…Says you cannot buy character if you don’t have
By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – A presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Thursday, took a swipe at the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, accusing him of opposing the establishment of Due Process Unit when he was Vice President.
Dr. Ezekwesili, who made the revelation, while featuring as discussant at The Osasu Show Symposium, in Abuja, while reacting to an interjection by Mr. Segun Sowomi, who represented Atiku Abubakar at the event said, “Can I tell you something, the candidate that this gentleman man happens to represent was the one while in office gave me the greatest fight aganist establihing the Due Process Unit.”
She recalled that the idea behind the establishment of the due Process office was to erode the believe by international community, especially the United States of America, USA, that Nigeria was an extravagant and reckless nation, when it comes to management of public resources.
The 2nd Osasu Show Symposium with theme ‘Nigeria Rising! It’s time: Establishing Social Accountability between the Electorate and Leaders was organised by Television Presenter, Ms. Osasu Igbenedion, daughter of former Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbenedion.
Recall that Oby Ezekwesili, a former World Bank Vice President and anti-corruption campaigner, served as a Senior Special Assistant to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Budget Monitoring and in the Price Intelligence Unit, also known as “Due Process Unit” from 2003 to 2005.
This role earned her the nickname ‘Madam Due Process’ because she instituted several reforms and established due process mechanisms and strategies that refined Nigerian government’s public procurement and contracting practices.
And it was at that period that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the Vice President held sway as the Head of Economic team under former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.
According to Dr. Ezekwesili, who declared she was in the presidential race to win and chart a new direction, said, “But if you are still comfortable and you are saying that we can manage every four years then nothing about my entering into politics will matter to you.
“The young man who talked about just waking up to do something, you don’t have structures, can I tell you that the Nigerian people are the structures that all these dominant parties put to use.
“When they say we don’t have structure, I think they assumed that Allied Congress Party of Nigeria was registered yesterday, it wasn’t.
“This party contested in the 2015 election, it was number four in the performance in that election. I want to assure you that across the country, we have people who are running for House of Rep, who are running for senate and gubernatorial position.
“Nigeria is now number 14 in the global fragility index , this is something that measures that a country has become so weak, it is on its way to becoming a failed state; if we continue governance at this rate between one acronym and the other acronym, we are going to get into danger.
“You are the young generation, when you take a look at me, I have nothing to prove to anybody again so I am not running because I need to be something, I am runnning because when I look at you and your contemporaries around the world, I feel angered by the fact that you are held back by a failing country, a failing Nigeria must not hold you back.
“The reason I am running is for your sake, I may not be in the category of those that are able to offer you wads of naira but I am in the category of those around the world that when it comes to care about their young people, they ask you to come and tell them how to build economies that will take their young people out of poverty.
“If you are comfortable, we are being told that the choice you have is to take the lesser of two evil, the common denominator of the lesser of two evil is evil. And so if somebody has sold that to you, what I have to say as advice to you as a sister and a mother, you deserve much better.
“Human capital development is not something that you just merge, it takes a definitive approach, to take a person from one level of low productivity to a higher level of productivity.