As a Christian, the story of Daniel who was in the lion’s den and came out unscathed is well-known to him. As a believer, he must also believe that with God all things are possible. His name is Linus Idahosa. His belief in Christ has nothing to do with his surname and the late Bishop Benson Idahosa.
If his plans sail through, Idahosa, 37, will take the baton from Governor Adams Oshiomhole, but who is this man daring the old to the coveted seat? He is the CEO of Del-York International and Farenheight Global Security Solutions. In a career spanning 15 years, his organisations have championed various initiatives to drive innovation in media, entertainment, youth development and national security.
At the completion of his National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) programme, he was awarded ‘Corper of the Year’. After this, he joined Nayee Security Printing Press (a high level security printing company in Lagos, Nigeria) and rose to become General Manager. He later became Managing Director of Joscas Engineering, a turnkey engineering and construction firm. His constant interface with International media/PR agencies coupled with his inherent skills in Public Relations and Mediation eventually informed his career move into the media and broadcast Industry. Linus honed his skills while working with ace broadcaster Segun Akpata for CNN as its exclusive accredited agent and producer in Nigeria.
He played a pivotal role in raising awareness of Nigerian brands on CNN. He also worked with the private firms and government agencies to maximize their visibility on the platform. His quest to enhance youth and institutional development led him to sign a strategic partnership deal with The New-York Film Academy to represent the institution in Africa, and between 2010 and 2015 he successfully flew in 72 of its lecturers from New York and Los Angeles into Nigeria. Idahosa has forged positive strategic relationships with global media organisations, NGOs, and governments across Africa.
Through intensive vocational training programmes, he has empowered young graduates and professionals within the creative and media industries, resulting in job creation, higher professional and technical standards and lucrative international collaborations.
In recognition for his work, he was in July 2015 invited by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth to Buckingham Palace where he met with her personally at the Queens Young Leaders Awards in London.
He has been a tireless campaigner for the youth, both domestically and internationally. He carries with him a message that good governance delivers extensive social capital —including the creation of jobs as well as enabling growth and diversification of the economy. He believes that Nigeria should be a net exporter of its cultural products, whilst deploying the creative arts as a potent instrument for diplomacy and international relations. As an ardent ambassador for ‘Brand Nigeria’, Idahosa seeks to serve his people, using his wealth of experience and vibrancy of youth to positively contribute to the collective effort of building a greater Edo State and Nigeria.
With the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) saturated with older and richer aspirants, Idahosa has pitched his tenth with the Young Democratic Party (YDP). Idahosa is convinced that mobilising young people to support what is in their interest is not as difficult as it seems.
“On the 15th of March 2014, I received a picture from a Thisday Photo journalist, by name Sunday Aghaeze; that picture was to change the course of my life. It was my screensaver for a whole year. It was an aerial shot of a crowd of almost 70,000 young men and women between the ages of 18 and 35 cramped up at the Abuja stadium in search of a job opportunity at the Nigerian Immigration Service”.
“Eyes filled with hope, fear, promise, desperation and faith in what was possible. For me, it was the highest demonstration of faith in an idea in what was possible but a lack of skill in how to get there. I was convinced that these same men and women some day would come out in their droves if they were convinced that their best interest was going to be served,” he said.
On generational shift, he says: “I believe we now have an opportunity to rewrite history. Nigeria is at its tipping point; at no time in our history has there been the need for a generational shift in governance in Nigeria. We have been debating, analyzing and pontificating on this across various traditional and social media platforms, it is now time to turn our resentment about all that is good or not with our Country and leaders to a strong resolve that we would be the change that we seek. We constitute 70% of our population; where is our representation in Government?”
”There seems to be a fundamental flaw in our thinking; a veil that we have placed before ourselves, when it comes to young professionals vying for elective offices. A veil that immediately stops us from attempting to take on the challenge of governance. We have often been referred to as the SA Generation’. A generation whose birth right it seems is to become SAs and PAs, when indeed we provide the architecture, the policies and the brains for the smooth running of most elected officers at both federal and state levels.”
He identifies money politics as the biggest challenge to politics in this clime. His words:
The biggest challenge to democracy in Africa is money politics. When people are impoverished they want instant gratification.
“We live in an age where young men and women pursue fame instead of honour, riches instead of wealth and position instead of service.
“It is time to frontally combat money politics in Nigeria. A different kind of education is needed; an education of the head, an education of the hand and most importantly, an education of the heart.”
He says being young is an advantage. ”Look through history and ask yourself: what was the age of the young Europeans who came in the 18th century to conquer Africa?”
He adds: “What was the age of Henry Stanley when they came to the continent to capture and enslave our ancestors? What was the age of Wilberforce when he was agitating for the abolition of slavery? How old was Jean van Rhibeck when he settled in SA in the cape coast in 1668. How old was Ferdinand de brasa when he conquered what is now called Congo Brazaville?
“What was the age of Martin Luther King junior when he led the civil rights movement? How old was Eduardo Mondlane or Samora Moises Marshel in Mozambique? What was the age of Nelson Mandela in 1964 and Oliver Tambo? How about Sam Nyoma and Toivoya Toivo in Namibia? How old was Augustino Naeto in Angola or Jounas Malheiro Savimbi? How old was Kenneth David Kaunda in Zambia and Hastings Kamuzu Banda in Malawi or Kwame Nkrumah? How old was Donald Duke when he became Governor of Cross River State? They were all in their 20s and 30s.
“At that time they knew only one thing, they had to liberate their continent. They had no wealth, they had only the force of their conviction. Young Nigerians must realize that we are the masters of our own subjectivity. We must realize it is time to rise up to the occasion. Here lies the generation that would liberate Nigeria!”