By Sunday Onyewonsa
Every political season comes with its generous dose of political adventurers, many armed with ideas and ideals too brazen for the simple-minded and others furnished with far too much resources and way too little resolve to make any significant difference boding a change from the norm. Of course, it would appear that while many political aspirants would deign to perpetuate the systemic rot and imbalances of the successive political expeditions, indulging money-splurging political patronages and vote buying, doling out more cash than they can give account of, most are caught up in the needless frenzy to endear themselves to the public and few have in them the restraint to not blur the lines between doing some real good to becoming a real goof.
We see it every time, the same pictures of political aspirants hobnobbing with the down and trodden and going to great and often outrageously incredible length to show that, they care, squeezing water from the sachets, stopping over to patronise the corn seller by the roadside, eating from a plate with indigent children, for these lots, the list is endless and just when you think they cannot slide any further down the patronising pole, they outdo themselves and go to serve others fuel from the pump at the stations. Sigh.
But again, every now and then, we are blessed with the fortune of a few exceptional intrepid savants, who are taciturn about their talents and reticent whereas they are robustly resourceful and gifted with the capacity for real transformation. In Ambassador Felix Johnson Osakwe, we find one such individuals. Soft spoken and not given to many words, he made his entrance into the Nigerian political scene in the 2019 general elections, casting his lot in the ring and daring to slug it out with the many beleaguered Nigerian political chess players. Before long, his presidential consultations gathered momentum and crisscrossing his native Niger Delta region into the South West where he was raised and had lived much of his young adult life.
Ambassador Felix Johnson Osakwe or FJO as his teeming followers and admirers prefer to call him, made several incursion into the Northern part of Nigeria, engaging with leaders of opinions and thoughts across the social, traditional, political and religious institutions seeking counsel for what he already knew was an onerous task.
But who is this man? What has he done and where did he emerge from? These and many more questions this write sought to find out about the clergy-diplomat who is seeking the office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the second time?. A preacher, diplomat and business management consultant, Ambassador Osakwe hails from the Ukwuani speaking area of Delta State, South-South Nigeria and was born into a humble background in the serene agrarian community of Ezionum, tucked in the heart of Ndokwa nation.
Ambassador Osakwe answered the altar call at age 19, and served in several capacities in the RCCG as one of the first generation of evangelists prior to establishing his own ministry, Christ Evangelical and Prayer Ministry, CEPM with branches in Nigeria, the US and India. A teacher, life coach, character moulder/influencer, human/material development expert, talent hunter, mentor of youths across the globe, Ambassador Osakwe cut his teeth and rose to prominence through theological, systemic development seminars, youth ambassadorial engagements, motivational speaking both home and overseas and spirited efforts at mentoring global youths. A passionate believer of the endless potentials of the youth, he continues to devote his time, resources and attention to helping young people find their purpose in life and live out their potentials with an eye for values and principles and the other on kingdom-centred purpose.
In addition to his ecclesiastical responsibilities, FJO who is widely travelled is a philanthropist, a social crusader, justice of peace with believe in the philosophy of progressive politics. He believes the Nigerian State needs a new breed of leaders who will inject into it, the ideals of contemporary politics believing that the norm must change with the global trend of development. But he is not sitting on his hands and expecting the development and transformation that this country needs to just happen, he is willing to work for it, to lead it. He is ready to lead the birthing of the New Nigeria., A Nigeria of New, Exciting and Unhindered Opportunities.
And yet again, FJO has against the political run of play come unhinged with his ambition to become the President of the world’s most populous black nation. Like in 2018 when he first took to the political turf undergoing series of consultations all over the country, engaging with key political figures and opinion leaders across geopolitical, cultural and religious divides, he has set out a grand plan to Raise Nigeria Again by working to make it a Land where as he puts it,’ . . . every very dream is valid, every idea is valuable and everyone has access to New Exciting and Unhindered opportunities.’’
In his words, “This change, this rebirth will not come easy as there are a collection of those who will seek to thwart this plan. The enemies of aspiration to lead Nigeria are the reactionary elements who are against change in norm. I crave character rebirth in a new Nigeria where the citizens enjoy equal opportunities without let or hindrance. This assertion is not without cause, FJO has seen first-hand how quickly things can get nasty in the political space, in 2018 when he sought to contest for the presidency under the platform of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, he saw horsetrading, mind-numbing treachery and all manners of intrigues play out in the keenly contested primary elections where he vied for the party’s presidential ticket against the likes of former Minister for Information and Culture, Professor Jerry Gana, the former governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke, John Dara and Prof. Ambassador Iyorwuese Hagher, one-time Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada.
The SDP Presidential primary produced Duke as the flagbearer and that development led to a litigation alleging malpractices on the part of the party and its elected presidential Candidate Duke and Prof. Gana. Suave, polished, decent and as a complete gentleman, Ambassador Osakwe walked away from the bricks and brimstones thrown by the crisis in the SDP and moved in his pursuit of his desired aspiration of becoming the president of a New Nigeria where equity, justice and, peace are the common denominators. Like Moses, leading the children of Israel, FJO led his teeming followers into the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP where he was welcomed with fanfare and without hassle was unanimously by that party leadership via a general consensus adopted as the party’s presidential candidate.
Flying the flag of the DPP, FJO went into the 2019 elections and eventually emerged 17th place in the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission despite being a relatively new entrant into the intriguing, cutthroat world of Nigerian politics. As the countdown to the 2023 election progresses, FJO has made no attempt to conceal his intention to vie for the Presidency again.
According to him, “Our political movement focuses on aggressive and accelerated growth and even development of human and material resources in all parts of Nigeria.
We will ensure that our national integrity and solidarity is restored to give every Nigeria a pride of place in the global community. My team craves a prosperous and powerful most populous black nation in the world that will robustly engage world powers and discuss African development and not debt relief. We will grow our nation and exit the citizens from poverty and mass illiteracy and despondency while we steer the ship of our nation state in the direction of self sufficiency in food production without necessarily promoting hunger and starvation.
“Our social contract with Nigerians is that we will make this Nation a land of New Exciting and Unhindered Opportunities and run an all-inclusive administration where we prioritise input from the socio-political environment and not rule by proxies. Our administration shall be for all Nigerians while we pride ourselves above blind acquisition of stolen wealth. Considering the social crisis occasioned by the collapse of social order and the menace of insecurity, our immediate priority will be to make this country safe again. The Ukwuani- born Evangelist-turned politician stated.
A man well versed in dealing with high level engagements with world leaders and economic players, FJO boasts tremendous experience in decision making and economic engagement. He was appointed the United State Coordinator of Land Markers International by the General Lai Yusuf-led Land Markers Worldwide, a body that promotes healthy relationship between the US and Nigeria and has by this means been instrumental to a lot of foreign investments in the country. He has also maintained a healthy and active relationship with several international development agencies, key political leaders across party affiliations and human development experts, many of whom can attest to his dexterity in matters of corporate governance and economic management.
Since 2017, Ambassador Osakwe has served as the Director Executive Affairs and International Ambassador for Peace of the Universal Peace Federation, an organisation with general consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council, (UNESCO). Through this position, he has exuded enormous diplomatic prowess building a far-reaching global network of professionals and business leaders, political associates and allies all over America and Europe.
“Having sojourned in the largest and most civilised democracy in the world for over three decades, the time has come for me and my team to take the mantle of leadership of this country in 2023. Nigerians need a leadership that will take the nation out of the woods and to the promised lane. I have been consulting Nigerians across social divides, and we have made tremendous progress in this direction and our followers are in their millions and stretch from the North to the South.
He has made it clear that his goal is to build a robust economy with capacity for food sufficiency, mass education, security and technology infrastructure and he is determined to ensure that the secularity of the Nigerian State is respected. His optimism is such that he believes that Nigerian can become a free society where everyone can live and consciously promote friendship and brotherhood across board eroding the vestiges of ethno-tribal and religious sentiments. Our solidarity shall be to the green and white flag while extoling the virtues of an indivisible and inalienable Nigerian nation,” Ambassador Osakwe stated.
Perhaps what is interesting is his affinity for the youth and he is not abashed to state that his will be a government that puts young people in the driver’s seat, cheering them on as they lead Nigeria into a desirable future where opportunities are made abundantly available here and not elsewhere, thus checking the mass migration of our best talents to other climes. Indeed FJO is one presidential hopeful to keep an eye on even as the contest for the Nigerian presidency promises to be interesting in the days to come, what with the calibre of Nigerians who are eager to throw their hats in the ring.