Tension as Obasanjo speaks
OpenLife Nigeria reports that former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as always, is said to be very frank on the direction Nigeria would go in the 2023 presidential race.
Keeping so many things to his chest, the former President is said to be giving his blessings to all the aspirants that have sought his endorsement.
However, there are many he has told to ‘forget it.’
Authoritative source in President Obasanjo’s Hill Top residence in Abeokuta told OpenLife correspondent on Wednesday that Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa “ has met Baba and I do not think the discussions went well.”
On January 20, Mazi Ohuabunwa, the convener of New Nigeria Group, NNG, announced his interest in Nigeria’s presidential seat in the 2023 general elections.
He made the declaration in Abuja.
The Pharmacist described the New Nigeria Group as a political movement geared towards a convergence of like-minded persons who want to promote national ethos by which Nigerians across the globe would be defined.
On his mission and vision to lead Nigeria, the Arochukwu , Abia State born business man said he would be guided by the principles of patriotism, anti-corruption, justice for all and freedom of expression, which he noted had remained the bane of Nigeria.
Ohuabunwa said he decided to come to aspire to the highest office in Nigeria because after being at the background at various professional bodies suggesting and promoting ideas that could advance the country without any success, it had become imperative for him “to connect with Nigerians by throwing his hat in the ring to implement these programmes.”
On industrialisation of the country, he said: “We need to work hard and work smart to raise our productivity dramatically and be in a position to increase our Gross National Productivity in an effort to improve prosperity and drive down poverty.
“We are looking for creative and innovative Nigerians with entrepreneurial mindsets, ready to optimise the 4th industrial revolution, and then go on to lead the 5th.”
The industrialist maintained that his 5th industrial revolution dream would be implemented with concurrent reliance on the Dangotes, Tony Elumelus, their likes all over Nigeria and the crop of young IT enthusiasts will have free reign to ignite a nation of producers and innovators.
But despite all these convincing plans, OpenLife source maintained that Obasanjo has not endorsed Ohuabunwa “for technical reasons,” which borders on latent experience in active politics and involvement in political contest.
Besides, the source unveiled that another major reason Obasanjo has not given his approval is because even if the east is considered for support, there are many other individuals with clean records and unblemished integrity who are as well close to him like Ohuabunwa.
“Ohuabunwa is very close to Baba. No doubt about that. But his political credentials, place side by side other aspirants, do not rank him top,” he stated.
However, OpenLife gathered that this is not in any way stopping the business mogul as he is said to be tapping into his extensive network to garner the required supports for the 2023 presidential race.
But in his camp, those who are aware of this development have started developing cold feet to avoid “wasting time and energy unnecessarily,” OpenLife learnt.
Meanwhile, those who are close to Obasanjo reveal that Atiku Abubakar whom he supported in 2019 is still very close to his heart for 2023. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, another undeclared aspirant is also on Obasanjo’s list as possible successor to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo who certainly does not have more than one vote during the election, has the wildest international network in Nigeria at the level of world leaders. He is a commanding voice in the circle of world leaders. He has the capacity to deploy his global network instrument and swing huge supports to anyone who emerges his candidate.
Born 16 August 1950, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa read Pharmacy in the University of Ife, graduating in 1976 with Second Class Upper Division.
He did his Postgraduate training in Business and Organizational Management at the Columbia University, New York, United States of America and the Lagos Business School.
He joined Pfizer Products Plc in 1978 as a PSR and rose to become the Chairman/CEO in 1993.
In 1997, he led the Management buy-over of Pfizer Inc shares in Pfizer Products Plc, transforming the resultant company- Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc into a medium-sized Nigerian R&D Based Pharmaceutical company. He voluntarily retired from the company after 33years service in the industry,18 years of which were at CEO level.
Mazi Ohuabunwa is a fellow of several Professional Organizations,the most prominent being ,the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, the Nigerian academy of Pharmacy, the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists, the Nigerian Institute of Management, the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, the Institute of Management Consultants, and the Association of Corporate Governance Professionals of Nigeria.
Sam is a Past Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Past President, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, Past Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Ikeja, Past President of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce as well as former President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.
Sam founded the Sam Ohuabunwa Foundation for Economic Empowerment in 2009, serves as the Managing Consultant of Starteam Consult, and is on the board of several Organizations
Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa is a Christian, a knight of Saint Christopher of the Anglican Communion and serves as the National Coordinator- Strategic Operations of the Full Gospel Business Fellowship Int’l. He was honored as a Member of the Order of the Niger, in 2001, Officer of the order of the Federal Republic, in 2011 and a recipient of the National Productivity Order of Merit Award in 2018.