Frontline academic and philanthropist, Professor Christopher Imumolen recently joined the 2023 Presidential race.
In an interview with Daniels Ekugo, Imumolen said he has the commitment to change the fortunes of the country for good.
He also spoke on how he will tackle the challenges in the country.
Insecurity is one of Nigeria’s biggest problems. When you become the president of Nigeria. How will you tackle this particular issue?
We have the will to do so because as you can see, my team members are not individuals that are being sponsored to do this. Somebody ask a question where would you get the funds to campaign and I said we would privately do it and we have a lot of Nigerians, and individuals who are supporting this course. So we don’t have the Godfather we are looking up to for instructions or people we have signed a contract with, to say this is what we are going to do or this is not what we are going to do, so we have the willpower. And again, knowing that we are coming from a sphere that is not political, we have not been on the political scene. So we are neutral we are plain and pure. So you should understand that coming outside the politics into politics means we have a lot we are going to do. So we have that will, we need a leader that has a will, who can do something without looking at people’s faces because what you are doing is for the interest of general Nigerians. We have the will, it is there for us, the knowledge, the experience, the international and local experience are there. We have already been to the whole 36 states in the country.
Tell us how you are going to go about all these?
We understand the realities on the ground. We know what the people want, we have built our business from scratch to where we are today. So we know what it takes for common Nigerians to live. How many leaders were into business privately before becoming the President? So these are some of the things you must check. And we have the heart, look at our history. We have been very charitable to Nigerians through our NGO. We have given one of the largest philanthropic gifts to Nigerians by the fact of the grants that we did in 2019. Before that, we have done rural electrification for villages with our money. We have done roads, we have done pipe-borne water. These projects were done even 10 years ago when we have not even had the interest to run. So why are we doing this? Because there is a need to have a leader that has the heart of the people, yet, also has the experience to impact positively on the people. So from insecurity, down to education, down to fuel you can see these are areas of our experiences too. In terms of addressing the issue of fuel, I am an oil and gas person. I was the president of an onshore oil and gas professional. With such experience, I understand the supply chain, I understand refinery, I understand everything and understand how to do it. I was the West African secretary-general for Green Energy in West Africa renewable energy. So I understand what sustainable energy means, global warming, world climate change and the rest of them, so I am up to date.
There are crises in Nigeria’s educational system as it relates to the ASUU strike and other issues that have to do with facilities. How will you solve these problems?
In education, the experience is there. At least, I have three universities that have given scholarships to over 500,000 Nigerians. Who again, have such an experience. So from every sector, from agriculture to security, we have been doing this privately and we can do it when we get the top job. So that is part of the confidence we have that when we get there, we will change the narrative.
How would you solve the crime rate in Nigeria, which is high as of today?
The body language of the leader is key. When you have a leader who has body language, the people benefits. I don’t tolerate crimes. I even understand more when it comes to crime issues in Nigeria. It has gone to the level whereby some of the children in primary schools are already members of cult groups. It has gone to a level such that some streets by streets in Nigeria are of different cult groups. It has gone to the level whereby police stations even side them and this is a fact with proof. That is how deep it has gone. With a clear understanding of this, we are going to combat it and it is so easy. However, we cannot reveal the strategy openly. We know what we are going to do, and within one year of our coming in, Nigerians will begin to live safely without anything happening to them.
Putting all these into points of agenda. How many points of agenda would you say you will have as a president?
How many presidential candidates who became president fulfilled those points. We need to start doing things differently, and we should not follow that traditional way of those people who tell you what they are going to do and in the end, they never fulfill it. We are not following that trend, because we have been preparing for this journey for the past 10 years. I have watched what is happening in Nigeria and as a leader, as someone successful in business, as someone who has created a platform that empowers millions of people. Giving point agenda is tradition but tradition does not work anymore. Tradition has failed us, we now need a leader that will speak and it happens. From next month, my campaign team will start subsidizing the cost of food for Nigerians in Nigeria. We will start selling a bag of rice for as low as N19,000, bread that is sold for N200 will go to N50. This is to show Nigerians what we want to do if I emerged as the president. We will also start doing it now and all over the country. We are not going to be talking about the agenda, rather we will start making things happen.
What is your position on the ASUU strike?
All over the world, nobody hears about the educational system going on strike. It is archaic, it is a medieval approach. Even in neighboring countries, they do not go on strike. It is very unfortunate that in Nigeria, we are still talking about this at this age. The reasons however are that stakeholders who make decisions in the educational sector do not have their children in that industry. The president wanted to do it but the willpower is not there. When I am there, everybody in government must patronize all our systems, be it healthcare, education, agriculture, or manufacturing. This will make it possible for all of us to get involved. The government needs to be sincere as well. You had an agreement with ASUU since 2009 and this agreement should be fulfilled. Even if you are not going to fulfill it at once, it can be done batch by batch and let them see that you are working towards achieving it.
In any government, there is always the presence of cabals around the corridors of power. How will you tackle this?
Cabals are cabals because you recognize them as cabals. Except you don’t understand the influence of the position you holding and you don’t understand how to play the politics that are involved. Yes, we know that there are stakeholders in the Nigerian economy and they will be carried along for the good of the Nigerian system.
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