A new Nigeria is possible – Wale Kuku, LP Ogun East Senatorial candidate
Nigerian politician, Wale Kuku who has a wealth of experience in the tech industry with his company F1 Interactive as well as a background in entertainment, is the leading contender for the Ogun East Senatorial seat at the 2023 elections.
He recently spoke on his plans and why he strongly believes in the possibility of a new Nigeria.
Why are you running for Ogun State East Senate seat?
Through my foundation, New Generation, we have been involved in community development and grooming leaders of tomorrow. Ogun East and Nigeria as a whole has suffered from bad leadership from the inception of democracy and this has led to the under development of IjebuLand. I decided to throw my hat into the ring to provide visionary and innovative leadership to modernize our economy and provide honest and quality representation.
Why are you running under the Labour Party and not the ruling APC in the state?
After considering offers from several parties, I decided to pitch my tent with the LP because of the candidacy of our Principal, Peter Obi. Ever since 2005, I’ve closely monitored Mr. Peter Obi and believed that he has the capacity to usher in a New Nigeria. The country cannot afford to get it wrong anymore and putting the country in the wrong hands one more time would lead to the total destruction of the country and we might never recover from it. We share the same vision of moving Nigeria from Consumption to Production and my manifesto is heavily centered on this. APC in the state and Nigeria in general has been a disaster.
How has the campaign trail been and how would you rate your chances?
The campaign trail has been fantastic but extremely hectic. I’ve visited over 130 wards some more than once, tonnes of towns and villages and met with several groups mostly youth groups. Ive met people from all walks of life, listened to their problems and this has helped me perfect my manifesto. Our campaign has been different.
We have campaigned based on issues and solutions and using digital tools like projectors and beautifully printed pamphlet cards. People have said our campaign has been different and very informative.
Imagine keeping over 500 people silent and fully concentrated on the message. In the last six months, I have concentrated in growing the structure of the party in Ogun East and some other LGAs across Ogun State. We have grown our membership and brought in youths, professionals, market women, etc. who are passionate about a New Nigeria. We have been able to build our membership base to at least 30,000 in each of the 9 LGAs in Ogun East, Ado Odo-Ota, Abeokuta North and South. We have the structure to harness the votes for Peter Obi and other LP candidates. The people believe in me, believe in my ideas, capacity and have seen my development strides with New Generation over the past 4years. Every ward I’ve visited, the turnout is always massive and encouraging.
Why should people vote for you? What will you do that’s currently not being done?
People should vote for me because I’ll provide quality, visionary and innovative leadership. Some of my opponents have been part of the underdevelopment of the state and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near leadership. My manifesto is hinged on 7 pillars, which are Wealth and job creation, Quality Learning, Improved Standard of Living, Restructuring, Digital Economy and Digital for all, Everything Youth and Good Governance. For example, we have been able to put our wealth creation initiatives into well-packaged Programs. In Agriculture, we have the Modern Farmer program for Youths interested in Agriculture. Over the past 1year, we have developed our Agrocity in Ijebu Igbo with youths owning 1 acre of already grown Cassava farm using the new 6-month cassava stem. We are currently at over 100 acres and hope to get 10,000 acres within 2years meaning 10,000 youths would benefit from this. We have also started working with selected youths in building cassava processing. We would be processing cassava from this agrocity into well-packaged Garri that meets exports standards for the international market ensuring our young farmers benefit from international pricing. Ijebu igbo needs to be the Agrocity of Nigeria. We would be expanding to maize planting and processing. In Ijebu Ode, would commence our Poultry city providing over 3m birds in 3years and fully powered by youths and Vegetable city in Odogbolu.
We have more programmes like Didako Idan (Magic Farming), which is a Game Changer for smallholder Farmers in Nigeria.
In 3years, we hope to have developed every single bit of arable land. They can get their whole farm developed by just calling a Magic Number and they pay only after they have sold their produce. We have started training livestock farmers on how to use African Black Fly to produce livestock feeds and how to use natural herbs for livestock drugs. Feed price is driving farmers out of the market. Didako Idan would also ensure farmers can get feeds and only pay after they have sold their products. We have the Ipele Tokan (Next Level) for artisans offering them interest free loans and grants.
They are able to move to unlock higher levels of loan once they meet their repayment mandate. The program also ensures regular capacity building seminars for artisans to improve their skills and ensure better access to markets. We have similar programs like Iyaniwura for Market women. Under Education, we have commenced our Adopt-a-School programme. We adopt one school per ward and transform it introducing Digital tools, training teachers on how to use simple Digital tools like smartphones to improve learning, deploying affordable digital tools, and helping schools improved administration and syllabus. Hopefully, as a Senator, I would be able to increase this to five schools per ward. My plans are heavily geared towards development. On a National level, I would pass laws and get involved in the development of the Digital Economy. I also believe in ‘Digital For All’ meaning it’s the right of every Nigeria Citizen to own an Internet enabled smartphone. This gives the ordinary Nigeria access to health services, financial inclusion, government services and a lot more. It’s a game changer. I’ve developed a National Digital Strategy, which I shared, with our incoming president, Peter Obi. Again, I believe someone has to step in to stop all outright corruption happening between the National Assembly and Executive. There’s so much to fix and I’ve had the burning passion to get that done ever since I was 16yrs old.
You have background in tech, consulting, sports and entertainment, how do you think these will help you?
Tech is the new oil. My company is one of the leading tech firms in providing remote work for Nigerian Tech talents. We have three clients that have asked for over 15,000 Tech talents from Nigeria in the next two years. This has led us to developing our TecHandwork program which would ensure we train over 50,000 youths within three years in Ogun East in several tech fields like coding, Business Analysis etc and eventually get them local and remote jobs. My vision is to make Ogun East the Brain Export Center of Nigeria. BusinessFirst programme ensures we develop and incubate businesses in Agriculture, Technology, Retail, Smart city and SMEs. We are already incubating 10 AgroTech Firms in our BusinessHub. They power our Modern Farmer and Didako Idan Programmes. We are also incubating ride hailing companies and much more. In sports, I currently run two football teams and I am Chairman of the APFAN, an association of Football Academy owners.
One of our products, APFAN SuperLeague is probably the best football league you can find in Nigeria with each of our matches streamed lived coupled with pre and post match interviews of players and coaches, watched by scouts across the globe and played in Ijebu Ode Stadium which has the best sporting facility in the South West of Nigeria.