…And another platform, ANN seeks registration
A new political party that promised to change the direction of democracy in Nigeria by engaging technocrats and professionals rather than traditional professional politicians, has applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for registration.
According to the new platform, professionals who have recorded successes in their personal endeavours ought to be actively involved in the process of governance by contributing their quota to national development for the country to move forward from its current state.
This group of new breed politicians, which intends to introduce technocracy, a form of government driven by successful technocrats in various fields, said it has identified professional politicians as major obstacles to the development of representative governance in Nigeria.
During an encounter with The Guardian last weekend, representatives of the group said their desire is to invite young entrepreneurs and experts to join in the floating of a new political platform, the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) which it said has almost crossed the hurdle of registration as a political party.
Speaking on behalf of the group, its Interim National Coordinator, Dr. Jay Osi Samuels said the new platform would comprise technocrats and successful entrepreneurs, young and old, who would be drawn from across all the states of the federation.
He said, “We are looking at a situation whereby we can encourage a lot of technocrats who also have management and leadership skills. Instead of leaving our country in the hands of professional politicians whose stock in trade is to help themselves. They have been taking us for granted. Some of us are quite capable of lifting this country up and we must get together and do it now.”
Samuels, an Harvard-trained international health development expert and medical doctor also disclosed that the process of capturing not less than 10 million Nigerians from within and the Diaspora is already on in all the local councils across the country and some selected venues abroad.
He said the ultimate aim of the group is to entrench technocracy, a government run by experts and technocrats, in the country’s political space and put an end to the vice-grip of professional politicians on Nigeria’s polity.
His words: “Technocracy is a system of government that relies on decision-making of professionals, scientists and engineers to drive the process of governance. With Nigeria’s abundant human resources, we cannot have shortages of technocrats who are ready to lift the country up.”
According to Samuels, who said the ANN would have a shot at elective posts in the 2019 general elections, “the party is on the verge of registration by INEC as we have supplied all the information they required of us.
“Nigerians complain about virtually everything in their daily lives but nobody is ready to bell the cat. That is why we come out at this critical period to save the situation. If we don’t do this, our children and grandchildren will not forgive us for leaving for them, a country that doesn’t work.”
Stressing that Nigeria is too rich a country for its endowed citizenry to continue wallowing in abject poverty, Samuels said, “ANN wants to create a new space and opportunities to showcase a good leadership in Nigeria.
“In 2019, we want Nigerian to have a choice and make our party that credible choice. We want to do away with professional politicians and create a pool of professional to drive development process.
“In 2015 we were stuck with two alternatives and by all accounts, those two options were not palatable for most of us. But people still made a choice and that choice is the reason why we are here today. Now we are going to 2019 and we may not even be able to have the choice of a platform because we believe that the two major political parties are nonexistent. That is why we are creating a credible platform that people can have hope and trust in to lead Nigeria out of the current situation we are in.”
While expressing optimism about the success of the venture, Samuels said, “About 70 percent of our population don’t participate in politics and they are our target. We are coming out with programmes to woo this important segment of our demography.”
According to him, the movement will be driven by the ideology of egalitarianism, true federalism, devolution of power and social justice to bring Nigeria, which growth he said “is being stunted by unconcerned but greedy politicians,” out of the woods.
He said the emerging political group has the likes of Akin Fatunbi, Ibrahim Kanti, Ndubuisi Uka, Richard Samuels, Pastor Ben Irabor and many other young technocrats and professionals from across the country as its driving force adding that, “when we started as a group, we had a longer vision beyond 2019 but recent events are pushing us to focus on the next election.”
He expressed dismay that “the same set of people that are ruining the country all along are still around,” adding, “we want to retire and replace the old politicians and the old order.
“The difference between the group we are putting together and the other groups is that the professional politicians don’t have any other means of livelihood. They want to be put in a particular position, make money and that is it. But we have the perspective of coming to serve; it is open to everybody.
“We are looking at students, young adults and young professionals and they are the ones that form the bulk of the 70 percent of our population that do not participate in politics and we have strategies already to make them to participate. So, what we are doing is packaging ourselves as a body that will be irresistible to that segment of society.”
He said there is a great difference between the new group and the old politicians adding, “among us, there is no moneybag, there is no godfather and in fact, we are packaging ourselves as a product that will be appealing and we know for one that Nigerians are disenchanted and that they don’t want to see the same old people in another garb.
“If you are coming to join us and we know that you are a godson to so and so person we are wary of you. There is no political bigwig and we are coming to do something different that Nigerians have never experienced before. We are going to tax our members to give the party the required financial muscles.
“Beyond that we have members who are contributing their personal finances, members who can easily come up with N50 million or N100 million and we have people who within their own network, can bring money. So, we know what we are up against. Like I said we are not playing the game they playing, we are playing differently.”