2023 Presidential Election May Go To Rerun..NNPP Candidate Adebanjo Ojedeji Predicts


Adebanjo Ojedeji wants to represent Osun East Senatorial District in Osun State under the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) from 2023. Ojedeji, an accomplished broadcaster of over two decades, commended the current administration on the Electoral Act, while saying that the legislature should be blamed for the problems of the country. He spoke this during a recent interview 

What are your views as we go to the next General Elections?

This is the right time to fill the gap. The gap between the rulers and the people is becoming too much. Unfortunately, it is not the executive gap, it is the legislative gap, and we must achieve this in 2023. I have been a broadcaster since the past 25 years, and I have been connecting with my people. If I say anything about Nigerians I might not be too wrong. I have been very close to the people, especially my people in Osun State. This is the only way to change the system. This is what we need to do as Nigeria is going to factory reset. A lot of politicians are retiring either voluntarily or compulsorily. It is time people started looking for the young ones to come out.

So, how are you going to do it better, how can the legislature fill the gap?

Whoever wants to represent the people at the state house of assembly, Federal House of Representatives or the Senate must be someone that knows the people very well. I was born and bred in Modakeke, Osun East in Osun State. Osun State is where I know very well, and where I lived. My mother is a trader and we went round the markets in the area, and I know the markets like the back of my hand. I hardly miss the market days. It’s unfair on the part of the young ones that those that are making laws for them are not people that would be part of the laws.

In what sense?

You see a lot of them in their 70s or 80s, people that have retired from one business or the other. They might not likely know the issues that are affecting the young ones, of course they are fathers too. But if people in their 30s or 40s come out, they would consider the people in their 30s or even 20s. They understand what affects them. Would the old ones be part of the laws, are they living the kind of life the young ones are living? Most of our problems are not with the executive, but with the legislature. For instance, President Muhammadu Buhari was away from Nigeria for many months, when he went abroad for medical treatment and nothing was done.

There was an antecedent, when the late Umar Musa Yar’Adua was president and he travelled abroad for several months on medical ground. If they had made a law that if the Nigerian President or Governor or any serving public officer should be away for medical treatments for two or three months, he or she should be declared as incapacitated and the next person should take over, it would have been better. But, the laws we have are archaic.

It is the people of this generation that are affected by the law and so they should provide the laws. Another thing is the negative aspect of the age bracket. In the last few weeks, we heard of two former governors that were released from jail due to old ages. If they were not guilty of the offences they would not go to jail in the first instance. So, we should start looking for younger people, probably those in their 30s, 40s or 50s. So, if you steal our money we will jail you and age will not be a barrier.

Don’t you think all these things have to do with mobilisations, and the parties that have been in existence for some years have better chances?

The issue of political parties in Nigeria has shown that they don’t care for the people. It is only a party like the NNPP that has been there for long, though it is not so popular in the Southern Nigeria. The NNPP is not a new party. It has been there since 1999, it is just that our Presidential Candidate, Dr. Rabiu Kwakwanso, is a bit new in the party.

But what of the APC and the PDP, are you not afraid of them?

There is no difference between the APC and the PDP.

What of the Labour Party, some youths are rooting for it?

I cannot say that the youths are right, but the social media has not been experimented with in any election in Nigeria.

But, what of what played out in 2014/2015, before the APC got into office?

2014 is in the past; it is about seven years ago. That was when those dominating the social media now were young. Those in the social media then, their age bracket had moved on. You could see that people don’t use some social media anyhow. Most youths dominating the social media have never voted before. Most of our youths in the South would rather watch football or movies during elections than going out to vote. They digress easily, you see them at newspapers stands discussing football. That was the mistake we made in 2014, when people were discussing Nigeria as if they were discussing football. That is why we are, where we are today. People are too sentimental in their approach.

So, what specifically are your plans for 2023?

I am coming out for the Senate from Osun East, Ife/Ijesa, that’s how we call it. Osun State has 10 local governments and two area offices. If you look at the land very well, it comprises Ijesa and Ife, which is why we call it Ife-Ijesa. Osun is the source. When Osun State was created, Osogbo became the capital. Anybody from that axis is comfortable. They are well read and are exposed.

Senate is a big deal and you have never occupied any political office before, so why Senate?

I have been a broadcast journalist for the past 25 years. I started from Ondo State, later Oyo State, now I’m in Lagos State. I have been on radio before the fourth Republic started.

We have the big political parties such as the APC and the PDP and your senatorial district has 10 local governments, how do you hope to achieve your aim with this, and what gave you that confidence to start from the Senate?

The issue of big political parties doesn’t work in the Nigerian political system any longer. The APC and the PDP are the same, it’s like merging Manchester United with Manchester City and divide them again. Most of the leaders of the APC were formerly in the PDP and vice versa. There is nothing big about them, though they have members across the country. That does not mean that the NNPP cannot win elections. The 2023 elections are about the candidates.

What of the issue of mobilisation, do you have the resources as a journalist?

It’s not going to be business as usual in 2023, the Electoral Act will even cage you if you spend money beyond limit.

But this has always been there…

The Electoral Act would be followed to the letter. If it is about money, the people of Osun State can never be easily bought. The new Electoral Act does not allow you to take any phone to the polling booth.

But there are insinuations that the political class has failed Nigerians. For instance, in 2014/2015 people were anxious to vote for the APC and it appears the story has changed now. What do you think has been the problem over the years?

The problem is that we are focusing on the wrong people. The executive cannot solve our problems in the country. We just have to work on our laws. So, we need to look for younger people that know what is wrong with the masses. When someone in the 80s need to rest, they are going to the National Assembly. So, we should focus on the legislature

Let’s talk about state police, true federalism and others through restructuring; do you think restructuring is our problem?

Nigeria has almost been restructured, if you go to the North, you have Hisbah (Sharia Police), but you don’t have that here, even in Kwara State. We use criminal code here and they use penal code in the North. We might name it restructuring, may be that is what is giving them problem as they say this would split the country. Look at the United Kingdom, they colonised us and they are still together. We can restructure to silent the agitators. We can have Oduduwa Nation having the same flag with Nigeria and their own flag. On the issue of unemployment, in the North, some people, who have just secondary school certificates would rise to the top of their career, whereas some people who have degrees in the South might not get jobs. We can start the issue of restructuring from the legislature.

So, they can also say those who are agitating for Biafra can be invited to a round table with those who want Arewa and Oduduwa Republics. If you have these and others then we can discuss. If Oduduwa Republic believes that with secondary school certificate people can join the Nigerian Army, let them join and send them to the centre. If in Arewa they want only graduates to join the army, let them do it. It is glaring that our resources are not well distributed. If you look at oil, you would be shocked that those who are giving oil blocks are from one party of the country.

They feel that if we restructure, it would affect those ones. We need to look at state police, let them guard their own people. If you are from Ile Ife, go there to work as a police officer. If you are from Ilesha, go and guard your father’s street. If you like go and sleep, we don’t even need federal police in Nigeria.

We have the big presidential candidates, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, Rabiu Kwakwanso of the NNPP and Peter Obi for the Labour Party, how would you assess them?

As a Yoruba man, I know the way my people reason, we are unarguably the most educated, learned and most travelled, but unfortunately, the present administration has forced Nigerians to start thinking differently. Look at their appointments, you have some people dominating. We have someone that is selfless, Dr. Rabiu Kwakwanso, if you know the kind of passion he has for this country, then you will understand. If Peter Obi wins in the South East, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu wins the South West, I can bet it with you that Dr. Rabiu Kwakwanso will win the entire Northern Nigeria. He has this kind of passion for the people and most of his followers are not the big men. There may be a re-run in this election. With the way the Electoral Act is working, Dr. Rabiu Kwakwanso would win 2/3 of the votes in the entire North.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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