A former presidential aide, Dr. Doyin Okupe, says that he is the most fairly well-prepared person to be the next Nigerian president.
He also claimed that he was the one that an ex-maximum ruler, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), had in mind when discussing Nigeria’s ideal next president.
Last week, Babangida said that Nigeria’s next president should be an individual who speaks to the citizens, understand economics, and have friends in every region.
He added that he had seen Nigerians who have these qualities, and that they are in their sixties.
Okupe, who clocked 69 on March 22, was the National Publicity Secretary of the National Republican Convention; and had been disqualified from participating in the United Nigeria Congress Party primaries.
He was also a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State; and had variously served as Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo; as well as Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
Said Babangida in a media interview that sent Nigeria talking, “I have started visualising a good Nigerian leader. That is, a person who travels across the country and has a friend virtually everywhere he travels to, and he knows at least one person that he can communicate with.
“That is a person who is very versed in economics and is also a good politician, who should be able to talk to Nigerians and so on. I have seen one, or two or three of such persons already in his sixties. I believe so if we can get him.”
However, in a live programme on Arise TV on Friday, Okupe said that the former head of state “had me in mind” when he listed those qualities.
“There’s no local government in this country that I’ve not visited five times. I’m the most fairly well-prepared person to be president.”
Continuing, he said, “I think IBB got it right; believe me sincerely. That person should be one person who can pick up his phone and call at least one person in every local government of the country.
“That means he must be somebody who has socially interacted across sections of Nigeria and understands the terrain.
“I’m in my sixties, and I believe [that] by what IBB had actually said — I’ve not spoken to him — I have a feeling that he had me in mind. I must be one of the three persons he had in mind.
“Believe me, sincerely, there’s no local government in this country that I’ve not visited five times; there’s none. And I’m the most fairly well-prepared person to be president.”