By Ukpola, Okereke Chinedu
The ENDSARS protest signifies a good omen for us all considering the lessons learnt both by the current political ruling class and the others which includes the youths.
The political class have certainly realised that the silence of the people must not be mistaken for weakness. The protest also proved that the Nigeria people knows those who are responsible for their predicaments and these people are belonging to several political parties especially APC, PDP and others some currently acting as godfathers. The Nigeria people also made a clear statement that these people are not from one tribe or state showing that every tribe and state are suffering from the wickedness of these group of people who are solely controlling the political wheel of this country directly or indirectly.
The Nigeria people also made a clear distinction that Nigerians are not fools but intelligent enough to shake this world. This clearly shows why the deep states in Britain, America, France, Russia, China and many other countries out there will not stop meddling with the affairs of this great country called Nigeria through their political puppets positioned in different strategic positions of our government, knowing that once we find our footing,which we will, their slavery dominance over us and our resources will be over. Marking the end of their I’ll gotten wealths.
*The EndSars is not just a protest but marks the inauguration of the birth of a New Nigeria.
*It unveils a strong statement to the international community and their political puppets that their time is up in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
*It marks the beginning of a new Era when integrity, accountability and meritocracy will dominate our affairs and completely wipe away nepotism and corruption.
*The Blood of our innocent compatriots who died in pursuit of this cause has sealed the emergence of this new Era and no effort from our wicked politicians can stop it.
* The EndSars is clearly not about any individual neither President Buhari nor any other but a reaction triggered by a grand corruption, wickedness and irresponsibility in leadership as exhibited by our current political class for over 30 years now in Nigeria.
* The EndSars is a rain pouring from a cloud currently full of water.
Now we must adopt the right strategy as a people to ensure the gains of this protest and the efforts of our courageous youths are not lost to ignorance and disorganization. What we must do now;
EDUCATE ALL NIGERIANS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF VOTES, VOTING AND HOW TO DEFEND OUR VOTES
We must get involved in the political process not just by forming a party which is still okay but we must begin to educate the rest of our citizens on the importance of getting involved in the political process.
Remember Nigeria has over 200million people with over 70percent within the voting age, meaning we need over 140million people for an encompassing political decision as regards to voting of people to political office.
Since 1999, the highest number of people recorded in voting has not exceeded 30million, note, this includes the number added through rigging across the country. Meaning on the actual just less than 10percent of Nigerians get involved in the voting process since 1999, that’s why vote buying makes an impact and rigging is a lot easy. if we can get about a 100million more Nigerians involved into the voting or electoral process, it means our current corrupt politicians who incidentally are our opponents in birthing a New Nigeria, will need to multiply their “rigging budget” by more than 10times their current budget and the number of voters will surely give them problems to rig. Remember and note this, the bad elements in our society (Nigeria) are in the minority, only the hungry and poor compliments their number during the period of election. Which is why this current politicians will continue to withhold the money and food from circulating, thereby keeping many poor, because they have seen it as a viable strategy in manipulating the peoples will.
HOW TO ACHIEVE THIS:
We need to involve credible groups to carry out this assignment, we have several NGOs that are genuinely involved in governance and anti corruption fight, both at the federal and the subnational level. These people have integrity and majority of these groups are not involved in corrupt practice from my experience, I have worked with many of them in Open Government Partnership (OGP) and in the development of the National Anti Corruption Strategy document NACs. Though we still have some bad eggs within the NGO circle whose god is their belly, but I know Majority of them truly desire a better and New Nigeria. Engaging them with the right support for this mobilization and public education will get the work done within a year of course with proper M&E plan.
IMMEDIATE PRESSURE ON THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND THE EXECUTIVES FOR THE REVIEW OF THE ELECTORAL ACT AND AMENDMENT OF RELEVANT SECTIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION THAT BOTHERS ON THE ELECTORAL PROCESS BEFORE THE END OF 2021
This point is as urgent as the first one, the current electoral act does not give room for implementing innovations that will help us curb rigging and waste of resources during elections. Such innovations as ELECTRONIC VOTING, if we implement this in its entirety, Nigeria as a nation will not only save us a lot of resources but will also curb rigging to the highest degree. The amendment of the electoral act is currently before the senate, and the current president of the senate has promised that they will give it a quick attention. But believe me, there are a lot of forces who doesn’t want this electoral act amended because that’s one of their major strongholds against the Nigeria people. So, if we must birth the New Nigeria of our dream we must push for the amendment of the electoral act and if necessary protest if they refuse to pass and sign this amendment by the end of 2021. We must begin to cut off their strong holds otherwise it doesn’t matter the number or quality of youths you put in to contest these people will win you, they have mastered their game and they have their tools in place, one them is the current electoral process powered by the current electoral act.
DISCREDIT ALL POLITICIANS CURRENT AND PAST THAT HAS FAILED THIS COUNTRY AND APPLAUD THOSE WHO HAVE DONE WELL, USE THEIR STORIES OF CORRUPTION OR HEROISM AS LESSON POINTS TO EDUCATE ALL NIGERIANS TO THE SHAME OF THE CORRUPT ONES AS WELL AS AN AVENUE TO ENTHRONE MERITOCRACY
This we must begin immediately, so that we will reverse the value system which is currently in a mess. A lot of our public offices are currently occupied by men with corrupt records, men and women you cannot clearly explain their source of wealth, if you ask them what they do their answer is ” am a Politician”. People go into political office to steal, many of our Governors and former governors are thief’s, broad day light thieves, but nobody is bold to bring them to book because all others around them are also guilty as charged or at the best accomplices. Intelligent Nigerians and men and women of integrity are now relegated to the back seats giving room to corrupt and irresponsible people. We must reverse this trend through proper public enlightenment.
DRAW OUT BRIEF BUT CLEAR PICTURE OF THE NEW NIGERIA WE ENVISAGE AND MAKE IT CLEAR FOR ALL NIGERIANS TO SEE AND UNDERSTAND EVEN IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGES.
This is a very important step, people find it difficult to identify with a vision they don’t understand. We must draw out a clear national plan or whatever structure we believe will bring about this New Nigeria of our dream. Believe it, everyone in Nigeria wants a better Nigeria, both those in the North and those in the south, the agitations you see are not against north or south but its their way of speaking out loud that they want a better Nigeria. I am opportune to lead a group that has over a million members drawn from different parts of the country North and South covering over 31 states, one thing I can boldly tell you is that the Northerners as well as the Southerners want a better and New Nigeria. I relate with these people daily I know what I am saying. But you can’t get them all together to follow except their is a clear picture of where we are going. Everyone must know and see how this new Nigeria must impact on their well being, before they will follow. So its an enormous task, but we can get it done. we must make the vision clear and properly communicate it to every part of the country from the grassroot using their language.
PUSH AND ADVOCATE FOR A LEADERSHIP MODEL THAT ENCOURAGES MENTORSHIP AND CHOOSE THE RIGHT LEADERS
The problem of leadership is not just because they are not youths after all we have Governors and other people in political positions who are youths and some of them are worse than the people you consider as not youth, the governor of Kogi state for example is a youth but is considered by many one the worst governors you can think of, though its possible as they say that he is just a pawn being used by some people to siphon the money of Kogi state, but he is youth, that yielded himself to be used against his people. We have several other youths serving as Special advisers who draw out crazy strategies against their states and Nation with no single courage to work for the good of their people, such people even if you put them as governors they will function like their mentors.
Aside political offices ,some youths are also involved in journalism and many other sectors, like Sowore and many others who were has been used as viable tools by APC and PDP people against our nation. Such people who have yielded themselves knowingly or unknowingly to these wicked politicians to be used against us are now weak link, that these wicked politicians can use to destroy us anytime if they are positioned in sensitive government positions.
What I am saying is that we must painstakingly select leaders with good and impeccable track records, people with good records in business or other sectors, governance at all levels is pure business, someone who has not successfully handled a business or a position in an organization cannot successfully govern a state or Nation. We need to present people who are successful and patriotic, who has not been used against us as Nation either directly or indirectly.
The days of emancipation is here, we prayed, fasted and our youths have spilled their blood, even God knows we deserve a new and better Nation Nigeria, and that we will have. Let us all arise and participate in birthing and nursing a new Nigeria to full reality.
I encourage everyone to go to CNC website- www.CNCengage.org -and take a look at the CNC Town Hall structure to be adopted in every Local government for the enhancement of peoples participation in governance from the grassroot.
Thank you all and God bless Nigeria.
Ukpola is Executive Director, Initiative for Leadership Foundation (ILF) and National President, CNC