Prince Odi Okojie answers questions on his political ambition
Mercy Johnson’s husband speaks on his political ambition. Read below…
Since the news hit the media that Edo State youth have resolved to have one of their own to represent them in the upcoming governorship election in Edo State and have called on me to come and represent them, I have been inundated by calls, messages, volunteers making themselves freely available, and independently sponsored publicity all encouraging me to come out (since my party in their wisdom, have zoned the deputy governorship ticket to my senatorial district- Edo central) and answer this call to serve my land and my people.
However, in the midst of this gazillion support and encouragement, a few persons mostly out of concern have wondered audibly “why would a vibrant and young man border to waste his time and money in politics?”
In response to this and many other questions – some I have privately answer- and because of those who don’t have the privilege of access to me, I have decided to provide these public answers:
“Why waste time and resources in politics?”
The vastness of the REAL CHANGE that is needed in my State and the energy it requires is too huge for the shoulders of old men alone. Most civilized nations know this and it is reflected in the ageof those who now lead them. If the youth does not have the audacity to step up and take their own responsibility, we will still be a third world 100 years from now. Our problem as a nation is that we have been led by the DREAM of the old generation whereas the VISION of the young has been missing. The VISION of how a state or a nation should be, lies with the youth and even the Bible clearly stated this – old men dream dreams, young me see vision. I am persuaded that my time and in fact my life would have been well spent if I succeed in channeling a new VISION for my beloved state and that is why I term it the audacity of hope.
“Why will a husband of a beautiful and successful actress want to contest?”
(Laughed) I am grateful for the life and family God has given me. Grateful for who my wife is and grateful to God that we are going to have many beautiful years ahead together. However, there are thousands of families out there where one square meal a day is a miracle. I have found out that no matter how much I and my wife give out, it is never just enough to cover everyone we would have loved to help. This is one of the reasons I accepted the call to serve because I believed there must be a better way to reach everybody and help them to help themselves.
“A concerned family member is worried for my safety?”
Even outside of politics, life is a risk. Even in the United States you see how people die now and then from gun shots. We cannot afford to continue living in fear and limit ourselves because of fear for our lives. Every time we step out of our homes, we take risk, politics is one of those risks as well.
“Another family friend is worried about the ‘insult’ I will get online and many are genuinely worried about what will happen if I don’t get my party’s nomination. And few of my wife’s online followers are concerned she might also be insulted or embarrassed?”
Greatness does not come without its own challenges. A child that is afraid to fall will never walk. Even my wife records the number of time she failed before the humble success she has now. Those who care enough about pursuing their vision have no time to consider ‘insult’ from the many ‘anonymous’ who hide behind phone or computer screen. My only question was whether it was a noble cause. And after consulting with wife (because she will be affected by my decision) and relevant stake holders, I decided to answer the call. Mind you, my personal resources are like a drop in the ocean in attempt to set off some youth to stand on their own. We must now use our common wealth for our common good.
ON THE YOUTHS OF EDO STATE
The youth constitute about 70% of the population of my State. We cannot continue to disenfranchise such huge mass in the administration of our state. The state belongs to them, virtually every political promise is made to the youth – jobs, economy revamp, education, etc., it is only logical to let them be a part of the class that will provide their own solution. You can’t claim to know how a shoe pitches when you are not in the shoe. I clearly identify with the call of the youth to have one of their own to represent them. And I will be ceasing the initiative.
We have to put energy and life back to our party and tell the teaming youth of the state why they should follow us again. And let them know that in us they will have access to their leaders because one of them is there. And these and many more reasons are the substratum on which my ‘Audacity of Hope’ is founded.
In a matter of days, we shall open up channels to reach me online, but for now I can be reached via my Facebook Page.
Other channels shall be announced next week.