Davidson Akhimien is the National President of the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN). He is also an ordained pastor. But he is seeking a political office on the platform of Grassroots Democratic Party of Nigeria (GDPN).
What is your feeling about governance in contemporary Nigeria?
I must say that governance in Nigeria has been a challenging one for the political parties and politicians because it would appear they have not been able to satisfy the minimum aspiration of the citizenry. The different problems of insecurity, lack of social justice, lack of equanimity in the administration of the country have left people disillusioned. People find it difficult to survive. Now, cohesion is also lacking. There is no cohesion, no proper integration of the different people of Nigeria as a result of primordial sentiments.
This is 21st Century Nigeria and there is the emergence of new crop of Nigerians who do not care about tribalism, ethnicity and all those things that the political class appears to be using to hold us back as a nation. For God’s sake, a 22-year-old Nigerian of today is not concerned whether he is Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa or Urhobo. He is concerned about how his country can provide the basic necessities of life, how he can get a good job to sustain his family, how he can have hope for his own children and grand children in the future. He is not concerned about all the things members of the political class use in dividing us, such as religion, ethnicity and the rest. He went to school with people of different religious and political persuasions. We are looking forward to a Nigeria which is stronger, integrated, positioned for greatness in the African continent and indeed the black world. Ethnic and primordial politics is holding us back. This is the time for a paradigm shift. We need to work towards the future, and to achieve it, is not a rocket science.
We understand you have ambition to run for a political office. What is propelling you?
I am propelled by the fact that real transformation for my country is possible. I am propelled by the failings of the political parties that we have on ground now because when you look at it in concrete terms, building a strong economy, creating a secure environment for the citizenry of Nigeria is not rock science. We need no rock science to build nationhood. We can capitalise on the pluralism of Nigeria as a major strength, but on the contrary, people in the political class are capitalising on our plural nature to divide the country in their own selfish interest. Nigeria has potential to be one of the strongest countries in the world given the resources that we are naturally endowed with by God, both human and material. We have the potential. All we need is proper harnessing of the resources and the unleashing of the human potential for productiveness.
In what capacity are you willing serve?
We are not talking about position for now but rather creating the awareness, sensitisation of the people to know that real transformation is possible and it is within their hands. It is about bringing the consciousness of the average Nigerian to know that power belongs to the people and they can decide what happens to them and who governs them. So it is not about position now. The issue of position will come later. My party, the Grassroots Democratic Party of Nigeria (GDPN) is about mobilising the Nigerian people to the consciousness and awareness that they have the power to bring about the transformation that they need. Everybody talks about the failure of government and political parties, but nobody is taking action. People need to be liberated in their minds, but unfortunately poverty has taken them to the brinks. We need to liberate them and renew their minds. We have tried PDP and APC and the result has been the same. If you want a different result, we must try something else; by taking the risk and this why the GDPN was founded.
A lot of money is needed to achieve political ambitions in Nigeria of today. Do you think you have what it takes to pull through?
As a party, we always try to de-emphasise money politics because this is a party that has the interest of the people at heart. We believe that once the message is passed to the people and they embrace it, the people themselves will know that money politics is actually what sells their destiny out. We are looking at a situation where the people themselves will own the party out of their belief in the party. Parties that bring money, rice, clothes and so on have failed them.
If you read the GDPN manifesto our ideology is geared towards rural or grassroots development, we intend to see a situation where industrialisation is taken to rural areas rather than urban areas. We want to ensure that the rural-urban migration is reduced to the barest minimum. By reducing rural migration, we are automatically reducing brain drain. A situation where our youths sell themselves into slavery in a country as small as Libya is not good. Our youths die in their thousands in the Mediterranean trying to get to Europe for want of a better life. Nigeria, if properly managed is the one that would be receiving youths from Europe. Our youths end up in Europe as mortuary attendants, or menial workers that thrive on stipends. It is a disgrace to Nigeria’s national image.