A former Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Sam Ohuabunwa, has declared intentions to run for president in 2023.
Mr Ohuabunwa, founder of Neimeth Pharmaceutical and President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, made his intentions known at a press 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 intended to use to achieve his aspirations, Mr 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 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 the choice of who became Nigeria’s president in 2023, would not be based on money but would be decided by what a candidate could 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 political party, thus in 2023, it is possible to get the office of the president.”
Reacting to statements on 60 – year age bracket for president, attributed to former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, the 71-year-old presidential hopeful said: “IBB had a right to speak his mind but cannot decide.
” I am for youthfulness, being youthful is not about chronological age but healthy body, sound mind, good spirit and contemporary ability to build a complex country like Nigeria. These are qualities I posses.
“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 frauds 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, 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.
Mr Ohuabunwa, was born on 16 August, 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 the Gregory University, Uturu, Abia.
He belongs to several professional groups, and spearheaded the purchase of Pfizer West Africa in 1997, where he rose as a pharmaceutical sales representative from 1978, to become chairman /chief executive officer and regional manager in 1993.
Some Nigerians including a former CBN Deputy Governor, Kingsley Moghalu, and a former governor of Zamfara State, Ahmad Sani, have since declared thier intention to run for president.
There are also speculations that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, one of his predecessors, Atiku Abubakar, and a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, would join the race.