South Africa-based Nigerian Adetunji Omotola who is seeking to contest the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairmanship slot in South Africa on Saturday, November 13th, 2021, believes he is the right man to help the party articulate its vision, and rally its base from ‘apathy to action’ ahead of the 2023 elections in Nigeria.
The versatile Communication Specialist boldly declared his intention to run the affairs of the PDP, one of two major contemporary political parties in Nigeria, in a chat from Johannesburg with Oral Ofori — digital storyteller and Founder of the information research consulting firm TheAfricanDream.net in the United States.
In his interview with Mr. Ofori which was observed by this writer, Mr. Omotola beamed with confidence that showed him as a force to be reckoned with. His passion was about the efforts of getting the party to capture power in the next general elections come 2023 in Nigeria.
“I am very versatile in the media; I have been in finance [and I’m] also quite robust in terms of politics. I am also dynamic and I have got contacts with key people at the [PDP] party. I am quite comfortable talking to people who are not members of PDP, so while I’m in PDP, I am not dogmatic, don’t expect everybody to be in PDP but also my background as a Lawyer [and] Communication Specialist will help me to be able to articulate the vision of the party as we look towards general elections in Nigeria in 2023.”
The Adetunji Omotola Manifesto snapshot
In the spirit of his manifesto, Adetunji stated that he would want to create debates around the level of participation of Nigerians in the Diaspora in politics, immigration, the economy, and integration among other topical issues. He intimated he would like to see debates. The political process must be carefully examined for people to feel like “are we really a part of it” so it becomes attractive enough for those back in Nigeria and people everywhere to feel welcomed irrespective of their social, financial and educational status in life.
“…We hardly find any young people coming to meetings and they hardly become members because the language is very stale, the language is not invigorating, so we want to bring more young people in. I am going to be looking at setting up the PDP youth league when I become Chairman.”
Revealing more of his manifesto agenda Adetunji Omotola indicated his intentions to set up a fundraising committee in January, noting that no political party would be taken seriously if it cannot boast of the requisite resources to be able to carry out certain projects on the journey to capture power.
Another area he intends to look at if given the nod to be the chairman of the Party in South Africa was to ensure regular meetings as the constitution of the party stipulates that meetings should be held every month. He plans to, among other initiatives, set up a PDP business forum where the party can help members work together in support of each other’s respective businesses regardless of location.
The 10K votes that escaped from the APC den
Adetunji indicated that he was aware of how Herculean his task might be, but he comes into the field with decades of experience to arm him for the task ahead. He had served as the former Secretary-General of the PDP South African Branch and worked hard during previous Nigeria elections to deliver a candidate who was able to get 10,000 votes in Lagos, which is a stronghold of PDP’s main rival; the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“I remember my stepmother who said to me we must be crazy to be talking about PDP in Lagos, [and that] we should get out. For us to get to the den of Lions in Lagos and [obtain] 10,000 votes in 2011 with very little resources means we can do a lot more especially given all the challenges the ruling party [now] faces and all the challenges of poor governance and human right abuses and even narrowing of the democratic space. So I’m the man for the season,” proclaims Mr. Omotola.
The Nigerian-Diaspora disenfranchisement factor and how to fix it
He however expressed concern over Nigerians in the Diaspora unable to exercise their franchise in the general elections. Although the national electoral commission of Nigeria may be logistically and financially constrained to be able to register Nigerians in the Diaspora to vote, there should be concrete efforts to get them to be part of the electoral process Mr. Omotola recommended.
He went on to tell TheAfrcanDream.net that “there seems not to be enough political-will from the government to get Nigerians in the Diaspora to participate in the electoral process.”
He suggested that what ought to be done was for Nigerians living outside the country and all over the world to lobby their members of government and party representatives individually to continue to advocate for the needed steps and actions to be taken to make the Diaspora votes count. He also questioned how about US$23B could be contributed to the local Nigeria economy through remittances by Nigerians living outside and yet they remain disenfranchised still.
“The concern they have is around logistics and integrity, how is it going to be done. We are now in the 23rd year of democracy, people are disgruntled and many people feel they are not part of the democratic order, so it’s got to be about political will. There should not be excuses. We do not have the technology because some of the best ICT companies come from Nigeria.”
Adetunji Omotola is a public speaker, lawyer and independent Africa Analyst with more than a decade of experience in the media and wine industry. He is married to Nonye Omotola, a Global African Communicator driven by the growth of Africa’s economy to expand brands and tell the African story across sectors. They live together with their children in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Visit www.adetunjiomotola.com to learn more about him and watch the interview about his campaign on YouTube below.
Written by Mavis Okyere