Founder of the Nigeria Democratic Congress Party, Dr Johnson Edosomwan believes that ruling Nigeria should not be as difficult as past leaders would want us to believe. Tobi Soniyi looks at his background and qualifications for the job
Barely a week after President Muhammadu Buhari declared his intention to seek another term of four years, the founder of Nigeria Democratic Congress Party, Dr Johnson Edosomwan also announced his intention to run for the office of president in 2019.
Given his overriding interest in the party, he is certain to secure his party’s nomination as candidate.
Despite the fact that his party remains relatively unknown, Edosomwan is confident that the future belongs to his NDCP.
According to him, his party’s manifesto resonates with the people.
He has carefully identified the issues that must be addressed before Nigeria can take her rightful place in the comity of nations. Top among these issues is unity. Without first uniting the people, Edosomwan, argues, governing Nigeria will remain a challenge. His party, he claims, has a magic wand with which it intends to unite the people.
He stated that his party’s aim was to transform Nigeria for the better, if given the chance to pilot the affairs of Nigeria from 2019.
Apart from uniting the people, Edosomwan said his party would also focus on infrastructure development, human capital enhancement, job creation, among others.
He said: “Our vision is to unify Nigerians under a common purpose. We are here to transform the various elements of the Nigerian system, whether it is infrastructure, environment, power, economy, etc. It is our target to create millions of jobs for our youth and we have put out a manifesto that has five different components.
“These components include economic development, environmental improvement, infrastructure enhancement, jobs and wealth creation. So people you see here today are men and women who are trying to give us what needs to be included in our detailed corporate manifesto. So our goal is to implement best practices across the nation in every segment. This includes the fight against corruption.
“We’ve realised that a lot of people speak negatively about Nigeria and this is not because they don’t love Nigeria. They love their country so much, but they speak against the nation because so many issues have overpowered them into negativity. So what we want is for that passion to be expressed positively so that some positive things can come out of it.”
Edosomwan stated that if elected into office, his government would diversify the country’s economy, as Nigeria would earn more from other sources rather than just crude oil sales.
He added that “right now in Nigeria, there is a need for human capital development. Without adequate human capital development, infrastructure projects will not work. So empowering citizens with the right tools to get the job done is a priory for us as a party.
“The next thing is infrastructure and we are not just talking about roads, we are looking at high speed rails, standard airports, power generation from solar, nuclear, wind and lots more. We want to bring positive change in the lives of Nigerians. We’ve done these things in other countries, we can do it here at home.”
NDCP was formally approved by INEC on January 10, 2018. It already has offices across the 36 states of Nigeria.
“We are marching forward to get our message to Nigerians,” he added.
Borrowing from his experience in the United States, Edosomwan is adopting a different approach to attract more people to his party. The party had already trained state executive officers who will in turn to go back to their respective states to train others at the wards level.
Edosomwan derives his conviction from his experience as a child. If he could break the poverty chain, Nigeria can also become a technologically advanced country capable of providing for all her citizens.
Born into a poverty-stricken family and left fatherless at the age of two, Edosomwan fought hard to gain an education, walking almost 11 miles a day barefoot on an empty stomach to attend high school. He juggled his school obligations with the demands of supporting his ill mother.
He said: “I grew up in poverty not knowing my father who died when I was less than two years old and my mother became ill soon after. I worked as a house maid, going to school hungry and borrowing books for my classes.
“I was however saved at age 10 from poverty and misery and at 17, I moved to the United State of America. When I came to the United States, I had $1400 in my pocket, worked as a dishwasher, housemaid, a newspaper deliverer and much more.”
While in the US, and unlike many who got carried away and refused to take advantage of the world class educational system available in the US, Edosomwan deprived himself and worked extremely hard to raise money to finance his education. He did his undergraduate studies at Miami-Date Community College where he earned his BSIE.
He also went to the University of Miami where he earned a MSIE. He later proceeded to the George Washington University where he received a Doctorate degree in Engineering Management and Economics. He later received a Professional Engineering Degree from Columbia University. His curriculum vitae is intimidating.
According to him, development is key to progress.
He was also influenced by the engineering knowledge he had acquired. With new doors opened, he took the world by storm.
He served as Chairman of The Johnson A. Edosomwan Limited Liability Corporation, the Johnson A. Edosomwan Foundation, JJA Consultants, Inc. Innovative Best Business Consultant (IBBC), Radio Companion and the Continuous Improvement Company. He is a pioneer in Leadership and Management Development, Reengineering, Quality, Productivity, Customer Satisfaction, Innovation and Technology Management, Diversity Management and much more. As an executive coach and principal consultant, Edosomwan has helped over 6,000 organizations in numerous countries. He is credited with the development of over 425 performance and improvement tools (and is the developer of the EBAT Performance Excellence Tool).
With experience and contributions spanning several continents, Edosomwan is the recipient of over 175 awards and citations including, “Men of Achievement in the World”, “Who’s Who of Intellectuals”, and “Who’s Who in Distinguished Leadership”, “Who’s Who in Technology and Innovation”, “Who’s Who in Quality”, “Who’s Who in Productivity”, and “Personalities of the Americas”.
Edosomwan is the author and editor of over 68 books and holds over 16 certifications in several academic disciplines. Several scholarships and institutes have been named in his honour including The Johnson A. Edosomwan Leadership Institute at the University of Miami and Virginia Union University Evangelism Institute.
Having done so much abroad, Edowomwan was convinced that his service was needed at home. Like many others, he could have chosen to remain in the US and continue to enjoy the comfortable life available in the US.
Politics in Nigeria is not a tea party. Why plunging into it? Clearly, he understands the risk he is taking but his determination to serve humanity is what is propelling him. how difficulty the terrain could be politically,
He said: “I will reassess the educational system and incorporate world-class best practices from multiple disciplines that support the jobs of tomorrow. Establish vocational training and train-to-work programs across the country. Offer free trade and technical education and encourage tuition reimbursement at universities.
Implement a single-payer universal healthcare system for all citizens. Reduce healthcare burdens on families by offering national assistance for the elderly and persons with disabilities Implement regulations requiring businesses to accommodate persons with disabilities, fight corruption, strengthen institutions to hold everyone accountable to the full extent of the law.”
He also has other plans for the country. Some of these include increase productivity and transparency of government institutions, re-engineer government work processes to reduce waste and increase efficiency and productivity, provide world-class military training for the nation’s troops and invest in modern defence and cyber security systems, cooperate with other nations and word organizations and strengthen positive, mutually beneficial relationships, create fair and equitable tax and financial plans that encourage foreign investment.
Edosomwan is happily married to Mary Edosomwan, whom he described a partner of substance. They both two adult children.
Borrowing from his experience in the United States, Edosomwan is adopting a different approach to attract more people to his party