An engineer and presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Chief Martin Onovo, has said his party is prepared for the February 14 elections.
He told Daily Sun in Enugu that his campaign organisation, the Onovo Presidency Campaign Organisation (OPCO), has concluded plans to flag off its campaigns in all the six geo-political zones of the country.
Onovo said his party, which he claimed was the oldest in the country, would bring the desired change Nigerians are yearning for.
He spoke about his party’s preparedness for the election, saying he was sure they would win the election. Excerpts:
How prepared is your party for the February 14 election?
Our party is very prepared for the February 14 election. We are the oldest party in Nigeria, founded in 1994 by Chief Gani Fawehinmi, (SAN). We have presented the best candidates to serve Nigeria better. We have a strong presence in all the North-East states with our selfless and committed members, who have started campaigning since our nomination. We will conduct formal public campaigns in all zones, including the North-East zone. We will interface with security agencies and get their approvals and support for our campaign plans.
How would you tackle insurgency in the North-East if elected president?
The insurgency in the North-East must be confronted with military and political sophistication after a very professional national security review to identify, evaluate and correct any security lapses. We will improve intelligence, surveillance, response time and capacity. We will restore the pride and the effectiveness of our armed forces. We will robustly confront and expel Boko Haram from our territory if they do not surrender after a stern warning. We will correct the social weaknesses that result from bad governance that led to the Boko Haram insurgency and increased crime rate all over Nigeria. The police will be made more professional and the NSCDC will be motivated, trained and equipped for improved performance.
What gives you confidence that your party will win in the February elections?
Our intention is to win the 2015 presidential elections on the platform of the National Conscience Party. This is consequent upon our conviction that change is necessary in Nigeria now. The dysfunction of almost all sectors in Nigeria under the current class of political rulers is very clear to all. With uncontrolled corruption, unemployment, insecurity, bad roads, poor healthcare, low life expectancy, weak education, flawed elections, declining national productivity, mass poverty and epileptic power, it has been a very sad story since 1999. This is why we propose change in Nigeria now. The general elections present a good opportunity for democratic change. Currently, published reports indicate that Nigeria has the lowest public power per capital in Africa. Power generation has remained just over 3,000 megawatts since 1999 even after we have spent $51billion on power, since then. South African per capital power is about 60 times Nigerian per capital power. The 2013 WHO report shows life expectancy in Nigeria to be about 49 years for men; one of the lowest in the whole world. Enough is enough. Nigeria can change this 2015. From wrong to right; insecurity to security; unemployment to full employment; evil to good; mass deceit to veracity; indiscipline to discipline; under-development to development; darkness to light; abuse of power to service; violence to peace, hypocrisy to good example; injustice to justice; corruption to integrity. This is the change we propose.
How are you going to achieve this change?
The most critical and first step to achieve this change is to change the current political rulers that led us to this national predicament. The coming general elections present the appropriate opportunities for us to effect this change. To drive the change, Nigeria may need a young, strong, articulate and ethical, world-class engineering and management professional as president. The 10-care programme of our National Conscience Party will ensure the abolition of poverty. Our accelerated development agenda outlines the strategies to achieve these. Waste and corruption can be controlled. Our NCP 10-care programme includes: Employment, Food, Health, Housing, Education, Water, Electricity, Transportation, Telecommunications and Security Care. In addition, the electorate must see the need for good governance and elect younger, stronger, more professional and ethical candidates to serve Nigeria better.
What will be the first set of goals you will pursue if elected?
Our NCP government will reduce fuel price by improved domestic crude oil refining. We will increase minimum wage by reducing maximum wage, while maintaining the total wage bill.
We will use about $9 billion to double power generation, transmission and distribution, in two and half years. A proper evaluation of candidates based on vision, vigour, integrity, competence and national acceptability, will reveal the best candidate. We do not need an old, frail and sectional candidate or a clueless, corrupt, weak and ineffective candidate. A new breed, world-class engineering and management professional may be better to address our security problems and infrastructural inadequacies. The National Conscience Party is distinct as it is the oldest party and it was founded by the late colossus, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, (SAN) in 1994, out of the popular struggles we waged against, abuse of power, injustice and lawlessness. Our commitment to the principles of integrity, justice and development, clearly make us distinct. We will lead by example. In security, we will improve intelligence, surveillance, response time and capacity. We will restore the pride and the effectiveness of our armed forces. We will robustly confront and expel Boko Haram from our territory if they do not surrender after a stern warning. We will correct the social weaknesses that result from bad governance that led to the Boko Haram insurgency and increased crime rate all over Nigeria. The police will be made more professional and the NSCDC will be motivated, trained and equipped for improved performance. We know and hear of unimaginable corruption and ineffectiveness. We hear of $20 billion missing oil revenue, we hear of one of the highest road fatalities per year in the world, we hear of crude oil theft, we know of the kidnapped Chibok girls, we know of subsidy fraud, we hear of six legislators suspending over 20 of their colleagues, we know of our governors and ministers going abroad for medical care, we know of our 70 per cent poverty rate, despite our national wealth, we know of our national debt and looming debt crisis, among others. We know we can do better with good governance. That is what we in the National Conscience Party promise our Nigerian people. I accept to lead Nigeria with your support to a new dawn if elected President in 2015.