By Morenike Taire
Adamu Garba II is the Chief Executive Officer of IPI Solutions Nigeria Limited, a cloud computing company headquartered in Lagos. His company is ranked by the silicon review as a top 10 Microsoft solutions provider in Africa. His company services clients in 39 African countries. He delved into politics in 2017 with a vision to structurally reform Nigeria.
You are all about ‘change’ so why are you with the same old political party?The APC and the PDP operate on an institution that is well structured and entrusted by Nigerians so why can’t good people liberate the same institutions? Good people are always angry and pointing fingers. They are feeling so entitled and when you refuse to take responsibility you would always fall to the bad. If they refuse to do the right thing, then we have rights to move out to another platform. Most like to complain on newspapers, social media but refuse to actually participate in the process.
Every single change that has started in this world started with one person and then come together with a common objective and that common objective would be the interest of Nigeria.
In the United States George Washington started the process. In China – though very brutal- we had Mao. With the combination of just 19 people they were able to make China what it is today. We have even a bad person who started doing a bad thing and he was able to subjugate the whole of Europe which is Hitler. We’ve also had cases of individuals who have also tried to do things, more recently Nnamdi Kanu, and invariably they are all quashed
When your common goal is that of common humanity, of common good, then you will naturally have humanity behind you. It is the natural global conspiracy. But when your goal is to sectionalize, personalize or is driven by emotion: a ‘me versus you’ or ‘us versus them’ always ends up in clash . Forget about the North and the West guy.
This is Nigeria; we need to be economically sound, to make sure that 90% of our people are living above the poverty line. We have a plan from 2019-2035. We are going to place Nigeria as one of the greatest nations in the world. We are not the founders of structural reform; it is something that has been working all over the world. The reason why it has not been working in Nigeria is because of the system. We have a patronage clan- people that only depend on one source of income that only they believe that they should have. We would unbundle it and make it available to everyone.
How do you hope to carry people along?
The country is not designed to work in the common good of Nigerians so re-awakening movement is one of the first that we would do in the first two years of government when we succeed in getting elected to redefine the principle of what it means to be a Nigerian. Within the reawakening movement we have the rebranding, even the renaming of the country called Nigeria if we don’t like the name.
We want to pick the country to give you as it is now. It is your own responsibility to make it work. Let’s all stop blaming the elite class and be feeling entitled and be staying at the back door pointing fingers. We can actually set it the way we want but because of our military hangover in democracy we refused to come together. We can confront our common problem as the great people and true giant of Africa.
What’s the body language within your party APC?
The president is the president and the most supreme leader in Nigeria but I have a very deep belief that this time it’s going to be different. APC is a very good party and I believe for the first time they want to work and let me say most of them are not too happy with the president. Actually, the president is a good man and has high integrity and still maintains a very good brand but the style of his leadership is completely not what Nigeria needs now.
Those who have heard you have said you’re probably part of the game; you’re coming in to deceive us and then when time comes you will sell us over to the incumbent government…
Naturally in this kind of environment I already expected all these things. The more you declare yourself as a politician there must be conspiracy around you. I started my business at the age of 22 and at the age of 35 I was able to build a company that is employing over 40 people and I came to see how Nigerians can do things when they have the right platform.
A lot of people are dying. Go to the north, you would be shocked. I’ve several of my mates that we served together and played together, they’re still doing car wash business after going to university and graduating. Women are going to hospital for a treatment of N500 malaria, they would witness the death of their children; and I know100% of solution of these problems and I sit out in my comfort zone in Lagos doing my business. I’m pushed by my conscience; I don’t want my children, in the future to say my daddy was part of the failure
What do you think about politicians?
What politicians are doing to us is just looking at our faces and spitting on us because we allow them so much freedom. We mystify them like demi-gods; we create one hyper personality around them; we see them as somehow untouchable. They were able to have a lot of branding that made them reach this height and we succumb and humble ourselves. So it’s not altogether the fault of the politicians; it’s mostly the fault of those that believe we cannot do the right thing.
If one woman is dying or one child is not going to school it should give me sleepless nights and such person to me is a politician not somebody who would take advantage of that child not going to school. We Nigerians don’t trust so much in democracy because of the military hangover. That is why I want you to picture a young Adamu Garba, 35years contesting primary elections under the platform of APC with his grandfather. It means anybody can go there and do it.
When you say ‘military hangover’ the population of Nigeria is 60% young people. Where did this military hangover come from?
There is a direct transfer. The children who were born in 1999 till date that can vote in 2019 election, most of them are children of the parents that have placed their luck and they give their children all these personal information. For the first time we have over 40 contesting for Nigerian presidency.
What is your political pedigree?
I’m a certified business man though I’ve done some political duties during my secondary school and university days but I don’t believe that you need political pedigree to do the right thing. I believe the only person that can change Nigeria is someone who comes from outside the political establishment with the right program
What is the right thing to do?
I want to go back to military hangover. The root of all insurgency in the world is addressed from economic aspect not the political or military aspect. Today Taliban is a political party. If you check almost all global crises it follows the same pattern. North Korea/South Korea, the same pattern. During the cold war north went this way south went this way based on ideological perspectives. In Nigeria we don’t even have the money to buy weapons. The average living standard of a Nigerian on the street is so low that anybody that gives them food they are ready to die. Job is the only solution to the problem of insurgency in Nigeria not settling them with money because when we do we give them money to buy more weapons.
What is your foreign policy going to be?
I am not going to go to UN and start talking about Palestine and Israel. I care about the countries that would come to buy from me and I would also send my youthful population to go and learn from them.
I don’t want Hyundai to come to Nigeria through middle men; I want Hyundai to come to Nigeria as a stake on its own in exchange of 1000 Nigerians training in Hyundai car production
Why would they want to do that? If they teach you how to make cars you won’t need them again
I want to make sure the Hyundai factory in Nigeria employs 20,000 Nigerians. I can’t go to UK like our president did and see Theresa May, rise up in the commonwealth and just say Nigerian youths are lazy. I would want Theresa May to assemble 50 British business men so I can market Nigeria- that’s my job. The reason why Nigeria was colonized as Nigeria was because of its economy.
Do you have a running mate now?
I would prefer a female vice president. If you look at Nigeria’s demography, for every one man there is 1.022 women so you can have balanced decision making because women contribute a lot to the economy.
What are your views on women and gender?
I don’t believe in gender. In Africa we always respect women. My mother was the one who fought my father for me to go to conventional school. My father’s decision was for me to go to almajiri school. She was the back bone of the economy of the family until she died. We see them as equal partners.
What is wrong with Nigeria’s structure?
Nigeria’s economy is relatively diversified: 86% is not oil, only 14% is oil but the 14% is what shoulders our entire country. We plan to build 9 geo-economic zones. We have a special plan for Lagos; we want it to operate like the city of London, New York. We want Lagos to be free starting from Apapa down to Badagry. We want to make sure that if a business man is coming from Brazil he wants to transact with another business man in Lagos which should be their African destination. We want to make it attract 15 million passengers per annum bringing an average of 100 dollars.
Most of the containers that ply our roads, we want them to pass over the water and you know it’s eight times cheaper to pass things over water than on land. We have coal in Enugu- almost 2billion tons of coal that can power our electricity.
There was a constitutional conference during the Jonathan administration. Have you read the reports?
All the constitutional conferences that happened in Nigeria from 1978 constitutional assembly down to the one Abacha did in 1995, Obasanjo in 2005 down to the one Jonathan did in 2014- the overall conclusion is that we don’t have enough share of the oil proceeds so there are some good recommendations that we can adapt. I’m a resident in Lagos, why do I have to go to Adamawa state and do everything? I don’t think religion should form part of politics.
But you are from the same political zone as Mr. President
That line has to be blown. When I see you I see a Nigerian. I don’t believe a fight for identity from one area should determine public office.