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2023 Election: Only Right Leaders Can Take Nigeria Out Of Darkness — Amafibe

As Nigeria prepares for general elections in 2023, the founder and President of Peace Ambassador Agency Worldwide, Amb. Kingsley Amafibe has bared his mind on how Nigeria could get over the current doldrums. In this interview with New Telegraph, he speaks on his efforts to promote peace in Nigeria, Africa and the Global Communities and other sundry issues.

How has the journey of promoting peace been for Peace Ambassador Agency within the last 10 years of your existence?

After my honour as an Ambassador for Peace, I was propelled to contribute my quota to society and that led to the Peace Achievers  Award, now known as the Peace Achievers International Award. We have a lot of platforms where we try to promote peaceful coexistence in the country and beyond, gainfully engage and empower our youths to become agents of change in a bid to promote peace in their communities and wherever they find themselves and as such, we have a beauty pageant platform where we nurture and empower young women in the country and this pageant gave birth to the Big Dream Talent Show.

During our pagenteries, we discovered that Nigeria has a lot of talented youths in music, comedy and acting, unfortunately they don't have people to showcase and develop what they have and so we decided to take that bold step and began to organise the Big Dream Talent Show to harness the potentials we have. It will amaze you to know that at the first edition, which we hosted in 2020, we had over 16,000 young talented Nigerians registered online.

After the selections, 30 people were in the house for five weeks and at the end, two winners emerged. We also have the annual Nigerian peace conference where we educate people on various burning topics especially elections, security, politics etc. We believe peace is all about governance, education and empowerment. Terrorism, kidnapping and the many ills that we witness in the country presently is because many people are not empowered and that is why we have dedicated the past 10 years of our existence as a Peace Agency towards building bridges across Nigeria, Africa and the globe.

But we have seen political leaders insisting that four years were too small to bring about impactful, and sustainable development?

You can build anything, including a company within four years so why can't our leaders put these things in place? One of the issues we are having is that most of our leaders come into power without an agenda and as such, they tend to play with what they see around and before you know it they fall into the system; t h e c a – bal. D u e to lack of direction, it becomes so easy for our leaders to be controlled and told what to do in government to the detriment of the people whom they had vowed to serve.

The 2023 general elections are around the corner, how can we fix this using the Peace Ambassador Agency to ensure Nigerians get it right this time?

Poverty is a major challenge; many people are only after what they think they can get and now we need to reorientate ourselves and begin to look at the kind of future we want for our children because not until we begin to do that, we will not be able to select credible leaders at the forthcoming elections. Also, everybody clamouring to lead this country should be able to know the system. What we lack today is true leadership because we don't take the right people, we just elect people because of their popularity. Although it's not about the educational qualification but what can they deliver? What have they done for their community, state or even for members of their immediate family? These are the things Nigerians should begin to look out for. We need leaders who have reached out to the grassroots, people who have empowered young people, who are more than 75% of the voting population.

Do you think we have such leaders, capable leaders who can change the narrative in the country out of those, who have indicated interest for the presidency in 2023?

You can't judge anyone right now because you don't know their agenda; or what they have for the people. But what I can tell you is that we don't n e e d people w h o c a n – n o t grow this country. We need people who are industrious, strong and firm. We need intellectuals, people who can combine things, who can make things work, people who can handle the affairs of this country. Not until we elect a leader who can put things right, I think Nigeria will continue to be in darkness.

There have been clamour in many quarters that the youths should be in leadership positions, what do you think is hindering them from realising this?

Most of our leaders do not want to empower the youth. Also, you find many young people throwing comments on social media but ask how many of them have collected PVCs and you will discover that none has done so. This shows that we are not taking responsibility of what we should do and that's why you see that there's nobody who can come out because we don't have the capacity, we don't have the grassroots ability. It's about time young people took this serious and focus on reaching out to their community no matter how little. They should build the grassroots because it is getting to that age where election is not going to be by money, but by what you have done for your people. It won't even be about party but the impact you've created in the society that's what will count for any young persons tomorrow.

You've been in the entertainment industry for over a decade now, do you see a relationship between talent and education?

Talent is like education. If there is anyone, who is talented, but not educated, he should wake up one morning and go back to school and get education. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi are idols today but most of them are uneducated yet they employ professors. I see talent as the same thing with education; if you are talented chase your dream and when you've acquired everything you need to acquire you can go back to education, but you must merge these two together whether you like it or not as a young person, or as a talented person.

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