US-based Nigerians are getting a bit of the country’s presidential campaigns, as the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and main opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), are seeking to engage them to influence next week’s polls.
While several groups within the Nigerian community here have been issuing statements endorsing the presidential candidates, among other political interventions, APC’s Vice Presidential candidate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, showed up in the state of Maryland, last Sunday, to hold two town hall meetings.
Not to be left out, the PDP presidential campaign also announced a support rally in the same region of the US, billed to hold this weekend in Washington DC, but there was no expectation whether President Goodluck Jonathan, the party’s candidate or his running mate, Namadi Sambo, would be attending the rally.
Speaking at the town hall meetings held in Baltimore and Silver Spring, both towns with vibrant Nigerian churches and community, condemned the use of mercenaries in the fight Boko Haram. Osinbajo said the Nigerian armed forces is capable and able to do the job of defending Nigeria’s territorial integrity, if the troops are well-equipped. “It is an outrage to hear about mercenaries.
The Nigerian army have performed very well and won the commendation of the international community in several UN missions, including AMISOM,” Osinbajo said, adding that he was involved in AMISOM and personally witnessed the commendation of the Nigerian military internationally. He continued: “If well kited, our military forces are able to fight. But the current FG has degraded the Nigerian military, which is another reason to vote out the current government in next week’s presidential polls.”
On what a potential APC administration of the FG will do about the Constitutional Conference Report, which was concluded last September, he said, “we will submit the report to the National Assembly, that is the way to go and they will take action.” The law professor also said that it was not possible for anyone to Islamise or Christianise Nigeria, as being claimed by the opposition. He said such an agenda would require a major amendment of the Nigerian constitution, which he does not foresee considering the multi-ethnic and diversity of religion among the Nigerian people.