Okotie joins presidential race
By Ifedayo Adebayo
June 11, 2010 02:25AM
Lagos-based pastor, and chairman of the Fresh Democratic Party, Chris Okotie, has indicated that he will run for president in next year's general elections.
Mr Okotie, who has contested the seat twice, said the least the federal government can do to immortalize the sacrifices of the late Moshood Abiola is to enthrone true democracy in the country. He also claimed that the PDP-led federal government is a product of rigging, and could therefore not celebrate the heroes of democracy, who fought for free and fair elections.
The pastor, in a statement signed by his media aide, Ladi Ayodeji, decried the neglect of those who died protesting the cancellation of the June 12, 1993 elections, saying all efforts to ignore their achievement in giving birth to the 4th republic have not succeeded.
The spirit of June 12
"Instead, the spirit of June 12 continues to haunt us", he said. "The democracy martyrs of June 12, led by its flag bearer, MKO Abiola, who won what is still adjusted the best election ever organized in this country, would have died in vain if we fail to put in place viable mechanisms for free and fair elections in the country. One of these is electoral reform, and also transparency and good governance. We can't have true democracy if the peoples votes do not count; where selection instead of election is what produces the leaders."
As regards his political future, Mr. Okotie announced plans to address a world press conference on June 29, 2010 at his party's headquarters, where he will declare his intention to seek his party's nomination for the 2011 presidential election.
Mr. Okotie also called on Nigerians to support the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the World Cup holding in South Africa, promising to reform the sports sector if elected president in 2011. "May I, once again, plead with fellow Nigerians to come all out to support the players," he said. "They need our total, unwavering support, not criticism, at this crucial moment."