A Presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has stated that the solution to Nigeria’s development challenges begin with INEC as the electoral umpire.
According to the youngest aspirant for the position of President in Nigeria’s political history, Edo born, Lagos based politician, who insisted that the process responsible for producing democratically elected leaders into various position is obviously faulty because most of these leaders are yet to meet the developmental goals expected of us as a developing country.
He condemned the fact that Nigerians who were marching in protest to correct this anomaly were brutally responded to with guns and gas cannisters only when they marched to make a statement to effect the needs change in the electoral system led by INEC.
In his words, “It behoves on INEC that elections are conducted in a free, fair and credible manner, this is because Nigeria produces their leaders through these elections conducted by INEC. So I can tell you that the role of INEC cannot be over-emphasised in providing the quality of leaders that Nigeria needs to overcome its developmental challenges.”
Speaking to Newsmen in reaction to the recent protest organised by the PDP, Presidential hopeful, Stanley Osifo, 42, challenged the electoral body to rise up above all forms of partisan influence which erodes the concept of its independence as an unbiased electoral arbiter as perceived by Nigerians whom majority have condemned the action of INEC in the just concluded Osun and Ekiti governorship polls.
Recall that notable international and local observer groups have criticised INEC for disregarding the flagrant disenfranchisement, voter intimidation and alleged collusion between the ruling APC and security agencies in denying opposition voters access to policing units to cast their votes for their preferred candidate.
“I believe strongly that the suffering in the land today will be brought to a halt if a youthful President emerges and this depends largely on the role of INEC if the votes of Nigerians will be allowed to count.
Reacting to the latest development with regards to the ‘vote buying’, aspirant Stanley Osifo said, “We need to move from money based politics to objective based politics which will deliver more Nigerians from poverty.
“Vote buying has been withing the Nigeria political system and we cannot discuss about electoral malpractice without monetary inducement. So vote buying is just the brazen act of exchanging cash close to the election venue. I believe that INEC has the will to end this menace,” he added.
“So at the end of the day when people hear that they believe that Nigeria belongs to those particular set of persons. But I can boldly tell you that such impression is wrong, because Nigeria belongs to everybody irrespective of your language, tribe, creed or where you reside or class in society, so long as you’re a Nigerian, the country belongs to you and every activity that takes place in Nigeria concerns you, and so you have the right to participate in every activity that takes place in Nigeria concerns you.
“It is important for Nigerian youths to know this, especially as many of them do not know that Nigeria belongs to them and so activities which include governance, politics and economy is within their realm of operation. When you talk to some youths and ask them which party do you belong to, or which political party do they think will win the elections they just don’t seem to care, which is actually dangerous.
“So the political awareness is not really there. Remember a bill was recently passed aimed at youth inclusion, I’m talking of the “Not Too Young To Run Bill” which is intended to arouse the consciousness of the youths to come into power and contest for political offices, thereby bringing their energy, expertise and competence to bear, many of them are still not aware of this and neither do they know the importance of this bill that has been passed, that is why I am giving kudos to my party for giving me the platform to contest for the Presidential ticket.
“Before now I’ve always had this conviction and belief that a young person can become the President of Nigeria and I see myself as a qualified and capable hand to take the mantle of leadership.
When asked if he is not intimidated by the credentials of persons within his party contesting for the same position, especially as majority of them are either governors, former Vice President and legislators. He said, “I am not intimidated and I don’t feel anyone is intimidating me within the party even though I feel I am surrounded by equally capable contestants.
I’ve met with every aspirant of our party and I don’t see anything intimidating about them. The truth is that everyone believes he has something to offer the country if given the opportunity to govern Nigeria, but I believe that I believe I have a better arrangement to offer Nigerians.
People may think that I am coming in fresh, bold coming courageous and as a courageous person, a lot of our party leaders have told me this especially about my progressive approach and it encourages me to move on. However, this does not mean that there won’t be people who will feel differently about what we are doing but that doesn’t deter the Stanley Osifo Presidential Campaign. Nigerians are not interested in the big names but candidates that have big solutions to their numerous problems.