As the 2019 general elections approach, Nigerians are at a crossroads over the selection of genuine leaders who promote their interest and provide good governance, a lawyer, Mr Patrick Ugochukwu, has said.
Ugochukwu, a Senior Lecturer in the Law at Abia State University, expressed the view in an online interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday.
He described the current defection of key political actors as disturbing, saying: “This is the greatest cause for concern for Nigerians because they are left with a problem of how to throw out the APC without putting the PDP in power.
“This happened prior to the 2015 elections. The question to ask now is Are we better off today than in 2015?’
“ It is the same cast of characters who are only showing what they think of themselves as indispensable.
“The movement is not characterized by ideological inclinations but merely to secure nomination for elections.’’
Ugochukwu said the major issues for the populace is the economy, insecurity, among others, which politicians must address.
“We may be out of recession but this has not been translated to kitchen terms language; 90 per cent of states are owing salaries from one month to 11 months.
“There is hunger in the land which has degenerated to helplessness in the system.
“Voters are not sensitised on a national action plan that can take us out of the decay,’’ he noted.
He said that as electioneering heightened, the security situation in the country would be a major campaign issue.
“ The senseless killings and the failure to stop same may weigh in the mind of the people.’’
Ugochukwu added that the anti-corruption campaign and energy supply were issues that should dominate public discourse.
“The stalled anti-corruption fight. No notable convictions or recoveries of looted funds,’’ he said.
Ugochukwu said that it was regrettable that while 91 political parties had been registered to participate in the general elections, they would not make any impact.
“These parties no matter their ideologies do not have followers rooted in the pursuit of power by superior argument or persuasion.
“Most of them do not have structure on ground and only exist for press conferences or CNPP activities.
“The only way they can be relevant is by representation proportionate to the votes cast for them instead of the current winner takes all.’’
Ugochukwu described the Third Force proposed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo as self-serving, adding that the former president had opportunity to lay a solid foundation for the country but failed to do so.
“I do not see them succeeding because they are in it for their personal relevance and this is well known to everybody.
“OBJ as a former President now speaks with a hollow voice. He could have strengthened the institution called Nigeria but he personalised his tenure and same over to those succeeding him. `
“They cannot mount a credible election within the short period to 2019 elections,’’ he said.
Ugochukwu said it would be difficult for a new generation of political leaders to emerge under the current political space to change things.
“The only way this can be possible is through the return to parliamentary democracy where every election is local,’’ he said.