2023: When SDP presidential hopeful, Adebayo visited Babangida, Abdusalami, Bayero
A lawyer and businessman, Prince Adewole Adebayo had focused his energy on his private life until he realised that Nigeria has become enmeshed in bad governance, insecurity and economic downturn based on recent happenings in the polity. Convinced that he has what it takes to bring back the lost glory of the ‘Giant of Africa’, he has joined the 2023 presidential race. And his political steps so far portray him as a strong and serious contender.
Last Friday, Adebayo purchased the nomination and expression of interest forms of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) at the cost of N35 million, the first and only aspirant within his party to do so for now. The purchase of the forms underscores the seriousness and preparedness of the aspirant to contest the February 25, 2023, presidential election.
The demand of the presidential election is not lost on Adebayo who, at the moment, is the youngest aspirant. He clocked 50 years four months ago. Knowing how big and vast the country is, and the importance of connecting with the grassroots, who ultimately would decide his fate, Adebayo and his team, comprising Senator Muhammed Alkali, Deputy National Chairman, North East of the SDP; former Minister of Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung; Senator Ugochukwu Uba and Chief Peter Ame, have been crisscrossing the nation lately. Recently, he toured the northern parts of the country to intimate some eminent personalities in the area about his presidential ambition and get their inputs. Being a blue blood himself, his first port of call was the palace of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, where he condoled with him over the death of his mother and used the opportunity to seek his blessing for his presidential aspiration. The emir, who was visibly glad to receive Adebayo, advised that he should not only go out and sell his manifesto to the masses but more importantly, he should thoroughly implement the manifesto if he eventually makes it to the Presidential Villa.
Adebayo expressed his happiness for the warm welcome accorded him and his delegation. For him, Kano is home for all and an example of what Nigeria can be.
“The only thing I will promise is that there is nothing we will do in and out of power that will be an embarrassment to this palace,” he pledged.
In Niger State, Adebayo was warmly welcomed at the residence of former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, where he told the erstwhile Nigerian leader that he came to seek his blessing, knowing that he had occupied the same office he is vying for.
“I am an ordinary citizen from Ondo seeking the office of the President, an office that was created by the Constitution and signed personally by you. You know what to expect of the occupant of that office.
“I would, in the next one year, convince you, Your Excellency, and your peers and my colleagues, that I have all the requisite qualities to do well.
“Seeing and hearing you now, I am more prepared to be president of Nigeria than I was when we came to this residence this morning,” he said.
From Abdulsalami’s residence, Adebayo headed to the residence of former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, who said he was happy to receive him for many reasons — he is young, courageous, purposefulness and has power of conviction. Babangida admonished Adebayo to put the country first as he pursues his aspiration.
“Babangida is one of the promoters of one Nigeria. He advised that we should love the country more than we love ourselves. He said we should show patriotism by taking bold decisions for the benefit of all. He had the power 100 per cent on his hand but let go of it. I have learnt from him that power is transient,” Adebayo said after the meeting.
He is one of the few presidential aspirants who have no baggage. He has never been in government. He has no godfather even though he sees the late Aminu Kano as his political inspiration. In fact, he wants to be Aminu Kano reincarnate.
“That is the kind of president I would be when we come to this position of authority. Any person who is old and knew Mallam Aminu Kano, from the day we take office, Insha Allah, will know Aminu Kano has come to power.
“Chapter Two of the Nigerian Constitution has everything Aminu Kano stood for. He would be our guide when we get into office,” Adebayo assured.
To a private and successful businessman like him venturing into the murky waters of Nigerian politics, “politics is the way by which society negotiates common affairs and comes to a common decision and appoints common agents, using common resources to solve common problems.”
He added: “Politics is not a profession for politicians. Politics is the public participation in the management of public affairs.
“Politics is when you live your life for the good of others, like Mallam Aminu Kano did. Politics is where you build a legacy. In other countries, the best way to be a hero is to do good work. In Nigeria, unfortunately, the best and quickest way to be a hero is to die. We don’t celebrate our heroes while alive. We only do when they are dead. The situation must change.”
That kind of change, Adebayo said, must be engineered by the youths, who, he noted, have the numerical strength to turn the tide, make it not only liveable but also enduring.
“Young people have a greater challenge because they have the population. And so if they fail in 2023, we should not hear of any #EndSARS again because the real time for #EndSARS in Nigeria is 2023.
“This is the time that young people must mobilise themselves. They must come out and believe in themselves and take over power and give it to a young person.
“At the time of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, the great Zik of Africa, education was free from elementary to secondary and university levels; and there was free health care. That is the meaning of Social Democratic Party.”