The National Chairman and founder of the United Progressives Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, has said that the crises bedeviling the All Progressives Congress (APC), will benefit opposition parties, as members of the ruling party were seriously making overtures to his party.
In an interview with VINCENT KALU, Chief Okorie, who was the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) before forming UPP, stated that the APC government is already doomed for one term and will be thoroughly disgraced in the 2019 elections.
All is not well with Nigeria. Insecurity everywhere. Why is this so and what is the way out?
This is a clear indictment on government for its failure to provide basic services to its people. Poverty has increased to its highest level; most times the security is not focused and not adequate to protect lives and property of the citizens. There is too much of fire brigade approach to the issue of security. About 10 million jobs have been lost and none created, as a result of the downward trend in the economy, which has also led to many businesses closing down.
When you have many unemployed youths, you will experience increase in many vices.
There is parochial attitude of the government, especially under Burahi’s administration, in terms of appointments to very critical government agencies, ministries and departments. There is some kind of perceived connivance to the Fulani herdsmen terrorism. Just recently, the president has woken up to mere visits without concrete actions to the areas the herdsmen have attacked.
Like I said earlier, our security policies are almost pedestrian, the idea of asking people, who have licensed guns to surrender them, including the vigilance groups, is very unintelligent and counter productive because these vigilantes have not been recorded anywhere to pose a security threat, instead, they have helped to reduce kidnapping, banditry in many communities. In some of these communities, especially in the South East, relative peace has returned and people are going there even to invest.
The same government is making a general statement that even vigilantes should return guns that are licensed, which they have used responsibly, it is to me cutting our nose to spite our face.
These are some of the things to make Nigeria to look like a failed state. That is the situation we are in now, and those who described Nigeria as a failed state are not far from the truth.
The issues of nepotism and parochialism have made so many people to feel disconnected; and they think that they have no stake in Nigeria. Patriotism is no longer there, as there is no motivation to be patriotic.
Unfortunately, 2019 that should give the people hope to correct some of these things, they are not confident that this present INEC can guarantee and conduct free and credible elections, which is tragic. If people lose faith in the exercise that will make them demonstrate franchise and opinion through the ballot box, then that will be the end of Nigeria.
That is what so many people are raising the fears on, including the recent fears expressed by the Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu, on what will happen if we continue in this way, with nonchalant leadership at the centre, and we approach the 2019 general elections.
I don’t think Nigerians will like to go through this kind of situation in another four years.
The only way out is to have free and fair credible elections, and for it to even happen, it must be predicated on full electronic voting systems, which will eliminate loopholes that lead to wanton manipulations of elections.
The amended electoral law incorporating these recommendations is in the Bill that some people prevailed on Mr. President not to accent because of a clause of the order of election.
Since he was not patriotic enough to accent to it and if the National Assembly is able to veto it because of the number of members required to do so, then he has laid a very solid foundation for anarchy that Nigeria may not survive.