FEATURE ARTICLE

E O EkeMonday, June 17, 2013
eoeke@aol.com


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THERE WILL BE A COUNTRY: INTRODUCING NIGERIANS FOR CHANGE (CONCLUSION)

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Continued from Part 2

he next stage of this project is to convince the majority of Nigerians who reject the existing order that there is a point in attempt to close the hole in a ship before deciding the shortest route to the agreed destination, for the simple reason that only a viable ship will get to any destination. There will be the usual obstacles, ethnic and religious prejudices to overcome. This is why I have taken the initiative at personal expense to register Nigerians for Change as this organisation and paid the advance for the building of its website. Now it is time for every Nigerian who sincerely wishes Nigeria well to do their part by committing time and resources to achieving the aims and objectives of the organisation.

This association is for Nigerians who want good government in the country and end of institutionalised corruption and impunity. Such Nigerians do not necessarily need to be interested in being elected into political offices but strongly believes that only those who are honest qualified and patriotic should be in government and ready to support them with their time and means. If this is what you want, then Nigerians for change is the organisation that you should join with the view to supporting it because it has been designed to achieve these aims and more in an open, legal and democratic way and manner.

I present this plan to all Nigerians with the hope that many will consider it an organisation worthy of their support with their time and resources by way of membership or simply by financial and political support. As soon as we can raise enough money, the website will go live and any Nigerians can join on line and choose any interest groups (not more than two) he or she would like to belong.

In forming Nigerians for change, I am acutely aware that there are already too many political parties in Nigeria. Nigerian for change is not a political party at this time, even though it may opt to become one if it grows in time and its members decides it is the best way to achieve its aims and objectives. As at today, it is a socio-political organisation for Nigerians who reject the status quo, believe in good government and ready to influence the election of good men into office to enthrone true democratic culture and civil values that would guarantee the development of Nigeria. The thinking is that those who see politics as business can continue in their ethnic and non-ideological political parties as a vehicle to grab power and loot, but we will ensure that the election is true election where the votes of the people count and candidates who get elected would be those people actually voted for. We hope to evolve a mechanism for holding elected leaders accountable to their promises when necessary recalling them when they have lost the trust of the people. It is hoped that after a while, the corrupt politicians will realise that what the people vote for is what they want and the politicians will accept that the nation’s treasury is not for looting, to build mansions, private universities and private jets, but for the development of the country and looking after every Nigerian citizen and enabling them to achieve their potential and make their contribution to humanity.

Nigerians for change hope to set and determine the political agenda and sensitise the voters on what to vote for. It will inform, educate and sensitise the people for change to make Nigeria better. It will enable Nigerians hold leaders to account and ensure that those who break the law or abuse their positions or the constitution are held accountable.

Nigerians for change will give voice and provide the intellectual basis for specific struggle for justice, and equality for all groups. It will champion the struggle to eliminate or make it impossible for people to benefit from corruption and lend its support to marginalisation of ethnic groups, the struggle to end Fulani herdsmen terrorism and environmentally friendly exploration of oil in Niger delta regions that ensures that the people benefit from the proceeds of oil in their region. It will ensure that government take very seriously job creations and empowerment of the people . In order for this to be a reality, Igbos, Hausas, Yorubas, Birons, Ijaws, Ibibios, Effiks Tivs etc., will first of all join Nigerian for change as members and then join an interest group which will serve as power house for generation of policies and debating issues. It is important for Nigerians to remember that in a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria, that groups succeed better when other groups support their aspiration and Nigerian for change will operate on the principle that what is good for the Yorubas in areas of education, health, security, economic empowerment, liberty and equality is good for Hausas, Ijaws Ishekiris etc., and what is injustice to Igbos is also unjust to other ethnic group. Nigerian for change will enable Nigerians see that justice and nation building from the angle of justice as fairness, equality and tolerance and not from ethnic or religious perspectives.

The reality today in Nigeria is that the very corrupt with snared conscience who accept the status quo, are already well organised in different political parties waiting for their chance to loot and wreaks havoc on Nigerians. Some of them are already using their ill-gotten wealth to buy the people and compromise them to support their claim to power. Unfortunately, good and patriotic Nigerians with moral conscience who rejects violence, religious bigotry, inequality of opportunity, toxic ethnic nationality that breeds conflicts, intolerance, terrorism, impunity and institutionalised corruption; remain outside the political system and have only complained. Nigerians for changed is a democratic organisation that is formed to give them a voice, a chance and choice to become players in the Nigerian political arena and help redefine the political philosophy and direction of Nigeria for good.

Several aspects of the operation of the organisation have been considered. How to avoid leadership squabble, ensure that the votes of members determine candidates for elections, prevent a few individuals from taking over the organisation and becoming godfathers, and avoid mismanagement of its resources have been considered. Ways to avoid segregation of issues along ethnic and religious lines has also been articulated. In fact, several short comings in many existing organisation have been examined and strategies devised to prevent them in Nigerians for change. For example, to combat corruption and lack of transparency, the plan is to make Nigeria for change to operate open accounting system by logging all expenses and keeping a record of all donations to the organisation in the website and ensure that the government adopt accounting practices and processes that is known to work in countries that have tackled corruption. This is what the present government can do, but has refused to do so for reasons best known to it.

Nigerian for change is structured so that each ward, senatorial zone or state can function as a franchise of Nigerians for change with the same aims and objectives but free to run their affairs as and how the majority of the members decide as long as they abide by the constitution of Nigerians for change. It will be run like a church that believes in the same values and sings from the same hymn book but free to choose day of worship and time of services to suit the people. It will be up to the people in the region a candidate is representing to choose who represents and no candidate will be imposed on a people by the organisation. In this way there will be fewer avenues for schism to arise and detractors to come in and cripple the organisation by introducing internal conflicts that will lead to endless court cases as we have seen in some political organisations in the country. This is an opportunity for every Nigerian, irrespective of religion, ethnic group, or sexual disposition to be part of a civil organisation that will bring enlightenment, change and progress to Nigeria and sees the whole of Nigeria as its constituency. We have to bring the years of cankerworms to an end.

I was in primary school when Gowon was by Murtala Mohammed and later on February 13 1976. when Murtala Mohammed was assassinated. Since then, very few people with a great sense of entitlement and entrenched religious and ethnic attitude to life have straddled the Nigerian political scene. Obasanjo, Shagari, Buhari, Babangida, Abacha, Chiroma, David Mark, Theophilus Danjuma etc., have dominated the Nigerian political arena. The same people and members of their families have been in charge of Nigeria since its independence and in the period they have been in change, Nigeria has gone from good to bad and now worse. As the country has deteriorated in all indices of development, ruling corrupt elites have grown richer and richer, and the people have become poorer and the society filled with more religion, crimes and violence. The result is the increase in fundamentalism and terrorism with its attendant religious intolerance in the north and epidemic of acquisitive crimes and murder in the south. Nigeria is on a precipice and we cannot afford to continue to leave Nigeria in the hands of those whose actions and inactions created the problems in the first place. Nigeria needs change for the better.

It is inconceivable that in a country of more than 160 million people that a coup plotter who truncated a democratically elected government and imposed a military dictatorship on the country believes that he represents the future and is prepared to seek election into the presidency. Nigeria is a country in which a governor who looted and impoverished his state for 8 years and indicted for fraud will have the audacity to present himself as the future. A country whose future is in the hands of those who abused and looted it for more than 40 years has no future. Nigerians for change is an attempt to give Nigerians hope and a future funded on honesty, civil values, rule of law and equality, constructs on which all great nations are build.

Nigerians for change is a solution focused association. Take corruption, which has become a cancer that has spread to every aspect of Nigerian life for instance. Even though it is generally agreed that it is the most serious problem that Nigeria has to deal with, successive government have failed to provide the leadership needed to eradicate it for the probable reason that they may be complicit in it. Nigerian for change has article a systemic solution to eradicate or bring it under control. The association understands that to tackle corruption in Nigeria the first thing is that the leaders must be interested in fighting it and share the same values with the majority of Nigerians who consider corruption unacceptable and indefensible. This is not the case at the moment if the evidence is anything to go by. It has articulated a policy of sever deterrent for all infringements and empowering sufficiently and reforming existing organisation, like, the police and EFCC set up to fight crimes. The association has also noted the various ways in which the current and past government compromise the police EFCC etc., and would make abolishing it them e and establishment of a regulatory agency to oversee the way the police EFCC and other organisations discharge their statutory functions, electoral issues. It will work for the presidency to lose the power to control EFCC and able to protect his cronies from persecution and make it impossible for any president to ever use national institutions or agencies the way Obasanjo used it and Jonathan currently using it to selectively pursue his opponents while preventing it from going after his friends and cronies. By working for the reorganising, reforming and making the police, EFCC and many similar organisation independent of the presidency and empowering it sufficiently to carry out their statutory duties, Nigerian for change will be working to lay a solid foundation in the war against crimes and corruption in government.

Nigerians for change offers an opportunity for all well-meaning Nigerians to do more than talking and give life to their visions. Anybody who has any ideas about how to make things better should please get in touch. Every idea is welcomed. Doing nothing is not an option. All those who wish to be part of Nigerian for change should get in contact indicating the interest group in the organisation they wish to join. We need to raise millions of Naira in the days ahead and every Idea of how to raise money for good cause is welcomed. We need to contact donors with our vision for Nigeria and be prepared to set aside a little part of our own income every month for the vision. If one million Nigerian set aside five dollars (one 500 to 100 Naira ) every month from now until 2015 for Nigerians for change, we will have enough money to put a president in Aso Rock who gives a dam and prepared to confront corruption with everything at his disposal, 36 ordinary Nigerians as governors who will be ready to bring government and development to their states using Nigerian for change manifesto and many members of the national and state assembly who will be prepared to cut the remuneration of legislators by 50% in 2015. We will transform Nigeria in the first 100days by releasing enough money to kick start the economy using the saving from cutting government spending and investing it in people government partnership programs for jobs, education and health; and by the end of four years: Nigeria will become a country where the world will like to come on holiday.

The people we want to displace have millions but for everything they achieve with a thousand Naira we will be prepared to achieve with 50 Naira or less. All we need is for Nigerians to make commitment to give Nigerians for change a small amount every month so that it can plan for the future. In the next 12 weeks the organisation needs to complete the building of its website which was started some months ago but stopped for lack of fund. The company building the website is Swan Gallagher Limited 83 Leigh Road, Leigh On sea Essex SS9 rt1JN. Chris Sewell is director of swan web, direct line: 01702 482 736 phone: 01702 482730 fax: 01702 471126 email: chris@swan-web.com web. Nigerians for change needs people who would be interested in heading the interest groups and being in charge of the organisations twitter account and Facebook page and managing the web site as editor to indicate their interests on joining.

I believe in this plan to give Nigerians a twenty first century organisation to face twenty first century problems. This plan is workable, but Nigerians must first believe in it and then throw their weight behind it by investing their time and resources in it. We cannot raise an army to liberate Nigeria. However, we can use what we have to put up a strong resistance in a civil manner against the evils destroying Nigeria by taking advantage of the imperfect system. No one will accuse us of treason and use it as a smoke screen to stop us. We are Nigerians who hate the way Nigerian is being destroyed by a corrupt few and have decided to do something about it because we really love Nigeria and have good hearts. We have to start the war against toxic ethnic nationalism, religious intolerance, criminal leadership, institutionalised corruption, terrorism, kidnapping and armed robbery by first working for a good government. It is only a good government that would prioritise these problems and give them the commitment and impetus needed to bring about the necessary change. We cannot remain innocent, if we are in a position to do something positive but choose cold indifference, while our corruption brothers and sister, selfish power crazy and greedy crazy politicians continue to destroy Nigeria. The struggle is to liberate Nigeria from ignorance, impunity, criminal leadership and bad government is as important as the struggle for independence. This is why I am involved.

As soon as the website is completed, Nigerians can be able to register on line and also monitor and follow up the activities of Nigerian for change. Those who are persuaded that this is the right step to take Nigeria forward should contact me by email with any questions they may have. It is hoped that we will be organised enough to make impact in the 2015 general election. Nigerian for change will welcome donation and sponsors. However, what we really want is thousands of good Nigerians who will be ready to sacrifice five to ten dollars every month to support Nigerian for change to enable it plan its activities on a regular income. The next nine months will be used in the recruitment of members and fine tuning of strategy to make impart in 2015 election. Nigerian protest and spam one another with mails complaining about the irrational, unjust and corrupt way and manner Nigeria is governed. Joining Nigerians for Change and registering as members will be a positive step to actually doing something about the terrible state of our country.

As they say, God helps those who help themselves and everything that exist in the world today, first originated in the mind of an individual as an idea which became a dream and later a project. Winston Churchill said in the darkest hour of British history, “if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future”. This is an opportunity to begin the rebuilding of the Nigeria which Achebe lamented was lost in his last book, ‘there was a country’, and confounds those who believe that the black people cannot build a Morden society. There is no better way to give relevance to our existence and restore the dignity of the black man and respect for Nigerian, Nigerians and the black race; than the rebuilding of Nigeria into a stable democracy under the rule of law, where corruption is an anathema and justice as fairness reigns , equality, liberty and tolerance reign supreme. A Nigerian which gives succour to black people and stop the migration of Nigerians to America, Europe and Asia as willing slaves. The choice is now in our hands.

Continued from Part 2

E O Eke is qualified in medicine. At various times he has been a General medical practitioner, Medical missionary, Medical Director and senior medical officer of health in Nigeria. He specializes in child, Adolescent and adult psychiatry and lives in England with his family. His interest is in health, religion philosophy and politics. He cares for body and mind.

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