LAGOS: The Pastor of the Household of God Church, Rev. Chris Okotie, on Sunday declared his intention to again run for the presidency in 2019.
Okotie, who has made three failed attempts – 2003, 2007 and 2011 – to become the President, made the declaration during the Sunday service in his church in the Oregun area of Lagos.
He told the congregation that he had re-emerged from his political hibernation, based on his conviction that Nigeria needed a credible, dependable and a trustworthy man to lead.
The cleric, who posited that the problems bedevilling Nigeria were not political, said he believed that the solutions to such problems were neither in the hands of the ruling All Progressives Congress nor the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
He said he had indeed written to the national chairmen of the two main parties, urging them not to field any presidential candidate for next year’s general elections but to adopt him (Okotie) as a consensus presidential candidate.
While saying that divisiveness and religious fundamentalism threatened the continued existence of Nigeria as one nation, the cleric urged the APC and the PDP to support his proposed “Government of National Reconciliation and Reconstruction.”
“I have re-emerged from my political hibernation to contest the office of President in the forthcoming elections. I am fully persuaded that Nigeria needs a man who is credible, dependable and trustworthy. A God-fearing man who is embroidered with compassion and love for (this) country. A man who will be readily accepted as a symbol of national unity, who can bring genuine reconciliation and guarantee peace and tranquillity in our nation.
“A man who is completely insulated from the variegated conflicts that mark the antecedents of our major political actors. A man who can apply the principle of malice towards none and charity for all; who can invoke a pan-Nigerian philosophy to reject the partisan provincialism of finger pointing at this time when Nigeria is threatened by existential adversaries. A man with the requisite intellectual capacity and moral perpendicularity. I believe that the benevolent grace of God has telescoped these virtues into my person, to prepare for such a time as this,” Okotie said.
The cleric, who is the President of Fresh Democratic Party, on which platform he ran for the Presidency and lost in 2011, said his mandate this time round was to set up an interim government, which he had named “Government of National Reconciliation and Reconstruction,” that would birth a new Nigeria.
“Nigeria is in dire need of restructuring. Our federalism is simply terminological inexactitude. It is a realistic piece of fakery. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is obsolete, retrogressive and subversive to the Nigerian cause. It can no longer subsist as a legal protocol to guarantee the peaceful coexistence of autonomous ethnicities. No extant or subsisting government can right these aberrations, for obvious reasons of parochial party considerations and entrenched partisan rivalries within the polity,” he added.