Need For A People’s Third Force

Need For A People’s Third Force

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to the president and by extension the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, entitled “The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement”, has no doubt opened a new vista in the nation’s polity.  OBJ’s letter and the issues raised thereof have dominated political discussions and even decisions; it has been widely described as a bombshell.  The timeliness of the letter written on Tuesday January 24, was quite apt, owing to the rather premature and mostly insensitive endorsements by persons who claim to be friends of President Buhari.

The endorsements by some governors and party stalwarts led by Nasir el’Rufai, Rochas Okorocha, and Rotimi Amaechi on the one hand, and the South East APC elders, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, amongst others, on the other hand, have rather than appeal to Nigerians, further dimmed the president’s chances come 2019. And while this continued to draw flaks from several quarters, OBJ’s bombshell changed the narratives, giving voice to everyone who was either careful or afraid to speak out.

Earlier, one of the conveners of the Save Nigeria Group, SNG, and former running mate of President Buhari under the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Pastor Tunde Bakare, had also come down hard on the president. Bakare said despite government’s promises on security, job creation and anti-corruption fight, all that is being witnessed are signs of retrogression.

According to Bakare, “This administration anchored its policy outlook on three main thrusts, including security, job creation through diversification, and anti-corruption, yet all around us are signs of retrogression.”

And while the dust was yet to settle, the former president who has a habit of writing ‘telling’ letters, called on all men and women of goodwill to act fast. “We need all hands to move our country forward. We need a Coalition for Nigeria, CN. Such a Movement at this juncture needs not be a political party but one to which all well-meaning Nigerians can belong. That Movement must be a coalition for democracy, good governance, social and economic well-being and progress. Coalition to salvage and redeem our country. You can count me with such a Movement. Last time, we asked, prayed and worked for change and God granted our request. This time, we must ask, pray and work for change with unity, security and progress. And God will again grant us. Of course, nothing should stop such a Movement from satisfying conditions for fielding candidates for elections.

“The Movement must work out the path of development and the trajectory of development in speed, quality and equality in the short- medium- and long-term for Nigeria on the basis of sustainability, stability, predictability, credibility, security, cooperation and prosperity with diminishing inequality. What is called for is love, commitment and interest in our country, not in self, friends and kinship alone but particularly love, compassion and interest in the poor, underprivileged and downtrodden. It is our human duty and responsibility so to do. Failure to do this will amount to a sin against God and a crime against humanity.”

Taking politics away from the letter, it is pertinent to look critically at the issues raised instead. We therefore call on all Nigerians of goodwill to stop playing politics with crucial and precarious national issues especially at a time like this when our unity and survival as a nation is being threatened. The political class must as a matter of urgency desist from unnecessary debates, accusations and counter accusations, buck passing and name calling to ensure that Nigeria is freed from the shackles of hate and bad governance.

“Now is the time for a genuine people’s Third Force to salvage our country – a third force that transcends ethnic, religious and political leanings, but rather one that is genuinely committed to the unity, development and advancement of our country.”

Consequently, we at Aljazirah Nigeria call on all the groups currently springing up, whether Obasanjo’s Coalition for Nigeria, CN, or Ezekwesili and Donald Duke’s Nigeria Intervention Movement, NIM, or any other that may spring up, to endeavour not to toy with the future of Nigeria, but eschew all selfish tendencies to ensure Nigeria comes out of this political doldrums as one united, indivisible country. Nigerians must rise up to save Nigeria!

 

Nigerian Online Newspaper=


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