Ezekwesili Defends ‘Red Card’ Movement, Says Era Of Two-Party System Is Over

Oby Ezekwesili

Co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, has said that the era in which Nigerians are forced to choose a lesser of two evils, in the political space is now over.

She made this position known during an interview with Channels Television’s Hard Copy, while explaining the aims and objectives of her latest movement, Red Card.

According to her, what the movement hopes to achieve is to break the hold of the two dominant parties and “get citizens to take their rightful place in our democracy”.

She said: “We want to have a quality political system that bubbles up the best to our political platforms but what we do by raising the Red Card to the two political parties is to send a strong signal”.

When asked if she was optimistic that Nigerians would buy into the idea, having being disappointed several times in the past, Ezekwesili said it had become obvious that the two dominant parties are incapable to taking Nigeria to its ‘promise land’ and that Nigerians stood a better chance by casting its net outside the two parties.

“A no-action situation is worse than taking an action that has a probability of succeeding. So for example, to simply say that it is our lot, we are stuck with APC and PDP, that is not our lot.

“The era where citizens are marginal to the political process, the era where people legitimize the worst of two choices, on the ticket of the two dominant parties, that era is over,” she stressed.

Making reference to the massacre of residents in Benue state during the New Year, and the ‘lackadaisical’ attitude of the Federal Government, Ezekwesili explained that she had lost faith in the government.

According to her, the same situation that played out during the attack on Chibok in 2014 in which the then government seemed to be more interested in campaigning for its re-election than in the incident, appeared to be replaying itself.

“Nobody was paying attention, more or less. Everything was about winning the election in 2015, so here we are in 2018, 2019 is election year – the same pattern is repeated. So I simply said I’ve had enough of this”.

She stressed that it was high time Nigerians went beyond merely wishing for good governance.

Speaking further, Ezekwesili who described herself as an “impatient optimist” while the government, on the contrary, accused her of being confrontational, stated that the government had “looked for her trouble” with such comments.

She defended the cause for which her movement, the BBOG was fighting, saying that the present government, even prior to its coming into power, had promised to rescue the girls, only to come into power and become ‘relaxed’ about it.

She noted that even if the government had been making efforts, its manner of approach, especially towards the parents of the missing girls, was “appalling”.

“Going Adversarial on us was not welcome at all,” she stressed.

“It is time for us to have better governance in the society. It is time to stop failing.

“Nigeria needs to claim the 21st century and for us to do that, the quality of our leadership would matter.

“I haven’t been excited at the fact that we keep losing opportunities that we have, to catch up with the rest of our contemporaries in the world as a nation.

“APC and PDP are the dominant players in our political space. We don’t have a political party crisis, we have a political class crisis and so I said as a citizen I’m putting out my red card and when I put it out, other citizens said they had red cards to put out too”.

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