National Chairman of the party, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu
The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has ruled out the possibility of any recourse to revolutionary action as a means of addressing the various problems facing the country.
National Chairman of the party, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who spoke yesterday at a lecture at the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) in Abuja, said the only way to achieve the desired change in the polity was for the opposition parties to team up and challenge the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in future elections.
Onu, who dismissed fears of a repeat of Ghana’s form of revolution spearheaded by the country’s former Head of State, Jerry Rawlings, said what Nigerians needed was to show interest in the electoral system and use the instrumentality of the ballot box to effect a change in the government if need be.
“The issue of the position of Ghana under former Head of state, Jerry Rawlings is obviously different for what we have now. Using that method will not solve the problem we have on hands. It would not solve that problem. What we need now is for all of us to show interest in the political system,” he said.
Onu described as unfortunate the attitude of many of the highly placed Nigerians who do not border to show interest in the electoral process but have been complaining in their homes and offices.
“If we all show interest knowing that we participating in the electoral process is important. If all of us participate then we will be in the position to make difficult for those who cannot govern to win. This is important for the future. It is regrettable that a populous country like Nigeria will go to the Olympics and return back empty-handed.
On the tussle for power and the influence of money politics in the affairs of the country, Onu said politics of personality and money-bag had long dominated the polity to the detriment of the welfare and interest of the citizen.
He said Nigerians must stand up to fight impunity in governance by insisting on free and fair election.
According to him, it is only by protecting the right of the electorates to determine those who govern that can save Nigeria from going the way of countries like Somalia, Chad or Mali which have since been overtaken by violence and disorder.
On the electoral reforms, the ANPP’s chairman said the party would want a situation where the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) became truly independent with the appointment and funding taken away from the control of the executive arm of government.
Onu, who also gave an update on the opposition party merger/ alliance talks which he said had achieved some measure of success, said: “We are working very hard on the merger plan. You know this cannot cannot be easy. We are talking with all the major opposition political parties in the country and we are very hopeful that at the end of the day we will be able to achieve a merger.”
Onu said ANPP was advocating for the implementation of free and qualitative education for pupils in the primary and schools as part of measures to improve the living conditions of the people.
“ANPP is opposed to frequent Switching of parties by politicians, saying the habit is morally wrong. An ANPP government will make a law that will stop such movements and will ensure that politicians who defect loses their positions in government. There must be morality in government.
He said the party has effected change in its constitution in order to discourage the nocturnal movements by members.
“Internal democracy may be a problem in other parties but not so in the present ANPP. We now operate strictly in line with our constitution and this was why the party never had many cases of substitution of candidates’ names at INEC. This is also why ANPP does not have cases in court over the issue of party primaries.
On the declaration of self independence by Ogoni people in Rivers State, Onu said he does not subscribe to any action that seems to undermine the unity and oneness of Nigeria.
On the decline in the party’s fortune, Onu said the PDP-led government was still nursing the idea of turning the country into a one party state.
“We are working with other political parties to form a bigger platform to be able to challenge the ruling party. Our party is now stronger than what it was during the last elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Director of ISS, Mr. Olalekun Olugbemi, also said revolution would be a dangerous option for the country, especially with the various socio-political and economic problems facing the country.