Mrs Eunice Atuejide is one of the people aspiring to lead Nigeria for the next 4 ueatsvstarting from 2019. She is runningnunder the National Interest Party (NIP), a party she founded and is centralized in Abuja. She is 39 years old mother of 5 and she is a legal practitioner. Mrs Eunice Atuejide has suddenly attracted so much attention lately and had been seeing addressing several topics of discussion on different platform around the country. She graced The Announcer with her presence and her words and we are delighted to have her say something to Nigerians again as she has always done at every opportunity she has. She was engaged in a number of discussion topics and here is what she has to say:
How is it to you? We have had female aspirants on the past and one of them is Prof Sonaiya who didn’t appear to be of much significance it trouble to the big parties on 2015. What has changed now? And are you not even scared?
No, I am scared. I am a member of the CUPP and if I emerge the CUPP consensus candidate, then I have their backing. What makes it different from what Sonaiya had is that Sonaiya almost single-handedly ran her campaign. In Nigeria, you need the different blocks to back you and if you have the different blocks backing you and you now have the very liberal younger generation Nigerians backing you, you have the way. So it’s very important to gather the blocks and make sure that they are solidly behind you. So I’m not playing they idealistic politics anymore. I am not joking, I will be president of Nigeria. I am not just saying to show off or go and wrote CV and include “former presidential candidate”, no, that’s not the goal. I will be president and because I know I will be president, I have to start making the right moves at the right time.
Looking at the other young aspirants, what do you think they have done to give them a chance in the hearts of the young Nigerians and to wither votes come 2019?
Well, I can’t talk about what anybody has done or has not done. However, I do believe that to win the presidential race in Nigeria, you need the young Nigerians:the 18-30 years old Nigerians but you also need a lot of the old school Nigerians because they are the ones that actually normally vote whole the younger generations are the ones just realizing that their non-particioatiok is the reason we are gettongbad governance and they are coming in now but nobody can really tell how they will behave in the D-day because it’s not their usual way of behaving. What if they start hearing gunshots and they run away because they can’t risk it, they don’t want to die but the older ones are used to it, if gunshots displaces them, they will come back and continue to vote. So you never really know how the younger generations are going to behave and that’s something we need to be conscious of. While you are trying to get the mainstream voters out you also have to pally with the normal voters and make sure that they are considering your mandate. What they have done to carry the young people around I don’t know. I am sure they are always on social media where a lot of these young people are and that’s a place to start from but I still think there is need to go deep down in getting the usual voters and also some of the unusual voters to come out. So for me, I am hoping to get the original voters out.
In the Ekiti election, money still showed to be the king in Nigeria’s elections. Many said the highest bidder won that election which appear to be the APC. Isn’t this a scary loiter to what might happen in 2019?
In the Ekiti case, you don’t know if it’s the highest bidder they voted for, we are not really sure but we do know that they were giving money for votes. This is actually not new in Nigeria, it’s just that now it’s clear. They say we pay you if you vote for us and they actually watch you cast your vote whether or not you voted for them. So now it has now become normal. Before it used to be that they will settle you a day or two before but now it is right there at the polling station, they are checking who you are voting for and making sure that you vote for them. That was what I heard, they actually don’t pay you before, they pay you after you have voted for them. So they know that you voted for them before they settle you. Now we can’t take that away and we may or we will. It be able to stop it from happening in 2019 because the people are hungry, desperately hungry. There is no amount of stories you tell them to convince them that it is OK to forgo the four thousand naira cash for the first time in the past 4 years, they are seeing this offer to at least bit what to eat that can last them a month or even more than a month for those who know how to manage money well and you are telling them to forfeit that one in the name of picking the right person. What’s the guarantee that the person they are going to pick is actually the right one? You can’t convince them. It’s going to be a miracle that cute buying dies not get some people some votes in 2019. Our politicians are already used to it, they have the money, they are ready to spend it to pay for votes and the regular voters are ready to get the money. They don’t care about the next 4 years. So these politicians are banking on that hunger to be able to get the votes. Now, those who do need that funding are not more than those of us who don’t need the money to vote. It’s just that those of us who don’t need the money to bite don’t come out. Right now there are about 82 million voters, maximum of about 29 million are those that need money to vote so there is still a huge majority who don’t need to collect any money to vote. Those collecting money, though they are a problem, they are not the major problem. The major problem are the irregular or unusual voters who don’t come out. Those people are the real reasons Nigeria is in trouble today. They know what is right but don’t care, they don’t come out to vote. With this, there is still hope.
You are aspiring to be the president in the democratic times in the story of Nigeria. If eventuate become the president, what will you expect from the youths in their participation km democracy? What will you want them to see as their role in the democracy of the country?
The same way the adults have a role to play in democracy. You have to work hard and you have to be a correct citizen, avoid crimes, do things that help people around you, carry out community development projects that you are opportune to be involved in, be a good citizen. The same thing that applies to the older generation applies to us younger ones as well. So it’s not like the youths have a different role to play when it comes to democracy in Nigeria. We all have the same roles to play. Everybody has the responsibility of being a good citizen and that is what will help the democracy of this country. Do what is good all the time. Participate in the debate, contribute your quota. It is never going to be right to do the wrong thing no matter the situation of the country. However, there is hunger and it is the responsibility of the government to reduce hunger in this country. So why I am very angry at the young ones, the youths and even the older ones who do wrong because the country is so bad, I am also very angry at the government for making the country so hard and then making room for people to go for the bad. Yes, it is wring and it is stupid, wrong in every sense: in the legal and moral aspect, it’s all wrong. You should not just become fraudsters, prostitutes, etc because there is Hunger in the country. You can use that creativity to feed yourself even in this vkinteyvwhere things are so bad. So there is no excuse for the things that we end up doing in the name of “suffering has almost killed me”. However, the government too need to sit up and make policies, open the system up and allow people do the businesses they are able to do and Emily those who are ready to be employed and willing to work for this daily bread. So I blame the youths for making the wrong choices and I also blame the government for refusing to enable them and give them the opportunity to make the most of all they can.
Many of our youths Now see school as something that is not worth it: school is a scam they say and one cam easily say this is as a result of the collapsing education sector/system in Nigeria. What should we expect from you in this wise if you become the president?
It can’t be that school is rubbish, it shouldn’t be but we do have a lot of talented kids who need this education and we don’t have enough of talented teachers who should be educating them. However, we do not have a system where everybody gets salaries as and when due so a lot of these teachers end up doing a lot of other businesses in the name of trying to survive and then ignore the primary duty they have to impart knowledge in the people that they are assigned to impart knowledge in. So, for me, my administration will definitely revamp the education sector. We will make sure the salaries of our teachers and Kroger workers in the education sector are paid on time, every 28th of every month, they will get their salaries and at the same time we are going to demand so much more from them. We will have to have time cards which will have the time you come in daily, the duties you are to perform and also how the students are meant to be performing because you have to measure how well the students are performing against the income and the qualifications of the teachers. If you are not able to do well on the level that the kids are performing the wag they should, you don’t deserve to be teaching them so you have to go and look for another job. So we will make it necessary that teachers are imparting the knowledge they are supposed to impart, make examination independent of individual teachers do that the students can be assessed based on their abilities and not based on the needs of the teachers in charge of their classes. Allow all the children who are qualified to go to school to get the loans they need to fund their education so that they are not stranded: not able to feed, not able to pay for their hostels or transport themselves to different departments where they need to take lectures, make sure that there are very low subsidised interest loans that they can access AMD then when they have graduated, provide them a job and then allow them to go to school when they should. Also change the system so that they won’t have this quota system where kids who have 280 or 300 can’t get admission and those with 20 or 100 are able to get admission because they are from catchment areas where there is no room to do well. All those ones who cannot score the necessary points should go to vocational schools. They need to be able to meet up at the level of everybody else for them to get admission into those institutions. If you can’t but you really desire to be an engineer, go to a vocational school and get practical skills and then at some point you and those that are learning the theoretical aspects will come out high. Some took the route of university while you took the route of vocation and that’s ok. You don’t have to go to university and be struggling to pass exams because you have a catchment area where you don’t need to score high points and then the guy who can do the work that is required of himat a university setting does not get the opportunity because he is from a catchment area where they are too brilliant. You need to remove those things and my administration will definitely remove that and allow our kids get the best and the possible opportunities they have based on their individual tents and their work ethics. Don’t let their talents stay back because there are some who are privileged to be from catchment areas. All of those are killing our output and we need to remove them.
Finally, what brief advice would you give every young person that reads this?
Focus. Stop worrying about what car the other guy is driving, what shoes or what brand the other person is wearing. Just focus, develop your talent. Know who you are, discover your identity and when you discover your identity, do your best to be the best you can be in that place where you feel most comfortable. Do what you need to do to make sure you are legally providing for yourself, your family and whatever you are responsible for but do not give up on who you really are.