By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja-The race for the 2019 Presidential election is gaining momentum and young Nigerians have decided to take their destinies into their own hands by coming out to vie for the seat of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic.
The Chief Executive Officer, BEN Television, London,Europe’s first ethnic media and satellite TV, Alistair Soyode on Monday joined in the Presidential race, with the sole purpose of instilling transparency and accountability in the country.
Soyode, who is yet to declare the platform under which he would contest the presidential election, stressed that he is the best candidate and a strong advocate of the “Yes We Can” spirit.
The Presidential aspirant, popularly known as “ASthebridge”, noted that he joined the race to propagate the YEEEEEEES(YE7S) ideal for every Nigerian, so as to help strengthen, rather than weaken Nigeria’s democracy.
“YE7S encapsulate our vision and mission, with it being our manifesto lines to regain our unity and recapture the spirit of our nationhood, we must all put aside our differences, and this will allow us to create a better and greater Nigeria” he said.
He called on the youth to get themselves engaged in the politics of Nigeria, saying that their vote is their ultimate desire to elect the right candidate.
According to him, ” In 2019, there is a need to be honest, transparent and bold, to grow the country we desire. It is time to use democracy to forward a new path to a new nation. The power is with those who have the PVC and will go out to vote. Having it and keeping it at home, is as useless as not having one.
“We have the youth and experience of our elders and both are needed to make Nigeria greater nation. We have the ability to meet our challenges because, we have the most needed resources: human capital and our blessing of natural resources that abound in the country, plus millions of highly skilled Nigerians in the diaspora.
“Over 21 people have indicated interest to run for the office of the President and I have joined the list of these wonderful Nigerians. I will help unleash the free thinking minds of the youth and usher in creativity. This is the time to arise!” he said.
Also speaking, an APC member and spokesman of Military Head of State,Ibrahim Babangida, Kassim Afegbua, endorsed Soyode as his candidate for the 2019 Presidential election.
Afegbua stressed that his vote won’t go for President Muhammadu Buhari at 77 years old, adding that APC is not doing well and has not tailored its manifesto to deliver to Nigerians what was promised.
In his words, ” I want a government that will market my hope, I will not endorse APC if they present Buhari for 2019.
“Ali is a great Nigerian, dedicated to work and is the kind of Nigerian that should be in leadership position as he will represent hope for the hopeless” he noted.
Read full speech below >>>>>>>>
Excerpt from Asthebridge declaration speech 7th May, 2018
Personally, for me, after meeting many of our youth, leaders and elders, trade unions and NGOs, from various walks of life, I have decided to run for the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where the YEEEEES ideals can and will be for every citizen of Nigeria.
YE7S encapsulates our vision and mission, with it being our manifesto lines.To regain our unity and recapture the spirit of our nationhood we must all put aside our differences, and this will allow us to create a better and greater Nigeria.
I believe, like many of you here, that Nigeria should be better than it currently is.
*Y* OUTH (Young ones are the Engine room for Nig)
*E* NTERPRISES (Agriculture, Health etc.)
*E* xperts, xperience, quality, nforcement of policies, rules & laws
*S* ECURITY (secured)
1. We have the Youth and the experience of our elders and both are needed to make Nigeria a greater nation. We have the ability to meet our challenges because we have the most needed resources: human capital and our blessing of natural resources that abound in the country, plus millions of highly skilled Nigerians in the diaspora.
As we gain our strength and rightful position in the world, we will help lead the African continent and rightly be the GIANT OF AFRICA. The world will know indeed that Nigeria is here at last. THE BRIDGE between the have and have nots will be met by the Bridge voters. We shall rise quickly as a nation, and our citizens will be highly revered and respected.
2. E in YE7S means our Economy and we sincerely do need diversification, moving away from oil to manufacturing and services. Those running small to medium sized enterprises need our support to start and grow their business. The failings of the economy can be and will be transformed without delay. There are professionals in our country that have worked with major international organisations that need to be brought in to help leaders implement transformative policies. From improving roads so it is easier to transport goods, to improving the banking system so that businesses can receive investments, we will make sure these policies are introduced without hesitation.
3. Our E, Education, is failing. Many have called for a national emergency in the education sector and educational standards are actually declining in parts of our country. Therefore, there is an urgent need to overhaul our education system. The world is rapidly changing whilst Nigeria seem to be lagging behind, analogue in a digital age.
Nigerian higher institutions should begin to encourage research work and come out with praticable solutions, such that, when executed, they will serve a purpose in the area of improving Nigerians socially, her economy and make an impact outside the country. Much more can be done and we must explore ways to invest in the young, because they are our future. I know the value of education. I know the difference that skills and know-how can make and we will strategies with local and state leaders to ensure that Nigeria becomes a nation where education and skills can take centre stage.
4. Our E for Employment will be to reduce the high level of unemployment seen in the country over the years. The world is in the era of technology. We shall empower the innovative minds and brains of our people, from our youth to the elders, and I believe we have what it takes to compete globally. I have seen first-hand what can be done for job creation in many industries – from sports, to entertainment, skilled labour, infrastructural projects, and financial services, we have the resources here to create the jobs. Billions can be generated when we develop and nurture the best of our talents. But our most important industry is our small to medium sized businesses and we must work with our financial institution to provide them with good incentives in the way to go.
5. The E is for Energy, and that too is one of our country’s major hindrances, slowing the progress and development of our country. We have spent billions of dollars and tried privatised formerly public companies, yet we are still lacking light. The damage we are causing our country through pollution from generators is also a cause of environmental hazards. I can assure Nigerians that within 24 months, our capacity for generating power will double. Energy, electricity and power are needed by all, and with an increase in our output and production we will see growth in all industries, potentially adding more than $1tr to our GDP and this will increase living standards and life expectancies.
With better delivery and greater access to power, more investors will be destined for Nigeria, creating jobs and bringing change. We shall embrace new ways of providing energy in this technological revolution, to enhance our productivity, provide consumables to all and strengthen our institutions, eliminating economic failures and failings.
6. I use Enterprise to describe agriculture, health, the labour market and similar industry. There is no need to bore you now, with all of our nations’ challenges. Our best doctors, nurses and engineers are regularly leaving Nigeria to go abroad and we cannot fault them. People are prone to seeking greener pastures, and it is time for Nigeria to become that greener pasture. It is wrong for us to abuse anyone for doing such, and we should appreciate them for sending funds and remittance back to Nigeria, which last year totalled nearly $22billions.
A healthy nation is a wealthy one. We have the potential of wealth but not healthy. But our people are dying, they cannot even be examined in a hospital, let alone get the prescriptions they need. I know things about health. My child is a medical doctor. We shall, without delay, turn the tables upside down. I guarantee full assurance as written in our Nation’s constitution. There is going to be rapid increase in basic health care services across the country. (facing one of the latest challenges such drug abuses etc).
Agriculture is also part of the profit-making enterprises which Nigeria needs to explore.
For the record, not everyone needs to be a farmer.In life, we all have a different calling. As I stand here I can proudly say that I studied Agriculture and Irrigation Engineering at Hassan Usman Polytechnic in Katsina. I do know more than that of others. We need to improve our farming equipment and secure the best crops and cattle for our growth, as well as improving storage facilities and this will propel us to advance in our agriculture production.
Infrastructure – according to Jega, Human (national) development is about meeting and satisfying basic human needs and aspirations, protecting their freedoms and rights, minimising risks to their survival, enhancing human security, and empowering them to tap and maximise their potential.This is the nucleus to sustainable development and economic competitiveness. My dear country lacks infrastructure developments and this reduces our growth by as much 45% (ICA,2010). Bad roads, a lack of housing, etc……We need to encourage our Government Ministries, Departments And Parastatals’ Publication to be more accountable in their expenditure.
This will reduce corruption and helps boost our economy. We have experts in the accounting industry and we need to improve the competitiveness of our private sector, so it can compete on the world stage.
And finally, myself personally, as an ardent user and advocate for Made in Nigeria Products (I designed a shoe etc), will ensure that our products are improved and promoted, in Nigeria and globally.
These things, I believe, will improve our economy. Today no nation can shy away from the usage of technology. It rules the world. Nigeria cannot be different. We shall unleash Nigeria into the technological age.
For us to be richer than we are currently, we must embrace innovations and technology and I believe our economy will benefit from it. The Nigerian nation has all the endowment and resources to be ranked as the richest African nation. It is time Nigeria advanced with the advancement of this age. For example, Nigeria is blessed with a large land mass for agriculture in this land are other natural resources and minerals ready to create wealth for the country. I want to see technology made in Nigeria.
7. I started the YE7S with the youth. But please, let’s make no mistake in forgetting our Elders. I am very happy to say that our elders will be provided for, far and beyond what they have seen. I have total respect for their tenacity and hard work. We cannot continually blame them for our failings. You can only blame a learned person for failing.
As a mentor, your best weapon to your mentee is your life history, successes and failures, and we have a lot to learn from our elders.
8. The last E is for experts, experience, equality, enforcement of policies, rules & laws. We shall Encourage Innovations from our youths and creative minds. The enforcement and improvement of Law and Order is absolutely important for our economy to improved. We have suffered untold hardship from corrupt practices by many, which have affected our economy and people.
We shall use technology to close many of the loop holes and this will deal a massive blow to such practices and help bring offenders to justice. No case will stay in court beyond the time frame limit set on matters of criminal and corrupt offenses.
9. The last letter, S, in our YEEEEES is fully focusing on security. Without security, a poor man, a rich woman, the youth, and all others in Nigeria will not be able to enjoy the benefits of living in our great nation.
Having all the above without having your Security assured makes life painful and bitter. There is no joy in enjoying the success of a thriving Nigeria without security. We shall therefore strengthen our armed forces starting with reform of the Police. We shall increase their budget to fully train and equip them with the necessary tools to fight crime. They shall be protecting the people and their honour will be increased through their duty and role.
To me, police officers are as important as any officer or executive in Nigeria. Their job is NOT to PROTECT THOSE THAT HAVE the RESOURCES TO HIRE PRIVATE SECURITY OFFICERS, But to deal with anyone breaking the law and safeguard the properties and belongings of the common people.
All options will be explored to help reduce crime. And as shared before on equality, whoever is found guilty will face the full force of the law.
Finally, on security – let this be a warning to the foreign killers in Nigeria. Leave the country now. It is the end of the road. This bridge will not allow you to cross over into killing our people, burning our properties. We need peace, we shall provide peace and protect our people equally without favour to any particular group of people.
We need peace and security for our economy to grow. That will benefit our tourism industries to function, manufacturing to expand etc. That is our promise I am here for you.
I thank all those already in the race answering this call to leadership as a way to strengthen Nigeria, build a deeper and stronger democracy in the country and most importantly to see this call, as I do, as a call to serve our people, with integrity, honour, transparency and a servant attitude, where everyone is respected and treated equally.
As much as the above from the YEEEEEEES is highlighted the Nigeria’s constitution already provided all. The constitution is supreme and above any one’s manifesto.
Together we shall build a new, better and greater Nigeria. We shall build an innovative and technologically advanced Nigeria. We shall create an environment and country where the best of ours, home and abroad, will have and be given an equal opportunity to make Nigeria great. We shall provide an enabling platform to promote innovation and support research.
We shall make Nigeria a nation where indeed prosperity, peace and partnership rules.A nation of Nigerians where each is treated as an equal citizen, regardless of their home-state or religion.A nation of Nigerians where justice reigns, protecting the lives and properties of its people.
I am calling on the Youth, the Elders, our Brothers and Sisters, Honorables to Senators, Ministers and Governors, from our most senior politicians to our traditional rulers, to choose a better Nigeria. We will return to the hope, beliefs, and spirit of nationhood as set out by our founding fathers and I present myself as a bridge to those ideals.
My contract with Nigeria is to first and foremost hold us accountable and respect the constitution of the Federal Government of Nigeria. I shall obey and follow it to the fullest. I shall respond to the yearning of Nigerians and listen to the calls of our people.
I want to thank you all for the opportunity to share this with you. I thank you for the chance to be here and I thank you in advance for your trust, encouragement, inspiration and kind words. I have no fear, but inner strength with all of you around me. As your servant leader, I will intervene on your behalf on all promises and duties as ascribed to the office of the PRESIDENT.
Your vote is your voice. With your pen you elect the next leader. My prayer is one and singular. If God so desires for my name to be on the electoral card, then for you to elect me as President.
Elect me so that we can build and share in a new Nigeria. Elect me so that we can really and truly have a nation where each and every one of us feels empowered, with the hope of a prosperous future. I am grateful that over the years I have been able to traverse the world in search of ways to better Nigeria. I have learnt the act of negotiating and networking which is paramount in a nation as diverse as ours.
Ladies and gentlemen, youth of our nation – it is this diversity that propels me to see the abundance of opportunities that shall ushers us into a new, productive, progressive and peaceful partnership with each other. I cannot thank you enough. To make this sweet, do please tell every potential voter to get their PVC,just as I have been sharing with the electorates on the Educational Series.
7 Positive Roles for the voter:
1. Seek ways to form Solidarity
2. Speak, watch and listen to political and democratic processes
3. Register as advised by INEC
4. Obtain your PVC
5. Go and vote when due
6. Vote for the right candidate with credible policies & as reflected in their lifestyles
7. Protect your vote
Your Vote is Your Voice.
I am grateful that our cultures, languages, and diversity will usher in opportunities never seen before. I have the strength, the know-how, experience, and tenacity to do what is needed for the sake of my country and have been doing so over the last 20 years both at home and in the diaspora. The YEEEEES are the cardinal things we shall do.
Finally to our international partners and friends, we thank you for your encouragement for us to pursue successful democratic processes. This thanks goes out to nations such as the UK, USA, Germany, France, Canada, China, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Malaysia, and most importantly our African brothers from South Africa to Ghana, Congo to Tunisia, and Egypt to Ethiopia.. My appreciations also goes out to the UN, AU, ABR, ECOWAS, World Bank and IMF. We all need to start planning for a new Nigeria, seated at the table with these nations and international organisations, as equal partners, where the concerns of the Nigerian people can be properly addressed.I am grateful. It is an option to the alternative.
My ethos for the last 20 years has been
“BRIDGING THE GAP”
It is the Bridge man. A bridge from poverty to wealth.A bridge from illiteracy to literacy.The bridge for equality and Justice. The bridge linking the North and South. The bridge between Nigeria and Africa. The bridge between Nigeria and the World. The bridge between the youth and our elders. A bridge to bring us back to what love and peaceful living is all about.A bridge to, prosperity, protection of lives, health and importantly, a bridge over our cultural differences and tensions.
To build that bridge we need everyone that desires a better and greater Nigeria, from lay workers to professionals, to contribute a block. We have them here. You are the blocks to build that bridge. A new dawn is here.
(A reminder goes to those committing crimes in Nigeria to desist such heinous crimes, pack and leave the country before May 2019. We shall not condone by a day such criminal activities in the country.) Let’s make Nigeria better and Greater.
Thank you. And may God bless you all here and may he forever bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
With Thanks by ASTHEBRIDGE.ORG