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APC-led Govt. Is Very Corrupt; INEC May Manipulate General Election 2019 – Onovo

Unic Press UK: A consulting engineer and former presidential candidate, Chief Martin Onovo weighed in on a number of issues about Nigeria, including the General Election 2019, the Buhari administration, corruption, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) blunt refusal to disqualify President Muhammadu Buhari over the school certificate saga, the ruling party All Progressives Congress (APC), rapidly rising national debt, insecurity, Osinbajo message calling on the Yoruba nation to vote Buhari to guarantee that a person of their tribe is president in 2023, the People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and so on.

Onovo, who declined overtures to run as a presidential candidate this time, says he quit the race because a strong “third force” did not emerge to displace the old, failed and recycled corrupt rulers of Nigeria.

Our political team spoke to Onovo. So we present his views on some of the torrid issues and happenings in Nigeria.


What’s your take on fighting corruption in Nigeria?

This regime led by Gen. Buhari is deliberately promoting corruption. So its claim to be fighting corruption is to deceive the simple-minded. The regime promotes corruption in many ways: Abuse of powers by the false accusations and persecution of political opponents under the guise of fighting corruption. The selective investigation of allegations of corruption against political opponents while neglecting to investigate or deliberately mismanaging corruption cases established against supporters of the regime. The unpublished message that as long as you pro-actively support the current corrupt regime, you can loot. The neglect to investigate very serious allegations of corruption against members of the administration like the $25 NNPC contracts scam, the ₦50B NNPC diverted away from the TSA, the ₦33B NEMA procurement scams, the corrupt reduction of fines imposed by NCC against a telecoms company, the corrupt round-tripping of FOREX by supporters of this administration. The covert encouragement of sponsors of the ruling party to loot national resources for the support of the ruling party. The approval of spurious schemes like the launching of Nigeria Air in London to siphon national funds through spurious jamborees. The expenditure of ₦25.6 Trillion in three and half years without any visible developmental progress.

According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Corruption in Nigeria is getting worse. We went from 136th in the CPI ranking to 148th under this government. According to the US Department of State, “Massive corruption by government officials and security agencies is on the rise with most perpetrators being shielded from trial. On corruption in this government, a political activist Alhaji Buba Galadima said, “This is the most corrupt government I have ever seen in my life”.

Do you believe that the 2019 General Election would be free and fair as promised by President Buhari Administration?

Actions speak louder than words. Many actions of the ruling cabal reveal their deep desperation to rig the elections. These actions include: The unconstitutional appointment of relatives and persons from Gen. Buhari’s religion and region into key positions to control INEC contrary to previous practice. INEC’s unwillingness to disqualify Gen. Buhari for his lack of a WAEC certificate which is the minimum educational qualification required by the Constitution. The voter registration process skewed to favour the ruling party by making it difficult for many qualified people to register in some southern regions, while the unqualified under-aged could register easily in some northern regions. The deliberate disenfranchisement of many millions of registered southern voters by INEC’s obstacles to the collection of PVCs. This is a repetition of the disenfranchisement of about fourteen million voters in 2015. The abuse of security forces and security postings. The persecution and intimidation of opposition elements. The intimidation of the media, the judiciary and blackmailing of judges. The looting of national resources and violation of election finance limits. The abuse of state institutions like the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA). The refusal of the Buhari administration to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill that will prevent rigging so as to allow election manipulation by the ruling cabal in collaboration with INEC.

It seems very clear to many Nigerians that this government is devilishly desperate to rig the 2019 presidential elections at any cost. At any cost!

The security situation is too bad now, how can this be reversed for the safety of lives and property?

Nigeria can overcome this challenge using a multi-lateral approach that requires appropriate security actions combined with the encouragement of traditional universal values and the creation of employment for our people. These will include training, equipping and motivating our security personnel. Improvement in intelligence operations and intelligence gathering, inter-service co-ordination of military operations, mobilizing international support, disrupting the religious and social support system of terrorists, identification of their sponsors. The re-establishment of our national values as identified in our constitution which includes, Honesty, Hardwork, Religious Tolerance, Justice, etc. will also be necessary. In addition, we must create employment for our people as high unemployment rates correlate to high crime rates. Improvements in education are also necessary. Only a good government can do these.

Your submissions seems to overtly imply that the positive change promised by the ruling party APC is a scam?

The ruling party promised Nigerians ‘Change’ and the country has changed negatively: From 136th in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index to 148th. From a country with constitutional values to the corruption of public morality. From a degraded Boko Haram in 2015 to an upgraded Boko Haram now. From nomadic Fulani herdsmen to terrorist Fulani herdsmen. From a growing economy to serious economic stagflation. From a united country to a divided country. From 1.8 million IDPs to 4 million IDPs. From a corrupt country to a very corrupt country. From a national debt of ₦12.1 trillion to a crushing debt of ₦22.4 trillion. From a developing country to the world capital of extreme poverty. From ₦9,000.00 for a 50kg bag of rice to ₦18,000.00 for same size bag.

What’s your take on the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo asking the Yoruba ethnic tribe to vote Buhari to secure a Yoruba person emerges as president in 2023?

That is not the purpose of government. Yemi Osinbajo has shown himself to be a selfish and unpatriotic tribalist. He is from Ogun State and the presidency claims that Ogun State has more appointees than any other state in Nigeria. That can be an indication that he is clannish even in the Southwest. We know he does not represent the Southwest as Afenifere the largest socio-cultural group in the Southwest has not endorsed him. There are several allegations of corruption against him which he needs to face.

We believe in power rotation and zoning with merit, in line with the heterogeneity of Nigeria, the constitutional requirement of federal character and democratic representation. After this term, power must rotate to the South and since both Southwest and Southsouth have been represented at the presidency, then the Southeast must be represented at the presidency as a matter justice and national unity.

This present administration claims that its predecessor left no money in the treasury, and there’s no money to achieve its pre-election pledges. What’s your take?

This administration inherited over $29B in foreign reserves. It inherited about $3B in the excess crude account and it inherited only ₦12.1 trillion in total public debt. Today, total public debt is about ₦22.4 trillion. From all assessments, domestic and international, this is the most corrupt government ever in Nigeria. According to the United States Department of State, “Massive corruption by government officials and security agencies is on the rise with most perpetrators being shielded from trial, thus giving room for reckless practices with impunity”. According to Transparency International’s ranking, Nigeria dropped from 136th to 148th in its Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

What’s your view on the presidential candidates, particularly Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari?

Nigeria has seventy three (73) presidential candidates for the 2019 elections. His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON is a former State Governor and a former Vice President of Nigeria. So, he is a very well established politician. He is also a billionaire businessman and has been endorsed by Afenifere, the largest socio-cultural organization in the Southwest. Gen. Buhari is a former military dictator and currently the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Both also are candidates of relatively old and large parties that hold major political offices in our corrupt country. Their two parties also abuse state institutions and use slush funds for their campaigns. Consequently, it is natural that based on their political profiles, particular platforms and the national resources available to their political parties, they can attract more attention especially since almost all the other candidates are very weak and are running on weak platforms.

Based on Vision, Integrity, Capacity and Competence, Gen. Buhari is the worst of all the candidates. He is the least educated, he is the oldest, and he is the least intelligent, the least industrious and the least democratic. His vision is divisive and his administration is the most corrupt ever. He is not even qualified to contest as he lacks the minimum educational qualification. According to the very brilliant columnist, Dr. Femi Aribisala, Ph. D. (Oxford), this is the “worst government in the history of Nigeria”.

What’s your take on restructuring?

Nigeria needs to be restructured democratically. However, we believe that the thesis of the late Prof. Chinua Achebe in “The Trouble with Nigeria” is correct. The root cause of the Nigeria predicament is the leadership. It is the leadership that is incompetent, visionless, unjust and corrupt. Without the right leadership, even a re-structured Nigeria may be worse. Nigeria has been restructured many times before.

Is it true that political appointees have undermined this administration?

Who appointed the rogues and cabals? Who is their principal? Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. General Buhari is vicariously liable for the actions of all his appointees. Any other principal is similarly liable.

What’s your view on the presidential candidates, particularly Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari?

Nigeria has seventy three (73) presidential candidates for the 2019 elections. His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON is a former State Governor and a former Vice President of Nigeria. So, he is a very well established politician. He is also a billionaire businessman and has been endorsed by Afenifere, the largest socio-cultural organization in the Southwest. Gen. Buhari is a former military dictator and currently the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Both also are candidates of relatively old and large parties that hold major political offices in our corrupt country. Their two parties also abuse state institutions and use slush funds for their campaigns. Consequently, it is natural that based on their political profiles, particular platforms and the national resources available to their political parties, they can attract more attention especially since almost all the other candidates are very weak and are running on weak platforms.

Based on Vision, Integrity, Capacity and Competence, Gen. Buhari is the worst of all the candidates. He is the least educated, he is the oldest, and he is the least intelligent, the least industrious and the least democratic. His vision is divisive and his administration is the most corrupt ever. He is not even qualified to contest as he lacks the minimum educational qualification. According to the very brilliant columnist, Dr. Femi Aribisala, Ph. D. (Oxford), this is the “worst government in the history of Nigeria”.

You seem to have dropped your presidential ambition this time, why?

To displace the old failed and recycled corrupt rulers of Nigeria requires that we unite in a third force. We noticed that some members of our third force betrayed our plan and divided our ranks so we had to do a tactical withdrawal to allow the different factions to fully express themselves and come back to their senses. The ethical ambience in Nigeria is very bad.

What, in your opinion, is the current state of this nation?

Our country has been ruined by this ruling cabal. Public morality has been corrupted with the promotion of deceit and false propaganda by the presidency. Injustice and lawlessness have been encouraged by the violation of rights and disobedience of court orders. National unity has been undermined by the divisive disposition and sectional policies of this regime. Insecurity is at the highest level ever, with Nigeria as one of the most terrorized countries in the world. Remember how we lost over a hundred soldiers in a Boko Haram attack recently in Borno State. Remember how Baga fell recently to Boko Haram under this incompetent Commander-in-chief. Kidnapping, armed robbery and cultism are all on the rise while the government continues to politicize and abuse our security forces.

The economy also has been ruined by the incompetence and corruption of this unpatriotic regime. Today, while countries like Norway are saving for their children, Gen. Buhari that will be seventy-seven years old this 2019 is piling huge unsustainable debts currently ₦22.4 trillion for our children and his own grandchildren. The national currency ‘Naira’ that exchanged for ₦197/USD in 2015 now exchanges for ₦357/USD under this corrupt government. Inflation is so high that a 50kg bag of rice that sold for ₦9,000 in 2015 now sells for ₦18,000. Unemployment has reached the highest level in thirty years, with over twenty million Nigerians unemployed and under-employed.

Corruption is clearly worse under this administration and our national resources have been looted to the point of a looming national debt crisis.

Lawlessness and impunity has been established as the standard for this regime with its violation of the Constitution and court orders.

Our country has been ruined by this regime. The country is presently, poor, insecure, divided, lawless, unsafe, undemocratic and dysfunctional. According to Dr. Femi Aribisala, Ph. D. (Oxford), this is, “The worst government in the history of Nigeria”.

 

 

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