June 17, 2018

Nigerians must pay consequences for bad behaviour – Dr. SKC Ogbonnia, APC presidential apsirant

IPOB should key into 2023 election project ― Ogbonnia, APC Chieftain

SKC Ogbonnia

By Emmanuel Aziken,  Political Editor

The outing with family and friends including some journalists was perhaps Dr. SKC Ogbonnia’s formal entry into the country’s political arena. And he took it with much aplomb!

SKC Ogbonnia

SKC Ogbonnia

“God willing, I will be the next president of Nigeria,” Ogbonnia, said with gusto as the interactive session in an eatery in the Ikeja area of Lagos commenced penultimate Tuesday. Having operated in the periphery in the past, especially as an organiser for Muhammadu Buhari in the United States, long time associates of the America based businessman had expected the outing to be awkward for Ogbonnia.

The Enugu born Ogbonnia, however, surprised many with the way he delved in with relish as he outlined his plans to salvage Nigeria, indeed making every effort to appear presidential.

Ogbonnia who is executive chairman of First Texas Energy Corporation, a Houston, United States based petroleum corporation, had in the past been actively engaged in promoting Nigeria’s interests in the United States. He had served as secretary of the Nigeria Union Diaspora, NUD, the umbrella organisation of Nigerians in the Diaspora and also as a canvasser for Buhari’s 2015 presidential aspiration.

The 2015 campaign when he canvassed for Buhari seemed like ages ago that Tuesday afternoon. Indeed, Ogbonnia has relocated to Nigeria for the meantime and is now actively campaigning for the 2019 presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC and directly challenging his former political ally for the ticket of their party.

Unlike some others who waved bye-bye to their aspirations immediately Buhari indicated interest in seeking re-election, Ogbonnia is digging in, in a David versus Goliath battle for the ticket of the APC.

“I have what it takes to make Nigeria the envy of the free world,” he said as he noted that his knowledge flowed from his knowledge of the Nigerian problem which according to him had positioned him to prepare the adequate solution.

“Specifically, I know the Nigerian problem as well as the solution. It is no longer news that the Nigerian problem is not lack of human or human resources. The problem is also not lack of the policies to harness the resources to make Nigeria great. The problem is squarely the lack of the political will, the political leadership, to implement the various good policies to the admiration of the Nigerian people.”

Lamenting the fact that Nigeria over the time had wallowed because wrong behaviour was not properly sanctioned, he said:

“The failure has continued because of there appears to be no consequences for bad behaviour in our country. When there are no consequences for bad behaviour, such behaviour usually worsens,” he said as he went on to illustrate the example of the former United States congressman, William Jefferson who he said was indicted on racketeering alongside a prominent Nigerian.

“While Jefferson has served his punishment including going to prison, the Nigerian was not punished and is even contemplating becoming our next president,” Ogbonnia said.

“It goes without saying that any system where anything goes; goes nowhere,” he added as he vowed that if elected president that corruption would be one of the easiest of the present problems for him to solve through making Nigerians suffer the consequences for bad behaviour.

“We must demonstrate serious consequences for bad behaviour. This is why people like me had followed and supported Buhari leading to the dramatic victory in 2015. But upon gaining power, the president was confused with legal jargons and meandering nuances of separation of power. Nigeria is not more corrupt than USA. The difference is that there are serious and immediate consequences for bad behaviour in America.”

Challenged on the viability of his aspiration in the light of the zoning permutations of the presidency, Ogbonnia was quick to allude to a conspiracy among the ruling class in the projection of zoning.

“The ruling cabal will tell us that now is not the time. They will tell us that it is not the Igbo turn, because I happen to be Igbo. Or they will tell you it is not Yoruba turn or Hausa time or any ethnic group in focus. They will cling on region and religion to divide us so that they can continue to loot our country dry for selfish interests.”

Saying that it was time to serve the cabal a red card, he said:

“We have some bad news for them. The Nigerian masses, particularly the youths, have become wiser. They have come to realise that we do not talk about religion when they think of three square meals. They do not think of region or religion when they lose their loved ones, when they encounter bad roads, epileptic power or fuel supply, poor health facilities, school fees. What the masses want is the solution, a better country for all.”

It is as such not surprising that he dismisses calls for the restructuring of the country as presently articulated.

“I support restructure, but there are many models of restructure. My model of restructure, for instance, will help reduce cost of governance by scrapping the Nigerian Senate towards a unicameral legislature.

“Besides serving as an added conduit to siphon money for selfish interests; there is nothing, practically nothing, the Nigerian Senate can do that the House of Representatives, a more representative body cannot do.”

Ogbonnia while lamenting the failure of the Buhari administration to frontally address the violence instigated by herdsmen, said:

“I will encourage every state to build ranches and charge the herdsmen similar to the pattern where traders rent markets stalls and pay their taxes. As president, I will disarm any herdsmen or woman, whether they are from Nigeria, Libya or wherever. These killings are barbaric and must stop,” he said.

Dr. Ogbonnia, a prolific contributor to Nigerian newspapers and who has written several books on leadership harped that leadership capacity was the basic problem of the country.

Dr. Ogbonnia has degrees in civil engineering, sociology, public administration, law and a PhD in leadership.