No reason to be enthusiastic over Buhari or Atiku, says Onaiyekan
THE Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, says Nigerians have no reason to be enthusiastic about the choice of either the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari or his challenger, Atiku Abubakar, going into the 2019 general election.
Onaiyekan said this during a speech at a voters’ sensitisation event over the weekend, titled “The Church in Politics, Towards Election Year-2019”. While not mentioning Atiku and Buhari by name, it was obvious they were the people being referred to in the speech.
He described the two men as “two well-known undesirable candidates”, adding that the situation was a “great dilemma” and a “horrible tragedy” for the country.
The cleric also expressed disappointment that smaller political parties that could have joined forces to produce a better alternative, were not able to do so due to ego and selfishness.
“My dear brothers, our country is deeply in a great dilemma as we move towards the 2019 general elections,” Onaiyekan said. “It would appear that we are faced with horrible tragedy of a choice between two well-known undesirable candidates.
“This is not only because both of them are Muslims but because we have seen both and we have no reason to be enthusiastic that they will do wonders.
“But this does not mean that we will completely give up interest. If we do, others are busy working. All it takes for evil to thrive is for the righteous to stay quiet and do what they call minding their own business, which means doing nothing.
“It is a pity that whereas there are over 90 political parties, there seems to be no viable alternative to the two mega parties that have failed us. Where is the alternative? It is a pity that they cannot come together to form a viable alternative.”
“In my opinion, this is mainly because of their selfishness. Everybody wants to be president and wield power. No one wants to step down and join hands with others of like minds. We need to pray that there will be a way forward. We need to seriously tackle the devil of selfishness.”
Onaiyekan, ostensibly, was referring to the failed coalition attempt between some presidential aspirants of upcoming political parties, including Omoyele Sowore, Kingsley Moghalu, and Fela Durotoye, among others.
The initial plan had been for the aspirants to come together and adopt a single candidate who would stand a better chance of running against the political heavyweights in the forthcoming election. The attempt, however, failed, after Durotoye emerged winner of the process but the others felt there was no fair play.