Dearest Tunde (Pastor) Bakare, what I am not sure is, if you got a copy of my appeal to Leaders of Faith Organizations in Nigeria published last year (2009) on my blog (http://briefsfromakuta.blogspot.com/2009/06/appeal-to-leaders-of-faith.html) and on most national newspapers. But whether you got it or not, your actions and deep involvement with the Save Nigeria Group are exactly the responses solicited from that appeal. After listening to your speech on the Abuja rally titled; The Order of Ezra (http://www.latterrainassembly.org/lra/media.html#), I quickly replayed the speeches (I Have a Dream and I Have Seen The Promised Land) by Martin Luther King Jr. Without doubts, we might have our own Martin Luther King in you.
I have had the opportunity of reading through the State of The Nation Broadcast by you. This speech is both inspiring and motivational like your church sermon(s). I have no doubt, that efforts of people like you will definitely yield positive results in Nigeria. I was glad on hearing that you were part of the delegation of Save Nigeria Group that met with Acting President Goodluck Jonathan. We have no choice but to save Nigeria. My prayer is that many more faith leaders should join you in the crusade to save our motherland.
Religious groups are in a better position to mobilize people for change. Another reason is also because; fewer institutions are closer to the people than our churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, worship centers etc. Therefore, faith leaders by virtue of their calling and congregation they lead should not hesitate to mobilize people for changes. Quoting Martin Luther King “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. Therefore every one should speak out and perhaps, join the crusade to save our country. No sacrifice will be too much. Enough is enough.
I believe in one Nigeria where there is justice, equity, fairness and good governance. I also believe there could be unity in diversity. With togetherness and determination we can achieve a lot in saving Nigeria. Fidel Castro of Cuba once said that, no force on earth can defeat a determined people. Dearest Tunde (Pastor) Bakare, I have no doubt that the Save Nigeria Group, which you are part of, believes in progress and prosperity of our country. It is on this note that I make another appeal to all pro Nigerian groups both home and abroad to join your group (Save Nigeria Group) or Save Nigeria Group will join them. If Mohammed cannot go to the mountain, mountain can come to Mohammed. Various pro Nigerian groups should retain their identities and focus while identifying with Save Nigeria Group. Better still there should be synergy amongst all pro Nigerian groups.
The idea is to form a formidable group, with links abroad that will challenge the status quo at home. Assuming the heat generated by Yar’Adua,s sickness settles down, there will still be a lot of works to be done to put our country on the better pedestrian. I would pray for the Save Nigeria Group, to put pressure on the National Assembly to pass the freedom of information bill, removal of immunity clause on the constitution, abolition of federal character/quota system etc.
Coalition and synergy amongst all pro Nigerian groups will be a step in the right direction towards challenging our numerous problems. I also understand there might be challenges of coordination when the groups are many. But consider division of labour. Groups with interest on electoral reforms could come together under the larger group, while groups with interest on anti corruption could be grouped together under the larger group. This was the concept behind my call for a shadow government/cabinet. I could explain further as and at when needed.
Punch Newspaper of 2nd March 2010 (online version) reported that Ribadu and 45 others formed shadow parliament. It might be a good idea for Save Nigeria Group and other groups to join Ribadu. This project (Shadow Parliament/Shadow Government) will obviously strengthen the opposition parties/groups which is the beauty of every democracy. The planned Mass Action by Save Nigeria Group on 10th March 2010 is also part of democracy. I pray many Nigerians to support this cause.
Furthermore, I urge Nigerians to support Save Nigeria Group in cash and kind. PDP raised over N2 billion naira for Soludo’s election in Anambra State. Therefore, Nigerians should donate their widows’ mite to Save Nigeria Group. No amount will be too small. We should remember that freedom is expensive, please read my article on that; (http://briefsfromakuta.blogspot.com/2009/06/freedom-is-expensive.html).
Another idea you and your group might consider, should be to field credible candidates during next year (2011) general election. It should not matter even if a member of your group wins only the councillorship or chairmanship election. That way you can begin to show Nigerians a true taste of governance. You can stand for elections yourself. Reverend Chris Okotie of the Household of God Church Ministries contested the 2003 presidential elections. It might be easier to change from within than from outside.
My other advice will be for you and the Save Nigeria Group or other pro Nigerian groups to produce political messages in both DVD’s CD’s Cassettes etc, to be distributed to Nigerians. There is need to increase the political consciousness of our people. I call this idea Political Evangelism. It could be in form of documentaries or it could take any form. These political messages could be produced in various native languages of Nigeria. Picture effect(s) can do much in increasing the political consciousness of our people.
Using the home videos and various religious evangelisms as a case study, you will agree with me that many lives have been shaped through that. Political evangelisms in DVD’s CD’s etc will have similar impact on our society. People in remote areas will be empowered politically through such messages.
Finally, it’s also important to remind Nigerians to plant trees or sponsor one to plant on their behalf. Turn off your electrical appliances/lights when not in use. Government and companies should send less paper work and do more email, telephone, and sms. May God bless Nigeria.
Chinedu Vincent Akuta.
An activist and leader of “Support Option A4 Group” Leicester-UK