Dikeh shared these thoughts during an interview with journalists at the event organized by the National Leadership Centre, which focused on the theme of ‘Leadership for sustainability.’
By Johnson Atoukudu:
During the GOTNI national leadership conference in Abuja, Tonto Dikeh, the Nollywood actress and deputy governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress in the 2023 Rivers State election, expressed her determination to pursue her ambition until it is achieved.
She acknowledged that the chances of governing the oil-rich state in the future are both promising and challenging due to the corrupt nature of politics. Dikeh shared these thoughts during an interview with journalists at the event organized by the National Leadership Centre, which focused on the theme of ‘Leadership for sustainability.’
She said, “One of the things I learnt (in contesting the election) is resilience and never giving up. I know after four years, they will forget about me and that, ‘she is not going to come back.’ But I am going to come back. Every four years, I am going to come back. I will come back and I will be in their faces. I will be coming back to the contest.
My chances (of becoming governor) are high and slim because politics is dirty. It’s not going to be free and fair. (Nyesom) Wike’s candidate didn’t win free and fair. So I don’t expect politics to be free and fair, but I expect that, as someone said, having a lion’s heart requires taking the lion’s share.
“I won’t care what they think about my position, I will keep having the lion’s share, whether it is my personal life or politics, I am here to stay and they have no choice but to accept it.”
Dikeh said, “I said something; I said that the youths are restless. They are young, they are vibrant, and this is the time for them to do things. They cannot achieve those things if they do not fall under the platform of leadership.
“I contested for the position of Deputy Governor of Rivers State under the ADC and I saw how the older politicians perceived me like, ooh! This girl came to joke but I told them I didn’t come to joke.
“I made them understand that I came to fight. I might not have won but it will go down in history that I contested against Wike or Wike’s boy or the other big shots that I contested against.’
According to the celebrity, one of the factors contributing to the older generation’s condescending attitude towards the youth is their perception of a lack of leadership qualities among young people. Conversely, the older generation fails to recognize the potential and positive attributes that exist within the younger generation.
“They are not totally wrong; I saw what happened during the #EndSARS saga. There was no form of leadership. I personally did not want to indulge in that because, after investing so many millions on GOTNI Leadership Centre and attending programmes almost every three months, I would not go into a fight blind without a leader or without a structure.
“It was structureless, and these are the things that the elderly politicians look at us and say that these people are not ready. We need to put ourselves in the position of power, and it is not just contesting; it is actually being power yourself, and I don’t think we have gotten there yet as it is,” she stated.