by Salami Azeez

Former chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Sam Ohuabunwa, has declared his intentions to run for presidency in 2023.

Ohuabunwa, founder of Neimeth Pharmaceutical and president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, made his intentions known at a news conference in Lagos on Thursday.

The Abia born politician and businessman, who is also the convener of the New Nigeria Group, said his seeking to rule Nigeria in 2023, was not based on geopolitical zone but on convictions of what he could offer the nation.

Although he was silent on the platform he intends to use to achieve his aspirations, Ohuabunwa pointed out that he would be aligning with a political party to be announced soon.

He said his mission would be to mobilise Nigerians from across the nation, irrespective of tribe or religion, to take a more active part in politics for a better Nigeria.

“I want to do what Nelson Mandela did for South Africa in Nigeria. I have the sound mind, and the ideology I am coming with, is the panacea to all challenges in the country,” he said.

He said his key focus would be on four current challenges in the nation, which included poverty, corruption, injustice and insecurity, adding that if elected, he would stop unrestrained killings across the nation in 60 days.

He said that the choice of who becomes Nigeria’s president in 2023 would not be based on money but decided by what a candidate can offer.

“The times have changed. Nigerians are wiser and the culture of money politics has changed. I believe Nigerians will rally round my aspiration, based on my pedigree, professionalism and integrity.

“Nigerians are looking for a competent character and not just a political party, thus in 2023, it is possible to get the office of the president.”

Reacting to a statement on the 60-year age bracket for president, attributed to former head of state, Ibrahim Babangida, the 71-year-old presidential hopeful said: “IBB has a right to speak his mind but cannot decide.

“I am for youthfulness, being youthful is not about chronological age but a healthy body, sound mind , good spirit and contemporary ability to build a complex country like Nigeria. These are qualities I possess.

“Age is not against me. The U S. President is 78. Age is not tantamount to poor performance. We have had younger persons in positions of power that failed and even indicted for fraud and embezzlement.”

On the issue of rotational presidency, he said: I believe we must care for each other and give every segment a sense of belonging, but that is not the basis of my aspiration.

“Those opposing zoning now supported it earlier when it suited them. Whilst I support rotation, I also believe that what Nigeria needs, is a leader that is detribalised.

“We must change the narratives of our current challenges and agitations, and enshrine a Nigeria, where leaders will emerge based on merit and not tribe or religion.

Samuel Ohuabunwa was born on August 16, 1950. He read Pharmacy at University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, graduating in 1976.

He obtained his post graduate education in Organisational & Corporate Management at Columbia University, New York, U.S, and in executive business management at the Lagos Business School, Lagos. He received an honorary Doctor of Business/Administration (ODBA) Degree from Gregory University, Uturu, Abia.

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