Dele Momodu, the 2011 presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP), says he “fought against” President Goodluck Jonathan in the lead-up to the April 11 presidential election because of his non-performance in office.
The Ovation magazine publisher said he had nothing personal against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or its candidate, save that the party was “running the country aground”.
Momodu also suggested that the incoming administration of Muhammadu Buhari, which he supported before the polls, would not solve all the country’s problems, but he expressed optimism that “some of the problems” would be solved.
He said all these while speaking during an interview with the United Kingdom arm of the All Progressives Congress (APC), after arriving the northwestern European country to celebrate his 55th birthday with his family.
“If Jonathan had performed, do you think I would fight him? No. But I believe PDP was running Nigeria to the ground; that is why we fought against it.
It was nothing personal,” he said. “It was not a personal battle for anybody but we needed a father figure and I believe I was one of those who started the idea of a Mandela option and I discussed it with a lot of APC members, especially in the UK.
“We have the right government now, and that is why I say we need to support Buhari to create a Nigeria where every citizen has a sense of belonging.
“There is no government that can solve all problems. We have no light. We have no water, no jobs and no petrol. I understand that nations are not governed by saints; they are governed by performers but let’s solve some of these problems.”
He urged the president-elect to begin tackling these problems by “assembling the best hands that we have”.
“If you’re going to the World Cup, you don’t go with a weak team,” he said.
“You go with the strongest team, so let the people’s General search all over Nigeria and abroad and put these people in government then things will begin to change.”
Momodu also found some time to speak about Ovation’s string of successes (the latest being the launch of Ovation TV in London) and his passion for media and communication, saying: “My passion is media. I love communicating with people.
“I have never been in government but I am able to communicate effectively and I am able to contribute my own little quota.
“I believe I was born a communicator. Communication is not about being a journalist alone; it is about communicating all the time.”
He denied insinuations that his continued involvement in political discourse rumours could be due to his interest in the 2019 presidential election.
“I am not a member of APC and irrespective of our political affiliations, religious differences and ethnic configuration, I subscribed to the idea of all of us coming together to rescue Nigeria. All I wanted was good governance.
“I believed, at the time I contested, that I was one of the best in Nigeria. I was young, vibrant, forward-thinking, but ‘what I was looking for in Sokoto is now in my sokoto’ [what I was searching for in distant places is actually available around me], so we should all join hands and support Buhari.
“For me, the importance of a Buhari victory offers us hope and promise and I pray that those hopes will not be aborted and I hope that APC’s promise will not be bastardised.”