I am campaigning for myself
I am campaigning against the status quo
I am campaigning for the future

My name is Iyelobu Collins Ekhaesomi. I am from Edo state. Before that, I was from Bendel state. I wish I can simply be referred to as Nigerian.

In 1986 I took the common entrance exams, chose Kings College Lagos as my first and second choice. In that exam I scored 376 but didn’t get in because Bendel state had a cut-off mark of 390. However, students from “educationally less privileged states” who scored 110 were admitted into the school. 30 years later, my son did the same exam, scored 287, chose the same school but couldn’t get in because the Edo state cut-off mark was 300.
I am campaigning against this.

My first jamb exam was in 1992, scored 275, chose the University of Maiduguri to study Nuclear Physics as it was the only school offering that course, the cut-off mark was 250….I didn’t get in because it wasn’t my catchment area.
I am campaigning against this.

Growing up in Victoria Island Lagos in the 80s through early 2000s, the scream of NEPA always permeated the air when the power authority “brought or took light”….some 40yrs later my 16month old daughter caught on with the scream….”Pepaaaaaaa”!!!
I am campaigning against this.

I got admitted into the University of Benin in 1994 following my second Jamb in 1993. I left the school in 2002 through no fault of mine. ASUU and NARD strikes made sure of that. A document I saw a couple of days ago showed that some of the current ASUU, NARD issues with the FGN can be traced back to before I even got into the university. Students are currently at home and chances are that they would still be at home next year.
I am campaigning against this.

My tuition fees in the University of Benin was N250 from the first to the fourth session. In my fifth session it was increased to N2,750. Accommodation fee was N90. Here I am now a civil servant and in a bid to prevent my children from suffering the same fate, I will have to source for millions of Naira to get them a university education.
I am campaigning against this.

I left medical school in 2002 and it took me 11years to get a government job. This was after years of hovering cap-in-hands begging people for me to bring my skills and zeal to work for my mother land.
I am campaigning against this.

So many other problems that have bedeviled this lovely country of ours. The country that gave me the cheapest medical education anywhere in the world, the country that has made me who I am.

Some or all of these problems may have affected other people here.

The PDP and APC have together ruled this country since 1999, because I mean they have just been circulating themselves over and over again.

Electricity generation is less than 5K megawatts for a country of about 200m people, the roads are death traps due to huge gullies we call potholes, criminals have taken over same roads, inflation rate is staggering, education is comatose, medical practice and care is terrible, no jobs, and those who are employed are grossly underemployed!!

How long would we want to try the same old goons that have failed us over the years? How long do we want to pretend that everything is fine? How long do we want to keep being tribalistic, nepotistic and selfish? How long do we want to make our grandchildren pay for our mistakes? How long do we want to practice mediocrity in Nigeria?

I am not campaigning for Peter Obi, I am campaigning for myself, I am campaigning against the status quo, I am campaigning for a better Nigeria.

For so many years we haven’t had the guts to stand up against the status quo, Peter Obi has awakened that inner strength, I am only riding on it, you should ride on it, Nigerians should ride on it. If you have any love left for this country, I urge you to ride on it.

It is an audacity of hope.

Hope for a better Nigeria, hope for a true Nation, hope for a true Giant of the world, Hope for justice, equity and fairness.

A hope for peace.

God bless us all
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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