Skip to main content

Rebuilding Nigeria All Over

October 20, 2010

As a patriotic Nigerian, I feel honoured to announce today that I will be registering as a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). I feel and I know that the ACN has a lot to offer in order to bring about the realisation of the dreams of millions and millions of Nigerians.

As a patriotic Nigerian, I feel honoured to announce today that I will be registering as a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). I feel and I know that the ACN has a lot to offer in order to bring about the realisation of the dreams of millions and millions of Nigerians.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content1'); });

The situation we find ourselves in today calls for drastic measures; measures that are long overdue, but sorely needed. My response to this challenge is to drill deep into the nuggets of opportunities that are clearly manifest in our people’s abundance of talent, creative will, and relentless strength to overcome even the most insurmountable obstacle. That is the direction the new politics of social rebirth in our land must take; a political culture that is able to transport us to lofty heights. To put it in a simple statement:  A New Nigeria is Possible!
Yet to state that nothing works in Nigeria today may appear to be hyperbolic, especially when it comes from someone in a party other than the ruling party and one that is desirous of running for an elective position.  Unfortunately, this is the lamentable truth.

From the deplorable state of our roads, to the non-existence of basic infrastructure essential to development; the comatose education system to the blatant breakdown in security; the glaring lack of electricity to power our industries, and not to talk of the serial failure in sports, science, and society, all thanks to the loud silence of state policy, and the irritating vacancy of the significance of government.

Those in denial only need to take an honest look at the rising tide of poverty and the endless rows of unemployed youth in the land to be jolted back to reality. But are people asking questions?  For enfranchised Nigerians, have we asked the hard questions?  Have we demanded to know what has happened to the mandate we give to successive crops of leaders?  This is the complex beauty in democracy: it achieves fullness and meaning only when we as citizens rise up to the opportunities it provides by demanding for accountability and transparency. We have been on this merry-go-round for too long.  We are busy marking time, while others are racing towards the frontiers of the 21st century.  We have, in our wisdom, perfected the act of collective delusion; describing this flagrant stagnation as progress. In truth, our situation can only be called its rightful name, RETROGRESSION.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content2'); });

We have been fooled.  We have been led astray.  We have been fed on empty pledges by the numerous political parties in Nigeria.  However, in this vast spatial vacuum, there are elements and forces of progress that cannot indulge in vain anger over past failures, that cannot remain endlessly shackled to the ruins of the past, and that cannot wallow forever in self righteous but ineffective clusters. They know that the task to rebuild our great nation is urgent, burning, but inclusive. It is the task of erecting a huge tent that will shelter disparate talents, and multiple voices, all defined by competence, integrity, and vision.
The party of my choice, the ACTION CONGRESS OF NIGERIA, ACN, offers this exciting prospect; and the outlines of its promise are already served by the extraordinary evidence of governance in Lagos and Edo states, to which we can also look forward with interest to developments that will come to Ekiti following the victory of my friend and brother, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, at the courts last week.

Those who have followed my recent facebook comments will recall that I interpret the Ekiti victory as a presage to a glorious presidential victory in next year’s election. The terms of victory will be defined by the full retrieval of our country from failed policies and failed governments.    Yet the significance of the Ekiti victory goes beyond the important promise of a better tomorrow. It includes the restoration of those elemental values of democracy like making our votes count, and the assurance of justice through a fair judicial process.

Change is truly in the air today.  This is the time we need to make our votes count.  This is the time to stand up and lend our voices to the chorus sweeping the land, that Nigeria needs change.  In seeing what we are, we have also seen what we can become.  The era of lofty but barren campaign pledges is over.  The next phase in our nationhood will be decided by our votes, but only if we make those votes count.

This critical message of electoral empowerment is central to the platform of the ACN which understands the ramifications of the failure in the land today, and the policy mix to re-launch our nation to global prominence by placing our youth on the path of global competence and competitiveness.

Youth is primary to the message we advance because their energy, their talents, their creative will, their courage and their venturing spirit will provide the significant cocktail that will fuel the transformation of this land.  At a time when the world is electing youth to leadership, and when we should place huge premium on building a nexus between our youth at home and their peers in the Diaspora as a basis of this scientific and cultural revolution, the value and place of youth in leadership has come under savage attack from some of our political quarters.  

True, youth in itself is not a qualification for leadership but we  speak here of young people with conviction, courage, integrity, competence and the vision of a new Nigeria defined by rebirth from the experience of corrupt and failed leaderships that brought us to our current sorry state.  Thus, the youth we speak of bear such names as Fashola, and Fayemi, and they are in multitudes both at home and abroad. Their only badge of honour is called track-record.

Not long from today I shall make a public declaration of my aspiration, and officially reveal my policy position. The architecture of how to rebuild the second half of the Nigerian century will be the core of that policy platform and I look forward to actively engaging with various segments and communities of our great nation in building this new society of our dream. A NEW NIGERIA IS POSSIBLE!

-Nuhu Ribadu, October 18, 2010