The sorry state of our country today caused by dismal failure of leadership at all levels of government has revealed the thorough decay of the Nigerian state. If left unchecked, this level of decay could unravel the country’s core institutions and structures, ultimately leading to our losing the nation-state itself. The situation has exposed the country as overtly polarised, with a near-complete absence of ideology and moral authority within the two major political forces—the APC and the PDP.
Measures so far taken by the two parties have been no more than a facade of token gestures which did little or nothing to resolve our basic developmental problems. Instead, the masses of Nigeria became victims of their governments’ policies and practices, becoming unable to feed, house, clothe and educate themselves or treat their ailments engendering in the populace a sense of hopelessness, helplessness and a devastating psychological feeling of loss of stake in a system that effectively alienates them. This naturally creates a class issue of “the elites and the masses”, with high volatility; thereby, in turn, creating the conditions for a tinderbox of social unrest, violence and insecurity.
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In addition to the poor policy drives of the two leading parties, being only lawful vehicles to attain political power, the advent of the Buhari-led administration, by its acts of commission and/or omission, further gave rise to ominous politics of venality, ill-will and resentment, literarily fomenting into a poisoned chalice which every Nigerian will, if not halted, eventually tragically have to drink from.
Thus, within the last decade, national fault-lines have both widened and sharpened against each other more than ever before, with increasing number of ungoverned spaces all over the country; poverty at an all-time high and a mindset of “us and them” is dangerously growing in the consciousness of citizens, including school children – North against South, Christians against Muslims, ethnic nationalities with their sentiments against one another, etc. Even more worrisome is that these phenomena created in the country one of the world’s deadliest terrorist organizations (Boko Haram/ISWAP), and equally deadly ethnic bandits and separatist groups and warlords across all regions. Hence, Nigeria is today home to some of the deadliest violent crimes, banditry, kidnappings and separatist groups.
Therefore, to rebuild the Nigerian State is not just about reforming the electoral process or getting the Buhari regime out or even about restructuring the system. Rather, it is about beginning a new a determined drive of recovering diminishing national patriotic fervor; transcending arguments and settling national disagreements; reducing azimuth of conflict and the rise and tide of ethnic and religious extremism and sectarian separatism; reorienting the democratic political narrative and statehood; and reclaiming the loss stance of our people’s economic, educational and scientific self-reliance.
This is an initiative that only genuine patriots from all parts of the country can undertake to rescue the Nigerian State from ultimate collapse, by interposing, across the country and even within the two major parties, a national patriotic structure that will substantially weaken the two extremes by drawing out and bringing in the best Nigerians from each and every part of the country for the formation and emergence of a new national platform to fill the vacuum of quality ideas in administrative and political structures, economy, governance, development, and national consensus and integration. For this purpose, a movement is to be formed and, for example, called League of National Democrats (LND).
LND is to be a movement for reclaiming Nigerian nationhood, expanding the national and local democratic spaces, and restoring the foundational ideals, values and norms upon which Independent Nigeria emerged. PDP and APC, the only two political parties that formed national governments under the 1999 Constitution, have muddled the national political climate generating the current sorry state of the country. The LND Movement, to comprise and be aided by real statesmen and proven nationalists, core patriots, good democrats, and morally bound politicians, is to change orientation of our populace towards the country and its politics; entrench participatory democracy and institutional collaboration and cooperation with civil society and public intellectuals groups, media activists/social media influencers, nationalists of socio-cultural organisations, and youth and women groups; and transform people’s options and choices at elections polls into a developmental tool for the public. To this end, no matter what anyone would say, real patriots must have to come forth and push for it to rescue our people and country.
The Strategic Core Vision and Mission of LND will be to build an immense pan-national momentum that will either transform into a political party or takeover one to create a fighting chance in 2023. By also devising strategic pathways of weakening the two pre-eminent forces, which isn’t going to be difficult as both parties are on low moral grounds, and taking the best out of each of them to create a third force for a new national political rebirth, the movement stands a greater chance at this point in time of gaining the country’s support and democratically taking over the mantle of power. Third Force here does not mean a temporary intervention platform that addresses periodic crises of governance, but as a permanent feature of the Nigerian post-colonial state, a party of patriotic affinity, nationalist ideology, moral strength and authority, and deep philosophical prescience.
The first step towards the formation of League of National Democrats lies in constructing a League of Southern Democrats across the three geo–political zones of the South, and League of Northern Democrats across the three geo-political zones of the North. These two leagues will fashion out common grounds on what the North and South seek from the Nigerian enterprise. Then the two leagues will engage in consultations, conciliations and negotiations to filter out common aspirations between the North and South, and then engage on issues of differences. These leagues of democrats will keep on debating among themselves until they resolve the contradictions between the North and South, and then form a unified League of National Democrats. The LND will have a Reading Theme as its symbolic logo. The logo places the significance of education against ignorance in society, and light to brighten our perennial dark political environment.
We need therefore to look out for serious minded Nigerians with capacity, knowledge, integrity and courage to join and form this strong political bloc for the rebuilding of this country. Charlatans, opportunists, mediocres and cowards are uninvited but requested of their votes. To succeed, this initiative needs a foremost and purposeful nationalist of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s stature to convene, lead and guide its formation and operation.
Ardo sent this piece from Abuja.