Dumebi Kachikwu, the presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), is a Nigerian media and business mogul, as well as the Chairman and founder of Roots Television.
Born December 20, 1971, into the family of late Justice Francis Okafor Kachikwu and Barrister (Mrs) Josephine Ada Kachikwu, Dumebi is the younger brother of Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, a former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, a politician, lawyer and former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the then Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Delta State-born politician from Onicha-Ugbo is happily married to Ikeme Kachikwu and they have six children – four boys and two girls.
In 2022, Dumebi Kachikwu picked the nomination form to run for Nigeria’s presidency under the platform of the ADC. He defeated his closest rival Kingsley Moghalu, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where the party held its primaries, to emerge the flag bearer of the party.
While Kachikwu polled 977 votes, Moghalu had 589 and another aspirant, Chukwuka Monye, came third with 339 votes.
Kachikwu later announced Ahmed Buhari as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.
Buhari was the presidential candidate of the Sustainable National Party of Nigeria (SNPN) in the 2019 election.
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A Nigerian broadcaster, actress, film producer and founder of Mabeloboh Centre For Save Our Stars, Mabel Akomu Oboh, said that with Nigeria’s top dogs making waves in preparation for the 2023 elections, a name that keeps gleaming is the ADC presidential candidate, Dumebi Kachikwu.
She said that though most Nigerians may consider him an underdog due to the odds against him in a corrupt and monetised electoral system, the people’s mandate for a fresh young face may be in his favour.
According to her, Nigerians’ hunger for a much-needed new Nigeria, coupled with Dumebi’s humble personality, tough steel passion to serve the people, may lead the electorate to give him a second look by not underestimating his true capabilities of reviving our down-ridden economy and his abilities to snatch the presidency in February.
“The truth is that Dumebi is not a man to be cast aside easily and not be tempted to give a second look at what he is bringing to the table. One can say that his ideology represents the hope of the people and the dreams of a new Nigeria that works for all. A country where we must define our common charter as Nigerians and constitute a new nation that is not only inclusive for all but guarantees equal rights and expressions to all, irrespective of tribe, tongue and religion,” she said.
He said that despite not spending a dime on delegates before the primary election, he was surprised he defeated aspirants who shared money to delegates.
He said, “I had a banquet for all the delegates, announced to them that I was an aspirant but told them I didn’t have money (and that) they should vote their conscience so that if I win, my conscience will be free that I didn’t pay.
“If I’d lost, I have my business to go back to. So, I don’t have to be a president to work for Nigeria. I left them that night, not knowing what my fate would be.
“I announced to them that I was not going to give anybody money and some were upset. My opponents shared money to the delegates. Later, my wife said, ‘Please, spend this money on the delegates to avoid disgrace’, and I told her my conscience forbids that.
“I was already delivering my speech accepting defeat when I saw that the body language of the delegates had changed. They were smiling at me. The most painful thing was to see losers go to the media to desecrate the process which produced me. They were telling lies to the public,” he said after his emergence.
Suspended by party
In September 2022, the ADC announced his suspension over alleged anti-party activities. His suspension was contained in a statement released by the Deputy National Chairman (Politics) of the party, Bamidele Ajadi.
This was due to no love lost with the National Chairman of the party, Chief Ralph Nwosu.
Mr Ajadi accused Mr Kachikwu of making ‘defamatory’ statements that contravene the values of the ADC. He also accused him of anti-party activities.
Mr Ajadi described the action of the party’s 2023 presidential flag bearer as a sign of “crass irresponsibility, gross indiscipline, disingenuous scandalization” and an attempt to blackmail the party’s executives to do his bidding.
In addition to Mr Kachikwu’s alleged infractions, Mr Ajadi said the candidate, since his emergence on June 9, has also “refused to share with the party any meaningful, constructive or reasonable Presidential Campaign Roadmap for the forthcoming presidential election.”
“His negative actions and/or inactions so far, have put in jeopardy the fate and prospects of all our candidates contesting for various offices across the country. The committee of the whole house, in a very clear and unequivocal term, condemned the said video in its entirety and described it as a piece of badly crafted blackmail and mudslinging, and thereby unanimously recommended his immediate suspension from the party from today, Friday September 2, 2022.”
Before the then suspension, there was tension at the ADC national secretariat in Abuja as 27 state chairpersons of the party called for the resignation of Mr Nwosu.
They said the national chairman had overstayed his tenure in office. Mr Nwosu has allegedly been the party’s chairman for 17 years.
However, ADC’s National Chairman, Chief Ralph Nwosu faulted the move and also rejected claims by Kachikwu that the party has resolved its differences with him.
Nwosu who insisted that Kachikwu remains expelled from the party, reiterated the resolve to rally support for over 1,980 candidates of the party jostling for various elective seats in the country and warned Kachikwu to stop parading himself as the presidential candidate of the party.
Agenda for Nigeria
Dumebi Kachikwu presenting a blueprint on how he would turn the fortune of Nigeria for good if he was elected for the office of President identified 20 areas, where he would make a significant difference in the lives of Nigerians and the country if elected.
He promised to initiate wide-ranging public service reforms to eliminate corruption and win the war against terrorism.
He also promised to create equal opportunities for men and women and an enhanced welfare package for teachers and initiate a technology-driven education and healthcare system to stop medical and education tourism abroad.
He pledged to eliminate corruption by ensuring that Nigerian workers are paid better salaries and building modern cities with better amenities, world-class health facilities and accessible and affordable internet services across the country.
He said if elected President, he would collaborate with state governments to invest in power generation, build broadband internet infrastructure and limit states and the private sector to distribution activities only.
“Together we can design a new menu for our people. We will rebuild Nigeria from the ground up and do away with the faulty and archaic colonial foundation that now characterises our current existence. We must define our common charter as Nigerians and constitute a new nation that is not only inclusive for all but guarantees equal rights and expressions to all irrespective of tribe, tongue and religion.
“This new Nigeria must come first before any other identification. It will be our common bond as we do away with all colonial relics of division, mistrust and hatred,” Kachikwu said.
With the February 25 presidential election weeks away, it is left to be seen of what fate the electorate would seal for Kachikwu to either win and succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Presidential Villa or wait till 2027 to re-contest if he would still be interested.