By Taiwo Okanlawon and Ayodele Efunla
Ugandan musician turned politician, Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine has said he will break down the power of the president and be more accountable and answerable to the people of Uganda if he becomes the number one citizen of the country.
The lawmaker also said he will revamp the educational sector of the country where young people will be taught how to become job creators and not job seekers.
The pop star-turned-politician, who is currently in Nigeria as one the speakers at 2019 Felabration symposium referred to as The FELA Debates, said this in an interview with PM News at the Freedom Park, Lagos on Sunday.
Bob Wine who believes that a president should be seen as an ordinary citizen and an ordinary human been who should be accountable is one of President Yoweri Museveni’s fiercest critics.
In his words, “First of all, I want to prove to people of Uganda that being president is not being God, being president is being just like any other citizen only that the president is more accountable and answerable.”
“So If I become the president, first of all, I will break down the power of the president and make the president another human being. I will also have to break down the education system and re-educate our people most importantly in self-love. I will have to improve agriculture and make sure young people will be taught how to become job creators and not job seekers.”
“Of course, there are many other things I will have to do but most importantly I will make sure all people, particularly in my country have equal opportunities and equal chances where everybody is judged by what they can do and not by where they come from,” he said.
“Great leaders must give way for greater leaders, good leaders must give way for better leaders and a strong and assertive population must also give way for a stronger and even more assertive population,” said the 37-year-old reggae star who is running for president in the country’s 2021 elections. His star power has attracted a large following among young Ugandans, who make up more than half of the country’s population.
Wine, who is riding on a revolutionary movement called the “People Power” to clinch the presidential seat, has continued to face many persecutions and intimidations from the ruling government.
He was charged with treason and detained for weeks in 2018 after a faceoff between his supporters and Museveni’s party descended into chaos during a by-election. Wine said he was tortured in military detention.
He said, “We are going through what Nigeria went through sometimes ago. We are going through what Fela went through or even worse. African dictators from time to time tend to be reading from the same book, just like Fela was beaten, arrested many times and unjustly persecuted, that is the same thing I’m going through back in Uganda.”
“My music is outlawed, my concerts are abolished and I’m not even allowed to appear at a public gathering but still we resist musically because music is stronger than anything and I believed with perseverance and persistence like Fela Kuti, we will certainly triumph and those generations that will come after will be inspired just like we are inspired by Fela,” he added.
Wine also believes that sitting down will not help his country but to be fearless and challenge the status quo by making the leaders accountable and answerable to his people who own the country.
“We can only get better by we the people holding our leaders accountable. So we cannot just sit back and hope that the leaders will get better, it’s going to take the actions of we the citizens through inspiration of people like Fela that was fearless and straight forward about what he believed in and demanding for what they know that they deserve. So constant standing up and calling the leaders to be accountable,” he stated.
Wine entered the political sphere in Uganda in 2017 and won his parliamentary seat the same year. The MP has been rallying opposition and dissents to his side and has even led a protest against some government policies.