Your Excellency, you have all the constitutional, fundamental and God given right to aspire to be the president of Nigeria as a woman, remember you are also entitled to the nomination form to contest election for free, as every other woman in Nigeria. As such, we need you to answer the following questions:
A brief introduction of yourself:
Thank you for this opportunity, as an academic, the curriculum vitae is usually very intensive. Actually, I am a linguist, educationist, poet, communication expert, activist and politician. I have served as a university lecturer and administrator for the past 36 years. Yes, an Academic advisor. I was Director, Centre for Vocational Skills, Entrepreneurial and General Studies, Rivers State University of Education, Port Harcourt, 2012-2015; Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Regent University of Science and Technology, Accra Ghana, 2005-2007:Visiting Professor, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana; External Examiner, Doctoral dissertations, School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Deputy Provost, Life Gate College of Education, Ilorin Kwara State 2017-2019; Adjunct Vice-Chancellor Triune Biblical University Global Extension (TBU-GE) New -York, USA; Facilitator, programs in Language and General Studies, National Open University, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Country President and International Director, UN-POLAC Peace Advocates currently.
Do you see GOD in this your aspiration?
Yes, sure, I have always seen God in it, giving me this courage to be so daring and focused about the aspiration, It’s not just an ambition because I am not that ambitious by nature. It’s is a vision and mission to rescue, restore and restructure Nigeria in what I always refer to as “The PMA advanced restructuring agenda. I already have a road-map for Nigeria, with an agenda and manifesto which cannot be summarised in few lines here.
So, what is this your dream, vision and mission for Nigeria?
I have a dream that one day a woman will become the President of Nigeria. May I put it directly also that, I HAVE A DREAM, THAT ONE DAY, I WILL EMERGE AS THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AND THE DREAM IS NOW !!! My Vision and Mission is the “PMA – ADVANCED RESTRUCTURING AGENDA” – It is “Real change for real people” by me PMA when I get the Nigerian’s support. It is time to CHANGE the change!
What are your plans for Nigeria if God allows you to get there?
My AGENDA is the “PMA – ADVANCED RESTRUCTURING AGENDA”. As an academic, Nigeria will witness functional, effective, efficient, accessible and affordable education, which is the bedrock of any nation, as well as better governance, delivery of dividends of democracy, massive employment, accelerated economic development, improved health delivery, massive human capital development, massive infrastructural development, aggressive fight against corruption, improved welfare for Nigerian workers, and the masses, when I, PMA – CHOICE, become the president of Nigeria. As a detribalised Nigerian, services of technocrats shall be fully employed and utilised to its maximum.
Where were you from?
I am a Princess, from the IRA palace, Kwara state Nigeria,
Which Primary, Secondary and Universities did you attend and when?
St. John’s Anglican Primary School, Sabo-Oke, Ilorin 1967- 1974.
St. Clare’s Grammar School, Offa, Kwara, State and Queen Elizabeth School, Ilorin, Kwara State. 1975 – 1980.
University of Ife-Ile – B.A 1985.
University of Ilorin, Ilorin M.A English Language – 1987.
University of Port Harcourt Ph.D and PGDE – 2000.
North Western Christian University, USA. Honorary D.D and Professor of Divinity. 2014.
Precisely how old are you please madam?
I was born on October 15th, 1962 and as such will turn 60 years this year to be precise.
Do you truly believe in a United Nigeria?
I believe in a United Nigeria, but with true federalism, through restructuring and also support regionalism to enhance and advance the nation to her fullest capacity. That is why my Agenda is known as the “PMA – ADVANCED RESTRUCTURING AGENDA.” It’s Real Change for Real People!’
Is it true you have contested for a political position before?
Yes, I’d contested for the presidential position in 2019 election, then I was in PDP as an aspirant and I later moved to the MAJA Party to secure a ticket. However, I have since returned to PDP in 2020.
Do you nurture any form of hostility against any Nigerian tribe, region or religion whether majority or minority?
None please, I am from the North Central, Kwara State “State of Harmony” where we are half Christians and half Muslims. I am of Yoruba extraction in the West, and married there and I have lived and worked in Port Harcourt Rivers State, South-South, Nigeria for over 30 years, you can as such see and infer that I am a detribalised Nigerian and a true democrat. However, I dislike how the Christian community is being side-lined and marginalized by the current administration; as well as the treatment being meted out to the Christians and the kidnapping and massacre of Christians especially in Northern Nigeria in the name of Jihad in a secular state. This cruelty is quite annoying, disturbing and disgusting. It’s unacceptable and will have to stop and be history in Nigeria.
How will you manage your home front with the leadership position if you become the president?
That would be no problem at all. My man is busy and not dependent nor controlling and my three children are all grown-ups and graduates out of home, working. So there is little or no family runs in that sense of home front management, thank you for caring.
Do you think that women are ripe enough to assume the topmost positions in Nigeria politics?
Certainly yes, amongst others, take for instance, the likes of late Dora Nkem Akunyili OFR (14 July, 1954–2014) who was the director-general of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control; the former co-ordinator of Nigeria’s economy and now the current Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and even I myself, a lecturer of 35 years in the university. We’ve long been ripe enough to assume the topmost positions in Nigeria politics and are more than capable and ready.
We all know that the contribution of women to what Nigeria and Africa are today is unquestionable. Female presidency is possible in Nigeria in 2023; recall the Female African President for instance, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia (January 2006 – January 2018) : Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was Africa’s first elected President who served two consecutive terms after winning the 2005 and 2011 Presidential elections. She had initially run for presidential office in 1997 against Charles Taylor, but she lost. During her tenure she was also elected Chair of the Economic Community of West African States in June of 2016.
More so, what about other African female presidents, Slyvie Kiningi, Acting President of Burundi (February – October 1993): She became the first female President in Africa who was the Prime Minister of Burundi from February 10, 1993 to October 7, 1994. The list include: Ivy Matsepe – Cassaburi, Acting President of South Africa (September 2005); Rose Francine Rogombe, Interim President of Gabon (June 2009–October 2009); Agnes Monique Ohsan Bellepeau, Acting President of Mauritius (March – July 2012 and May–June 2015); Joyce Hilda Banda, President of Malawi (April 2012 – May 2014); Catherine Samba, Acting President of Central African Republic (January 2014 – March 2016).Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius (June 2015 – March 2018); and Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia (October 2018 – Present).
What is the level of awareness for a woman to become President in Nigeria?
There are several Women for Women groups already set up in the past, and He for She groups, as well as Youth for Women groups. We are already mobilising them while creating other new ones such as National Coalition For Female Presidency In Nigeria, NCFPN. Once we are able to improve on this awareness, we shall definitely be successful because women votes accounted for about 47% during the last election.
How do you think the Women folks can mobilise for this female presidency to support your aspiration?
I will say that from now onwards, every woman should endeavour to speak to at least fifty (50) women to vote for A WOMAN PRESIDENT” in Nigeria. Tell FIVE (5) WOMEN daily from now till 2023 elections. They should be reminded, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Your happiness starts from you and not from someone else.” Then all the Nigerian YOUTHS and all the “He for She” and all the MEN should campaign as well as vote for the first female president in Nigeria in 2023. This could and would be the only functional approach.
There are lots of challenges confronting this nation, both internally and externally. How are you going to tackle these issues?
That’s a major question, thank you. Yes, lots of challenges confronting the nation especially as regards insecurity via criminal activities of the bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and other unscrupulous elements in the county. They invade communities, markets, churches and schools and kill, maim, destroy and kidnap without much resistance by the current government.
No much help from the developed world and the United nations either as they seem to be more occupied and busy with COVID-19 than pay attention to the daily destruction of lives and property on-going in Nigeria. However, with God, all things are possible, I already have a road-map for Nigeria, with an agenda in my manifesto which cannot be summarised in few lines here. What I call “The PMA advanced restructuring agenda,” thus, people can always Google it, as I have it published online already.
Your major National Award or Honour?
We would recall that towards 2019 elections, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had endorsed my Presidential candidacy on the 8th day of June, in Port Harcourt and at the same event, I was awarshed with an Award of Excellence in Service and Outstanding leadership; with the inscription on the plaque “In recognition of her consistency, steadfastness, developmental strides, motherly disposition and mentorship towards the students community and society at large.” I once again say thank you to the Youths and Students community as I continue to enjoy their unalloyed and massive support. At the same event I was endorsed for the Presidency by the Niger Students Union Government, National (NSUG) I also serve as their matron.
Tell us about your other endorsements?
The N-POWER GROUP (U WIN, I WIN) against 2023 Presidential election, has endorsed me on Wednesday January 5, 2022, at a courtesy call in Port Harcourt has endorsed me a viable presidential candidate. And I did accepted their nomination encouraging them to continue with their campaigns on my behalf. It is an association initiated by, and made up of Nigerian daring Youths in the 36 States of the country. They are already drawing participants from LGA to LGA, state to state and the entire country towards the 2023 elections.
In an earlier development, another political pressure group and accountability vanguard known as Democratic Watch for Good Governance in Nigeria (DWGGN) in what they called “PMA FOR RESCUE 2023” has similarly called on me to occupy the seat of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023.” The call was made at the council’s office in Port Harcourt during its quarterly meeting. The group opined that the country is in total shambles and needed urgent remedial intervention.
Politics in some circles is regarded as a dirty game, how are you going to manoeuvre the storm of playing politics in the midst of die-hard politicians?
I am not new to the terrain; my political journey started with the Accord Party in Kwara State in the 80s before Il ater joined the People’s Democratic Party in the 90s.This informed my declaration to contest the 2019 presidential election under the People’s Democratic Party. But I later moved to Mass Action Joint Alliance where I emerged as the party’s flag bearer for the 2019 election. It’s been so far so good, I am currently back to PDP, my former party, where I intend to still contest for the presidential election of 2023. I have my own godly style and cannot be discouraged or intimidated by the said die-hard politicians.
Nigeria is facing many challenges, including economic and security challenges. But you think the country’s situation is redeemable. Why?
Yes, there are lots of challenges confronting the nation especially as regards insecurity via criminal activities of the bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and other unscrupulous elements in the country. They invade our communities, markets, churches and schools and kill, maim, destroy and kidnap our people without much resistance by the current government. We live in fear daily.
However, with God all things are possible, I believe Nigeria could get over this, if we are ready to restructure the country. We need to revisit the 2014 national conference and re-define the current structure of the country. As for me, I already have a road-map for Nigeria, with an agenda. It’s what I always refer to as,” The PMA Advanced Restructuring Agenda,” and I have it published online already. This to me is an holistic approach to economic and security challenges.
The allocation to education in the 2022 budget is less than eight per cent, even when the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), promised an increase in allocation to the sector. What is your take on this?
The educational sector has always been under-funded in Nigeria. The major problem of the educational sector in the country is that of funding. Education is not funded adequately. Take, for instance, in 2020, Nigeria’s educational budget was far from the 26 per cent of the national budget recommended by the United Nations. Same in 2021, as well as the allocation to education in the 2022 budget which is less than eight per cent, as you have just rightly sited. If I am given the opportunity to become the president of the country, the funding of our educational system will definitely be prioritized and would take another dimension, since I am an academic. Take for instance, teachers are the most paid workers in Singapore.
A major consequence of inadequate funding of the educational sector is the lack of infrastructure and many of our institutions and schools now have old and dilapidated buildings. Many tertiary institutions do not have well equipped laboratories and libraries. And those with libraries are filled with outdated books, periodicals and journals.
As an educationist, do you think ASUU’s recent threat to embark on another strike is justifiable?
Most Nigerians have never cared to hear from the side of ASUU, but I am of the opinion, we all should try to. As an insider, I know that ASUU’s complaint is usually about sustainability of the university system, the ASUU strike would be justifiable to save public universities in Nigeria, because the federal government is always reneging on their promises to ASUU while they can afford to fund public universities adequately. But they are prioritising other matters over and above education. It is unfair! They need to be reminded that education is a determinant factor for change and development of any country; therefore, it is of utmost importance that the government gives ASUU full attention, and stop defaulting but comply with the negotiations and agreements.
What are your chances of winning the PDP presidential ticket considering the calibre of people you would be contesting with in the party for the primaries?
The contest would be quite challenging, I know, but I believe that the chance for a woman aspirant to win is higher now in PDP unlike in the days of Dr. Sarah Jibril who has broken the ground for the women in the presidential election. The contest would really be with the likes of Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; from the North. Then, from the South are former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim and Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, etc., so it is indeed quite competitive.
Again, gender inclusion has now become imperative globally and as such in Nigeria, successful election and governance would be based on this, as the next phase of political leadership takes shape. This we can glaringly observe in the case of Kamala Harris in the last US election. Moreover, if it could happen that a woman became the president in Liberia, it can also happen, even better in Nigeria, and it will, I believe! “I have a dream that one day, a woman will become the president of Nigeria, and the dream is now!”
How do you intend to defeat Atiku Abubakar in a PDP primary?
If PDP could adopt Direct primaries through electronic voting, I shall win him; now that the 2021 electoral Bill has been amended and Party primary could be conducted through direct, indirect or consensus methods.
A direct primary is used when voters decide their party’s candidates. In an indirect primary, voters elect delegates who choose the party’s candidates at a nominating convention. I look forward to this great decision by PDP to adopt Direct primaries.
What do you think is the solution to the increasing insecurity in Nigeria?
The major cause of growing insecurity in Nigeria is the inability of the current administration to fulfil their set agenda for improving the quality of lives of Nigerians especially the youths. So is the recent decline in the country’s economy which is another major cause, amongst several others. This growing insecurity challenge leaves all citizens in perpetual fear every day. The major solution to this level of insecurity would be for the government to exercise the will-power to totally crush the menace.
Our open borders and visa on arrival policies are not helping matters. And as such, there is high influx of arms into the country. The country has borders that are porous and poorly guarded. Insurgents from other countries thus infiltrate into our country without much constraint. This situation is especially dangerous in the North East and other parts of the North and South. The Federal Government cannot provide enough troops to secure the borders. This is bad and unacceptable. The first duty of any government is to secure the lives of the people and this they must do.
Last year the House of Representatives requested that Nigerians should submit memoranda to the house on how to practically curb this growing insecurity and this I did in a full memorandum. Once the government is ready to exercise their will power to crush the menace, I believe insecurity would be history. The bandits for instance should be given an ultimatum and deadlines to submit themselves and their arms, and the terrorists should be wiped out. No treatment with kids’ gloves again, that should be over by now as the bandits are declared as terrorists, there should be re-enactment and enforcement of capital punishment again – Yes, “the legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a crime.”
Porous coastal borders is the main cause of terrorism in the country. The Federal Government should increase the number of troops that guard borders, as result is the game. They should also train people to protect their regions from insurgents rather than constraining them. Security is the job of everyone of us.
Do you believe in restructuring?
Yes I do because, Restructuring stems from the concept of true federalism. True federalism is a system that operates based on the shared responsibility of individual units while having a central core that binds everyone together. What Nigeria currently operates is the direct opposite, but we need true federalism.
Some antagonists of restructuring are saying it can cause division among Nigerians. How would you react to this?
Antagonists believe that the restructure advocates essentially anchor their arguments on certain misgivings and perceptions, style of governance and perceive intolerable imbalance in the federal structure, as currently constituted. They also speak about imbalance in appointments and imbalance in the distribution of resources; while they equally perceive the system of governance in practice as Unitary, contrary to their yearnings for true federalism.
But this is not true, restructuring has several advantages that would overwhelm it’s disadvantages. It would rather result in actualisation than division. Incredibly, restructuring and federalism have become the most misrepresented words even by those who should understand and work for their actualisation in the interest of peace and progress of Nigeria.
If the 36 federating units are not allowed to exploit all the natural endowments in their states and develop state policies based on priorities and then pay their workers according to what they can afford, development even at the centre will be a mirage. At the moment, poverty in the federating units which keep asking for bailouts from the centre before they can pay even basic bills is disgraceful, shameful, and unacceptable. True federalism is what Nigeria needs as a matter of urgency.
This was the competition which used to exist when Nigeria was a really federal entity, Lagos and Kaduna states are now setting some instructive examples, just as the Western Region did in those days. We need to and must restructure Nigeria now.
The President appears not to be interested in restructuring. What are the advantages in restructuring the country?
The president needs to wake up, because that was one of the cardinal campaign promises of the APC in 2019 election and the electorates are awaiting it’s fulfilment. The restructuring debate can never end in the Nigeria’s political discourse especially now following secessionists agitations in the southeast and southwest and biting recession after COVID-19. There is no doubt that it will form the basis of sustained growth, wealth and prosperity. Restructuring stems from the concept of true federalism. True federalism is a system that operates based on the shared responsibility of individual units while having a central core that binds everyone together. What Nigeria currently operates is the direct opposite, but we need true federalism.
Recall the idea for this was considered in January 1967 before the war broke out in July of that year and the idea was for every region to run their affairs, create wealth by harnessing and managing their resources while making some commitments to the federal and central government. Economically, these units must be distinct and independent while other areas can be negotiated like the Military which is always the purview of the central government with the President as the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces for any Federal Republic. This is the major way to tackle insecurity with state policing. So we need to revisit the 2014 National Convention.
Nigeria today does not run a truly federal government and this has been proven with the federal police, power issues and the compulsion to connect to the national grid, education, agriculture, mineral resources which the states cannot mine and other areas as contained in the Exclusive Legislative List. Power, resource control, education, mineral resources, police autonomy, re-adjustment of boundaries, state creation, federal character etc., are all within the purview of restructuring.
The current National Assembly is viewed by some Nigerians as a rubber stamp of the executive. What is your view on this?
In a sense yes, but in another sense no. I have observed them handle some bills very objectively, remember the opposition party is also in the house. I think they are trying their best, but they can do better. Let’s take for instance, the current bill on Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2022. It is notable that, President Muhammadu Buhari has withheld his assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2022, according to news reports, in a letter to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, the president said that prevailing situation in the country would not allow him to sign the bill. I commend the president for that, because the bill is like a new baby and its placenta. The issue of direct primaries in the Bill needs to be expunged for the reasons the president rightly gave before passing it into law.
With the reasons, the President has returned the bill to the National Assembly, asking the lawmakers to look at the clause that has to do with direct primaries by political parties, work on it and return the document for assent because it will compound insecurity in the country. They are as such both working hand in hand, and disagreeing to agree, which is the beauty of democratic governance. Again, when the president proposed the visa-on-arrival policy, they fully dissented and disagreed but the president assented to that bill.
What is your take on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2022?
Nigeria should endorse the tripartite, direct, indirect and consensus candidacy. We need to be guided as regards that matter that, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. President actually defined democracy as, “the “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”. In other words, it means that the supreme power is vested in the hands of the people, which they can exercise directly or through elected or appointed officials under a free electoral system. Pre-selection and all state-wide nominations are part and parcel of the process whether for primary or general elections. I even recommend that our general elections should be through indirect representative democracy also, to save us from all forms of costs and stress!!!
Again, let us be reminded that, “Democracy can be classified into two specific categories – Direct and Representative. In a direct democracy, citizens can directly participate in making a public decision without the intermediary of elected officials.
Whereas, in a representative democracy, citizens cannot directly participate in public decision making. Most of the nations today follow representative democracy, where citizens elect officials to formulate laws, administer programs and make political decisions, as in the USA.” Our general elections could as well be by pre-selection of delegates and representative in this period of recession in our nation. Selecting between two (2) candidates need not cost us N305bn as NANS rightly protests. This I propose as another amendment to this bill as a matter of serious consideration and urgency.
This method could also be used in our voting system as we approach our electoral reforms, rather than budget to spend above N305billion for ordinary elections. We could employ representative democracy which will not cost more than 1-2billion Naira only! Representatives could involve past presidents and vice-presidents, with ex-presidential candidates, sitting vice-chancellors, and other selected highly responsible senior citizens and Nobel prize winners, etc., as the case may be as delegates in an electoral college; through electronic voting by the use of their National Identity Number (NIN) or ATM, publicly in a National broadcast. This is how Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other national groups choose their leadership within their blocs. It definitely will save us from under-aged and non-Nigerian voters from Northern Nigeria.
Your wish for Nigerian Women and your wish for Nigeria?
Gender inclusion has now become imperative globally and as such in Nigeria, successful election and governance would be based on this, as the next phase of political leadership takes shape. This we can glaringly observe in the case of Kamala Harris in the last US election. A truly democratic and egalitarian society of great reputation and enviable to the entire world. Yes o!
Your major source of encouragement and last words?
My very special thanks goes to Dr. Mrs. Sarah Jibril who gave me all her files and handed over to me her PDP Aso-ebi/Aso-Oke (Ofi Uniform) to me saying, you can do it, when I informed her about my aspiration on my birthday in 2015, sharing the full aspiration and vision with her. Mama Jibril is Nigeria’s first female presidential candidate both at the primaries and main elections, having run for president on four occasions Sarah Jibril (born 1945) is a Nigerian politician, psychologist, social reform proponent and philanthropist.
May I conclude again that I have a dream, that one day, a woman will emerge as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the dream is now! This is because, if Nigerians elect a female president, it will be a turning point in the nation’s history. It will also be an honour to have Nigeria’s first female president. If Nigeria can give women a chance to rule, I am sure we will never regret it.
AGAIN, I HAVE A DREAM, THAT ONE DAY, I WILL EMERGE AS THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AND THE DREAM IS NOW !!!