Barrister Olusegun Bamgbose, Esq., is a legal practitioner and the National Coordinator Concerned Advocates for Good Governance, CAGG.
In this interview with DAILY POST, Bamgbose, who had since declared his interest to run in the 2023 presidential election vows not to step down for anyone, not even the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.null
You recently declared interest to contest for President come 2023, what motivated this?
Undying love for my country and passion for service. These are the two basic reasons for my declaration. I modestly believe I have what it takes to make Nigeria great. Come 2023, Nigeria will need a leader with Vision, Vigour and Virtue.
Many Nigerians view your aspiration as a joke, considering the fact that you don’t have political structure and you are as well a green-horn when it comes to politics, what’s your take on this?
(Laughter) I’m never a green-horn when it comes to politics. Come 2023, by God’s grace, I’ll spring surprises. I’m on a divine mission and victory is assured. David in the Bible was not a soldier, just a mere shepherd, but he did what soldiers couldn’t do. He confronted Goliath and defeated him. Another David is in the making.
Now let’s look at South West where you came from, Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu, most likely will be contesting the Presidential elections come 2023, how do you intend to cope with that? Will you be ready to step down for him?
Forget it, I won’t step down for Tinubu or any other candidate. It’s a known fact that Tinubu is more popular than my humble self, but modestly speaking, I’m more passionate than him about rebuilding Nigeria. I believe the next President of Nigeria will emerge, not on the basis of popularity, but on the strength of passion to serve the nation, with watertight integrity.
Recently, President Buhari scored the security low in terms of fighting insurgency, what do you have to say?
The President’s assessment came very late. The scorecard should have been done in the first 24 months of his administration. Insincerity and insensitivity have been the major reasons why insecurity has persisted in spite of billions of Naira put in place to tame it. Like I have said recently, no government has successfully subdued insecurity, without first and foremost, combating poverty.
Despite the fight against corruption by Buhari administration, corruption is still on the increase, what’s your opinion?
Corruption in Nigeria is endemic. It’s almost institutionalized in the polity. This is very sad. The fight against corruption should not be a solo fight. President Buhari should carry along all the Governors, Ministers, Civil Servants, Police etc. Everybody should be practically involved. Two, accountability should be institutionalized in our system. Corruption will thrive more where there is no accountability and transparency. As President, I’ll be prepared to protect our national treasury with my blood. I hate stealing with passion.
What’s your view on the level of poverty and unemployment in Nigeria and what’s your suggestion?
My brother, it’s so sad to know that about 90 million Nigerians are living in extreme poverty. This is really baffling in a country blessed with abundant resources. Our problem is not lack of resources, but lack of righteousness. Most of our politicians are selfish and greedy, (sad) and this is a very sad development. If I’m given the opportunity to serve, I’ll make poverty history within 4 years, if I can’t achieve this, I’ll honorably resign. I’ve nothing in the State House if I can’t minimize poverty in Nigeria.
Recently, some groups from the North insisted that the North will retain power beyond 2023, what’s your take on that?
The political equation come 2023 does not favor the emergence of a leader from the North. Let me state categorically here that, the North will relinquish power to the South come 2023. The political stakeholders in the North will support a Southern candidate, mark my word.