Wednesday, 29 March 2017

A New Nigeria is Possible; It Needs You.

I felt it's very imperative we put together some of our recent findings in a new book to help strenghten the capacity of ordinary people to demand for a new society that is inclusive.
A new society built on a shared struggle and shared identity to lift ordinary people out of poverty.

This project looks at the internal political, social, economic processes and  how we can harness external influences for the good of the country.

 No doubt, our politics is dysfunctional and needs urgent change. This is a big challenge to the political leaders, civil society and other stakeholders in the Nigeria project.
 The ascent out of poverty to prosperity requires embracing change not the status-quo.

I have argued strongly that decentralisation is inevitable and should be top agenda of the government, not the next elections. However this needs informed citizenry who will put pressure on the government and political leaders to embrace 'updating and modernisation' of current rules and institutions including the constitution to address our development challenges.

According to Professor, Sir, Paul Collier; "The world's problems have changed and so mandates really need to be changed to reflect that". It must not be business as usual where the nation's resources is used to service the elites who weild power using violence.

Those we put in power have a fundamental duty to provide jobs for people. 'Providing jobs is an economic phenomenon'; the very basic responsibility of government at all levels. If you cannot provide jobs for the people, why are you in government?. Why do you want to remain in government? You don't need a second mandate to do that. If you cannot provide jobs for the people; you simply deny them human dignity. It's not rocket science, it only requires intergrity and committment.

I learnt that people were selling their voter card for Five Thousand Naira in Anambara State(N5,000.00) . "Poverty, combined with lack of opportunity for self-betterment, creates it's own form of desperation"- Save The Children.
Basically, this is what the politicians want to put ordinary people in a very poor conditions not to make informed choices.
The politicians must see job creation as a basic right of ordinary people as their entire well-being including retirement benefits depends on jobs. The people want jobs, not the next election. Nigeria is an oil economy, we should do more to provide for ordinary people instead of using the nation's resources to provide for just few elites playing divisive politics. Jobs should be the priority of government not the next elction.

 Decentralisation/ Regional Autonomy is the only solution to our national problems, however nothing happens unless we have got an informed citizenry willing to 'put pressure on politicians' to do something about it.
 Decentralisation will free up resources that is used to service few elites- Executive, Legislators, Autocratic Governors, unproductive civil service and parastatals ,etc.
Decentralisation will facilitate scale and specialisation, massive investment in pioneering and public infrastructure for modernity.

 A look at our system shows we are still at the planning stage, no single smart city, no good connectivity, no electricity, no broadband, the local government area is dead, etc.

 There is urgent need to integrate the diaspora to secure the best and brightest as the diaspora bring in new skills , attitudes and investments that will definitely benefit the society. This will only happen in peaceful and stable polity, not in an enviroment infested with violence, insecurity and instability. Nigeria's global diaspora is numbered at 15 million, that's quite huge.

                   Building  A New Nigeria on A Shared Struggle And
                   Shared Identity,  will be published soon.
                  Get a copy on Amazon soon .

This project  could help the beginning of a new conversation about a new Nigeria that is inclusive. This conversation needs informed citizenry. This conversation needs you. We know it's a struggle, it's tough, but  it's possible.
 Even the people they normally send to kill ordinary people demanding for change are now getting tired of the entire system. They are not even sure of their retirement benefit in the future. So whats the point of fighting to protect a false system that does not guarantee you and your children a better future.

This system must be changed.

Uche Okeke

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