Mr Ali Soyode, an industrialist and founder of Europe’s first ethnic media and satellite television, BEN TV, has declared his intention to run in the 2019 presidential election.
Soyode, who made the declaration on Monday in Abuja, said that he took the decision after consultations with youths, leaders, elders, trade unions, Non-Governmental Organisations, among others.
He had yet to announce the platform under which he would contest.
Soyode, who is also an agriculturist, said his ideals were encapsulated in the acronym YEEEEEEES; hence the slogan `Yes, we can.’
He listed the ideals as youth empowerment, economy, education employment, energy, enterprises (agriculture, health), elders, experts (experience, quality and enforcement of policies), and security.
“We have the youth and the experience of our elders and both are needed to make Nigeria greater nation.
“We have the ability to meet our challenges because we have the most needed resources, human capital and blessing of natural resources that abound in the country as well as millions of highly skilled Nigerians in the Diaspora.
“Our economy sincerely needs diversification, moving away from oil to manufacturing and services.
“Our education is falling; many have called for a national emergency in the education sector and educational standards actually declining in parts of the country.’’
He said that employment would be one of the cardinal points of his administration, adding that in a technology-driven world, the innovative and creative minds of Nigerians would be empowered.
Soyode, fondly called the `BRIDGE’, said he would also focus on security as the benefits of living in a great nation like Nigeria would not be enjoyed without security.
He said he would reform the armed forces and the police by increasing their budgets, training them and equipping the necessary tools to fight crime.
“To me, police officers are as important as any officer or executive in the Nigeria.
“Their job is not to prosecute those that have the resources to hire private security officers, but to deal with anyone breaking the law and safeguard the properties and belongings of the common people.
“All options will be explored to help reduce crime; and as shared before on equality, whoever is found guilty will face the full force of the law.
“Let this be a warning to the foreign killers in Nigeria; leave the country now; it is the end of the road.
“The bridge will not allow you to cross over into killing our people, burning our people; burning our properties,’’ he said.
He said that Nigeria needed peace and security for the economy to grow; for tourism industry to grow and attract tourists.
The presidential aspirant said he was a detribalised Nigerian committed to charting a new course for the country.