​Fela Durotoye: Accusations, The truth About Fuel Subsidy, President Buhari and 2019 elections.

In 2015 the Baga attacks saw about 2,000 Nigerians dead at the hands of Boko Haram. Hafsat Abiola-Costello

Founder/President Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, also the daughter of the Late MKO Abiola wrote an open letter to the GEJ administration.
This letter bore the grievance of the nation with regards to the silence this massacre met from the Presidency. Tara Fela Durotoye was a Signatory to this letter.

Tara and Fela Durotoye didn’t appear in media posing as campaigners for the present day government. There are other things to find about women, leadership awards, youth empowerments and celebration of their marriage. Doing a thorough news search would prove this.

Yet there is a lot of insinuations, lacking evidence of course. Allegations that Fela Durotoye campaigned for and supported the present administration. Even if he did, it wouldn’t be a crime but did he?

What exactly did Fela Durotoye do that has warranted such ignorant accusations? Why does it seem some people are against his possible emergence as a 2019 Presidential aspirant?

First, we must agree that Fela Durotoye has always been known for his leadership foresight. There is a possibility he has had his eye on the Presidency a long time before now.

According to Jude Feranmi in a 2014 blog post, the only way to defeat the cabalocracy is through a grand plan by technocrats like Fela Durotoye.

In Feranmi’s words:

“So how can you achieve that? In a country where less than 40 million people decide who the next president is and you require about half of that population to be on your side. Then you might as well look into the remaining 122 million people, if we decide to go by the last population census. Carve out your own 20 million people, educate them politically, tell them about  a 2025 dream that will surely come to pass. Wait for elections, campaign on an independent platform, wait for the election results and see if you emerge.”

 

He raises the salient question of how Fela Durotoye could ever get 20 Million Nigerians to support him. The focus, however, should be, what does he mean by the dream 2025? How does it’s fulfillment affect the Presidential aspirations of a Young Leader like Fela?

Before we answer this question, let’s take a quick detour to resolve this noise about Fela’s involvement in enthroning the present government by President Muhamadu Buhari. Did he really encourage Nigerians to vote for or elect PMB?

false accusations on Fela Durotoye

With a little recourse to publicly available facts, one would find it really hard to find any speech to this effect. The allegations against him are based on a speech he made in 2012.  He challenged the GEJ Presidency’s subsidy removal policy.

What was the basis of his argument against this policy? He acknowledged the existence of corrupt practices linked to this subsidy, he acknowledged that fact that the 1.3 trillion subsidies could indeed be considered to be a high expense but he also believed that government should take the lead in “tightening their belt” before removing the relief available to citizens.

For those who don’t understand the implication of fuel subsidy removal, it means the almost doubling of fuel prices and inflation figures. We are currently experiencing these after the PMB administration canceled the subsidy.

Has this made governance better?

Has it made our leaders more accountable or empathetic to the masses? Let’s leave the answer to you.  Fela Durotoye’s argument against the attempt to remove fuel subsidy was his opinion as a concerned citizen. He demanded government and leaders to reduce their own pocket allowances before asking the citizens to endure removal of relief systems.

Also in his speech he called for what he termed “the Nigerian Spring.” According to Fela Durotoye

“The change we need is not just policy. It’s in the quality of mind and persons at policy making positions.
WE NEED A CRITICAL MASS OF NEW NIGERIANS TO TAKE HOLD OF EVERY LEVEL OF POLICY MAKING POSITIONS BY 2015. Not a few good men and women whose voices will get drowned in the cacophony of mediocrity. Let our brightest and best brains begin serious preparations NOW. Don’t wait till 2014 to decide you want to make a change by running for office in 2015. It will be too late if you don’t start NOW!!!! I have committed my life to raise and prepare as many exemplary leaders of excellence to take over the various policy making positions at all levels of governance (federal, state and local) – executive and legislative.”

These comments do not sound like a person in support of the old system of cabalocracy. It does not contain any element suggesting a support for a leadership like what we have currently in Nigeria.

What was the Call he Made?

He called for a renewed desire for young Nigerians to get involved in policy and polity. He referred to people he has trained and mentored and I doubt President Buhari falls in that category.

The fact that he didn’t support the fuel subsidy removal does not translate to a support for a Buhari led administration that has left us in a worse mess than the GEJ administration.

Like his wife Tara, the man simply believes in speaking up against wrong moves by government and that based on their own good opinion. They have not forced such opinions on others and neither have they used such as elements for political campaigns.

READ HIS SPEECH ON FUEL SUBSIDY HERE

At this point we can return to the vision 2025 by Fela Durotoye and GEMStone Consulting.  In 2005 he, Fela Durotoye declared his vision. That by 2025, Nigeria would be the most desirable nation all over the world. Early this year 2018, he and his team at GemStone celebrated the actualization of this dream. 

Several reports identified Nigeria’s incredibly fast rate of development and her human capital as the major factors attracting people of all races, investors, and governments to her territory.

Despite the trials, vision 2025 is a reality built on human capital development and which may need an extension into policy. When you have tested a system and seen it work, is there anything wrong with looking for a massive platform to produce on a large scale?

Interestingly Fela’s intentions to run are still conjectures and he seems to intentionally whet appetites of Nigerians without pushing out campaigns in a hurry.  How effective this approach of subliminal messages would work in his favour is yet a mystery as a lot of Nigerians have expressed their ignorance of his credibility for such a position.

Even Fela Durotoye Leadership Network signup process seems like a call to service and he may be building a campaign team. Click here to check the joining process for the FDLN 

However, these are still not enough proofs that he is running. We hope he declares early enough to give voters a chance to prepare their minds.
On Facebook posts made by me (Damilola Jonathan Oladeji), several Nigerians have expressed their concern that FD may be lacking in social capital. Who would vote for a motivational speaker and leadership consultant? Does he have a chance?

This may be the right time for Nigerians to start doing background checks. Let’s know who we are voting for come 2019. There is more to this man Fela Durotoye. There are work and capacity, family, love, business acumen and most importantly vision.

This is my own opinion strictly; He has a heart for leadership and we need someone who cares about human capital.

More than ever, Nigeria needs someone who can harness the strength of her population. Nigeria needs a person who can identify with our various strengths and help us actualize real goals. Will Nigerians find Fela Durotoye worthy of their votes? If he does not come forward, do we have prospects who have such a vision that’s not the typical “we will build roads and give you pipe-borne water?”

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