APC prioritizes political power over security and well-being – Onovo

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July 10 (THEWILL) – The National Consciousness Party (NCP) presidential candidate for the 2015 general election, Chief Martin Onovo, in this interview with AYO ESAN, speaks out on the worsening insecurity in the country and the monetization of the presidential primaries by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as well as other issues of national importance. Excerpts:

What is your reaction to the worsening insecurity in the country, including the recent attacks on the President’s advance convoy and Kuje prison in Abuja?

The level of insecurity is unprecedented. In 2015, before President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in, Boko Haram terrorists were confined to the outskirts of three states, namely Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. We were outraged by the failure of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s government to stop terrorism. Now, with Buhari in power, terrorism has grown in ferocity and has spread to all geopolitical areas of Nigeria. Currently, terrorists control large areas in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna, Katsina and other northern states.

At a Catholic church in Owo, terrorists from Ondo State (southwest) killed more than 40 people and injured many others, Benue State is at the center of terrorist attacks and the attacks in Plateau State (middle belt) increased, Auchi areas of Edo State (South-South) suffered many attacks like Ebonyi State (South-East).

The attack on Buhari’s forward convoy took place in Katsina State and the attack on Kuje prison occurred in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory. It is clear that these attacks have grown in ferocity and have also spread to all geopolitical areas of Nigeria under Buhari who leads a totally incompetent, Islamist and corrupt government. This led to the International Foreign Policy magazine publication titled, Nigeria is a Failed State. We can therefore correctly conclude that Nigeria has become a “failed state” under Buhari.

Can the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) successfully organize a credible general election in the prevailing insecurity?

Certainly not and it provides more opportunities for the dysfunctional ruling party to rig the election by collaborating with the INEC leadership to publish false results. We must understand that the ruling party has prioritized the control of political power over the security and welfare of Nigerians. Thus, they can allow insecurity to persist in order to create an environment conducive to rigging. According to Senator (Alhaji) Rufai Hanga, “They don’t do elections in Borno and Yobe states, they only write the results there.” Insecurity in any state allows the ruling party to collude with INEC and write false results for that state.

What does the monetization of the presidential primaries by the APC and the PDP say about our democracy?

This means that the APC and the PDP are not major political parties. They are two sides of the same corrupt coin. Corruption and electoral fraud do not portray the big parties; they characterize criminal organizations. We say no to the PDP. Luckily for all Nigerians, the PDP is dying and the APC will disperse very soon.

The highly monetized primaries of these parties are their celebration of corruption and impunity. These two parties promoted a transactional pseudo-democracy financed by the proceeds of corruption. Many Nigerians, especially those in the mass media, are passively responsible for tolerating this level of corruption and impunity. According to Article 22 of the Nigerian Constitution, “The press, radio, television and other mass media agencies shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental purposes contained in this chapter and to uphold the accountability and accountability of the government to the people.

Democracy cannot thrive without freedom of the press and the media must hold the government accountable to the people to promote democracy.

What do you think of the idea of ​​a Muslim-Muslim ticket?

Any attempt at a Muslim-Muslim ticket is an insidious push to move Nigeria into a failed state from its current state of failed state. We will reject any Muslim-Muslim ticket as senseless, callous, unpatriotic and unconstitutional. We will challenge him spiritually, legally and politically. Nigeria is a diverse country and each ticket should be balanced in the spirit of our constitutional “federal character”. When I ran for president in 2015, we had Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammed, a very bright Muslim from Kebbi State, as the running mate.

As we prepare for the 2023 general election, what is your advice to INEC?

INEC is one of the main enemies of democracy in Nigeria. The INEC continued to violate the integrity of the ballot and the rule of law in several ways. The INEC must not take Nigeria from a failed state to a collapsed state. In the past, INEC disenfranchised voters, registered underage voters, allowed underage voters to vote, allowed voting without accreditation, falsified election results, and failed the audit of election results. My advice to INEC is to maintain its independence and follow the highest avenues of integrity and transparency at every stage of an election.

How do you assess President Buhari’s government and what do you want him to achieve before his departure in May 2023?

Buhari led the worst government of all time in Nigeria. His government has failed catastrophically on every major index. The level of insecurity is unprecedented and Nigeria is now a failed state. The economy is completely ruined and Nigeria currently has the highest rate of people living in extreme poverty. Unemployment and inflation levels are unprecedented. Corruption is massive and widespread with impunity in all sectors and Nigeria received its worst score (154) on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. The Muhammadu Buhari administration has pushed Nigeria with its incompetence and corruption from a weak state to a failed state. The only thing he can do now to alleviate his loathsome legacy is to ensure a free and fair election.

Vote buying was seen on a large scale in the recent Ekiti State Governor election. What’s the way out of this?

Vote buying can be treated as a crime. Given the very cheap way the ruling APC bought votes in Ekiti’s gubernatorial election, it is clear that the party can easily manipulate the 2023 general election. The arrangement is simple. Corrupt politicians steal public funds and use them to buy votes to gain power or stay in power. Using the Ekiti gubernatorial election as an example, INEC claimed that the winner received 187,057 votes. At 10,000 naira per vote, it only took about 1.87 billion naira to buy the governorship of Ekiti State. This amount is too low for many corrupt politicians who want to take over the governorship of a state. In this way we have a collection of corrupt politicians who steal public funds and use them to buy votes to get to power to steal more and deploy them again to buy votes to return to public office.

Similarly, if you have 600 billion naira, you can buy 20 million votes at 30,000 naira each to become president of Nigeria.

This vicious circle must be broken. To break it, we need to use a multifaceted approach that will include advocacy against vote selling, anti-corruption measures to check the supply of slush funds, improving vote secrecy to prevent the vote buyer from knowing the party a voted voter, monitor polling stations to arrest vote-buyers and confiscate funds, etc.

What is your general advice to the electorate ahead of the general election?

The electorate must realize that they are the sovereign and must take responsibility and control. We have to register to vote, we have to vote, we have to defend our votes and ensure that the good results are transmitted to the collection centers. We must protect minor children from registering and voting. We must insist on the rule of law and the integrity of the ballot. We must resist any attempt to manipulate the elections. We must vote for competent candidates with high integrity, clear vision and physical vigor.

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