on ViewPointNigeria’s straight Talk with Longgul, Zendi Mikuk shares his opinion and the way forward on his political ambition
Below is the full text of the interview.
- Can you please introduce yourself?
I am Zendi Lazarus Mikuk. I am an Assistant Registrar in the University of Jos. I hold a BSc and MSc degree in Political Science and International Relations & Strategic Studies respectively.
In furtherance to these educational pursuits and to make a high level of impact in my immediate society, I have enrolled for PhD studies in International Relations & Strategic Studies – this will afford me the opportunity to practically apply the learning aptitudes in my community.
On other fronts, I am an astute businessman who looks at the areas of comparative advantage and the abundance of resources on the Plateau and continually thinks about how we can exploit them.
To that end, I am diligently building a business empire, with a view to inspiring other Plateau Youth and adding to the growth and development of our society.
2. What is behind your drive for excellence and accomplishment?
My motivation for excellence and accomplishment is simple –“life started very early for me”!
To put it succinctly, I lost my dad when he was just thirty nine (39) years old. Shortly after that (8 years to be precise), I tragically lost my Mum. If you do the math, you’d see that my siblings and I became orphaned at very young ages.
To ensure that the shock of the loss was minimal on my siblings, I had to trade my youth for adulthood. Many of the youthful/formative experiences that a young teenager would experience on his way to adulthood were truncated –I was pushed into a new social circle of responsibility and duty –this was incredibly weighty.
Thankfully, with the help and guidance of relations and sundry I defied gravity –I beat the odds.I say this with all sense of humility, because you will agree that there is this stereotype about being a young orphan in our milieu. The general expectation is that once you become orphaned at an early age, then it is “lights-out”, because all the odds are stacked against you. Truly, there are numerous examples of this, where promising teenagers who hitherto were doing fantastic in a family setting, become caught-up in the web of destitution once orphaned.
In a bid to overcome adversary and the difficult circumstances that life threw at me, I had to dig deep from within my inner being to find the motivation and strength to surmount all the challenges. I never wallowed in self-pity but took on life head on. The experiences I learn along the way have shaped who I am today –and I remain eternally grateful to God. Thus, I am driven by defying the odds and proving that with hard/smart work, tenacity and commitment the sky is only the beginning.
3. Let us set the records straight. Are you vying for any political Office in 2019?
Yes! I will vie for a political office in the not too distant future; we are considering the House of Representatives seat of Pankshin, Kanke&Kanam, albeit it is hinged on a number of factors that I shall not outline here yet.
Just so you know; I work as part of a movement/coalition of bright minds who believe that the Plateau Political equation needs the injection of new ideas and minds. As such, we are painstakingly working to change several dimensions.
4. Since you are likely vying, what do you think you can do differently given your experience as an Administrator and Philanthropist?
Looking at our society, one can only wish things were a lot different. Fortunately for some of us, we have had the privilege of experiencing life in other climes –as such I feel the personal need to translate those experiences/benefits to my immediate society.
Anyone who is interested in seeking a political office should be guided by the basic tenets of democracy. Availing yourself to be sized up in the political market space and allowing the electorates to use their currencies (powers) to buy you and assign certain responsibilities for you to carry out.
I am particularly going to deploy my theoretical knowledge of politics vis-à-vis “the real deal” and allow my actions to be people oriented. Development is a human-centered concept. Once you derail from that you have lost it. With the requisite experiences I have garnered over the years as an Administrator, I have been equipped to handle administration and governance. To my advantage, I have also been privileged to have worked closely with those in the highest authorities of my organization and that is another school in itself.
Referring to me as a philanthropist at this stage is a tall order. I am not quite at that lofty height just yet, but I aspire to arrive there soon enough. However, deep within me I am never happy seeing someone who is in need (or destitute) and turn I away. Giving should be an integral part of each and every one of us –perhaps a trait I learn from being an orphan myself.
The entire concept of philanthropy has been clearly typified (for me) by General T.Y. Danjuma (rtd). At an occasion, I heard him say“NO ONE IS TOO POOR TO GIVE”.
My brother, that has innately challenged me. Therefore, whether or not I hold public and/or political office, I will NEVER stop being altruistic and committed to giving a helping hand within my means. That is a personal commitment of mine.
5. What advice would you give to the youths as your major constituency especially as the 2019 General Elections are fast approaching? Simple; I will bullet them as follows:
- To understand what democracy means and/or entails.
- To engage in issue based politicking as against attacking personalities.
- To allow the structural pluralism that characterizes democracy to hold sway.
- To fight for the demonetization of our politics.
- To demand accountability from our political office holders and other leaders.
- To participate actively in the political processes and engender a broad-based political socialization.
I am risking being a bit academic by the points mentioned above but in all sincerity what I have stated are self-explanatory and if we must succeed in gaining ascendancy to power we must learn to be guided by them.
In closing, let us have it in mind that elections (politics) are not a do or die affair. There are lessons to be learnt in both winning and losing. Besides, losing is not failure…there is always room and space for a comeback. Thank you.
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