National Chairman of the United Progressive Party, UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie, in an interview, outlines why the South-East and South-West should back President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election and speed up power shift to the South among other national issues.
How will you describe the state of the nation as we head towards the 2019 general elections?
Nigeria is still a work in progress but it’s unfortunate that we are in election mood. While those in government are busy convincing Nigerians that they have done
On President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war Nobody can take that from them because they were able to fight the anti-corruption war headlong.
But for some to call the anti-corruption war of this administration a selective fight is illogical. Because the issue of fraud and corruption does not expire. It’s a matter that lasts over time. And a government that is serious has to start from somewhere. If it’s one sided, who will they arrest, is it other innocent Nigerians or Chekwas Okorie who had never gone near government resources or treasury?
And some particular Nigerians had access to the treasury for 16 good years. If they start from there and another government comes to power, they can continue from there. I always remind those that say anti-corruption war is one-sided of an Igbo proverb that says: A River can only drown somebody whose feet it has seen. If you did not go near the river, how can it drown you? Are they saying if they stole and the other people stole, it should be cancelled? It’s only a corrupt man that will say that. They are not even ashamed that they had 16 years to rule and they messed the whole country up. They laid the foundation for recession.
Before I sound like the ruling party spokesperson, everybody knows that they had a higher source of revenue, by the time this government came, we had less than 7billion dollars in foreign reserve now we are talking about 42 to 46 billion in our foreign reserves.
Despite the situation we have found ourselves, there have been indications of prudence in resource management.
Nobody who will say agriculture has not received the kind of boost we are beginning to experience more certain growth and genuine infrastructural development.
The Buhari’s administration attitude not to cancel contracts approved by the previous government because his government didn’t award them, and encouraging contractors to go back to site is unprecedented.
We are now beginning to look at railway as a source of transportation; Agriculture has a quantum leap in development and is affecting Urban-Rural migration positively.
So things may not be automatic but things are looking up. For us in UPP, we decided not to field a presidential candidate so that we can use this period to consolidate and build a solid structure for 2023. So for me, the Buhari administration is good to go for second term because there is nothing in PDP that Nigerians are missing that will make me want them to come back. I can live with another four years of Buhari but may not be able to endure another eight years of PDP.
The reason is the person running under PDP moral baggage is known, his pasts are known and we know what they did with the opportunity they had when they were in power for 16 years. So a Leopard does not change its spots. The saying that the devil you know is better than the angels you don’t know is true.
In a situation where there are two devils, you can choose the better devil. To Nigerians that are ethnic minded, they are faced with two Fulani, the APC Fulani and the PDP Fulani. It is left for you to choose your own Fulani.
For me, Buhari has an uncompleted job and the way he is going is a path of progress.
It is for Nigerians to decide what they want but I personally will prefer another four years of Buhari before power shift to the South-West or South-East, than another eight years of another Fulani with the same spot and if you add it to the previous nightmare of the PDP it will be too much for Nigerians to bear.