LEADERSHIP – Former Ghanaian President John Kufuor, who is Head of the ECOWAS fact-finding mission to Nigeria, was at the All Progressives Congress (APC) Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday.
Kufuor said he was at the APC office to gauge the `feelings’ of the party ahead of the 2015 general elections in the country.
He said the mission had visited other related bodies but had to reschedule their visit to APC as a result of its convention.
“We have been here in the last two days. We have met with the INEC, PDP, Human Rights Commission, the EU Commission, UNDP, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Acting Inspector-General of Police.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), we tried to gain audience with you, but we saw that you were so busy and I said the season is on and so, all politicians should understand.
“Today (Thursday), we are privileged to be in your presence and to hear from you your innermost feelings and prospects for successful elections next year.’’
In his response, the APC Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said he was glad that the regional body had sent eminent people to monitor the forthcoming elections.
Odigie-Oyegun said the APC was more interested in educating the voting public on the power its members possess during elections and their right to use it.
“We are very happy that the sub-region is interested in the welfare of democracy in Nigeria and has dispatched somebody of the status of the former President of Ghana.
“What we are trying to do is to politically, and in a democratic sense, ensure that the voting population is made aware that power truly belongs to it and that it can hire as it wishes and fire when it so wishes.’’
The APC chairman however claimed that the ruling PDP had a hand in all the crises in Nasarawa state, Edo, Rivers, Adamawa and Ekiti.
He said he had hopes in the abilities of the INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, saying “we are hoping INEC will do its best.
“Our prayers, as far as INEC is concerned, is that it uses card readers in the election so that we can be sure of the process.
“A card reader has to be used. If countries like Ghana, India and the rest of them are able to deploy this technology, I cannot see why we cannot use it in Nigeria.’’
Odigie-Oyegun said the APC was ready to play fair, and prayed that the polity would not be unnecessarily heated up.(NAN)