Nollywood legend,Pete Edochie,says he lost hope in Nigerian electoral system after the June 12,1993 presidential election by Late Bashorun MKO Abiola,was annulled by the military ruler,Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.
He also lamented that the untoward circumstances surrounding Nigerian politics which has continue to draw the country back gives him no hope that Nigeria would be free from the hawks
He bares his mind with the host of the viral TV show #WithChude, Chude Jideonwo.
Lamenting the country’s electoral malaise and politicians’ inordinate ambition to perpetuate themselves in power,the actor said:“A lot of people say that history repeats itself because we learn nothing from history itself. History offers us a lot of lessons, but we prefer to ignore those lessons and keep repeating our mistakes. Each time we have an election, there’s always chaos – consequent upon it, because somehow there is this element of criminal ingenuity in our constitution. We want to find a quick fix for something which is not necessarily right.
“You find old politicians (septuagenarian, octogenarian politicians), who have little, or nothing left to offer the country, but they want to remain there till infinity. That’s not in the interest of the country. Make way for youngsters so they can introduce some changes.
“I have adult children, when it comes to manipulating the smartphone, they do all these things for me. I mean I can’t bring myself to keep staring at phones, so they make it easy for me. That is what life should be generally. You play your part, you move out, and let the youngsters take over. The youths of this country have been insulted, their sensitivity is brutalized, and their aspirations asphyxiated”
On the 2023 elections,be said:”So, they said, “come 2023, we shall show them that we’re not too young to run, we’re not lazy”. 2023 comes and what do you see? You have to pay a hundred million to purchase a declaration of intent form. How many youngsters are going to come out and do that just so they can take part in politics? Again, it is the hand of the octogenarian political journeyman that we see in play and that’s not very good”
0n the presidential ambition of Peter Obi,he said:“It was the situation that gave birth to Peter Obi. Peter seized that opportunity to detach himself from the old politicians who’ve been recycling themselves and Peter was publicized by people who thought they were denigrating his person, saying, “he is very frugal in terms of spending, he’s very stingy, he’s very parsimonious”, and all that sort of nonsense.
“Then, Peter comes out and the youth of the country see him as a kind of messiah. They thought ‘since we know that this man knows how to handle money, he must make our lives relevant and useful’. So, they flocked towards him. All the people who follow Peter around, that obstreperous number you see following him, nobody gives them a kobo. I know Peter. Peter was my governor. Peter was the classmate of one of my younger brothers in CKC.
“He leads the life of a Trappist monk. Peter is not a loud person, he never does anything so that you can applaud him in society. You can walk into Peter’s house, and he looks at you, gets a bottle of beer, and you split it. I mean, he’s a very rich man, he makes donations to bodies that require assistance – bodies like motherless babies’ homes and all that – and he does it quietly. You will not know.
“So, he comes out and all the youths of the country says, “this is the man who we will give our votes to” and they followed him. Then election comes. Again, that ingredient of criminal ingenuity in our constitution comes into play and the entire thing is ruffled and we are going to court. I gave up on our electoral system after Abiola’s election was canceled. That election was the freest and the best election we have had in this country.
” I am 76, so, if I’m not saying it with fear of contradiction, I am saying it with plenty of authority and with plenty of conviction. During that election, you didn’t see people snatching ballot boxes, creating problems, shooting around and scaring people. No, it was called ‘option A4’.
“It was Professor Humphrey Nwosu, who by the way got a first class in political science, who came up with something as smart as that. That election was canceled, and I lost hope. Ever since, we have never had a free and fair election.I don’t discuss politics because it hasn’t given me hope and it doesn’t give me hope,”he added.