Ezekwesili pledges equality among Nigerians if elected

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Dr.  Obiageli Ezekwesili, has pledged to foster unity and equality among  Nigerians if elected as the president of the country.

In a statement on Thursday, the ACPN presidential candidate said she was  determined to ensure that the constitutional rights of Nigerians always  upheld by government.

Noting that there was a need to address the growing rate of poverty in  Nigeria, Ezekwesili said that she was ready to ensure constitutionalism  and uphold the rule of law in the opportunities available to every
Nigerian regardless of their region, religion, status or gender.

“There is no doubt that Nigeria is a multi-plural nation. We are  different people with diverse language, age, gender, religion, beliefs  and status. As the president, I promise to play a role that acknowledges
our differences and yet fosters unity of diversity. All citizens will be  accorded the fundamental rights guaranteed within the provisions of our  constitution and laws,” the presidential candidate said.

She added, “Our administration will work collaboratively with the  judiciary and the legislature to safeguard every citizen’s rights. We  are a constitutional democracy and must practice the ethos and
principles to the utmost as the fundamental basis for strengthening  citizenship. I will both ensure the protection of human rights and  uphold the rule of law and constitutionalism.”

Ezekwesili warned that electing the Peoples Democratic Party or the All  Progressives Congress would deepen poverty and hunger in the country as  these parties do not appreciate the dignity that must be accorded every  Nigerian citizen.

She also assured Nigerians that she would ensure quality and  transparency in the appointment of cabinet members.

She said, “Extreme poverty in Nigeria is increasing by nearly six people  every minute. But that is not even the worst part. According to the  World Poverty Clock, if the current trends continue – or to put it
another way, if we continue to elect this poverty-bringing APC/PDP  leadership – the number of people living in extreme poverty in Nigeria  would increase from about 88 million today to 120 million in 2030. What  that means is that in the next 12 years, over 30 million more Nigerians  will join the infamous number of extremely poor people who live on less  than N700 per day.

“When a country has a GINI coefficient above 35 per cent, it means its  income inequality is very high. Nigeria’s GINI coefficient is between 46  and 60 per cent. Such levels of extreme ineuality have destabilising  implications for the country. Tackling the inequality and lifting 80  million Nigerians out of poverty will be the mission of my presidency.

“The composition of the cabinet under our ACPN administration shall be  guided by the troika criteria of character, competence and capacity,  considering the level of policy leadership that our government would  expect from ministers. Our cabinet shall reflect 50 per cent inclusion  for women and 50 per cent for young people generally with no compromise  of the three criteria.

“The principles that guide the centrality of inclusion made by our ACPN administration centres on the fact that women and the youth, both of the  largest demographic blocs of the nation, are severely underrepresented  in public life.”

Ezekwesili added, “The belief that a diverse makeup of government not  only improves representation, but accountability to the public.

“Equality of opportunity is fundamental to fairness, equity and justice  in a diverse society like Nigeria. That was what the writers of the  1979 constitution sought to achieve by entrenching the Federal Character  Principle that guides appointments into public office. Equality of  opportunity is a principle that achieves both competition, merit,  representation and inclusion without trading any off.”