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New parties not solution to Nigeria’s challenges — Peters [Daily Trust]

Reverend Olusegun Peters is the national chairman of the Democratic Peoples Congress (DPC). In this interview, he speaks on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, inconclusive elections and how the DPC is preparing for the 2019 general elections. Excerpts:

The National Assembly has finally passed the 2016 budget.  What are your expectations from the government?
First, I congratulate Nigerians for their patience because this budget was expected to have been passed earlier than now. We thank God that it has been finally passed. So what I expect President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC family to do immediately is to assent to the budget and hit the ground running.


Two political associations - the PMP and NPCAG, are seeking registration from INEC to become political parties ahead of the 2019 general elections. Do you think they have any prospects?
What are the aims of those aspiring to form new political parties? What are their objectives? Is it because of their selfish interests?  What is wrong with the PDP that they cannot stay and rebuild the party? Check the history of those people and you will find out that they have been moving from one political party to another. If you check their history, you will see where they are coming from and where they are going. So, to me, they have nothing to offer. We don’t need new parties now. Nigerians should remove their attention from people like that and let’s concentrate on rebuilding the parties that are already in existence. The parties in existence are still struggling to see how they will offer something meaningful to Nigerians, and here are these ones floating another party.  So, what they are doing is for selfish interest.


Some political parties have commenced preparations ahead of the 2019 general elections. What is the DPC doing in this regard?
DPC is also preparing very well.  As I am talking to you, we are working with so many political parties in Nigeria to make sure that we move forward by way of alliance, not merger. We are also working hard to see how we can produce credible candidates for the forthcoming elections.


Is the party willing to field a presidential candidate for the 2019 elections?
Yes, we are willing to field a presidential candidate for that election because it is going to be an interesting battle for political power and I strongly believe that some political parties will adopt our presidential candidate for the election.

How will the candidates emerge?
We have not yet defined that but when we get to the river, we will cross it. I don’t want to say much on that for political and security reasons. It is too early.

Nigerians are beginning to get worried about the spate of inconclusive elections. What is your take on this?
I believe in the present leadership of INEC but what the chairman really needs to do is watch very well around him and be very careful in taking decisions. I know he has a good mind and really wants to drive INEC and the country’s democracy. But I can also say there are bad eggs around him. I believe there are some people around him that go beyond their own powers to manipulate things around him. So, he needs to monitor his staff very well.

Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/politics/new-parties-not-solution-to-nigeria-s-challenges-peters/140940.html#MSfTLrzek61Uj4lm.99

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