The South East People of Nigeria in Diaspora (SEPNID) on Friday declared that capacity and ability of candidates to deliver good governance and dividends of democracy to Nigerians would determine the outcome of the 2023 General Elections, and not necessarily party structures and affiliations.
In an exclusive interview SEPNID Chairman and Secretary, Hon Enyinnaya Emma Nwaka and Oluebube Umeokoro respectively, explained that their submission essentially captured the thrust of consensus reached by the group at its last general meeting.
“You see, as Nigerians who escaped from a failed system and now enjoys the benefits of a system that works, our desire is to replicate same in our Fatherland. It is men/women, capable men/women that drives successful systems and we have see how men/women drive change here in Europe, in the Americas. See what is happening in China. It is not democracy or socialism that makes countries great, it is capable hands running the system. You can therefore imagine why our thoughts and discussion consistently revolve on the politics of our Country. How can we ensure that only capable hands get elected to public offices.”
Nwaka maintained that from their assessment of the presidential candidates so far, only the Labour Party Presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi possesses the requisite traits and skills to steer Nigeria to safe waters.
For other elective positions, he further identified the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and Abia Central Senatorial candidate for APC, Hon Emeka Atuma as pro-people politicians who from their antecedents have shown that indeed public offices are held in trust for the people.
“Sen Orji Uzor Kalu represents an agricultural, rural communities and in our review of his performance, we found out he has either constructed or rehabilitated inter-community roads linking farms and market, a development that would enhance socio-economic activities in his senatorial district.
“The same thing can be said of Hon Emeka Atuma who is not in public office currently, but was able to activate his network and contacts to construct and rehabilitate several inter-community roads in Ikwuano/Umuahia N/S Federal Constituency which he formerly represented”
Contributing to the interaction, Mr Umeokoro regrets that though Nigerians in diaspora are not yet allowed to vote in election, they nonetheless could influence its outcome by identifying capable candidates and mobilising material resources and strategic support to get them elected.
However, for Nigerians in diaspora who have PVCs, the SEPNID Scribe urged them to return home and vote. According to him, even one vote can make a difference and urged those willing to return to do so for the sake of a better Nigeria
Summing up Nwaka affirmed that diaspora Nigerians “…see in Peter Obi, a leader with the requisite skill-set and leadership traits that could rescue Nigeria from its present troubles.
“His charge to Nigerian youths: ‘Take back your country’ resonates with all and sundry. His articulation of Nigeria’s current challenges and the solutions he is proposing has captured widespread attention.
“Unlike his political opponents, we do not think his populist appeal is a creation of the social media, no, its his vision and message that has ignited the interest and captured the imagination of Nigerians. That is what the social media is amplifying, the Peter Obi vision and message. You cannot create something out of nothing, and that is the difference between Obi and other presidential candidates: They have been unable to articulate a clear-vision that could take Nigeria out of its quagmire. They are yet to bring anything to the table that Nigerians could analyse or critique, but Peter Obi has proffered options that could jumpstart Nigeria’s turnaround: Reduce cost of governance, go into production.
“Peter Obi is painting pictures that appeal to the sensitivities of the time and winning converts. SEPNID believe Peter Obi has what it takes to move Nigeria to the next level, and to that extent, we will support his aspiration in every way we can to ensure he gets elected.
Nwaka also mentioned Sen Kalu and Atuma, both Senatorial candidates of the APC as politicians who have shown that they could be trusted with power and added that SEPNID will equally support their aspirations.
“SEPNID is not a political association, we are pro-good governance and development of Nigeria. We are interested in getting capable individuals elected to public offices”, he submitted.