2023: Two Major Political Parties Running Nigeria With Selfish Interests – Onaiyekan
The Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Church in Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has accused a group of political elites of allegedly running the country’s affairs with selfish and personal interests.
The Christian cleric asserted that the political gurus swing between two major parties with no ideological identity but mainly structures for capturing power for selfish interests.
Naija News reports that Onaiyekan stated this yesterday in Abuja while delivering his speech at the 20th Daily Trust Dialogue themed ‘Interrogating the 2023 Presidential Agenda’.
He said: “A relatively small group of the professional political elite have been running the nation’s affairs, mainly freely between two major political parties with no specific ideological identity but mainly structures for capturing power for rather selfish personal and group interests.
“If things are to change for the better, it cannot be business as usual.”
The cleric stressed that there is a need for a drastic change of orientation, especially in the concept and practice of political power, characterised by politics as sincere and honest service of the common good “and not as ways and means of capturing power for self-interest.”
We Need A New Group Of Concerned Political Elites
While hoping that the existing group of professional political elites will someday have a total change of heart, Onaiyekan doubted if such would happen in the 2023 general elections.
The cleric stressed the need for a new group of concerned elite citizens ready to drive the new agenda of politics for service and pay the cost of involvement.
“Will the forthcoming elections bring this about? That is the question to interrogate! Can we hope that the 2023 elections will not be ‘business as usual’, an attitude that has not been moving the nation any way forward?” he asked.
Onaiyekan added: “Truly, free, fair and credible elections: that is the only way from which will emerge at all levels of government men and women ready to serve the nation with dedication, sincerity, honesty and integrity.”
According to him, Nigeria witnessed a significant change in the heightened number of citizens now interested in elections, noting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was talking of almost 100 million registered voters for the 2023 general elections.
He said: “This is a clear and positive sign that many Nigerians have abandoned our traditional widespread voter apathy, trusting that involvement in elections will no longer be a waste of time for the ordinary citizen.
“Can we expect these millions of new voters to insist on a free and fair election and reject and refuse to settle for any rigged election, peacefully, without violence but with determination?”
Onaiyekan also warned those he called professional riggers that this year’s general elections would not be business as usual.
“Let our usual professional riggers across all parties, both within and outside of government, be put on strong notice that this time around, it will not be business as usual. This is not a threat. Rather it is a sincere warning. Let those who have ears listen,” Onaiyekan said.