From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Alaigbo Development Foundation(ADF) at the weekend said it has lost complete faith in the country’s electoral system, stressing that it process was increasingly constituting a clog in the wheel of national unity.
ADF noted that apart from being openly brutal, undemocratic and highly monetised, the nation’s electoral process has been skewed in favour of unpopular candidates with no vision to tackle the myriad challenges confronting the nation.
ADF President, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala, stated this at a reception organised in honour of the former PDP presidential aspirant, Chief Sam Ohuabunwa,in Enugu on Saturday.
He said “this is a special moment for us, members of the Alaigbo Development Foundation, as we welcome one of our most remarkable leaders, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, who has just returned to us after a brutal encounter with the undemocratic mode of selection of candidates for the presidency of the Federation of Nigeria.
“Right from the beginning of of the current electoral process, even before and in fact till tomorrow, the ADF never hid her lack of faith in the highly monitised and corrupt electoral system in Nigeria.
“What Ohuabnunwa has undergone is a brutal experience with the Nigerian electoral system, which ADF has consistently referred to as the game only vampires can play.
“Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa has been with us for several years and we know him as one of the most priceless candidates of any political party in the Nigerian political system. He and people like Peter Obi, are a few of the gems in the Nigerian politics. They remind us of the late Mallam Aminu Kano, Gen. Shehu Yar’Adua and several other nationalists who have been sounding echoes urging us to abandon the old unpatriotic order of greed and self-centeredness if we must develop the needed spirit of harmonious togetherness and progress.
“The greatest threat to national cohesion and peace in Nigeria today is the political leadership that is selfish and unpatriotic. In addition and in particular, the undemocratic mode of selection of political leaders in our party primaries is the greatest threat to national and unity.
“Indeed, the mode of selection of party candidates during primaries is highly monetised. This is why leadership selection in Nigeria favours the highest bidder and often this is certainly the men who have stolen most from the National Treasury.
Ohuabunwa in his remarks, said the occasion rekindled his burning desire to replicate the Igbo entrepreneurial attitude in the Nigeria system, saying he wasn’t oblivious that Nigerians watched keenly as events unfolded before, during and after the presidential elections.
While thanking the ADF for the honour accorded to him, he observed that the Igbos were currently misconstrued, mis-characterised and misunderstood in the country, adding the people of the South-East region are highly broad-minded, accomodating and fair play seekers.
“As I often say, the Igbo man in Nigeria is not well-represemted. He’s largely mis-characterised, misunderstood and mis-profiled. And one of my desire is if I have an opportunity, I will show the difference. The little places I have held sway either as CEO of Pfizer or Chairman of Nigerian Economic Summit Group, MAN or NECA, I tried to show the best of what a Nigerian of Igbo extraction can be.
“That first we are broad-minded, we are entrepreneurial, we seek justice, equity and fairly. We are a people who move on in life inspite of challenges and we are also interested in others moving on , too.
We are not lazy; we are not laid-back; we are not fraudulent and we are not mischievous and we are not mercantilist. But we have a sense of justice and equity; we don’t like to beg.
“That’s the kind of thing we want to bring to Nigeria-to see us as our own best. And I believe that God will still grant that desire of mine.” He said .