Curled from Tribune Newspaper Dec 27, 2019
”We have complained about and analysed our problems long enough. It is now time for young people and new-breed politicians to elevate the discussion from mere rhetoric, sensationalism and fantasy to apt understanding of smart politics and solutions.’’
That is what Debo Onifade is hoping to achieve with his new book, Liberating Nigeria: A guide to winning elections and reviving our country. Laden with facts and history to explain election winning strategies and policy priorities, the author believes most of traditional politicians will remain corruptly oppressive, while stressing that rebellion and revolt will not succeed in Nigeria and the options; work hard to liberate ourselves from the oppressors by defeating them in elections or give up in despair.
“If we choose liberation, it will take us several years, but we can gradually start by unifying our efforts and learning the required political skills. This book will be enlightening to non-Nigerians, but I hope it will inspire Nigerians to urgent action,” he said.
Onifade, who has a master’s degree in Engineering Management from Tufts University (USA) and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Ibadan (Nigeria), has published essays, articles and other books.
Some of his essays have won him awards within and outside Nigeria, including an IEEE prize at the historic Bletchley Park, United Kingdom in 2004, a Professor Femi Osofisan prize at the University of Ibadan in 1999, and a National Orientation Agency award in Abeokuta, Nigeria, in 1998. The entrepreneur, soccer coach, policy enthusiast and historian is very passionate about Nigeria’s development and seeks to ignite the same fire in Nigerian youths.
When asked what makes this book different, he says, “Nigeria has a large percentage of young people, but there is consistent ignorance about election winning strategies and policies among majority of the educated ones. This is largely due to over-reliance on social media for knowledge and some arrogance that we do not have much to learn from older people, history and in-depth study of local politics. By sharing facts, history and pragmatic solutions, I wish to galvanize new interests to participate in politics more competitively. The book is unique because unlike some similar books, the texts are very simple and easily comprehensible by regular people (Nigerians and non-Nigerians) with very little knowledge about Nigerian politics. It is my dream to distribute millions of free copies to poor educated Nigerians, and I look forward to some future help in that regard”.
When asked if this was a political campaign in itself, Onifade said he has no intention to run for office and does not wish to be known as a sensational blogger or fierce government critic but one who continues to provide pragmatic ideas from the sidelines, although he may likely consider opportunities in future that allow him offer policy advice.
In his foreword by Femi Falana (SAN), the leading human rights lawyer said, “in the main, the book is a wake-up call to the youths who have left the fate of the country in the soiled hands of corrupt and selfish politicians who have arrested the development of the country. No doubt, Nigeria has a large percentage of young people but out of ignorance about strategies to win elections, the political space has been polluted and taken over by power mongers…in view of the foregoing, I have no hesitation in recommending the book to politicians – young and old, electoral bodies, political parties and other stakeholders in the politics of the country.”
The book is currently available for purchase on Amazon, delon.ng and would be available in leading online and offline book retailers from the middle of January 2020.