Dr Oby Ezekwesili knocks APC and PDP, cautions INEC ahead of 2023 election

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Nigerian former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, has knocked the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for their insensitivities to Nigerians.

Dr. Ezekwesili, like many Nigerians, frowned at the decision of the APC to settle for a Muslim-Muslim ticket with disregard for Nigerian cultural diversity and ethnoreligious factors.

The former Minister made her displeasure known during her appearance on Politics Today, on Channels Television on Sunday night.

The Presidential candidate of the APC, a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had taken another Muslim running mate, Former Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima.

The PDP flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar, another Muslim from the North, had clinched the ticket five times, excluding the 2023 election.

Both parties conducted their primaries in the second quarter of the year.

Oby Ezekwesili
Oby Ezekwesili

In her reaction, Dr. Ezekwesili said both parties refused to consider the feelings of Nigerians during their primaries and refused to follow due process.

"Look at what APC and PDP did. It is utterly contemptible. First, you have got APC. How could you possibly be fielding Muslim-Muslim candidates in a society that has always found a way to ensure a balance, even in the time of the military?" The former Minister said.

"We are a diverse society, and it is important that we manage our diverse ethnicity in such a way that it won't breed conflict. The military was smart to always have the northern head of state get a younger deputy from the South that is a Christian. Then you come to democracy, and you are not even sensitive to that? It is like being contemptible of a section of the population, which is not right.

"And then you look at the PDP. This is a party that says it tends to build around inclusion to make it easier for rotational principles for the emergence of their candidate.

"Suddenly, a candidate emerged who has been running for the same office on many occasions. Why would that happen? The time for a candidate from the South East, as you always clamour is now.

"But they upstaged that and yet have the arrogance to tell them they have no reason to complain. This is the season of character, competence, and capacity. My God! It is sophistry. Within the South East, they could have found someone with the character, competence, and capacity we are talking about.

"And by the way, Mr. Obi, who is now the candidate of Labour Party, was in your party. If you really needed the triple character, competence, and capacity in a way that is just, equitable and inclusive in your PDP, you could have made Peter Obi your candidate."

"There are two possible outcomes in the 2023 elections. This extant political class, in their ruthlessness, can blatantly say 'we are not going anywhere and blatantly do anything to take the nation down in order to retain the status quo. That's a possible outcome. But it is an outcome we can possibly mitigate by our collective effort.

"The other outcome is the current mobilization of people to come out en-mass and vote with their PVCs. And not just vote but stay there as a guardian angel, especially to make sure that the credible process that the INEC has promised us is done.

"The INEC as the regulator of the process has to be above board and beyond reproach. Anything that is contrary will not be welcome by the citizen," she said.

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