OKOTIE CHALLENGES JONATHAN TO DEBATE
By Gbenga Oke
Pastor of Household of God and presidential candidate of Fresh Democratic Party, FRP, Pastor Chris Okotie, has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to a public debate, just as he said that the only way the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, can win the forthcoming elections was through rigging.
Speaking, yesterday, at the party headquarters in Lagos to formally flag-off his presidential campaign, Okotie said he was challenging President Jonathan to a debate to tell the Nigerians and the world what he intends to do when he becomes president and why Nigerians should give him their mandate.
According to him, 'if not for the involvement of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his (Jonathan) emergence as the presidential candidate, how could he have emerged when the odd was even against him within the party.'
'I and President Jonathan are from the same South-South zone but I see him as a candidate trying to hide behind the PDP. If he is so confident as he claims, let him face me in a public debate and let us advice Nigerians on what direction they should go at the forthcoming elections.
'We need a president that is resolute, somebody that can withstand the treachery of the National Assembly and a compassionate president, who can take this country to next level in terms of human capital development, social security, health and education,' he said.
On the readiness of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ahead of the elections, Okotie said, 'the structure we need to have a free and fair elections is INEC, though INEC is supposed to be an independent entity and provide a level playing ground for the candidates, that might not eventually happen because INEC cannot go against its sponsors.'
'The oppression and slavery of Nigerians under the PDP must come to an end at this forthcoming elections because the party has become so unpopular in its ability to deliver the dividends of democracy to the populace,' he added.
He however stated that the PDP has been using their ability of coercive intimidation through inducements in their various campaigns to show the Nigerian populace that the party is still popular.
Reeling out his agenda for contesting the presidency, Okotie argued 'our great party has a millennium mindset and we have clearly defined mission to take this country to the next level and we intend to sell our programmes in the most effective way and this will not be achieved by renting crowds to rallies and making empty speeches that hold no promise for the people'.
'Change in Nigeria requires certain urgency and dynamism which only Rev Chris Okotie could bring to governance and all through the years we've been saying that Nigeria needs a change from tired old politicians who are clueless having been in power for 12years without moving us forward because all they have is jaded ideas that have no relevance to our current state of near paralysis'.
Okotie however expressed optimism that he'd win the presidential elections come April 9th 2011.
He said 'If we have a free and fair elections, we will win and the impact of the FRESH government will be felt everywhere in Nigeria by within 90days because of the unprecedented surge of economic, social and industrial activities the nation will experience'.