12 candidates, one nation, one President
THE parade is impressive. From the academic, private sector, military, to the civil society, the array of presidential hopefuls shows that Nigeria cannot be described as a nation lacking in good quality human capital.
Indeed, if wishes can automatically transform to reality, perhaps, the country could make do with all the candidates on parade. But, narrow is the path to Aso Rock. Only one out of these fantastic people can scale the hurdle to the number one seat.
However, for the benefit of Nigerians, a brief rundown of the profile of each candidate is hereunder highlighted:
CALL him a man living up to his name, you may well be damn right. While other notable Nigerians, living or dead, fought battles, crossed hurdles, to attain leadership positions in politics, providence has always propelled Dr, Goodluck Jonathan. While his trajectory would ordinarily have been attaining the position of a Vice Chancellor in the academic environment, this course changed in 1998, when he was,against all odds, given the Deputy Governor’s ticket.
Until he joined politics in 1998, President Goodluck Jonathan, was a zoology lecturer and worked on environmental issues.
The 57-year-old southern Christian is the first Head of State from the South-south region of the country. He became the president in 2010 following the death of his boss, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
As for his distinctive name, his late father was quoted as saying in a biography of the president that he “called him Goodluck because although life was hard for me when he was born, I had this feeling that this boy would bring me good luck”.
His mother, Eunice, said although she had a history of lengthy labour in childbirth stretching for several days, Goodluck was born in record time -the very day she went into labour.
Fortune certainly seems to have favoured Jonathan, as he grew older.
An unconfirmed report has long circulated in local media that Jonathan, elected assistant senior prefect at his secondary school, grabbed the top post when the head prefect was expelled. His rise to the top was similarly accidental; becoming governor of his native, Bayelsa State in 2005 after his predecessor was impeached over money-laundering charges in Britain.
Until the night he was nominated by his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Yar’Adua’s running mate in 2007, many Nigerians had never heard of Jonathan. 17 years after, Jonathan as the incumbent president of this country, is the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 general elections.
Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressive Congress (APC)
Born on 17th December, 1942, to a humble family in Daura, Katsina State and schooled at Katsina Government College, before enlisting into the Nigeria Army where he rose from the rank of second lieutenant to major general, Buhari caught public attention as Minister of Petroleum Resources, when he commissioned Warri and Kaduna refineries and when it was rumoured that N12 billion was siphoned in raw cash, a story that turned out a farce.
The second time Buhari occupied public office was when he became the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the 3rd Armoured Division based in Jos. He chased away the Matastine, an insurgent and extremist sect similar to Boko Haram, beyond Chadian border.
The story among the officer corps then was why the then GOC of 3rd Armoured Division move troops without express approval by the C-in-C. It generated mixed reactions, but the solace was that the insurgents were subdued.
When eventually the December 31, 1983 military coup took place and the masterminds invited Buhari to head the government, it took no time for the Daura born General to unfurl his policies which generated mixed reaction in the country.
Buhari was to later taste the bitter pill of another coup in 1985 which brought General Ibrahim Babangida in. He was incarcerated and later released. For General Buhari, there was nothing to conquer , until when he changed his mind to throw his hat in the ring in 2002.
Buhari joined partisan politics and was nominated the presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and he chose Rt.Hon. Chuba Okadigbo as running mate.
As someone who desires to rule the country again, Buhari also contested in 2007 elections but couldn’t win. Today Buhari is at it again but only Nigerians can determine his fate through their votes.
Prof. Comfort Oluremi Shonaya, KOWA Party
PROF. Comfort Oluremi Sonaiya of Kowa party is the only woman contesting for president tomorrow. She is contesting alongside her running mate, Saidu Bobboi. Prof. Sonaiya is a Professor of Foreign Languages at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
In 2008, she was named an International Ambassador Scientist of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and until recently, Sonaiya was the National Public Relations Officer of KOWA Party.
KOWA was registered as a political party on July 16, 2009, by a group of Nigerian Civil Society activists, professionals and technocrats.
If only a parade of intimidating credentials and gender sentiment could sway votes for her, perhaps, we would be happy as a nation to have graduated from a Doctor to a professor.
Martins Onovo, National Conscience Party (NCP)
BORN in 1969 in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, Chief Martin Onovo is a presidential candidate who represents the National Conscience Party (NCP) during Nigerian general election, 2015.
He attended Ekulu Primary School in Enugu, before he moved to National Grammar School, Nike also in Enugu state.
After getting admission at University of Ibadan, he obtained B.Sc (Hons) in Petroleum Engineering in the year 1991.
From 1992 to 1993, Onovo worked with Shell Petroleum Development before he left to pursue higher education in the USA.
In 1994, he also obtained his M.Sc in Petroleum Engineering at Houston, the United States of America.
He has been a member of the Institute of Transport Administration, Nigerian Society of Engineers (MNSE) as well as Emupo Development Union.
In 2011, he was the presidential candidate of Action Alliance (AA) and a public affairs analyst.
On 13 January 2015, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) named Martin Onovo presidential candidate and Ibrahim Mohammed his running mate.
If erudition as displayed by Onovo during the presidential debate is the vehicle to Aso Rock, then Onovo appears to be a sure passenger, but politics for now, is much more than that.
Chekwas Okorie, United Progressive Party (UPP)
Okorie was born on March 19, 1953, at Amaeke Alayi in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State. He is the eldest surviving son of the late Eze Edward Okorie Emerih, the Igboji of Alayi who reigned from 1960-1978.
He attended St. Michael’s Primary School, Umuahia and St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Alayi.
For his secondary education, he attended Annunciation Secondary School Isuikwuato in 1967 and graduated in 1973 due to the three-year disruption of education during the Nigeria-Biafra War.
Chekwas, as he is fondly called, proceeded to the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1974, where he studied Management. He graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree
While in the University, Chewas participated actively in student unionism. He had an early tutelage in human rights and civil rights as a member of the Igbo Forum in the university. The organization later metamorphosed into what is now known as Ohanaeze Ndigbo. For the records, Okorie is the youngest of the founding fathers of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo. He is also one of the last four members still alive today.
Chekwas had a brief teaching experience as a Lecturer at the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State during his National Youth Service. He also had a stint as an Assistant Manager with the Nigerian Reinsurance Corporation in 1979 and worked for about four years with the West African Water Drilling and Allied Co. Ltd., where he rose from Commercial Manager to General Manager in 1982.
In 1982, Chekwas floated Chel Water Nigeria Ltd. which has given birth to other subsidiary companies.
In politics Chewas has been a prominent and vocal member of all the political parties and associations he had belonged to.
He was the Secretary, National Finance Committee, United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP); Founder and Secretary General, Peoples Democratic Congress (PDC) 1996 and 1998; Member, National Caucus of All Peoples Party (APP), which later became the ANPP and now part of the APC.
He also pitched tent with the Peoples Democratic Party and contested for the secretaryship of the party at the national convention of te party in 1999 but lost out
In 2002, Okorie founded the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). This singular achievement placed him as the first Igbo person to become the Founder and National Chairman of a registered national political party in Nigeria. He was, however tossed out of APGA in 2012 due to the wrangling within the party.
He then teamed up with his supporters to form the United Progressive Party (UPP). The party was registered by the Independent National Electoral commission in 2012.
By this singular feat, Okorie became the fourth Nigerian to launch two political parties in their lifetime. The other three were Obafemi Awolowo who founded Action Group (AG) and Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Aminu Kano, who founded Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) and Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), and Waziri Ibrahim, who founded Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP) and Great Nigeria Peoples Party.
Aside being the party’s presidential candidate, he is also the party’s National Chairman.
Adebayo Ayeni, African Peoples Alliance (APA)
Adebayo Musa Ayeni is the Presidential candidate of the African Peoples Alliance (APA). He was the Deputy Governor of the old Ondo State from 1990 to 1992, the first civilian to hold the office during military rule. He is from Emure Ekiti in Ekiti State. Ayeni has promised to tackle corruption if elected into office.
Tunde Anifowose-Kelani, Action Alliance (AA)
Tunde Anifowose-Kelani is the Presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA). He was born in Agbokojo, Ibadan, Oyo state, on April 5, 1965. He earned a first degree in Guidance and Counselling combined with Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan and a Master’s degree in Personnel Psychology from the same university. He has also served as the National President, Junior Chambers International (JCI), and Chief Executive Officer of The Siegener Sabithos Nigeria Limited. He is a member of the board of the Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan.
Chief Sam Eke, Citizen’s Popular Party (CPP)
SAM Eke is the Presidential candidate of the Citizens’ Popular Party (CPP) and also the National Chairman of the party. Eke is an accountant and a native of the Ikwuana Local Government Area of Abia State.
He has attended the Pacific Western University, Janus University and the State University of New York, all in the US. Chief Eke has urged Nigerian politicians to shun “politics of bitterness” and the “do or die” mentality.
Rafiu Salau of Alliance For Democracy (AD)
Rafiu Salau is the Presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He is also the party’s National Secretary. The 58-year-old holds a Senior Secondary School leaving Certificate and believes that he is “the best candidate” for the number one office in the country.
He has pledged to create two million jobs if elected and also raise Nigeria’s foreign reserve to $200 billion.
Ambrose Albert Owuru, Hope Democratic Party (HDP)
HIGH Chief Ambrose Owuru, is the Presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party(HDP). He is the National Chairman of the party and has contested Presidential elections twice.
Owuru, who is a lawyer, was arrested and arraigned in 2013 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N66 million fraud. Owuru has described his party as “a new generation party of statesmen who work for the future of our people.”
The 53-year-old man hailed from River State. He attended Orogbum primary school in Port Harcourt, Country Grammar School, Ikwerre/Ekhe.
He also studied in University of Buckingham in England, University of London in 1984 and attended law school in 1984.
Ganiyu Galadima, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN)
Ganiyu Galadima, is the Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN). Galadima was the acting National Chairman of the party before being named its flag bearer on December 11, 2014. Galadima has said that he believes strongly ‘in the need to end impunity in Nigeria’.
He attended Muslim Primary School, Imepe in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State from 1973-1978. United Primary School, Ilorin in Kwara State. Galadima attended Cherubim and Seraphim College, Ilorin. Kwara State 1980 and College of Technology, Ilorin in 1987. He also went to Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin in 1995.
Godson Okoye, United Democratic Party (UDP)
Godson Okoye was born in 1963 in Port Harcourt, River State. He attended St. Peters Primary School in Eziagu village, Agulueze Chukwu, Aguata local government Anambra State; Rumola/Rumadolu primary school, Port Harcourt. River State and Aguata High School.
Okoye bagged a degree in Law from University of Lagos between (1984 to 1987) Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos (1987-1988).
He worked with some law firms and later established his own. But he left in 2002 due to a political appointment. Okoye worked in the senate president’s office from 2002 to 2004. But he returned to Nnoli & Okoye chamber.