That our Nation is chronically underperforming in many facets of human endeavor (especially in the economy and human development index) is not news to anyone. That our Country is not meeting the expectations of a great number of our citizens is not debatable. That our Country is breeding poverty and misery (with growing unemployment and underemployment) over many years is bewildering to many Nigerians and international observers. That our Nation is suffering from too many contradictions that have tended to divide us rather than unite us is very well known to us. That today Nigeria has become a Country where many citizens die unnecessarily through violent and other preventable causes is a reality facing us. That Many Nigerians feel unsafe traveling on our roads and visiting certain sections of our Country as Terrorists, bandits and kidnappers seem to have free reign in many parts of our Country despite the ‘best’ efforts of our security forces leaves many Nigerians bewildered and confused. In short for many Nigerians, this country is not working for them
Many of us here have written and canvassed a better Nigeria for ‘n‘ years where ‘n’ is not less than 20. Indeed in 2010 (about 11 years ago) I wrote a book then titled “ Nigeria @ 50, Time For The Evolution Of A New Nigeria”. But eleven years after the book the New Nigeria has failed to materialize.
Why? Because we believed that ours was to write, advocate and suggest solutions to our problems, providing strategic inputs into the VISION 2010 & 2020 documents and trusting successive governments to act on them. I will not say that they may not have acted in some ways but the results are not satisfactory at all as we seem to be retrogressing instead of making sustainable progress. Therefore, it became imperative that we have to step out and be in the fore front of implementing these strategies.
That’s how the Nigeria Group came to being
To make Nigeria become a first world nation where all the citizens live in harmony, are treated fairly and equitably to achieve peace & prosperity (a nation that works for all)
We believe that focusing on this vision will force us to seek global competitiveness and make us creative and innovative to grow our productivity to levels that will allow us exit the doldrums and perpetual misery caused by under-development as a chronic and perpetual lagging member of the third World( under- developed, Less developed, developing etc). Transition to a developed Nation will break the mold of the poor economic, infrastructural, and human development indices that have dogged our Nation 60 years after independence. We need to unleash our Nation to compete aggressively with the rest of the World for a seat among leading Nations of the World. We have all the fundamental requirements to transform. What we have lacked and for which we are prepared to provide, is a crop of enlightened, progressive, sacrificing leadership elite that wants nothing for itself but the good of the average Nigerian citizen
We plan to mobilize likeminded citizens to install enlightened, visionary and committed leadership in Nigeria that will motivate the country to optimize its human & material resources to attain global competitiveness in a nation where justice, equity and fair play reign supreme, resulting in happy and contented citizens
We believe that all Nigerians in the New Nigeria we plan to build must subscribe to certain Values that will define who we are. We must stop being a Nation characterized by all the negative values (disunited, criminals, fraudsters, 419, Drug peddlers, kidnappers, Yahoo- yahoo etc) Nigerian must be seen globally as Nation with guiding Philosophy and ethos. Not where anything goes. The image of our Country and our citizens must change drastically.
Knowledge derives from education which liberates the mind and brings enlightenment. It opens the mind and brings understanding to local and global issues. We therefore seek knowledgeable Nigerians who understand the issues in contention and are prepared to share the knowledge with others so as to motivate everyone to action in pursuit of the vision and ultimate liberation of Nigeria from the shackles of poor governance and the poverty and misery it creates. Nigeria must become a Nation that aggressively seeks knowledge, always aiming to be at the cutting edge and ensuring that every Nigerian obtains a minimum education (plus minimum compulsory entrepreneurship education)
We need to work hard and work smart to raise our productivity dramatically and be in a position to increase our Gross National Productivity in an effort to improve prosperity and drive down poverty. We are looking for creative and innovative Nigerians with entrepreneurial mindsets, ready to optimize the 4th industrial revolution, and then go on to lead the 5th. (The Dangotes, Tony Elumelus, their likes all over Nigeria and our crop of young IT enthusiasts will have free reign to ignite a nation of producers and innovators)
We believe that our Country has chronically underperformed and much of this has been caused by leadership that lacked integrity, reveling in corruption, nepotism and criminality and effectively making Nigeria endemically corrupt. The new Nigeria we seek must be birthed by a crop of Nigerians who are principled, with high moral and spiritual strength to stand up for what is right & righteous. We must build a nation where corruption is eschewed and all forms of criminality and malfeasance are punished
Today, few Nigerians truly love this Nation. Many have grievances against the Country and feel that the Nation has worked or works them. Yet we believe that it is very possible to turn Nigeria into a lovable Nation as most people wish it well despite the way Nigeria seems to have treated them. We plan to encourage a resurgence of patriotic zeal among Nigerians citizens and together we can build a new Nigeria that works for all and where the life of every one counts which will in turn receive the gratitude of a motivated and happy citizenry, enjoying high quality of lives.
Our Nation is divided because of injustice to virtually every section of the Country at one time or the other by misguided leadership. We believe this Country can be fully united and reintegrated by a leadership that allows justice, equity and fair play to reign. Every Child born in this country should have equal chance with every other Child to achieve his or her full potentials without discrimination as to his state of birth, ethnicity or religion. A nation where injustice to one is truly injustice to all and where justice is freely available to every citizen. No one will suffer for a crime he did not commit and no one who commits a crime will ever evade punishment.
Nigerians are often afraid to speak their minds or speak truth to power. In NNG, we seek Nigerians who are courageous and can stand up to their convictions. We in turn will create freedoms that allow people hold views; pursue their convictions and determine how to live and relate to each other under a progressive and people oriented constitution. We believe in liberty and freedoms. A people who feel threatened or afraid, will never be creative nor innovative. Nigeria will be a nation of free people who are free to explore all legal opportunities to achieve their dreams and relate to each as equal citizens. The siege mentality among Nigerians must be lifted at every level, so that our Nation will soar in every area of human endeavor
We believe that “Righteousness exalts a Nation and sin is a reproach to any people”. We therefore seek to please God in everything we do. Nigeria must be turned into a truly God- fearing Nation without discrimination to any religion or mode of worship. Our religious zeal must translate into true godliness that will manifest in love and compassion for each other, honesty in our dealings, disdain for wealth acquired illegitimately and the consciousness of ultimate accountability to the Creator. This will ultimately translate to peace in the Nation. This is what we represent and this is what we plan to enthrone in the New Nigeria we seek to build.
… Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa is the Convener of the New Nigeria Group, NNG
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