, international figures, Lords and Royals, business gurus, showbiz icons, and many accomplished Africans. I have received awards and accolades worldwide. I have given speeches and lectures. I’m a multiple Chief at home and abroad. I hold a Doctoral Degree of Letters from the Houndegbe North American University in Cotonou, Benin Republic. I’m a cultural ambassador in Liberia, as Chief Momodu Kiazolu of Grand Cape Mount County. I’m a proud manager of men and resources. My dream was always to promote the best of Africa. I have been saddened by the lack of progress in our great country Nigeria. I have watched as smaller countries in Africa moved from penury to prosperity, while we moved in Nigeria with incredible rapidity from prosperity to penury.
What’s been worse is the nonchalant attitude of our leaders as if our state of backwardness was a thing of pride and glory. I took a glance at our political landscape about two years ago and what I saw was doom and gloom. I saw the same charlatans warming up to repossess our lives and endanger our collective destinies and future. Our youths have mostly been driven into foreign lands. Those who want to come back home see nothing promising and cheery about home. We are currently saddled with countless generations of unemployed graduates with no hope of finding jobs. In desperation, crime has become fashionable. If is not yahoo-yahoo, it is drugs or kidnapping. I have written over a thousand essays on the ills of our society. But nothing has changed. The criminals in power have continued to dig deeper and deeper. And I saw no hope in the horizon.
After many careful deliberations and consultations, I chose to challenge fate and attempt what I believe would become our last attempt at achieving a bloodless revolution in Nigeria. I was under no illusion that the garrison commanders in the PDP would go voluntarily without attempting to rig elections as usual. But I was persuaded that the long-suffering people of Nigeria were sufficiently angered by our retrograde status, of no water, no road, no light, no jobs, no money... No normal Nigerian would ever wish for PDP and their types in other parties to return to power.
With every sense of modesty and purpose, I’m convinced that I have what it takes to lead our country out of the socio-political quagmire we’ve inexorably found ourselves. I’m ready to be the torch-bearer for that change we all desire. The time is ripe for a fresh blood that has not been tainted and corrupted by power. Nigeria needs a man who has made a success of his chosen career, someone whose life has touched Nigerians everywhere. I believe, like my godfather Chief Moshood Abiola, that there is no part of Nigeria that has not been touched and affected by my work.
A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW YOU AS A MEDIA PERSON, WHAT MAKES YOU A SUITABLE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE?
The new trend in the world is to bring successful and cerebral professionals into the art and science of governance. I have run a global business successfully for 14 years. I have interacted closely with foreign governments and agencies more than most of our Governors and Ministers. I have travelled all over Nigeria and know the landscape and our people well. I have been able to identify our problems and have thought through the solutions. I’m young and energetic. I have been very exposed to the highest standards of living and I desire the best of such standards for my dear country. I have the courage to fight the parasites who continue to feed fat on the rest of us. I have consistently fought for the common good of Nigeria. I have been well-groomed for the assignment. I’m ready to hit the ground running. I do not carry the burden of belonging to parasitic political parties, and do not have those political godfathers who are holding our nation to ransom. I have never stolen public money and will never. I love my country with an uncommon passion and will do nothing to degrade one of the greatest nations created by God. I have used my business to promote the best of my country.
Some of the names we have publicised globally include: Deinde Fernandez, Wole Soyinka, Mai Deribe, Alex Duduyemi, Gabriel Igbinedion, Patty Boulaye, Bola Ige, John Fashanu, Emeka Ojukwu, Emeka Anyaoku, Keem Belo-Osagie, Ade Bakare, Mike Adenuga Jnr., Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Tony Elumelu, Jimoh Ibrahim, Sayyu Dantata, Rasaq Okoya, Adebayo Jones, Segun Adelaja, Funmi Ajila-Ladipo, Maureen Onigbanjo, Florence Ita-Giwa, Marion Ayonote, Helen Erhabor, Betty Irabor, Lagbaja, Tu Face, King Wasiu Ayinde, Obesere, Tony Ezenna, Tunji Alapini, Dele Balogun, Bode Olajumoke, Edem Duke, Agbani Darego, Helen Prest-Ajayi, Adewale Ayuba, Bode Ajagbe, Genevieve Nnaji, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Eucharia Anunobi, Nike Oshinibosi, Mary Shittu, Bola Tinubu, Vivienne Lawrence, Kanu Nwankwo, Jay Jay Okocha, Finidi George, Taribo West, Mikel Obi, Matthew Ashimolowo, Bode Akindele, Abraham Adesanya, Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, The Sultan of Sokoto, The Emir of Kano, The Obong of Calabar, The Oba of Benin Omo N’oba Erediauwa Uku Akpolokpolo, Igwe of Achalla, Obi of Onitsha, Jaja of Opobo, The Alake of Abeokuta, The Awujale of Ijebuland, The Olubadan of Ibadanland, The Olufi of Gbongan, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, General Overseer Enoch Adeboye, Mohammed Buba Marwa, Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi, King Sunny Ade, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, David Mark, D’banj, Akintunde Ayeni, Don Jazzy, Wande Cole, Omawunmi, Kunle Omilana, Caroline Chikezie, Lexy Mojo-Eyes, Nduka Obaigbena, Benny Obaze, Kema Chikwe, Tee Mac, Zainab Folawiyo, Oluchi Onweagba, Fred Eboka, Ngozi Cardow, Deola Sagoe, Leke Alder, Olabisi Rahaman, Bolaji Akinyemi, DAKOVA, VIVID IMAGINATION, Kola Abiola, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, Quincy Ayodele, Tunji Kolapo, Harry Akande, MODELA, Femi Ekisola, Foluso Adeagbo, Biodun Ponnle, Phillip Emeagwali, Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya, Rita Emerhor, Yinka Taiga, Daisy Danjuma, John Obayuwana, Cosmas Maduka, Ganiyu Adams, Ayo Adebanjo, Gani Fawehinmi, Alex Akinyele, Domingo Obeide, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Olusegun Obasanjo, Maryam Abacha, Peter Odili, Terry Waya, Stella Obasanjo, Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, HRH King Turner Obigbo 1 Obanema of Opume, The Abepa of Jogaland, The Onimeri of Imeri Kingdom, Binta Muazu, Maryam Egbe Asakome, Lanre Ojora, Kojo Williams, Femi Okutubo, Kenny Ogungbe, Dayo Adeneye, Obi Asika, Peace Fiberesima, Gbenga Adesanya, Joe Keshi, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Tina Vukor-Quarshie, Femi Pedro, Tokunbo Odebunmi, Jumoke Ogunkeyede, Nuruddin Olowopopo, T. J Abass, Adebisi Abiola, Doyinsola Abiola, Olusegun Osoba, Biodun Laja, Raymond Dokpesi, Alabo Graham-Douglas, Timi Alaibe, Tam David-West, Moses Ayom, Williams Ayom, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Stella Damasus, Charlie Boy, Tunde&Wumi Obe, Femi Ogundere, Kolapo Edgarl, Yemi Osunkoya, Atiku Abubakar, Amaechi&Fifi Ejindu, Vien Tetsola, Ben Murray-Bruce, Temilolu Okeowo, Ayo Olowoporoku, Dipo Efunkoya, Dele Coker, Dr Alban, Sunny Asemota, Alexander Amosu, Bode Odeyemi, Banji Oyewumi, Charles O’Tudor, Jimi Adelaja, Dayo Olomu, Olusegun Adeyina, Donald Duke, Dayo Johnson, Angela Onyeador, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, Sylvia Edem, Funmi Iyanda, Remi Lagos, Modupe Ozolua, Grace Egbagbe, Nike Akande, Ghali Umar Na’aaba, Franca Aina, Kingsley Ikemefuna Ozobia, Sir Shina Peters, KOKORO THE BLIND MINSTREL, Valerie Oloyede, Chris Okotie, Juliette Adaku Hornsby, Funmilayo Balogun, Obi Mbamali, Chuma Igbokwe, Amanyanabo Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple III, Igbo Cultural Festival, Omobolanle Victoria Oginni, Rasheed Olayiwola Yusuf, Sheila Okonji, Ayo Balogun, Ali Baba, Tee A, AY, Ken Calebs-Olumese, Jim Iyke, Moses Abiola, Saheed Kekere-Ekun, Olabode Mustapha, Dr. Ansa Akak, A.T Williams, Dr. William Anyaegbunam, Dolapo Oni-Odukoya, St. Theresa’s Old Students London, Adeolu Oluseyi Adeboye, Adebola Haastrup, Onyeka Onwenu, Bisi Olatilo, Mike Ajeigbo, Daddy Showkey, Nigerian Nurses Association of USA Inc, Pan Ndigbo Foundation USA Awards Ceremony in Dallas, Texas, The Association of Moremi Women Awards in Pasadena USA, Nigerian Lawyers Association in New York Annual Dinner, Chief Orobosa Uwagbai, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, John Adebanjo, Basketmouth, Bola Olabisi, Chris Uba, Timi Alaibe, Chibudum Nwuche, O. B Lulu Briggs, Kunle Omilana, Paul Olisa Ojeih, Kemi Nelson, Innocent Ifeanyi Ofojee, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sam Nwandu, Gbenga Adeyinka 1, Wanle Akinboboye, Liz Benson, Tokunbo Chiedu, Dare Art-Alade, Oluwakemi Adeyemi-Bero, Nasir Ado Bayero, Queen Esther Audu, Ego Boyo, Tunde Baiyewu, Oliver De Coque, Amina Kadia, Nike Osinowo, Dr. Julius Kpaduwa, Nigerian Doctors in the UK, The Songhai Charities Inc. Banquet in Edison, New Jersey, NIGERIAN DOCTORS IN THE UK, THE SONGHAI CHARITIES INC. BANQUET IN EDISON NEW JERSEY, Orlando Owoh, Odi Victims Remembered in London, Valentina Odeyemi, The UNIBEN Old Students Dinner in Camden Town London, The Lagos Polo Tournament, Sola Fola-Alade, Abdulrahman Girei, Shola Ameobi, Ara, The Egbe Omo Ife in America, Chris Tola Williams, Shola Oludoyi, Pamela Mojekwu, Yemi Fawaz, Eno Olafisoye, Sam Obande, Femi Alafe-Aluko, Priscilla Soyemi, Reward for the Vulcaniser who Saved Our Lives, Folorunso Funmi Akpata, Wale Osiyemi, Tony Chinyere, Thousands of Nigerian Youths Converge in New Jersey to Celebrate Africa’s Biggest Nation , Farida Waziri, John Carter-Adegoke, Eko Club of California Party and Awards at Hollywood Park Casino , Chinyere Ngonadi, Ademola Adekogbe, The Calabar People Showcase Their Rich Culture in London, The 10th Anniversary Dinner of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas at the Disneyland Hotel Los Angeles, Sammy Okposo, Paul Play, The Imo State International Medical Mission, Eko Club Houston Launches Multi-Million Dollar Plaza, The BLING-Microsoft Maga No Need Pay Song/Music Video Project, The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI), Dr Catherine Uzoma, and so many other personalities and events in over 60 countries and all the continents.
I have taken this pain to demonstrate that most of our coverage had been devoted to everyday peoples and not the so-called looters as some of our traducers tend to portray.
MANY ARGUE THAT NIGERIAN POLITICS IS DANGEROUS
I agree absolutely because many of our politicians are demonic and cultic. They’ll do anything to retain power and riches. There are too many unresolved murders. No one should ever go near a river if you don’t want to get wet. I have been receiving crank calls since my open declaration. Those enjoying power and our collective wealth will do everything to harass and intimidate us, but we are prepared for this mission. It is not an inordinate ambition. It is a sacrifice we must make for a better Nigeria. I have long conquered fear. And I implore all Nigerians to do the same. After rain comes sunshine. Nigeria will be beautiful again.
AND YOUR RESPONSE TO THOSE WHO SAY YOU ARE ONLY IN IT FOR MONEY?
Nobody would ever say such an uncharitable thing about me. I have always lived within my modest income. I’m a journalist to the core, and a very proud one at that. Integrity means everything to me and my family. We don’t have any wealthy man in my family. Education is our biggest investment and it is the only key that can unlock our collective destinies. I don’t do contracts. I don’t take land allocations from government. I was brought up by my poor and unlettered mother to have contentment. There is not a single rich man in my family, I repeat. We worship education and service to humanity. It is too late in the day for me to join the rat race. That is the difference between me and the other aspirants who have been tempted with public funds and failed woefully.
I have just turned 50 and I’m a child of Independence. I believe this is not a mere coincidence. For 50 years, we have groped in total darkness. We have been enslaved by own people. We have replaced the foreign colonialists with some local and ruthless neo-colonialists. This is the time to regain our true Independence. On June 12, 1993, Nigerians from all walks of life came out en masse to express their faith, hope and conviction in the possibility of a new Nigeria. On that fateful day, Nigerians voted against poverty, hopelessness and bad leadership. But as fate would have it, our hope, summarised by Chief Abiola’s manifesto “Farewell to Poverty” was crushed by the cruel hands of a most unfortunate annulment. 17 years after, Nigerians refuse to give up. Nigeria is on the march again. As we go to the polls in 2011 to reaffirm our hopes in the possibility of a new Nigeria that works, we must all shout in unison: Let My People Go!
NIGERIAN YOUTHS HAVE BEEN SUPPRESSED FOR TOO LONG. IF YOU WIN THE PRESIDENCY, WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE YOUTHS OF NIGERIA AND THE DIASPORA?
Without any doubt, none of the aspirants is closer to the youths than me. I’m not a big man. I relate at every level and I’m very accessible. I have touched lives everywhere with my modest resources. I have travelled everywhere and I know our youths and they know me. I’m a grassroots man. I have always promoted our youths in academia, fashion, entertainment, business and so on. I promise to use our resources sensibly. I won’t waste time, money and energy on white elephant projects that will not benefit the people whether young or old. I will always think deep before I act, and avoid the costly mistakes of trying to climb the tree from the top. We must rebuild our nation with a clear vision and not ego-trip. We will provide opportunities for our youths to contribute to nation-building. I’m eagerly waiting for the opportunity to hold summits with youth leaders globally, to sell our vision, and to tap into their incredible talents. The leaders we have seen are too big to come down from their high horses. I’m humble and simple enough to connect to those who have been described as The Salt of the World.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR PRIORITIES WHEN YOU ATTAIN POWER?
The first thing I’ll do is to win the trust of the Nigerian people by demonstrating transparency and accountability. I will declare my assets publicly and compel other public servants to do the same.
We shall go all out to fix our poor infrastructure, power, roads, transport, water, etc. The solution to this is to maintain fiscal discipline. The culture of waste we currently experience must be reversed immediately. No politician would be allowed to earn the type of atrocious salaries and allowances we read about these days. We shall spend our resources on the people and not a few greedy citizens. Corruption will be drastically reduced because I will not be corrupt myself. One of the ways to reduce corruption is to ensure that the citizens are not over-burdened with issues such as paying two years rent in advance, and paying cash down for their cars. We will encourage our banks to set up mortgage departments with attractive interests. This will reduce the pressure of looking for personal cash to build or rent homes. Car loans will be made available for those who have secure jobs. What is mostly required is the political will on the part of the leader to do that which is right. We shall mobilise our best brains from all over the world to support the difficult task of restoring our infrastructure to its original glory.
Education is one of our key priorities. A nation of illiterates will never make any progress. The people will never know and demand their rights. They will never find good employment or attain the competencies that can help them create employment, and even when they get the jobs, will fail to deliver competently. We currently have double tragedies to tackle, the burden of unemployed youths as well as that of unemployable ones. Both must be vigorously handled if our nation must join the comity of other nations in their march towards socio-political and economic emancipation. It is not an impossible mission as we have found elsewhere. We have all it takes to fix most of our problems as long as we can block the drain-pipes that were installed by our politicians.
National security is of utmost importance. No nation can be respected if it cannot defend itself against internal and external aggression. Our police will be powerfully equipped to deal with criminals no matter how influential. We will also embark on an extensive re-orientation process for the police in our quest to deal with the burden of corruption which has deeply affected the efficiency of the force. Our government will no longer tolerate the filthy corruption that has reduced our armed forces to toothless bull-dogs. It shall be our priority to bring our military up to world standards. They will earn good salaries and carry modern weapons of war. A situation where our air force cannot fly and our navy cannot sail will no longer be accepted.
We shall seek urgent alternatives to our over-dependence on oil for revenue. Agriculture is one of such potentials that must be pursued with sense of responsibility. Youth Corp members who show interest in agriculture will receive incentives that will enable them pursue agricultural investments on their own.
Details of our manifesto are being worked out at the moment. It cannot be released to the public until we obtain our party ticket. We must harmonise our programmes with that of the political party that offers us the platform to contest.
WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT WOULD YOU NEED FROM THE YOUTHS WHO ARE BASED IN EUROPE, ASIA, AMERICA AND OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD?
I need their prayers. I need their inputs into policy-making. I need volunteers for various assignments. I need donors no matter what they can afford. We don’t want to approach the big donors who may come back later to haunt us. We know of aspirants who are already collecting millions of dollars from some very wealthy donors. They are mortgaging our future and polluting the political process.
Please watch out for regular updates by visiting www.delemomodu2011.com. Together we can defeat the forces of darkness in our country. A vote for Dele Momodu is a vote for the future!
Ohimai Godwin AMAIZE
National Coordinator, Dele Momodu Presidential Campaign Organisation