Mr Osifo Stanley, PDP’s youngest presidential aspirant in the primaries that churned out Alhaji Atiku Abubarka has beckoned on youths to never be railroaded by developments around them, citing the fact that current realities remain a pointer to be the fact that sooner than later youths would have their grips on the reins of power. He spoke with Olanrewaju Adesanya in Festac Town. Excerpt :
What hope lies for the Nigerian youths in the political permutations of Nation as it stands now?
From inception if you watch we have had more young leaders, than the old ones and like I always say, when you have young leaders the country tend to have vibrancy because the youthfulness of the leader come to play, the dynamism, flair, contemporaneous, for everything you think of that is not to say the old leaders are bad, they are equally good,but nations equally good,but nations in the world now are tending towards having young leaders. So we are looking at everything and we believe that it
that it is time for young people to actually handle things and ensure that Nigeria gets better.
Considering the situation of the country right now will you really say the young people have a chance the way politics is played today,monetization and all of those things there?
For me though funding is part of it but then if you look at politics, I will want to give an example of developed societies we have the
election that took place in France that ushered in Macron.
I think Macron on his own did all he could to muster funds here and there, shoring up his finances and he eventually won, he was not known to be one of the bigwigs or financial capacity in the country, he was not also known to be one of those people looked up to when he came on board but he decided he want to come on board and he went for it and the nation looked at it and said I think it is right for us to get someone that is young and I tell you that the guy is not doing badly at all.
Check out France politics both domestic and foreign policy he has done so well. Apart from him we have other young leaders in the world, we have the Canadian Prime Minister, he is young and doing well …even Africa here we are seeing other countries tending towards young leaders, so we strongly believe that this is the time for young leaders to emerge and I believe that we all should work together to ensure that happens.
Youths not being equipped for leadership, what is your take on this assertion?
I don’t think that decision or statement is correct, that the youth or young people are not ready and what do you mean by that? What kind of readiness are you talking about?
Youths being labeled worse off, than the old in connection with corrupt tendency?
Can you give me examples of the leaders and more, Dimeji Bankole you mentioned, did he really fail? Let us look at leadership, say in the upper and lower House take comparison of the younger heads to the older ones and then draw your conclusions.
The truth is that there is no way you would lead without having the corrupt, challenges, hiccups and everything so it must definitely come, so the fact that you are young and have such challenges and then possibly other things came up, people have different views about what happens to Mr A or Mr B why he was not able to carry out his responsibilities, yet he did very well …to say yes he did very very well, sometimes people don’t look at the positive side, most times they look at the negative side, most times the positive usually outweighs the negative so the basis of looking at people’s performance either young or old.
So for me I maintain that young people in Nigeria are vibrant, educated and contemporaneous now because the world is no longer the way it used to be in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s even the year 2000, what we have right now is not the same with what we had then, so you see every year there are new innovations, inventions and ideas coming up and I think for our country Nigeria to meet up with the rest of the world we need such people in governance and when that obtains they can also bring young people doing very well in the world economy back home in Nigeria to see how we can work and get Nigeria working again.
Did you decide to run for Presidency on the basis of not too young to run or because you have something to offer beyond being young?
My decision to run for President position was actually before the not too young to run bill was passed into law, the Nigerian law stated that you can aspire for the presidency not below age 40 and above the drive, the ambition has been there you don’t just wake one day and say you want to come and contest to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He must be prepared in all areas.
I was prepared and I will always be prepared, not because I am young so when the bill came up a lot of people think it could be the reason, that could be part though but it takes flair and courage because basically everywhere I step up, you see people mentioning the not too young to run maxim, but the truth is that my decision was based on the fact that I want to do things, I want to see how Nigeria can get better, I want to see how there could be improvement than what we have right now. I want to see how the situation that a lot of people face today is made different, those that are suffering should have lighter loads on them, those that have issues here and there should find solutions and it is the government that can provide the leeway or the harbinger for such situation to come up.
For me ,I have a very solid economic plan, though usually people want you to state precisely what you want to do and all but I believe that most times what you want to do you need to take time to plan it, exposing and saying things here and there about what you want to do is not something I believe in, you see action speaks louder than words, so for those that say so much and do less, I don’t think that is the best way to go, rather it is best for you to do more and talk less that is my philosophy and the way I do things.
Looking at the PDP primaries and the way it turned out; did you see space for the younger people as far as the primaries are concerned?
I would like to still keep my comments as per the primaries, being a member of my great party that I love so much and I don’t want to make any comments on that issue.
Why the choice of PDP and not APC or any other party?
In life there are choices to be made and PDP is not a new party mind you and members are not just members today, they have been there, as a
member you have the right to vie for any position, you are qualified, for me I have been in PDP and lately that I decided vie for the position I remain in PDP.