Media mogul and businessman, High Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, a candidate for the chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said the reason why he intends to be the Chairman is because “Nigeria is my interest“.
He said this in an interview with Vanguard.
“As the founder and a substantial shareholder in Daar Communications Plc, I still have the privilege of looking at issues that concern Nigeria. And the truth remains that Nigeria is my interest; the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the black race is my major concern and my major interest. And up to the time I stop breathing, I will continue to be worried about the issues of development and progress of the black race.”
“I cannot fold my hands and sit back and look without contributing effectively to the dreams which I dreamt about Nigeria, my hopes and aspirations for a better Nigeria, a prosperous Nigeria, a Nigeria flowing with milk and honey, a Nigeria that is united, a Nigeria where every citizen, according to its ability, can find a place for themselves.”
On why he chose the PDP platform: “Let me say that I have been an active member of the PDP since 1998 but because I was running a media organisation and so on, my sympathy, my membership did not mean anything to me. But I lent my support to deepening democracy in Nigeria. I looked through all the political parties at inception and if there was anything that actually attracted me, that made the PDP very important to me, that left the necessary impact on me, it was its commitment to the unity and stability of this country. That clause in its manifesto that speaks of developing the country uniformly, of giving opportunities, creating job opportunities for the younger ones, making Nigeria a place of hope and respect and with these ideals of actualising a united Nigeria, got me carried away and I needed to continuously remain in the party to lend my support. So there was no need for me to aspire to lead the party over the years.”
“PDP needs somebody that is capable of admitting the mistakes of the past and be determined to really look for the solution, and for the challenges that we have, you need a visionary leader. And the party needs rejuvenation, rebranding, reconstruction, rebuilding; all of these I think I am able to do effectively; that is why I am offering myself for service to the party.”
He adds, “I want to achieve the dream of the ordinary man in the streets for a united Nigeria and PDP is only a political party that can galvanise and mobilise the people in this direction today.”
On the 2015 election: “Yes, the loss of the 2015 election was a failure foretold. There is no gainsaying about it.
“It is, therefore, imperative for the PDP to emerge from the failure of 2015 to be fully rebranded and be repackaged and be represented to the people of Nigeria. Its manifesto must reconnect with the people of Nigeria while the youth and women must be given more prominent roles to play in the party. In addition, necessary reforms must be carried out to make the party more attractive to Nigerians and win their confidence as 2019 approaches.
“We must clean the erroneous claims by the APC that the PDP is clueless and corrupt.
“In my own case, I want to be accountable to the citizens of Nigeria if, by the special grace of God, we win the presidential election in 2019, I want to mobilise, I want to strategise to get the youth of this country together. I got to the pinnacle of my career as a youth and there is no reason whatsoever and there is nothing that stops and demeans any person from getting to that height today. We must create the enabling environment, we must continue to sustain because the future and stability of this country depends on the younger generation.”
“Remember that I came into broadcasting and I made a difference to the industry and took broadcasting to its pinnacle in the country. I went into the shipping industry and I became the first person to go into any shipyard in the whole continent of Africa. I ran the largest shipping company in the whole continent of Africa. I am the first again to start this idea of chairmanship aspirant going round the whole country as a constituency to convince and get people to support their vision and why they want to serve.”
He then says, “I am very sorry and I apologise on behalf of my generation and the generation before me. We have failed this country and we must take responsibility for it and we must seek ways of correcting the mistakes we made because there is no reason South Korea can be the 12th wealthiest country in the world today and we are in the lowest rung of the ladder and still parading ourselves as the giants of Africa.
“Our youth are jobless and there is no hope because there are no industries producing the goods and services that can provide employment for them as was the case in the past.
“Unless we start producing things and start engaging our people in production, the level of unemployment will continue unabated.
“The new PDP that is coming in by the grace of God in 2019 will be one that will serve the interest of Nigeria, uplift the integrity and honour of the ordinary black man and make Nigeria flow with milk and honey once again. May God so help us.