Muhammadu Buhari administration is two years old and counting. Following the historic elections that swept an incumbent president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan out of power and reduced the majority of the former ruling PDP to a minority in the National Assembly, Nigerians were fully mobilised for a change in approach to governance that would hopefully transform our collective misfortune to progress and prosperity.
Unfortunately, the mid-term score card of the first four-year mandate of the Muhammadu Buhari presidency, records a disappointingly low performance in most critical aspects of its core responsibilities of the security of lives and property, economic well-being of the citizenry and national unity. Under the current administration, the economy slipped into a debilitating recession, leading to a drastic reduction in the already poor standard of living of most Nigerians. As a direct result of the non-conciliatory posture of the victorious APC’s Muhammadu Buhari, following the defeat of PDP’s Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election, which is expressed by his doctrine of a political scorched earth policy of rewarding only areas and peoples who voted for him (95 percent) and punishing areas and peoples who voted against him (five percent) and made real by his pattern of appointments and patronage, this has left the Nigerian nation as the most divided in its entire history as a sovereign nation.
This foregoing followed the pattern of voting in the 2015 presidential election, which was largely influenced by ethno-religious sentiments that saw the former President Goodluck Jonathan receiving massive support from the predominantly Christian population of his home region of South-South, and the closely ethno-geographically affiliated South-East region, while his main challenger and current President Muhammadu Buhari enjoyed the near total support of his predominantly Hausa-Fulani Muslim enclave of the North-West and the equally closely ethno-geographic Muslim population of the North-East region, thereby polarising the country into two extreme halves. The contest was tipped in favour of Muhammadu Buhari by the unbounded votes he received from significant sections of the Christian northern population of the central states, coupled with a slight majority of votes from the South-West. These were people already weary of the corruption-riddled government of the succeeding PDP administrations, and hence voted objectively for change as they were not affiliated to Buhari by tribe or religion but were drawn to him by his personal qualities of integrity, honesty and incorruptibility, which was bolstered a great deal by his consistent challenge of every incumbent PDP president in every election since 2003.
However, with the level of sectionalism witnessed under the current administration, it has become abundantly clear that the president owes his electoral success more to the support he had consistently received from the Muslim North but not the votes he obtained from other parts of the country, which made the difference in his electoral fortunes the last time. So far the president has largely implemented the original “Arewa agenda” that propelled his interest in partisan politics in the first instance, which led him to throw his hat into ring of contest to wrestle power from the South back to the North in 2003. Apparently, it was his devotion to this agenda that kept Muhammadu Buhari in the race and not his love for Nigeria, as previously widely believed. The negative consequences of this high level of sectionalism are largely responsible for the lack of progress in all aspects of national lives today.
Matters have been made worse by a corrupt and incapacitated political establishment, which controls the two major political parties, the APC and PDP. There appears to be no difference in approach to governance between the former ruling party and the current one. The same set of individuals who “destroyed Nigeria in sixteen years” now congregate in the ruling APC and holding forte in government at every level, from the top to the bottom. The more the APC blames the PDP, the more the former is looking and behaving like the latter. The current political establishment has become obsolete and is increasingly degenerating into political irrelevancy because it has failed to fulfil the promise of the economic dividends of democracy. The major preoccupation of the establishment is still power rotation and sharing of our national resources among the ruling elite, who because of their extreme comfort, are careless about the collective well-being of the citizens.
As 2019 approaches, Nigerians must begin to look beyond APC’s Muhammadu Buhari for good governance, progress and prosperity. The bar and standard of the quality of leadership must be raised above ethno-religious sentiments to pragmatic solutions to our problems as a nation. One lesson learnt is that the old order of power struggle, which is usually resolved by rotation and zoning of political offices leading to the institutionalisation of sectionalism in government business at every level, has not paid off the intended beneficiating sections of the country.
The original intention of power rotation, which was to ensure equitable distribution of resources and the even spread of development across the federating units, has unfortunately degenerated into a cesspool of corruption, resulting in an equitable distribution of loot among the ruling elite, cutting across all ethno-religious divides. For example, after six years of the “our son” presidency of Goodluck Jonathan, the fortunes of the Niger Delta region remains unchanged. He did not succeed in transforming the landscape of the polluted oil rich environment to a clean and safe place for his own people, neither did he significantly improve their socio-economic life. His developmental legacies in the Niger Delta are mostly of abandoned projects, including the vital East-West road. Similarly, the rate at which the Buhari presidency is underperforming, the enormous problems confronting the Northern region will largely remain unresolved. After his first four-year mandate and despite his sectionalism, the North will remain in the unenviable list of educationally disadvantaged regions.
His sectionalism will not improve the socio-economic fortunes of his North-West, which still ranks very low on the Human Development Index as one of the poorest regions in the entire world and hence the twin scourge of Al majiri and Boko Haram will remain with the North. Clearly, that a president comes from a section does not always guarantee benefit to the people. Therefore, the clamour for a northern presidency in 2019 by some regional groups is a recipe for retrogression.
There are no northern solutions to Northern Nigerian problems, neither are there southern solutions to Southern Nigerian problems. There is only a Nigerian solution to Nigerian problems, north or south, to be administered by a Nigerian president. The search must begin in earnest for a Nigerian president in 2019 – a president who will not be defined or limited by tribe, religion or region but by a broad based pan Nigerian agenda. Our next president must be a man who is not sectional in both his private or public life. The antecedents of our next president must be scrutinised to ensure his beliefs, association and personality exemplify a united pan Nigerian sentiment. The vital unifying tools of integration and assimilation of Nigerians into any society of their choice in any part of the country should be exemplified and promoted by the next president. In order to move ahead and catch up with the fast developing world, Nigeria should begin to exist more for economic reasons and cease being a waste land of negative politicking. We need a president who will drive the process of running Nigeria as a competitively profitable entity for both the government and citizens in the league of global competitive nations.
The agenda before the next president must set right by the citizens. To achieve rapid development, the next president must embark on a revolutionary educational reform, whose core principle will be to re-educate this current generation and educate the next to achieve political and economic development. One major objective of our educational system should be to produce Nigerians who are completely rid of the bias of ethno-religious mind-sets, with the necessary skills to contribute positively to the economic development of their fatherland.
No nation on earth is blessed with abundant human and natural resources, least of all Nigeria. Nigeria, like other prosperous nations, must necessary look beyond its borders for extra sources of income by tapping into the natural resources, markets for finished goods and quality human resources of other nations to shore up our own. Nigeria’s economy must begin to shift from a dependency on Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to becoming a major player in global trade as an Overseas Investor Nation, beginning with the domination of trade in the West Africa sub-region. Therefore, to achieve these objectives seamlessly, we call on all Nigerians to join the #OneNationNigeria project/campaign. Our next leadership should be a set of visionary leaders who are knowledgeably equipped enough to properly articulate for Nigeria, workable foreign, immigration and defence policies aimed at negotiating and getting a sizable chunk of global resources through bilateral/multilateral trade agreements. The discourse on the next leadership of Nigeria continues…
ABOUT #ONENATIONNIGERIA PROJECT
The OneNationNigeria project is a belief principle that is geared towards the awakening of the political consciousness of a people and her responsibility to self, society and generation.
It is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that strives to partner with other such NGOs and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in pursuit of the actualisation of its objectives.
OneNationNigeria is a political project aimed at awakening in the people, the domiciled but docile power in numbers for the actualisation of democratic ends.
We, THE PEOPLE, must rise up independently but also in unison to fulfil DESTINY through a determined effort to understanding the VISION of our created nation as an entity for the manifestation of its PURPOSE. Only then can our VOICES be heard, respected and our collective will and wishes adhered to.
We are all independent ‘nations’ within our being. We cannot maximise destiny if we limit our exploits and reach to dependency.
We as a collective must make democracy come alive.
We must save our nation. We must take it back to where it ought to be.
We must rise up, shun apathy and be counted.
There is power in numbers!
1. To bring out the root causes of our divide and try to proffer working solutions for its actualisation.(Rich-Poor, ethnic, tribe, religious and flawed political structure dichotomy)
2. Develop easily assessable and comprehensible voter education templates.
3. To awaken in the people, her role as electorates with regards to her civic duties as a complement to responsive leadership.
4. To imbibe in the people the knowledge of the workings of the primary systems; Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
5. To ignite in the system, a fire for exercising power by taking advantage of her numerical strength in followership to getting things done.
6. To promote a total adherence and subjection to the rule of law.
7. To promote a call for the development and respect for institutions above personalities.
“The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything” –Albert Einstein
To achieve its objectives, the OneNationNigeria project will employ the following methodology.
1. Mass Mobilisation
• Building up of project drivers
• Identification and appointment of target persons
• Establishment of coordinators
2. Enlightenment campaigns
Using both online and physical platforms
• With other NGOs and CSOs
• With political organisations
• With democratic institutions
• With contemporary organisations;
-student groups and unions/organised labour
1. Global Coordinator (GC)
2. National Coordinator (NC)
3. Diasporian Coordinator (DC)
4. National Zonal Coordinators (NZC) (6 geopolitical zones)
5. State Coordinators (SC) (36 States and FCT)
6. State Senatorial Zonal Coordinators (SZC)
7. Local Government Coordinators (LGC)
8. Ward and Polling unit Ambassadors (WPA)
1. Planning, Research and Statistics
5. Info tech and telecoms (web and social media administrators)
6. Finance and administration
1. Formal unveiling, independence march and fire conference. 1st. October 2017
2. National Zonal Conferences. 24/25 November 2017
3. End of year conference to review, appraise and project for the next year. 29/30 December 2017. Abuja.
Civic responsibility simply refers to the responsibility of a citizen to his community and how best the application of this responsibility can positively affect the community.
It is comprised of actions and attitudes associated with democratic governance and Social Participation. Civic responsibility can include participation in government, that is, taking a more than passive interest in the workings of government, critical analysis, advisory etc. Its actions can be displayed in advocacy of various causes, such as political, economic, civil, environmental or quality of life issues.
Since no government can exist or accomplish favourably its tasks without the governed, the act of civic responsibility is therefore a necessity in the successful execution of intended development projects of any administration.
When the people begin to take more than a passive interest in what happens around their environment with actions and attitudes geared towards the effective monitoring of its common wealth, an effectively progressive society is born.
The bane of any democracy is the apathy tendencies attributable to the followership or electorates as the case may be. This is derivable largely due to failures of democratic institutions to fostering the right will of the people at elections but “Planting” whomever the Paymasters anoint.
This negative response by the people have in so many ways created for the failures in democratic institutions since the right people are never seen occupying the offices so designated for them by the people.
The failure therefore by the people is directly responsible for the failure of a state. Show me a failed state/leader and I will show you a people who have shifted away from its civic responsibility especially in the area of positive political attitudes.
This is our core value and this is what we must all rise up to correct.