STATEMENT BY H.E OLUSEGUN OBASANJO ON THE OCCASION OF HIS REGISTRATION FOR COALITION FOR NIGERIA MOVEMENT
Ladies and Gentlemen and members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, I welcome you to this simple but important ceremony of my registering as a member of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement and I thank you for being here.
Image shows former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo
Last week, I issued a statement which I did not do lightly or frivolously but out of deep concern for the situation of our country. I gave an expose on some aspects of our situations as I have observed them. I also took liberty to offer advice politely knowing fully well that my advice could be heeded or may be ignored.
However, heeded or not, I strongly believe that Nigeria cannot continue with business as usual. So, I proffered a way out or a way forward.
If the instruments we have used so far in our nation-building and governance since independence have not served us well, it is imperative that we should rethink and retool. It was Einstein who stated that it would amount to height of folly for anybody or any group to continue to do things in the same way and expect different results.
Coalition for Nigeria Movement is proposed as the new direction to mobilise our population for unity, cooperation, development, rule of law, employment, law and order, justice, integration, peace, security, stability, welfare and well-being. In these regards, special attention and space must be given to youths and women, who in most cases, have been victims and underlings.
I am particularly happy that yesterday, men and women (of all ages) of like minds joined hands to launch Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM). Among many other things that CNM will do is to raise standards generally but particularly standards of political leadership and governance.
Like all countries, Nigeria has many challenges. That, by itself, is not what we should worry about. What should matter is how, when and with what instruments we address or fail to address these challenges or create more problems.
Let me emphasise important areas, programme, priorities, or processes for improved attention. To start with, we seem to have taken nation-building for granted. Nation-building must be given continued attention to give every citizen a feeling of belonging and a stake in his or her country. For instance, the federal character principle, as espoused in our constitution, was to guide the leadership to search for competent holders of major offices to be distributed within the entire nation and avoid the concentration in a few ethnic hands or geographical places as we currently have in the leadership of our security apparatus. To avoid such non-integrative situation, we have the National Assembly and the Federal Character Commission, both institutions which must raise alarm or call for correction of actions by the executive that violates the spirit of our constitution. In like manner, the spate of violence, criminality, organised crime, insurgency and terrorism have not received sufficient proactive ameliorative responses through transformational leadership – a determined leadership that brings cohesion and wholesomeness to the polity. Nobody and no group should feel excluded in his or her own country. Inclusion and popular participation must be visibly pursued in terms of politics, the economy and our overall social life.
We must promote the CNM and mobilize membership all over the country including membership from the Diaspora.
This is an opportunity for women and men, especially youths who have hitherto been feeling marginalised and helpless to go all out and bring friends and families into the CNM fold.
The CNM will remain a popular socio-economic Movement open to all Nigerians who believe in the greatness of Nigeria and are ready to contribute to it.