For the avoidance of doubt and to clear the air about some claims that Sowore is claiming a larger-than-life status, it is important to state that neither Sowore nor the TakeItBack Movement is scared of a Selection Process for a Consensus Candidate to lead the revolutionary charge of over 100 million young people of Nigeria. But our perspective to this United Front remains that people must be guided ideologically. We are not 'entitled' to power because we are young. We must TAKE power because we are responsible and we would be responsible for it.
It is in this clarity, I would highlight the actions and inactions of the Movement chronologically.
- The Movement dodged the CUPP bullet by refusing to answer the call of 5 member parties who were calling tirelessly for Sowore to declare under their platforms.
- The Movement ALLOWED its Convener to be part of the PACT Meeting of July 31st.
- The Convener, Omoyele Sowore portrayed the qualities of a leader who is not bigger than the Movement by giving a report of the meeting to the Movement.
- Weeks after, the Working Committee of TiB then released a Statement citing concerns about the selection process and giving recommendations to PACT on how best this working alliance could serve the oppressed Nigerians who are yearning for good representation.
- PACT never replied to address these concerns. Instead, an article titled 'Is Sowore working to destabilize the 2019 Youth Consensus Agenda?' rented the air.
- What were the concerns raised?
1. Concerns about Commitment to support ANY consensus candidate that emerges: We note that several of the members of PACT belong to CUPP or are members of the PDP. As a movement, we cannot commit to a process that would require that our movement should support ANY candidate with direct or indirect ties to the PDP.
2. Concerns that the selection process excludes the Nigerian people: As a progressive movement we believe the Nigerian people should have a say in who their leaders should be. Instead of a process that places the fate of Nigerians in the hands of less than 20 people.
- What recommendations were given?
OUR RECOMMENDATION FOR THE WAY FORWARD TO A DEMOCRATIC CONSENSUS
1. Continue with party primaries: The 17 youth presidential candidates belong to about 6 political parties, including PDP, YPP, ANN, ANRP, AAC and others. After the party primaries, which must all end by October 7th, based on the INEC timetable, the number of contestants would have been reduced through a democratic process to no more than 6 candidates.
2. Evaluate the strength of party organization through the congresses and party convention: A consensus youth candidate that will defeat the APC and PDP must have a formidable level of support, structure and organization. The party primaries will allow Nigerians to observe the organizational capabilities of all the candidates.
3. Coalition Building Efforts are Continuing: We have continued to drive forward with our efforts for a United Front, not just with PACT, but with other political parties and organizations. We are glad to announce that Change Nigeria Party (CNP) is now part of our Coalition. Talks are ongoing with two additional parties - the radical section of NCP and NAC.
In my understanding, the Movement maintained that to have a Consensus Candidate that would rebel against these old guards, such candidate must show capacity and political capital.
This must be a candidate that can mobilize 1000 people without sweating or paying through his or her nose.
This should not be a candidate that can't attend his party Congress for the fear of a 'masquerade'.
Great Nigerian Youths! It is not for us to rejoice that the United Front isn't working NOW. Maybe ww do not know. We are not doing either Sowore or any other young aspirant a 'favour' by supporting them. Remember it is OUR COUNTRY and FUTURE.
Now that the cards are scattered, I am of the opinion that for a United Front, we would have to go back to the drawing board considering the above recommendations of the TakeItBack Movement open-mindedly.
Having been the seer in the political sphere for some time now, Sowore should be trusted by Nigerians for his discerning mind to deliver good governance.
By now we should be sure that he would always be AWARE, unlike Buhari.
Shall we share the Grace in fellowship?
- Adeyeye Olorunfemi