By Femi Bello
Pastor-Politician, Rev Chris Okotie finally broke his silence last week when he suddenly declared his intention to run for the office of President at a press conference in Lagos.
His announcement came via two letters addressed separately to the chairmen of the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress, APC and the main opposition party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, in which Rev. Okotie asked the parties to adopt him as their consensus Presidential candidate for the 2019 Presidential election.
The plausibility of this request is left to the two parties to decide but equally interesting is the Pastor’s Proposition for an interim government of National Reconciliation and Reconstruction, which he has proposed to head to fix Nigeria. What is his justification for this request? Let’s read his position as stated in his letters:
“As we approach another election cycle, the prognosis for a national crisis coveys a reality of frightening proportions. We are confronted by existential threats that seek to engender the fragmentation and disintegration of our nation as a holistic entity. Nigeria has become a divided and segregated society like never before. We have become polarized by ethnicity; we have become Balkanized by religious fundamentalism. We have become fractured by political insensitivity and leadership disability.
“The advent of the Boko Haram insurgents and the ubiquitous Fulani herdsmen phenomenon have further exacerbated social insecurity and cast nebulous clouds over the viability of our union. The concentric arrangements of the WAZOBIA alliances have been a disaster; engendering the marginalization of the smaller ethnic units, thus, perforating the canopy of the Federalism under whose aegis we co-exist.
“The dream of a great Nigeria which flowered at Independence, the yearnings and aspirations of the people and the Nigerian brotherhood whose ensign dominated the political horizon at Independence has all been consigned to oblivion. The worrisome symptoms indicative of the restiveness signalling the preamble to the Civil War of the past have re-emerged in more definite configuration and now form a circadian rhythm which must be addressed immediately. We must act now to avert the manifestation of the great inevitable”.
Nobody can dispute the above facts as clearly stated by Rev. Okotie, especially with the rampaging Fulani herdsmen killings in some parts of the country. As never before, the polity is overheating even as 2019 seem to be looking like a hard road to travel.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Third Force can’t muster the force required to redeem the ship of state, which appears to be heading to the rocks. The political class can’t hold together; no one is giving us a ray of hope. Rev Okotie’s proposition for an interim national government to reconcile and rebuild the nation before we go back to intense competitive politics is the way out of this conundrum. Idea like these should never be dismissed because it came from a man who thinks outside the box.
Less than 200 days to the polls, the Nigerian state is obviously unsettled with no clear direction as to which way to go. Both the ruling APC and the main opposition PDP and its 30-plus alliance partners have not given us anything to consider as a viable alternative.
OBJ’s third force is an assemblage of old tired politicians with jaded ideas. Most of the key figures in this alliance have occupied top positions in government in virtually all the administrations that have ruled this nation in recent past. They have not told us anything new. But Rev. Okotie’s proposition is truly revolutionary, no matter from the angle it is viewed. If given the chance to lead the country at a time like this he promised:
“My mandate, therefore, will be to set up an interim government which I have christened GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL RECONCILIATION AND RECONSTRUCTION as the mechanical instrumentality for the crystallization of the new Nigeria of our dreams. It would be predicated on a new concept of Aboriginal democracy. Our current democracy has been hijacked by elitism, mysticism and Satanism.
Aboriginal democracy will focus on cultural historicity, evolutional modernity and global relativity as the necessary ingredients of our evolutional political indigenisation. Under this system, the current legislature would merge with the judiciary to create a unique judicature that administers justice and shares the enactment of legislative responsibilities with the Presidency. This would save us the huge cost of running the National Assembly and obviate all the paralyzing debates that often stalled the passage of bills”.
The biggest challenge facing this country is our bloated overhead. Nigerian’s resources are being deployed to fund the civil service and pay the huge cost of running the National Assembly and the political class. If Aboriginal democracy can replace the current unproductive system of government, we’d have enough money to develop the country. On this score, I cast my lot with the proposition for an interim government to really restructure our government and usher in a new dawn for Nigeria.