Email to Fela-Durotoye; Presidential Aspirant, Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN)
I learned about your intention to contest for the highest political position in Nigeria and I was led to write this email to you.
Please don’t think that I am rude to have addressed this email by your first name and don’t be surprised either because you will start seeing more of it soon. I did this for two reasons;
To get you familiar with the kind of generation you are wishing to lead and also to signal our boldness and willingness to hold you accountable every step of the way. We are a generation of millennial and we are the most exposed generation that has ever existed. This is why I am writing an email instead of a letter which the old generations are used to doing. For your information, we don’t write letters, we send emails. This is perhaps the first culture shock you should expect. Going forward, we would need an active email of yours and you should respond to every one starting with this one. Stepping into the public scene comes with honor and not titles. And that is why great men of history with contents are addressed by first name and not with titles such as General, Chief, Apostle etc.
Second reason is that you are almost two decades older than I am but the level of respect I have for you is more than 10 decades old. I am not a fan of motivational speaking and this explains why we haven’t met because I am not your regular primary target market. Now, it looks like something of common interest is bringing us together and we finally have a ground to talk and discuss. Therefore, I look forward to your invitation to have a session with you and finally have the chance to get to know you firsthand.
It is not very common in this part of the world to take risks especially leaving comfort zones of certainty and definite trajectory for a life of uncertainties. I know the decision to come into the political limelight was not an easy one for you. I could already imagine that you understand what it means to play politics especially in Nigeria and you still decided to keep hope alive. Should anybody be surprised? I bet NO! Your pedigree has always been about creating systems to serve people. I was researching about you and I asked my followers on social media what they know about you. You have indeed made significant impacts on so many millennial in Nigeria and across Africa. Going by your profile, you have also made tremendous progress in your career. It is not a little feat to have grown a business-like Gemstone from scratch to what it is today. I am also aware of your significant input into House of Tara which has now become a household name in African brands. A woman can only achieve so much when she has a superman watching over her.
I am not a politician (at least not yet) and definitely not a card-carrying member of any party but I have been actively following and understudying politics for about 10 years now. I am writing you based on my little experience in leadership, social impact and as a political analyst; and I am going to start by asking some pertinent questions.
When exactly did this vision for politics start? Please don’t get me wrong, not the vision for a new Nigeria because I believe that politics is not the only place where you can manifest change for Nigeria. Mark Zuckerberg changed the way the world communicates not by becoming president of the world but by creating an enabling system. So, again, why politics?
I completely agree with you that Nigeria is due for a change of leadership. The first republic leaders laid the good foundation but everything was truncated by the over ambitious military juntas. These same people (some of whom are alive and still in the scene) gave birth to the second republic. They kept playing us like we are dice when they killed the third republic even before its arrival. Now the fourth republic which you and I should be leading is also being hijacked by the same people. A change of leadership is indeed necessary and important to save the future but the challenge is that 2019 is such a pretty short time away. Why haven’t you decided this since 2015 and create grassroots systems, providing policy driven solutions to problems at the grassroots? If 2019 is your primary target (which I doubt), what is your party’s strategies to reach the local communities. Alliance for New Nigeria is clearly for professionals and the Lekki people, how do you intend selling this same ideology to my people at the lower end?
Politics all over the world is a game of numbers (read William H. Riker’s book on “Theory of Political Coalitions). Political positions are not won by Instagram skits or number of followers on social media. You will be surprised that even members of your own church might not vote for you on the D-day; if in doubt, ask Chris Okotie or Daniel Akinlami. These are your predecessors which I recommend you study closely to understand their strengths and weakness. All those sexy, fine and costumed videos are very good especially for the folks in Lekki, Jabi, Asokoro, VI who would probably be home on election day watching Seun Okinbaloye on Politics today. The current establishments (the two major parties) understand this and have spent decades to build such structure. One would have expected that you will walk your way up the ladder but I don’t recommend it either. Emmanuel Macron started “En Marche” in 2016 and he not only won the French presidential election, the party swept majority of the votes at the legislature. But then, Macron has been a politician and served in public offices for a major part of his career. This is in contrast with you and this is why your case is different. I am trusting your party to have figured out a way to build a structure not only for 2019 but for generations to come. I know this is within your influence and it’s what you can do.
It is no news that you are an intentional goal digger; your choices and way of life have brought you to this great pinnacle. And that you’re receiving these enormous supports is also good platform to leverage. In order not to lose the intent of this email, let me categorically say that I am writing you this piece as encouragement on this historic journey. It will be tough, challenging and there may be times you would want to give up. BUT DON’T.
You cannot afford to give up because the younger generations whom you represent are watching. They want to see if truly today and the future belongs to them. If you don’t win in 2019 (which may likely happen); are you willing to try again? I also think that at this time, you need to work closely with the party to strengthen other arms of government positions for you to succeed. You will need to convince people of like minds who will contest and win in the legislature. It is very difficult, if not impossible to succeed as a president without the support of the legislature. And one sure way is to ensure your party controls the majority. You may consider learning from Emmanuel Macron’s “La République En Marche”.
While I will continue to pray for you and many others like Adamu Garba II, Kingsley Moghalu, Enyinnwu Nwosu whom at one time or the other indicated interest in the presidency, I also look forward to your response.
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Adetunji Adeniran is a civil engineer, analyst on #Politics360 on LeadRadioFM. He is also the convener of YNAG. a platform for coaching and building next generation of leaders for Nigeria’s prosperity.