BY OKECHUKWU OBETA, AWKA
Newly registered Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance ( APDA) has vowed it would sack the federal government-controlled All Progressives Congress (APC) come 2019 general election stating that henceforth it will be the major opposition voice in the country.
The interim chairman of the party in Anambra state, Dara Obunike Ohaegbu who disclosed the party’s plans towards the 2019 general elections in a press conference weekend at his Ukpo country home, Nnewi-South local government area bemoaned that since the arrest of the former National Publicity of the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP), Chief Olisa Metu and his subsequent arraignment and trial in court in connection with the Arms Procurement Funds deal the opposition voice has gone extinct as “nobody has been telling Nigerians anything about the policies and programmes of the APC-led federal federal government “.
He said APDA will use the up-coming Anambra state gubernatorial election slated for November 18, this year to showcase its strength and acceptability by Nigerians vowing “APDA will run in the November 18 Anambra governorship election and we will win that election”.
“In the up-coming weeks we will have a committee that will respond to every policy of the Anambra state government. We shall seek audience with the governor ( Chief Willie Obiano) because we want the campaigns for the upcoming governorship election to be issue-based and not the type of hate-write-up that have been trending in online media against individuals, this not good for our people and our state”, he stated.
He stated that the greatest challenge militating against the advancement of the country’s democracy is the process of nominating candidates for election by the various political parties noting that most of those who fly party flags in elections usually emerge through imposition and “this is why some people becoming candidates of their political parties in elections even before registering as members of the political parties.
Ohaegbu “We have looked at the electoral space and we found out that the major problem we have in advancing our democracy is the process of choosing candidates who fly party flags in elections. You find out that somebody can just fly in become candidate of a political party for an election even before registering as a member of the party.
“In APDA, we are going to build the party to be stronger than any person. We are going to introduce electronic primaries so that every member of the party will vote before any candidate of the party for an election is chosen. We know that the cost is going to be prohibitive but we are going to introduce it, to tell Nigerians that it can work, because we need to build a political party as an independent institution bigger than any member”, he stated.
He stated that as part of the party’s deliberate strategy to advance the country’s democracy, the party has reserves 30% of elective and appointive positions for the women, 25% for youths and 5% for the physically challenged adding that women and youths should be encouraged to be active participants in the democratic arena for the system to advanced to the standard already attained by more development countries.
“In public service retirement age is 60 years, so why should you wan to run for elective political office when you are on retirement? ” , the APDA state boss asked.
He stated that according to the party’s constitution any person who had attained 70 years is not qualified to be a member of the party’s Board of Trustees ( BoT).
Ohaegbu stated that APDA strongly supports the call for restructuring of the country stating, “APDA is saying that we need to restructure Nigeria; that if we restructure Nigeria, the country will be better. We want the report of the 2014 National Conference to be presented to Nigerians to determine their views on it by conducting a referendum, otherwise let it be presented to the National Assembly for necessary legislative approval”.
“If we can get the system working; if you can connect rail lines from Port-Harcourt to Onitsha to Kafanchan to Kano to Maiduguri so that people can transport their goods easily and every part of the country is treated equally you will not be experiencing the type of tension we have in the country today, and you will not see anybody agitating for anything like those agitating for Biafra”, he stated.