WHAT Is The State of The Nation?
– In six weeks time, if INEC does not change its calendar, there will be a general election in this country.
– General Elections are moments of national decision making in any representative democracy.
– Nigeria opted for a civilian government in this republic after 15 years of military rule: from one General to another.
– Military rule did not improve citizens standard of living; nor did it give us freedom; it only gave us a few big men who became wealthy and unaccountable at our expense. It produced the billionaire generals. And you know them, don’t you?
– Yet some people say that military dictatorship gave us security, law and order. But they forgot that it also gave us coups, firing squads, and counter coups. Is that stability?
– The military itself accepted its own failure when it bowed to pro-democracy pressures mounted by the people to hand over power to civilians in 1999.
– Twenty Two years of civilian rule has not produced the benefits of democracy that we all dreamed of.
– The two dominant political parties that have been in power in the last 22 years are the PDP and the APC.
– Between the two of them the result has been the same for the Nigerian masses:
› Enriching politicians and impoverishing the people; making their families prosper and the rest of us wretched; and using their associates to siphon off public money, while the rest of us sink deeper into poverty.
› Insecurity is now a regular way of life.
› Crimes, criminality, drug abuse, prostitution, and urban violence no longer shock anyone.
› Youth unemployment is at an all time high, and growing side by side with the population.
› Family income for the majority can’t provide their daily bread. Many homes are facing starvation on daily basis.
› Government itself has accepted that poverty has increased in the country. What it is yet to accept is the fact that wealth has greatly increased among its ranks, especially the fat cats.
THE Question is, what did they promise us when they first assumed office?
– To improve the economy, the value of the Naira, the quality of life.
– To create jobs for the youth.
– To defeat terrorism and reclaim territories occupied by terrorists in the North-East.
– To drastically reduce, if not eliminate, corruption in government.
President Buhari’s famous quote was: ‘If Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria’.
Where are we today?
HAS the regime not failed?
Look at your lives and ask yourselves, are we better off?
Surely, we are not.
THEN we must ask, what is wrong with the Nigerian ruling class that it cannot produce development?
– What is wrong with the PDP, the APC, and the leadership of the Labour Party (that is an offshoot of both), that collectively they have produced the worst form of poverty in just 22 years? while in that same period the Chinese were able to lift four times Nigeria’s population (850 million) out of absolute poverty in their land.
THE answer is part of the reason why we have assembled here.
WHY This Mass Mobilisation Congress?
1. We are here to say No to poverty as a permanent way of life.
2. We are here to say that we cannot cooperate in our own exploitation by voting for the same people and political parties that have ruined our present and stolen the future of our children.
3. We are here to say that we are opposed to the four weapons that the dominant parties have used to entrench poverty amongst our people. These are:
1. Taking government property, under the cover of privatisation, and turning it into private property for the benefit of greedy billionaires.
2. Rreckless borrowing from abroad, and at home, in the name of ghost projects that add little or no value to the lives of the masses, and yet impose a debt burden on us for generations to come.
3. Grand corruption at every level and tier of government, making it it impossible to transact normal business with government agencies without undue cost to the citizen.
4. Using public office to acquire large expanse of land at the expense of the ordinary people; while absentee farmers now rule the rural areas; with unoccupied luxury mansions spread across our major cities, where homelessness has become a common currency. Urban poverty is a breeding ground for violent crimes and political thuggery.
In short, less than one percent of Nigerians now own nearly all the property in the country, while the rest of us struggle over what is left.
This kind of unjust social system cannot guarantee democracy, human rights, freedom or good quality of life to the masses. It can only waste people from generation to generation.
How long can this continue?
OUR Alternative Program is the answer.
This is based on our diagnosis of the core problem.
– First will be security sector reform. We will purge corrupt and self serving officers from all branches of our security architecture; and promote exemplary officers, giving them quality training and good reward; including security of tenure and guaranteed welfare in retirement. In essence, world class professionalism is our security sector reform mission. But this will be citizens friendly and community embedded.
– We will reverse and probe the privatisation exercise, and seek to bring back strategic national assets such as electricity, telecommunications, iron and steel industry, and petroleum under purposeful state control and shared management.
The big private sector will exist and complement the public sector, but it will not profit at its detriment.
– Thirdly, we will probe all foreign and domestic state debts; and freeze further borrowing, while ditching all unverifiable and dubious debts. Let those who procure them pay with their stolen assets.
– Fourthly, we will restore government to its leading role as regulator and essential public service provider; common owner and manager of the strategic sectors of the economy. This will give a new lease of life to the public service, and restore its prestige and sense of purpose, unlike today where civil servants go to the office not knowing what they are there for, as they have lost all sense of purpose under a deliberate programme of public sector destruction, disguised as public sector reform.
Our fifth policy proposal is to decisively deal with grand corruption. Here we intend to introduce the death penalty for anyone who embezzles N50 million and above. Amounts below this threshold will attract between five years and life imprisonment, depending on the gravity of the offence and the sum involved. In all instances there will be no option of fine. And assets recovery will be fully enforced. This is to make grand corruption very costly to the life of the corrupt, and fighting it attractive to the state.
Corrupt free and technically competent officials will be the Brahmins of the public service. As stated earlier, reward, tenure security, and retirement benefits will be made competitive and assured. For us, pensioners will co-manage their pension schemes, and seniors who have served the nation well will not be left to die as paupers. To so do is a crime against public service ethics.
Item six is the core. It is education. This is a human right. It is not a privilege in this century. Without it Nigeria will have no future. Therefore public education at all levels will function as a human right. That means, it is not a free favour of government, it is your justiciable right as a citizen to have it from pre-primary to university level.
Then there is land reform. Agriculture cannot prosper if peasants don’t have access to land, or if our land tenure system is not transformed. Here we will beat down the steps and procedures for peasants to access cooperative land and certificates of occupancy that can be used to acquire farming loans and related benefits.
And then we will bring back life into local governments and rural cooperatives as vehicles for improving farming and transforming agriculture generally.
There is more to be said. But this is what I can offer in 15 minutes. We will print out party program in our own tongue for all of you to digest and propagate.
With what I have said you can now see why our politics must be one of opposing the system and not joining it.
Our alliance with the AAC is therefore built around shared interest in the politics of uplifting the living standards and social rights of the working masses. It is this same politics that produced the historic PRP governments of Kano and Kaduna states in the second republic. We not only have done it before, we can do it again by, using the language of Aminu Kano, which is to say, “Na ki”, that is, “No” to oppression and exploitation.
We will not vote for more poverty and economic collapse, as the World Bank have forecasted for Nigeria in 2023.
We must protest by voting for the Alliance of Redemption: that is, the PRP-AAC Alliance. This is the beginning of the left front that we have been trying to build across the country. It is the beginning of the ballot revolution to transform Nigeria into a country fit for the good life in this century.
PRP-AAC ALLIANCE NASARA!
PRP-AAC ALLIANCE VICTORY!