To Batter or Better Nigeria, Choose One?

Every Nigerian whether living at home or in the Diaspora has got to worry a lot about home. The reasons are obvious. The ship of state is seriously drifting, and the destination is unknown. Matters are made worse by the fact that we don’t know how long our country will drift.

I am writing this piece in respect to recent publications/interview about Nigeria by two prominent Nigerians, one being former ex vice president (Atiku Abubakar) and the present Edo state Governor (Adams Oshiomhole). I will start with Atiku, since I consider him a senior politician.

According to Guardian newspapers of Sunday, November 23 2008, online version. Atiku said that, “This government has failed; he described the Yar’Adua’s administration as a failure, since nothing positive is happening in the country”. He told the Guardian in the interview that, “I have no business with this government, the only thing I know is that nothing works, no electricity, how many towns and cities in this country that have pipe borne water? There are no roads, nothing is going on”. He was kind enough to admit that the past administration which he served as the Vice president didn’t do much, alleging that the attention of their own administration was diverted. I think Atiku did a good job here to refresh the minds of Nigerians, and also to reinstate the obvious about the wastages and setbacks their administration caused us. Nigerians know that Obasanjo/Atiku administration was a total failure and a big misfortune for us.

Over to the interview by Edo state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. He said that the country is experiencing increasing social tension. Which is threatening socio economic activities? Oshiomhole said the tension is being expressed in crime wave in the country, noting that no number of police could quell the tension, until the youths are fully engaged. This interview was published by Vanguard newspapers of Sunday 23 November 2008, online version. Firstly let me thank the two men for speaking out the truth even though Atiku was part of the previous government that has caused Nigeria setbacks. Many more honest voices are needed.

Truly Nigeria is in trouble, and our problem is leadership. We have not had a true leader. Our so called leaders have all been imposed on us. This makes the whole country to be sick. Instead of moving forward, we are speeding backwards. The futures of many Nigerians have been damaged as a result of this. All our dreams of a great country have been shattered. Imagine a country where nothing works. Even the government doesn’t work. Crime rate is too high, unemployment is every where, and road networks are simply not effective. The only thing working is corruption. May be Nigeria government should officially legalize corruption.

We Nigerians know how we got to this point in our country. The question now is how do we change this ugly scenario? How do we bring changes to our political system? The situation now is critical. Every person should be worried about the future of Nigeria. This is the time for Nigerians to rise up and say enough is enough. Forward ever, backward never.

The alternative is to watch Nigeria collapse or better still help in battering what is still remaining of her. But please let’s remember that we have no other country. If we sit idle and watch Nigeria destroyed by wrong people, then we all will have ourselves to blame. Time to act is now. Nigeria needs rebuilding and the way forward is thus; reforming the electoral process so that true leaders will emerge.

Atiku Abubakar made a very useful statement in that same interview. “He urged that the nation’s politicians and everyone else should aim for a time when elections are so transparent that there would be no need for petitions”. The only electoral system we know that has guaranteed transparency is Option A4 electoral system. This system will be the best method for Nigeria, since it has been tasted and trusted. The June 12 1993 election was a good example for all. Above all, this system is violence free and cheapest in terms of funding.

Therefore I ask every Nigerian to support my Option A4 Group. Our aim is to seek the reformation of our electoral system through campaigning for the re-introduction of the Option A4 electoral system. This is the best way out of our present situation. I ask every Nigerian to be involved with this campaign. This is the time to better Nigeria or batter her. I have chosen to build her, and as such I need the support of Nigerians in this campaign for change. Membership of this group is free and our campaign is self participatory.

This is the most important reform that Nigeria needs. There are many ways people should participate in this campaign or any other change process. Not participating at all is not in the best interest of our country at this critical period. Your comments, compliments, contributions or criticism of this project will be highly appreciated .Apologies for any grammatical error

Chinedu Vincent Akuta
An activist based in Leicester.

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