Accord party’s presidential candidate, Professor Christopher Imumolen has debunked claims that he is secretly working for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to become Nigeria’s next president in the upcoming general elections.
Professor Imumolen who vehemently denied the claims while fielding questions during a talkshow anchored by @JJ Omojuwa on Twitter early this week said that rumours of his so-called work for Tinubu was being peddled by persons who hardly knew him, insisting that he was nobody’s stooge.
The country’s youngest presidential candidate expressed regret that despite the introduction of a new era which opened the door to an unprecedented upsurge of youth particicipation in politics as empowered by the Not Too Young To Run bill signed into law by outgoing president Muhammadu Buhari, many Nigerians, particularly the young ones do not believe that a leader of youth extraction can actually come from amongst them.
He blamed such mindset on a system that had succeeded, over the years, in brainwashing youths to think they can never be good enough to reach the pre-eminent heights of the presidency or political success of any kind.
He likened the thinking which manipulated them to think small to the proverbial elephant, tied to a spot with a small rope at infant, that could still not to shake itself free of it’s perpetual stagnation despite growing big enough at adulthood to do so.
“I have heard talk in some quarters accusing me of secretly working for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to become president so that he can appoint me as a minister,” Professor Imumolen said.
“I consider such statements quite unfortunate, particularly considering the fact that most of it is coming from the youths at whose instance I have come out of my comfort zone as a successful, private citizen to join the race for the country’s presidency.
“Well, should I really blame those who say these things? I just believe years of neglect, unemployment, economic hardships and lack of political opportunities has so affected their mentality to the extent of thinking it is not possible for a young man to become president.
“But it is all in their minds. We have had young people who have had the opportunity to rule this country at very young ages.
“Chief Olusegun Obasanjo revealed in a recent letter endorsing a particular presidential candidate that he was 39 years old when he first became Nigeria’s military head of state in 1976.
“General Yakubu Gowon before him was 32 years old when he assumed the mantle of the country’s leadership. Infact, he was a bachelor when he was enthroned. He married after he became head of state.
“What of four of my co-aspirants in the ongoing race for the presidency — Abubakar Atiku, Bola Tinubu, Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso?
“They were in their 40s when they reached the peak of their careers in public office — some as governors and one (Atiku) as a retired Customs Deputy Comptroller General in 1986.
“So, it amounts to a defeated mentality for the youths of today to think that a young person like me can’t see through a presidency race.
“That I was going to step down and endorse a fellow candidate at some point because according to them, we are only good enough to play second fiddle.
“For the avoidance of doubts, I joined the race for the country’s presidency because I was genuinely convinced I had a chance to win and become the instrument of genuine change for a country that has been quite unfortunate with the kind of leadership she has had for decades.
“I didn’t join the race to withdraw and endorse another candidate for the proverbial pot of porridge.
“I, Professor Christopher Imumolen has enough fuel in my tank to run this race and see it to it’s logical conclusion. I have never met Tinubu, and I don’t have any secret pact with him or anyone else, for that matter, to step down for anything, least of all, a ministerial position.
“Those who have been hasty to lump me with youths who have acted without integrity in the past would only be fair if they can spare some time to check my background and read up my achievements in the area of empowering humanity through various channels in my private capacity over the last couple of years.
“I am in the race for the country’s presidency to demonstrate, as well as destroy forever age-long stereotypes which relegates Nigerian youths to the background.
“I want to be the agent of genuine change that will galvanise our youths and instil in them a new mindset that anything is possible for those who dream and think big,” he said.