2023: Federal Character hasn’t helped Nigeria, Rivers APGA guber candidate laments

The Rivers APGA Governorship Candidate, Prince Ugo Beke on Sunday said that the principle of  Federal Character had not helped Nigeria to get to the dream of its founding fathers.

Beke, a merchant banker and financial consultant, who spoke to newsmen in Lagos, was reacting to the issue of zoning in Rivers and why another Ikwere Man should be part of the succession following Rotimi  Amechi and Nyesom Wike.

“As an Ikwere Man, with my antecedents, the demographics will favour me,” he said.

Bekee who said he never believed in zoning and the federal character principle said the principle should not be encouraged in the interest of national unity, economic growth and development.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Federal character principle is a doctrine introduced by the Nigerian government to ensure equitable representation  as well prevent the dominance of persons from a few states, religion or a particular ethnic group in the governance of the country and the sphere of the public sector.

The candidate said that the principle was undemocratic, unethical and antithetical to national progress and development.

Beke said: “The principle has further divided Nigeria. The federal character principle, zoning is undemocratic.

“It cannot give the best result that can take the country to a greater height globally. It further divides Nigeria.”

According to him, the principle has failed to deliver the best outcome that can guarantee desired growth and development for the country.

Beke, an indigene of Ikwerre that produced the state’s last two governors in Rivers,  said the nation’s founding fathers were concerned about the development of the country rather than zoning or principle of federal character.

According to him, Sir Herbert Macaulay did not think of zoning when he supported Dr Nnamdi Azikwe to lead the National Youth Movement, the development that made the era the best results in nation’s history.

“The federal character system has destroyed Nigeria. We should not encourage zoning if the federal character has not worked.

“When we did not consider federal character and zoning, Nigerians were happier and talked less about tribalism and ethnicity.”

On his agenda, Beke said that when he wins the 2023 general elections, his efforts would be concentrated on economy, human capital development and security.

Speaking on the new Election Act, the candidate expressed confidence that the 2023 elections process would be credible and transparent unlike the previous election held in the country because of some of the technologies already introduced by the electoral umpire.

“BVAS is the same technology we all use for our international passport whenever we traveled abroad.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is not the owner of the technology but the commission only provides administration. The technology is domiciled in Dublin. We are using the satellite of Elon Musk.

“It is going to be difficult for INEC to manipulate the outcome of the election. The problem with the election process we have been having before has to do with the Incident Result Form.

“Right now, that is not feasible. We now have a backup for the system that is being operated. We also have times when the satellite shuts down. We also know when the result can no longer be admitted,” he said.

According to him, all the issues with ballot box snatching on election day will no longer be relevant.

Beke added, “I believe INEC has no choice but to submit to the superiority of what has been put in place. Therefore, I am confident that votes will count in 2023.

He expressed confidence that the process would guarantee his victory.

The candidate promised to establish a security trust fund to address diverse security challenges in the state, while also promising to build an entirely new city in the state that would rival Dubai in the United Arab Emirate.

He alleged that previous and current governments in the state had not served the interest of the people. 

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