Where Are Candidates, Manifestoes Or Alternatives to President Obasanjo?

by Paul I. Adujie

Nigeria is just about one year away from a presidential and general elections in 2007. As an optimist, I will have to believe that the planned elections will occur and there will presidential inauguration come May 29, 2007.

But where are the candidates? Where are the presidential and gubernatorial elections campaigns? Why are none of the registered political parties, other than the People’s Democratic Party or PDP, not campaigning and explaining their manifestoes through their chosen platforms and presidential candidates?
Does rabid hatred for President Obasanjo make a manifesto? Is that sufficient in Nigeria?

Where are the alternatives, outside of President Obasanjo and the PDP, for Nigerian voters to choose from? Why is no one canvassing ideas with the Nigerian electorate as to what their political party and platform would do for Nigeria differently, compared and contrasted against what the PDP and President Obasanjo are doing right now?

And why are more Nigerians, especially public intellectuals and commentators, not raising these pertinent issues? Is it the case that a majority of Nigerians have agreed on something that I am unaware of? Is there a fait accompli that has dawned on some Nigerians?

Is Governor Orji Kalu of Abia State the choice by consensus of the opposition political parties in Nigeria? But I thought that everyone could see that Governor Kalu is too flippant and too unreliable for anyone to take seriously? Governor Kalu, often makes grave allegations without supplying required proof, and the first hints of pressure and demands for proof, Governor Kalu recants and apologises!

Nigerians should see Governor Kalu for what he really is: A flip-flopper in-chief! Governor Kalu does not possess the sturdiness of character and integrity to be president of Nigeria.

Apart from the indomitable Dr. Reuben Abati of The Guardian Newspapers of Nigeria, no one else to my knowledge, has asked what he asked several weeks ago, when he asked in one of his articles, a poignant question, which was: “Where Are The Presidential Candidates?”

It appears to me that Dr. Abati and I are the only Nigerians who did not attend a meeting by Nigerians, at which it was agreed that Nigerian political parties, other than the PDP, must not present presidential, gubernatorial and other candidates for the elections in 2007

But before anyone pounces on me, I must announce that I am aware of the arguments, ludicrous arguments that are proffered, as excuses, as those that have been made by all other political parties outside of the PDP. Their poor excuse is that they are afraid to announce their parties’ nominees to serve as their flag bearer presidential candidates for fear of vendetta from President Obasanjo.

The word on the street therefore, goes like this, potential presidential candidates are fearful for their lives, for their safety and for their freedom and they have become political risks averse.

The warped excuses are as twisted as any conspiracy theory that you have ever heard! All Nigerian political parties and their leaders across the length and breadth of Nigeria are so fearfully scared of President Obasanjo and his omnipresent and omniscient PDP and government apparatuses, with their irrepressible political operatives; and, as such, these political opposition parties reckon that it was better not to feature presidential candidates or to announce a manifesto or manifestoes.

Having or nurturing a presidential ambition in Nigeria these warped and twisted logic now goes, is tantamount to having a death wish. Or at minimum, a wish to languish in jail, courtesy of the EFCC they insist. But it is nigh past time to make haste!

Members of these bandwagon of illogical Nigerians, and politicos are quick to point their fingers at the retired general Marwa, “friend” of President Obasanjo, who soon got arrested, detained and questioned about corruption, “only” because and as a result of his announcing that he nursed presidential ambition and these Nigerians also insist that there are others whose legal troubles stem “primarily” from having political ambitions or political perspectives that are different from those of President Obasanjo and his PDP!

Going by the current trend in Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida may have made his preemptive strike against probes and any legal troubles declaring his interest in 2007. Because, if and when IBB is accosted now to account for his wealth and his checkered stewardship, he can now, with a straight face, say, this is selective prosecution-persecution, and it is occurring “only because” of his interest in 2007!

These conspiracy theorists, have argued further, that the impeachment and removal of the former governor of Bayelsa State, the looting governor DSP Alamieseigha met his fate, not because he was more corrupt that your average state governor in Nigeria, but, instead, because he was “almost” a card-carrying member of The Turaki Vanguard, the Vice President Atiku organization, which is said to be Atiku’s tentative flight of fancy to Aso Rock proper. The same “reasons” are adduced for looting Governor Joshua Dariye’s legal troubles.

But how come these same political parties and avowed opponents of President Obasanjo and the PDP are quick to write open letters to the president and the PDP in Nigerian newspapers and other media forums stating their most acerbic and vehement opposition to the president and his PDP? Why is it that these opponents and oppositions can indulge in these obnoxious and cantankerous paid announcements newspapers, in which they ridicule the president and the PDP, but somehow, they are too scared to advertise their candidates and their manifestoes? Why won’t these opponents and opposition political parties, similarly state and advertise their propose programs, their “superior” candidates and their equally “superior” manifestoes?

Surprisingly, these conspiracy theorists never argue the innocence of Alamieseigha or Dariye!

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David Uzosike April 13, 2006 - 5:56 pm


Nigeria need people like you 'JARE'

The Truth is that there is no alternative out there at the moment. No one to step in OBJ shoes. No one to deliver. Dont get me wrong, am not saying that there are no messaiahs in Nigerian, what am saying is that amongst all the sycophants parading themselve as presidential hopeful at present, none of them has the decency to answer MR PRESIDENT.

Orji Kalu is strugling with Abia state, we need a break from him.

Anonymous April 7, 2006 - 8:04 pm

OBJ is not an alternative to himself. The only two official candidates are Atiku and Kalu why are u campaigning for him?!

Anonymous April 7, 2006 - 10:04 am

Paul, my brother, common now, you know the deal. Most of the parties including the governing PDP have no political idiologies. Some of them are political outfits resulting from fallouts among friends or same bedfellows. One does not fall out from an idiology held seriously dear to the heart even when in disagreement with friends, in this case political friends if it was not selfishly (as in economics) motivated in the first place.

How else can one explain Dicky Cheney being sympathetic to the Democratic Party ideals when he is the number two person in his own party leadership with a different strong opposing ideals. What we have in Nigeria today are mostly Parties of convenance.


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