-January 30, 2023. News/Interviews
In this interview, a former National Chairman, National Transformation Party (NTP) and current president, National transformation movement, a group of citizens advocating for participation of credible vision driven people in the political space, Hon. Emmanuel Mok has said that, only three candidates will shape the February 25, 2023 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, All Progressives Congress, (APC), and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party, (LP). He also insisted that power should shift to the south while noting that north has no moral justification to another eight years after President Muhammadu Buhari. Hon. Mok spoke with our correspondent, Chidera Eke Faith in his office, Lagos. The excerpts.
Sir, what is your expectation in the 2023 general election, less than a month from now
My hope is that the best candidate should win and I also pray, Nigerians will come out in enmasse to vote for their most preferred candidate. So, I’m appealing to Nigerians who have not collected their PVC to kindly do so, no matter the frustration, as it is a sacrifice we have to make towards the future. And this time, only credible candidates will be voted for in different offices. However, Nigerians should forget about those candidates who have put us in this mess for seven and half years and vote Mr. Peter obi of the Labour Party who will change the narrative and reduce the cost of governance in this country. I tell you, with Obi, Nigeria will become a productive country.
Are you a labour party member
I used to be a card carrying member of the PDP but after they jettison zoning of the presidency to the south, I quit. How can another northerner and a Fulani man take over from another Fulani Muslim man, where is the equity and fairness, so, . I decided to throw my Support to the Labour Party and its candidate Mr. Peter Obi who will give Nigeria quality leadership.
What are reasons for you supporting Peter obi and why do you think the citizens should also support.
There are three candidates that are frontrunners in this election, Atiku, Tinubu and Obi and when I took my time to look at their antecedents, character , competence, I then resolved to support Obi. My Christian life and value teaches me that if you want to appoint somebody to an important office, you must look at that person’s character. Is he trustworthy? Is he a truthful person? Can you hold him to his word and all of such? The only person that stands out in his past activities is Mr. Peter obi. Mr. Peter Obi tared practically every Road in Anambra State, he renovated every schools, built library. In education, Anambra State was the 26th or 28 states in the line of performance at then but, by the time he Obi left government as governor, the state became first in education, hence he saved $150 million among others.
Peter Obi is a very productive and resourceful person who is never materialistic. Since he left office till date, he remains the only governor not collecting pension. As governor, he reduced the cost of governance. That’s a major thing. The cost of running the Presidency alone is crazy. In the 2023 budget, it is reported that N13 billion is for entertaining of guests at the presidential villa . The amount allocated for the presidential hotel in Aso rock, a place that hardly anybody go. Meanwhile, the Minister of Health has N48 billion, Minister of Education about N48 billion. The National Assembly cost of almost 122 billion to run the Hallow chamber. Peter Obi said these things will change. Obi is the only presidential candidate telling us today anything about oil theft that he believes that those causing oil theft have strong presence in government.
Look at Tinubu. What is Tinubu’s fundamental objective, to increase taxes if elected as president. He says he needs to get more people into the tax net. That that’s what he did in Lagos whereas Lagos was collecting like N1 billion a month. Now, it has risen to like N40 billion a month. What did he do? I know companies that have left Nigeria because of high rate taxation in Lagos.
As the country is now, any attempt by any incoming government to increase tax will in turn increase the pains of the Nigerian people, and create bottleneck to small business and enterprises.
Atiku privatised the elementary petrochemical industry, the aluminum smelter company and so many of Nigerian assets, and none of those assets can be accounted for till date. We heard him on television say, he will make $10 billion available for Youth empowerment and that when they ask him where the money will come from , he said when he sell Port Harcourt refinery, Calabar refinery, and others. So he’s telling us what he is coming to do . When Atiku was the Vice President, he was in charge of many national assets, and most of them were privatized, so if he becomes president, we should be ready for privatization economy. He even said that he will legalise open grazing. Any Nigerian voting Atiku especially farmers in the South, North, middle belt, just know the person is sick.
Should the ruling party loose this coming election? Do you see a peaceful transition of power smoothly
That will amount to Creating easy possible chaos in the country. They had eight years to rule but the eight years is from bad to worse on every indices. Look, we have been in a fuel scarcity since November. It has never been like that. Three whole months. Bags of rice that you met at 8000 Naira back then is now being sold for 46,000 naira. 46,000 naira. This is crazy. In dollar you make 180 naira to a dollar is now being sold, sometimes 800. So whatever their loss is, they are making by their bad policy, by their non sensitivity to the needs of their populace and the people.
Security and election
I want to appeal to security agencies to allow a level playing group as they secure polling units especially areas with security challenges. Meanwhile, my worry is , there are not enough security men to secure everywhere especially in some part of the north, middle belt and east. That is the truth and they know it, That they create safe havens where they can consolidate manpower and resources. Logistics challenge for INEC, especially moving materials to polling units in various locations into those safe havens while people can travel safely or go to vote without security problem or being harassed or kidnapped. I want once again appeal to Nigerian youths to go pick their PVC and vote and stay back to protect their votes. It will be good if INEC can bring those PVCs to the polling units in case of any body who was unable to get it, can have access to pick it up there and vote.
I am equally appealing to INEC not to give any excuse for free, fair and credible election as they still have less than a month to put everything in order.
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