Two-time former minister, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher, has berated money politics in the Nigerian politics, while admitting that he is the most disadvantaged I that regard ahead of the 2019 presidential election.
Hagher expressed confidence that he possesses the best ideas and pedigree to outrun his opponents at the presidential poll.
He, however, was quick to undermine money politics as basis for winning elections in Nigeria, said that the time has come for a shift in political rhetoric, where the electorate delegates mortgaged their conscience for money.
“First and foremost, of all the people running for presidency, I have the biggest disadvantage because I am mainly an idea person.
“I dared to say that of all the people who will aspire for presidency in this country, nobody has documented his vision for the country more than I have done, that is all my writings about this great country that I love so much.
“So, that becomes a great disadvantage because I have not invested in looking for money to keep for buying delegates so that I can pay for delegates, who will nominate me, which is the issue.
“Somebody says, but you need money! You need money!
“But we have been needing money all these nineteen years, where has it taken us? Delegates comes around, collect money from politicians to erect buildings everywhere, and when the money is not enough to complete the house, they try to look for who is the next. And I am fighting against that system.
“What I am saying is that democracy that is rigged in that way is not democracy, it is a charade.
“I am at great disadvantage in the sense that, that is the system that is being operated at the moment, but if it comes to ideas, experience, I do not think we have a handful of Nigerians wanting to be president who can claim to have had both the Executive, Legislative and Diplomatic experience I have.
“The question I am asking is that, where has the money politics in this country taken us?” Hagher queried.
On his plans to unseat the incumbent APC government at the poll, the former Nigerian High Commissioner to Mexico and Canada capitalized on the significant roles his academic pedigree will bring to bear in the transformation of Nigeria, says the present government is a monumental failure.
He speaks:“After serving as a professor, developing young people for decades, and then living both in Nigeria and abroad, including having the insider and outsider experience. I will say I am among the most qualified Nigerians to rule this country today because of the critical needs of this country.
“We need a digitalised mentality in a country where the whole world has gone digital, we cannot have an analogue mentality, which seems too big as far as some of the best performance indices of this administration are concerned.
“First and foremost, God willing, when I win the presidential seat next year, because it is the God that gives power, and I don’t believe that God hates Nigeria so much that he would not pick me to mount the saddle, because He has prepared me very well for this task.
“I have lived the life of contemplation and simplicity, I know how to manage myself and I know how to manage the nation, I know how to manage people. Actually, being a representative of the sovereignty of this country as an ambassador to Mexico and Canada, I understand the anguish of the blacks all over the world.
“So what will solve the problems of Nigeria is to have a leadership that is committed to Nigeria, a leadership based on law and empathy, that will unite a different ethnicity, we need unity, we need to have a common focus, we need a president who will galvanise and assuage our fears and hopes and make us look up to him, and together, we energise ourselves to make Nigeria a great nation. These are all I stand to defend.
“One of the key areas to this is to provide free education to everybody. My vision is to take literacy level to Nigerian to at least 98 per cent if not 100 per cent. Every Nigerian must be able to read and write. Every Nigerian must be able to walk up to a bank to open a bank account and operate it. It is not rocket science, it is a basic thing.
“They must be able to afford education according to the capability of their brains. No Nigerian should be deprived of education at higher levels because he has no money, there should be automatic scholarship for everybody who is willing to go for Masters and Phd. This is because once we are literate; we will be able to solve our own problems.
“I will also make Nigeria self-sustaining because I will open up a space in the universities in such a way that we will no longer be promoting people into professorship based on basic research.
“We will now open up massive research centres across the country, where Nigerians learn new technology and science. I will make Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics the basis for education so that we will enter the knowledge-based economy. I will stop grumbling about where raw materials are situated, because raw materials are situated in the brain, which can be found in any part of Nigeria,” Iyorwuese stressed.
On the party platform to flag off his campaign, the outgoing Pro-chancellor of Afe Babalola University and President, African Leadership Institute (USA), pledged his readiness to identify with political party that measures his political agenda, says the present government is a monumental failure that must be challenged.
“It is funny all Nigerian parties are in a terrible state. They are either breaking up or being formed or being on the verge of being reconstituted. There is no ideological content. But since I can’t contest as an independent candidate I will make my decision very soon.
“What I know is that all the platforms are looking for the best presidential candidate. I have now made my desire to run for presidency in the 2019 election public. I Think Buhari’s government is a monumental failure and should be challenged,” he added.