TNA inducts 300 volunteers in Southeast, as stakeholders back call for new Nigeria
Determined to play a prominent role in shaping the political choices of Nigerians come 2023, The Nigeria Agenda, an advocacy group for a nation devoid of ethnic and religious biases adopted by a coalition of over 50 civil society organisations across the country, has inducted over 300 volunteers in the Southeast geo-political zone of Nigeria.
The newly inducted TNA volunteers are to engage people at the grassroots in constructive dialogue in propagating the values of a Nigeria pivoted on the ideals of unity, equity, inclusiveness and good neighbourliness.
Speaking during the induction ceremony and the launch of the The Nigeria Agenda, which took place at Hilton Hotel, Awka, Anambra State, Convener of the TNA and former Commissioner for Information in Adamawa State, Malam Ahmad Sajoh, said the country is at a very critical point where the choice of our leaders can no longer be left in the hands of politicians alone.
“Because that singular democratic choice can be the decider of our dear country, Nigeria, it could be the difference between life and death, progress and retrogression,” Sajoh said.
“The singular choice of who leads is the difference we are seeing in Dubai, Singapore, China and Malaysia today. So we must get it right or burst. We must pick a leader who is young enough to inspire us, brilliant enough to chart the way and totally Nigerian in order to give everyone a sense of belonging and fairness, not a leader who sees the country from his small ethnic prism,” he added.
Speaking in the same vein, Niyi Akinsiju, Chief Advocate of the TNA, called on Nigerians to eschew sentimental divisions that erode the basis of our unity.
“We should rise above the base sentiments that continue to hold us down and, in doing this, we have to be suspicious of the intents of politicians that exploit these sentiments by planting seeds of discords and divisions amongst the people just for them to corner and secure political power. We must establish a system that enthrones competence rather than primordial religious or ethnic sentiment.”
Julius Ogunro, Consultant and Strategist to The Nigeria Agenda, in his presentation at the induction ceremony, highlighted the values and attributes that can make the Nigerian nation the leading light of the African continent and potentially a super power in the committee of nations:
“We have every material asset inclusive of a culture and capacity to realise our individual and collective goals if we are determined to apply ourselves and properly guided by the right kind of leadership,” he asserted.
For Chief Jerry Nwohu, National Leader and Chief Mobiliser of the National Prosperity Movement (NPM), ensuring national prosperity is the responsibility of all citizens working objectively together to achieve the goals of peace, unity and prosperity for all through a properly inspired and qualified leadership.
Also speaking in support, Prof. Chukwuemeka Jaja Nwanebo, who was the guest speaker on the occasion, said that Nigeria has to get the kind of leader Nigerians can tolerate.
“The way out is for members of society to decide that enough is enough, not by killings or carrying placards, but by good knowledge and voting. We must decide that by 2023, our vote must count. We must decide the quality of leaders that would take us to our destination,” he affirmed.
Nwanebo further emphasised the need to avoid hate and divisive speech or false information, saying: “We must steer clear from divisive tendencies used by the politicians to cause division among the people and other civil society organizations. Fighting one another will only escalate our problems hence the need to correlate and cooperate for better prosperity.”
According to the political scientist, prosperity is possible when we deal with our mind-set and set the compass for a change of good governance.
Another speaker, Dr. Cliff Ogbede, stressed the need for all stakeholders in the nation’s politics to work in unison to foster prosperity of the nation.
“We must understand that everyone is affected by the ills of a wrong leader. Time and chance permits us to go for a leader who is passionate for future and advanced development,” he stated.
Lady Chinwe Nwakeze, the women leader for Afa Ìgbò Bu Ofu, a political organization in the Southeast, reiterated the urgency for all to get permanent voters card (PVC) to allow them exercise their legal franchise, while Dr. Chris Eluomonoh, a participant at the last National Conference urged old politicians to step aside and allow young, energetic people to pilot the affairs of the country.
He insisted that former Nigeria Vice President Abubakar Atiku and one-time governor of Lagos and current National Leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, should take the back seat and allow younger and more vibrant leaders to take Nigeria out of the woods.
“I can’t really understand what is happening. What business do Atiku and Tinubu still have in the leadership of Nigeria,” he asked.
“Do we want a case where they will sleep on the files sent them to be treated?
“I am 73 and I feel I have taken all that I needed from the country. Why must we continue to recycle those who belonged to the independence era, short changing other generations?”
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.