PDP’s Confidence Of Winning 2019 General Elections Is Unfounded – Onovo | Independent Newspapers Limited
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PDP’s Confidence Of Winning 2019 General Elections Is Unfounded – Onovo

martin onovo
Posted: Apr 3, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)



Engr. Martin Onovo was the presidential candidate of National Conscience Party (NCP) in 2015 presidential election, in this interview with Augustine Adah, he speaks about the plan by PDP to take over power in 2019,  failure of  APC to keep some promises made during the 2015 elections.  He also speaks on the failure of APC government under Buhari to keep its promises made to Nigerians during last election and sundry issues. Excerpts:


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is confident of taking the power it lost in 2015 by 2019; do you for see a political re-alignment to upstage APC come 2019?


Their confidence is unfounded. They previously claimed they would rule Nigeria for sixty years but, they were  out-rigged in the 2015 presidential election after sixteen years in power, even while they

controlled the Federal Government. Their performance in the sixteen years they spent in power, the corruption allegations against its officials and its loss of control of the Federal Government make it very difficult for it to come back to power in a free and fair election. We expect that their members will regret their prodigality, commit to patriotism and come to join the National Conscience Party [NCP] in our march to take over governance in Nigeria and abolish poverty. The APC is the twin brother of

the PDP. It does not require any serious political re-alignment to upstage it in 2019. Its catastrophic failure in its first year in power, its internal divisions and its very narrow sectional agenda will ensure its failure in any free and fair election. So far, it has lost most of the re-run elections even while it controls the Federal Government. This is evidence that the Nigeria people have seen through their very elaborate false propaganda. The two parties are the two factions of the same failed and recycled band of politicians that ruined Nigeria.


APC led government promises to generate 10,000 megawatts of electricity by 2019; do you believe the feat can be achieved?


The feat can be achieved but may be not by an APC government. The APC Federal Government has shown a lack of capacity to perform the most basic functions of a government. It was unable to form a cabinet on time. It was unable to appoint appropriate persons to sundry positions. It remains unable to develop a clear economic direction. It could not present a reasonable budget proposal for 2016 even after a second formal attempt that was five months late. The APC has become very notorious for false promises. The APC previously promised during the 2015 campaigns in a document titled “APC 2015 Election Manifesto” signed by John Odijie-Oyegun, National Chairman to;  Employ an extra 100,000 Police Officers,  immediate pay rise for all five security services,  interest free Loans for students, free daily school meal for all children, social Security payment for 25 million poorest Nigerians; Local health centers providing free services and drugs, creation of three million new jobs a year. Etc. Which of these has APC fulfilled? 100,000 extra Police Officers have become 10,000. Immediate pay rise has become reduced real wages due to devaluation. Interest free loans for students have not even been initiated. Our children are still waiting for the free daily school meal. The social security payments have not even been proposed. We have not seen the health centers providing free services and drugs. Instead of 3 million new jobs, we have millions of job losses. False promises and propaganda has earned APC and its supporters the title of ‘lying liars’ in Nigeria’s political space. The elevation of deceit to the level of government policy is a serious subversion of public morality.


Some political parties like PRP went to court over INEC’s decision to de-register them and got judgment on the matter, but the electoral umpire is yet to respect the judgment. What do you think is the problem with INEC?


We previously accused INEC of impunity. This is supposed to be a ‘Constitutional Democracy’ but it is clearly not because the two pillars of democracy viz, the Rule of law and the Integrity of the ballot are

disregarded with impunity. There are too many precedents of impunity set by INEC which Nigerians tolerated. INEC has consistently conducted its activities in spite of our laws. Almost every electoral provision of the Constitution and the Electoral Act has been violated in the conduct of elections in Nigeria by INEC. Fundamental requirements like minimum academic qualification of presidential candidates, election finance limits, minimum voting age, party finance, right of voters to vote,

integrity of election returns, collation integrity, etc. are routinely disregarded by INEC with impunity. Today over eighty one of the elections conducted by INEC in 2015 were partially or completely

nullified by different tribunals leading to re-runs. INEC, DSS or even the APC Federal Government is a creation of the law and is not above the law. We must insist on the rule of law.


How is NCP intending to approach the problem of funding?


We have been funded according to law by our members and supporters. The big concern about funding for us is that the parties in power are unlawfully funded with slush funds stolen from the public till. This promotes corruption, criminality and impunity in the polity. The allegations are in the public domain of how the PDP was funded by the office of the National Security Adviser and the APC was funded by APC governors to the point that after the elections many of them could no longer pay salaries. During the 2015 general elections campaign, we raised the obvious violation of election finance limits and the corrupt source of the funds but INEC preferred to ignore this fundamental issue in its complicity in the lawlessness that characterises elections in Nigeria.


IINEC came under heavy criticism after the conduct of rerun elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Rivers states, what do you think INEC can do to improve on its performance?


INEC must respect Nigerian laws. It must also maintain its independence and neutrality as required by Nigerian laws. Sovereign authority belongs to Nigerian people not INEC. In Kogi, INEC apparently took sides and today, there is very serious political crisis in Kogi State. In Bayelsa State  both INEC and our national security establishment clearly under-performed. INEC has been conducting elections in Nigeria since 1999 and must have gained super-adequate experience to conduct elections according to our laws. While we cannot reasonably expect a perfect election, we can definitely get an acceptable election if INEC is committed to conducting one.


What do you think is responsible for fuel scarcity across the country after similar one last year?


We know that the re-occurring fuel scarcity is a result of the directionlessness of the current Federal Government which can be seen from the policy uncertainties that has become the norm. A simple ‘Petroleum Products Supply Management System’ will ensure super-adequate supply and

eliminate scarcity. But an appropriate ‘Petroleum Products Supply Management System’ for Nigeria can only come from an effective Federal Government. We cannot reasonably expect that from an ineffective government that has failed in all its basic responsibilities and waited for Prof. Soyinka to inform it about the ‘parlous’ state of the economy and then go further to advise it to convene an ‘Emergency Economic Conference’ to chart a way-forward. Simply, anything that constrains supply of petroleum products can cause scarcity. These constraints include, bureaucratic delays, policy

uncertainties and somersaults, banking restrictions, strikes and industrial crisis, corruption,  ncompetence, etc. An appropriate ‘Petroleum Products Supply Management System’ for Nigeria will have clear Objectives, Scope, Roles and Responsibilities, Procedures, Prevention Systems, Verification Systems, Correction Systems, Feedback and Update provisions, etc. This is basic and simple in modern management best practices. The way-forward is simple. Restore and increase domestic refining capacity through refining plant maintenance and upgrade programs. This will boost national productivity, increase employment, strengthen the Naira and increase our GDP. In the interim, engage only competent engineering managers to develop and oversee a ‘Petroleum Products Supply Management System’ to ensure adequate supply of petroleum products from foreign sources, till we can restore and increase domestic supply.