As the country is currently facing series of challenges, ranging from security to socioeconomic and political challenges, a Canada based psychiatrist and Nigerian of Ondo state origin in the Diaspora , Dr. Abiola Oshodi, in this interview with our reporter, proffers solutions and identifies All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the appropriate person needed to fix the nation by 2023.

Excerpts:

You’re based outside Nigeria, why are you curious about the situation in the country?

Answer: Every Nigerian ought to be curious and interested in the affairs and well-being of Nigeria irrespective of the geographical location, especially if you have had your formative years in Nigeria. For someone like me that attended primary school, secondary and had university education in Nigeria though with the privilege granted by God to have had my Post Graduate training abroad and with the added benefit of practicing abroad as a medical doctor, with such rare privileges and opportunity, one must be interested in the affairs of how Nigeria is being governed and how we can do things differently in order to make Nigeria work for us collectively and not a few of us. And to get the point where Nigeria will work for us individually and collectively, we need a mental revolution and not the physical and or violent type of revolution or Balkanization as some people have advocated and or still advocating ; this is the major reason why you find people like me in the political space to propagate the message that yes Nigeria can be reformed and be made functional and profitable for the benefit of the majority of Nigerians whether they are residing in Nigeria or abroad.

Pictures of different classroom blocks pre and post renovations at my Alma Apata community grammar School Apata Ibadan funded by over 80% by Dr Abiola Oshodi

Old building

Why do you roll out different social and empowerment programmes for your people in your country home, Owo/Ose local governments even when you reside several miles away from them?

Answer: My empowerment program cuts across the Owo-Ose federal constituency and we have impacted several parts of the country; for example we equipped the surgical unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Abakaliki. Sometime in 2018, we renovated several blocks of classrooms at my alma mater, Apata Community Grammar school, Apata Ibadan and I will share with you some of the pictures of the pre and post renovated classrooms; in addition to the renovations we also equipped the classrooms with modern chairs and desks for the comfort of the students and the teaches. We renovated and furnished the science laboratories and also equipped same though with some contributions with old students of like minds . And as soon other schools within the vicinity of my alma mater got to know about the silent revolution that we triggered at my alma mater, some of the schools reached out for help though I won’t like to mention names, but we intervened in the little way we can to make life a bit more comfortable for our students. I will like to challenge you as a journalist and an investigative one to visit my alma mater, Apata Community Grammar School just behind the Government College Secondary School, Apata Ibadan and get first hand information from the students, the teachers and even the parents on the impact of our interventions. The Owo-Ose dimension that you referenced in your question is only a layer of the multiple interventions that we are making to ensure that our people live and live abundantly and not just to merely exist. I am a pan Nigerian and or pan African to the core and the bigger truth is that if I have access to more funds, we will certainly do much more and ensure that we impact lives positively across the length and breath of Nigeria.

Some people across the six geopolitical zones in the country wish Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari. What’s your take on this?

Answer: With the general election approaching fast in 2023. I expect Nigerians to reflect on where the nation is at the moment and where we expect the nation to be in 2027 exactly four years after the 2023 election, and I expect Nigerians to strategize on how we can individually and collectively move the nation forward beyond the social media criticisms and ‘peppersouping’ that we often engage in. I expect every Nigerian irrespective of their geographical location to be genuinely interested in how the country is governed from the local government councillors to the local government chairpersons, members of the state House of Assemblies, Federal House of Representatives, the Senate, our Governors and Commissioners, our Ministers and the President and every leader and even our chiefs and traditional rulers. We ought to pay closer attention to the leadership recruitment processes at multiple levels and ensure that we participate actively in the leadership recruitment processes in our fatherland, which seems to me that it’s the major area where we are getting it wrong whereas other nations that are getting it right already have systems and traditions in place whereby only their best emerge as their leaders. Whereas, we have a penchant and troubling tradition of suppressing, frustrating and or even killing our bests thus the major reason why we remain chronically underdeveloped and the poverty has enveloped the land.

So, for 2023, my choice is clear and my choice is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. BAT is a committed leader who is well equipped to start the desired 6R’s I.e, the reform, the rebirth, the resurrection, restructure, repent an of and reconciliation agenda for our fatherland. This is what I call the 6R’s agenda. There’s no better leader that’s acceptable and better equipped to drive the 6R agenda than Asiwaju BAT which is the treatment that the nation requires urgently, given his widespread grassroots oriented political structure and widespread acceptance and popularity amongst the electorates that cuts across the different ethnic, religious and cultural groups.

Dr Abiola Oshodi

I expect the BAT campaign message and subsequent BAT’s administration policies (God willing) to be bold, direct and courageous, and to implement deep-rooted and wide reaching structural reforms of Nigeria spanning multiple sectors. We must be determined to help arm the BAT campaign once BAT officially declares his intention with the 6R messages of resurrection, rebirth, reform, restructure, repentance and reconciliation. And this 6R message must form the socioeconomic and political blueprint of the administration of BAT once elected into office.

I also expect that the BAT campaign must be able to evolve a message of unity and hope driven by evidence and verifiable facts that can effectively drown the messages of ethnicism, separatism and Balkanization currently catching the attention of some politicized, polarized and ethnic driven Nigerians. The fact is none
of the geopolitical regions can survive as well on their own in a genuinely fiscally and geographically restructured Nigeria. Nigeria under Asiwaju BAT with a resurrected spirit and soul effectively coupled to the body will birth a new and a prosperous Nigeria as the Africa market place and centre for global trade activities.

The BAT campaign and by His grace the incoming BAT administration must give restructuring a chance and encourage self determination amongst the federating units so that the lights of our nation will start to shine.

I also expect that the BAT campaign message and subsequent administration by His grace must demonstrate that it recognizes the desires and the frustrations of our people at the heart of agitations to separate from a genuine feeling of alienation. Their agitation is one way of expressing their disenchantment with a chronically mismanaged system that has overtime dispossessed the citizens of their self respects and the right to self determination. Beyond the rhetorics of official recognition of this widespread disenchantment and alienation by many of our citizens, the BAT campaign and subsequent administration must be well equipped with a strategic blueprint on how we can start to live and profit from the Nigeria of our dream. BAT campaign must be willing to create opportunities for Nigerians and private investors to invest in multiple sectors, rather than the government taking all about the loans to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, they must create the platform that will enable the campaign and the administration God willing to engage with Nigerians directly on how they can be partakers of the bigger Nigeria project . For example, I don’t subscribe to the notion where the Federal Government of Nigeria will take loans to rehabilitate the Lagos -Ibadan expressway or any other trunk A road in the country for that matter when all that’s required is to engage some stakeholders and Nigerians in The Diaspora especially those of the Lagos /Oyo state extractions to contribute and crowd fund the Lagos /Ibadan expressway through a build, operate and transfer (BOT) arrangement and install tolls at strategic points where the investors can recoup their funds overtime. Many people will partake if this type of investment is organized, transparent and made to target Nigerians in the Diaspora. Same principle will apply to other trunk A roads across the length and breath of the county and similar strategy can be employed in revolutionizing our health sector and other critical sectors. I expect the BAT campaign to come up with a blueprint where 36 state – of – the art – world class equipped hospitals can be built in each of the state capitals and the FCT without the federal government taking one kobo as loans but largely financed by Diaspora crowd funding and other private investors. Just to mention a few of the revolutionary ideas that I expect from the BAT campaign ahead of the 2023 national election. Though the BAT administration must ensure that over 99% of Nigerians are insured under the national health insurance scheme (NHIS), which will make it attractive to our private investors. Our elites don’t have to travel to the UK, America or India or any other country to receive treatment being given by Nigerians in Diaspora when all we need is to reform our system and encourage such Nigerians to easily repatriate their funds to build world class hospitals in Nigeria.

Furthermore, the BAT campaign must be determined to address the root cause of the widespread disenchantments and frustrations amongst our people and develop a blueprint or template to emplace the followings;

(a) National Cohesion policy amongst our traditional rulers and with specific constitutional functions, unique and must reflect the culture and traditions of each tribe or kingdom that will make up the new Nigeria.

(b) An all-inclusive platform for Leadership recruitment that will involve all stakeholders in Nigeria irrespective of political parties or religious or ethnic affiliations. Leaders of the communities and members must forget class differentiation to build a strong force for the realization of the collective dreams and aspirations of a new Nigeria. This national leadership recruitment platform must be birthed , structured and driven from our polling units to the ward levels, then local governments, states and then federally coordinated. There must be regular interface between the governed and the government leveraging on this platform.

(c) National and well coordinated Evolution of Youth Development and Empowerment Strategy Plan to eradicate cultism and other social vices in Nigeria and equip our youths with skills, job placements and nationally coordinated mentorship programs.

(d) Creation of Community driven Political Initiatives and think tanks for quality interface between all political interests and community leaders so as to provide political directions and generate new ideas for a rebirth nation so that future challenges can be well articulated and identified and be well prepared for before they become mainstream, unlike now where we are reactive to burning national issues than being proactive.

(e) Establishment of twenty first century Opportunity Discovery Committee to identify various infrastructural, economic and other developmental opportunities unique to each tribes and kingdoms in Nigeria and the BAT campaign and God willing BAT administration must evolve the blueprint that will bring Transformation Agenda into reality within the shortest possible time. There are many minerals and metals that are raw but in abundance in different parts of Nigeria that are unexplored or being illegally mined, and these precious materials are the building blocks that are driving the global technological revolution from fossil fuel to green energy , for example precious metals like lithium, graphite, nickel, rare earth materials just to name a few. A new chapter of the constitution must be birthed that will give 50% of such resources to the people, local governments and states where such resources are found.

And lastly, the BAT campaign and God willing BAT administration must also evolve solution driven blueprints and road maps that must urgently address the followings;

(A) the unending Cold War amongst our people and now engulfing the different tribes that have lived together peacefully for ages .

(B) The Mindless Killings in the land .

(C) the current spate of General Insecurity in the land .

(D) Unacceptable High Rate of Unemployment amongst our youths

(E) High rate of unemployment amongst our women and the disabled

(F) Chronic Lack of Cohesion amongst the different Social groups and Organic Structures in Nigeria, which ought to reflect our strengths and diversities but currently an albatross.

(G) Conspicuous Non-availability or non implementation of time sensitive national Developmental Masterplan.

(H) bastardization of our Educational System complicated by the recent moral decadence in our public and private schools.

(I) multilevel Decay in our public institutions in Nigeria.

Do you have any personal plan to promote Tinubu so that APC can give him the presidential ticket on the platform of the party?

Dr Abiola Oshodi

Answer: Yes I have both personal and collective plans to promote Asiwaju BAT and I have been involved in the preparation as soon as the 2019 election was concluded. I am working hard with other stakeholders across multiple groups such as the Bola Ahmed Tinubu solidarity vanguard ( BATS-V), and the Patriots of Bola Ahmed Tinubu ( POBAT), we are working hard at integrating and working with other groups of similar interests e.g., SWAGA ( South west agenda under the chairmanship of senator Adeyeye) towards promoting the BAT candidacy.

What are the aims and objectives of your group, M4BN (Movement for Better Nigeria)?

Answer: The aims and objectives of POBAT (Patriots of Bola Ahmed Tinubu), are (a) to rejuvenate the parts of the nation towards massive integration and inclusive governance.
(b) to impute culture of growth and development to the Nigeria people through her activities.
(c) to ensure that the Nigeria electorates are superjacent in the democratic process and to appreciate the power of their votes .
(d) to embark via a geometrical progression in the sensitization and education of the masses on electing the right candidates across the length and breath of the nation.

(e) to help identify and promote people of politically sound minds and ensure their electability across the length and breath of the nation.

(f) To embark on massive campaign against all anti-developmental interests , behaviours, attitudes and dispositions that are capable of breeding insecurities, break down of law and orders, electoral violence, political and leadership insensitivities to the plight of the people.

(g) To consolidate the aims and objectives and visional associations of like minds for practical actions ans fulfillment of peace , progress and developmental agenda with all stakeholders and groups.

(h) to foster and ensure cohesion with the Nigerian established with the spirit of oneness, equity, Justice and fairness.

When is the inauguration of the M4BN (Movement for Better Nigeria)?

Answer: POBAT will be inaugurated on the 30th of October 2021 at Plot 788c Wuse ii Sani Abacha express way ( Graceland garden and parks). Please be our guest.

What’s your advice to Nigerians in preparation for the 2023 presidential election?

Answer: My advise to Nigerians as we prepare for the 2023 general election is that they must ‘ shine their eyes and follow who know road o’. Asiwaju BAT is the key that will start to unlock the solutions to most of our chronic multifaceted problems as a nation.