The scramble to be the presidential candidate for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has begun with the announcement by the Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah of his intentions to vie in the 2015 elections.
Nda-Isaiah, who is believed to be a protege of one of the leaders of the APC and founder of the now defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, made his intentions public yesterday while paying a courtesy visit to ThisDay Newspapers’ Lagos Headquarters to intimate the management of his presidential ambition.
When asked about his decision vis-a-vis his political relationship with Buhari considering the fact that many believe the former Head of State still has his eyes firmly locked on Aso Rock, Nda-Isaiah said, “I told him (Buhari) tactically that I am in the race. And he said it was politically correct. I went round all those close to him. I have gone far into the race. So, if he decides to contest, I’m going to contest. I will contest against him. I will try everything to make sure that the relationship remains the same. But I wish it would not happen.”
He, however, maintained that he has no intention to drop his presidential ambitions if Buhari decides to throw his hat into the ring.
While explaining what fueled his ambition to vie for the presidential ticket of the APC, Nda-Isaiah said “It is now we should start doing very big things. We should have the biggest airports and the biggest seaports. Look at the things we achieved when there was no oil.
“Go to the universities now and compare what they did 20 years ago. We need new direction. I don’t believe that there is a magic to it. I believe it is possible to make the difference,” he stated.
He lamented the level of division among Nigerians, saying if he wins in the presidential election, one of his first assignments will be to ensure the unity of Nigeria, which he identifies as the panacea for rapid development.
“The most important thing is to bring people together. We are too divided over small issues. If any leader is sincere, it is the very thing to do. I will not say we are going to fight corruption because that is part of governance,” he said.
Born on May 1, 1962, Nda-Isaiah attended Government College, Kaduna. He went on to the then University of Ife, Ile-Ife, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy. He was the national editor-in-chief of the Pharmacy students’ magazine, Student Pharmacist.
Nda-Isaiah became a member of the Daily Trust Editorial Board as well as a member of the committee appointed by the Kano State Government to revive The Triumph, the state-owned newspaper.
The Publisher of Leadership Newspapers is also a member of the Institute of Directors, a member of the Vienna-based International Press Institute, a member of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), and an executive member of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN).