…urges House of Reps to redeem NASS
By: Chuks Collins, Awka
The former Minister of Aviation and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Chief Osita Chidoka has lashed out at the Senators who absented themselves from voting, as well as those who voted against the electronic transmission of election results clause in the Electoral Act amendment Bill which was passed last week.
Chidoka who some at the reception organized to commemorate his 50th birthday celebration described them as a disgrace to the National Assembly and the nation, especially the electorate who they represent.
He consequently urged the House of Representatives to redeem the image of the National Assembly by listening to the voice of the people, in support of electronic transmission of polls results.
Chidoka who was former Corps Marshal and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC advocated for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023. The charge was dropped in Abuja shortly after completing a 50,000 steps walk for peace in commemoration of his 50th birthday.
The 42km walk which was participated in by his fans and associates from across the 36 states of the Federation also embarked on humanitarian visits to select hospitals in parts of the country.
According to him, “the nation is in a bad state. The three things for me that have put the nation in a bad state are, mismanagement of our diversity, the great divisions that we have sown in the nation, a government that has been insensitive to the multiple parts of Nigeria. I think that has made it a difficult time for every body. I don’t want to just blame the Government of the day, but I just need to say that the Nigerian elite needs to create new consensus.
“I couldn’t imagine the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria voting against the electronic transmission of results. I am not only disappointed, it is a disgrace, all those who stayed away from voting are a disgrace to their constituencies.
“All those who voted ‘No’ to electronic transmission, in a country where we do JAMB through CBT; the Passport is electronic; the drivers license is biometric and electronic, you can renew it on line. So I don’t think the Government of the day can in all honesty say that there is any part of Nigeria today where you don’t have POS people dispensing money across Nigeria, where there is no ATM dispensing money.
“The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has disgraced the National Assembly, has whittled the hopes of Nigerians and I hope that they will reverse themselves. I don’t know how that will happen but I think that the House of Representatives should please, not go the way of the Senate. I don’t think that this is good for Nigeria. It is an embarrassment in a country where foreigners are putting millions of naira in a company like Flutterwave, Paystack etc. People are coming to invest in technology in Nigeria. Nigeria is one of the biggest recipients of technology funding and what we are discussing is electronic transmission of results. I think it is a disgrace.
Chidoka who holds the traditional title, “Ike Obosi” in his Obosi community also explained why he stayed away from the current Governorship contest in his home state, Anambra, saying it was part of his commitment to the principle of zoning. He admitted that time has come for the country to respect the zoning principle in order to have a president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
Anambra, he said, “has its peculiarities and I think they will resolve themselves as we progress but I did not run because I thought there was need for me to respect the zoning arrangement in Anambra State. Multiple opinion polls and talking to ordinary people in the state gave me the understanding that Anambra people will like the zoning to be respected and I decided that since I come from the zone that is not yet its turn, I should stay back.
“When people talk about this zoning issue it is actually a good thing in nation building. So, for the country I just believe that in 2023 the country must confront its demons and allow a Southerner to be President of Nigeria and precisely a Southerner from the South East of Nigeria. Anything short of that would mean that Nigeria has given in to cynicism, that Nigeria has given in to hopelessness and if we give in to the hopelessness and our youth continue to disconnect from the idea of Nigeria, then our future as a nation is in danger. I think we should without any prodding from anybody, just follow the natural order of our zoning in Nigeria. In the South East the zoning has led to peacefulness. Most Governorship in the South East have been rotating through the Senatorial zones and I believe Anambra will be no exception.