SAVE NIGERIA GROUP
(Text of Press Conference On The State Of The Nation
Held In Abuja on March 4, 2010)
NOW THAT THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED OUR PATIENCE....
Gentlemen of the press,
The alleged return of President Umaru Yar’adua under the cover of darkness on February 23, 2010; and the refusal by his handlers to allow any person, including the Acting President, access to him has further demonstrated the deep contempt the cabal that has hijacked the president to hold the nation to ransom has for the rest of Nigerians.
That no one has seen the President over a week after he was smuggled into the country has also exposed the clique around him as a band of liars who have been feeding the nation with falsehoods in the last 100 days. Or how come that a man who was reported to be undertaking 25 minutes of daily aerobics suddenly returned home and cannot address Nigerians or spare a minute to meet with the man who was holding forte for him while he was away?
Had we not been vigilant, they would have continued to lie to us by using his name to issue all sorts of directives which the ailing President is not privy; like a spokesman who did not see or hear a word from him trying to play on our intelligence.
Two major developments in the last 72 hours have shown that we would be greatly mistaken to assume that we are dealing with rational people who would follow the path of reason and save the nation from a needless crisis:
1) The 36 Governors met on Tuesday night to formally announce their membership of the cabal and setting themselves against the people of Nigeria through their resolution that the state of uncertainty in the country should continue by not bringing the Yar’adua saga to a closure. And to show the Governors as the most self -serving group in the land today, they pushed for the next general elections to hold in January 2011 in order to jettison the Uwais report which stipulates six months before handover in order to retain the status quo of manipulation of the electoral process;
2 The Executive Council of the Federation shamelessly bowed to the to the blackmail of the Governors as they met on Wednesday without discussing the Yar’adua health situation which would have led to the invocation of Section 144 of the Constitution as widely expected by Nigerians beyond the useless "report" of a jamboree committee that went to Saudi Arabia on wild goose chase.
The SNG views these acts as direct affronts on our dignity as a people and an audacious challenge of our will to resist impunity. We are being told that what we think or feel amount to nothing for as long as the cabal thinks otherwise. We are already the laughing stock of the world and all those who are not inured from shame cannot be comfortable that this childish game of hide-and-seek is going on in the name of a polity that we belong. We must bring this to head without further delay. Every day that this goes on further diminishes us as a people and makes us look like subjects in a banana republic.
Our patience has run out as a nation as there is limit to how far a country can survive on good luck. If we want to retrieve our country back we must do the needful. To this end we have resolved to settle for these irreducible minimum:
1. A constitutional resolution of the anomaly of an invisible President co-existing with an Acting President constantly undermined by the cabal by the invocation of Section 144 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without further delay;
2. Urgent electoral reforms with a wholesale implementation of the Uwais report as the benchmark to restore the integrity of the ballot box so that never again shall we be governed by a set of officials with dubious mandate like those who have taken us through 100 days of the theatre of the absurd;
3. In furtherance of the above, the Acting President must urgently come up with a Harmonisation Committee on what the Senate and the House of Representatives are doing on the Uwais report;
4. A non-partisan transitional cabinet of the brightest and the best from all corners of Nigeria must be put together by the Acting President to chart a new course for the country while the Presidential Advisory Committee can remain truly advisory as the nation requires new thinking and new thinkers; and
5. Immediate implementation of the PUBLIC PROCUREMENT ACT signed into law in 2007 by Yar’adua but which has yet to be implemented because of the sustenance of the corrupt tendencies associated with the weekly award of contracts by EXCOF.
CALL TO ACTION.
It must be stated that the position of the Save Nigeria Group is that the entirely of the crises we are facing in this country today came about from lack of true and accountable leadership at all levels of government. To redress this issue, Nigeria must be given the right to elect their leaders through the institutionalization of a functional and transparent electoral reform process. We must have the choice to determine who governs us.
For now, in demonstration of our readiness to show in concrete terms that we mean that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, we are rolling out graduated measures to retrieve our country from the cabal. The first in the series is a mass movement to convey the feelings of Nigerians to the next meeting of EXCOF in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Wednesday March 10, 2010.This shall be a prelude to other forms of nationwide civil disobedience measures to put a final closure to the shenanigans of the cabal and enforce electoral reforms to ensure that we are no longer dealt with in the old ways.
We extend fraternal calls to all social formations in Nigeria and all our country men and women for cooperation in the just struggle to save Nigeria, change it and make it great. We are in for a sustained and focused struggle to end the second slavery. We do not promise that this road will not be rough; it’s just that there is no other way if we are committed to salvaging our country. But one thing we are absolutely sure of is that victory is certain.
And for the umpteenth time we appeal to men of the armed forces to allow the interplay of democratic forces to resolve whatever is at stake as we are resolved that a military coup will not be tolerated in our country again.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
FOR SAVE NIGERIA GROUP:
ENGR.BUBA GALADIMA MR YINKA ODUMAKIN MALLAM SALIHU LUKMAN
MR OSITA OKECHUKWU MR MIKE IGINI MALLAM TANKO YUNUSA
Dear Sirs / Madam,
I applaud this very brave move and hope all other right thinking Nigerians must, too.
I would however, ask that you ensure a serious discussion with other relevant bodies such as the NANS or NUNS and the Labour Movement, among others to ensure an effective co-ordination of your efforts and ensure a successful outcome.
The roads would not be easy, I agree, but the battle cannot be fought alone. I will only advice that the matter of going it alone be a last resort if you are in danger of being bogged down by talks with other relevant bodies in Nigeria.
Once more, I salute your courage and look forward to further directives to ensure we repossess our country.
...Until the dignity of people is restored back to them, i say: WAR
THE NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY
The activities of Wole Soyinka's Save Nigeria Group ( SNG ) should not be shrouded in controversy and suspicion. That is why we must move beyond the noble rhetoric of the SNG advocacy by subjecting to healthy scrutiny the gestures as well as pronouncements of not just the key representatives of the pro-democracy outfit but also those of its allies.
In my essay entitled "Save Nigeria Campaigns: National Interest Or Revanchist Posturing" (By Aonduna Tondu, NVS ), I take to task the track record of eminent and conscientious dissenters in the Soyinka hue by suggesting that their enormous contributions notwithstanding, the historical contradictions, inconsistencies and complacency associated with the political activism of these men and women must be addressed in an open and transparent way if indeed we are interested in the continued relevance of their militancy. Here is the link to that document:
The SNG cannot pretend that it did not actively contribute toward the outcome as represented by the consecration of the Jonathan acting presidency, that is, in other words, the PDP-dominated status quo. Some of the SNG's supporters and footsoldiers have even hailed the illegal and unconstitutional National Assembly resolutions of February 9 as being in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria! At the time, it was apparent that what the SNG and other outfits wanted at all cost was a measure of expediency and not necessarily something legitimate and durable. Besides, it was rightly suspected that a host of groups and individuals bearing all sorts of grudges had congregated under a convenient SNG banner and were pushing their irredentist or revanchist agenda. SNG must extricate itself from the vindictive calculations of those with an axe to grind.
I believe that what the nation needs urgently are fresh and credible elections. Those elections can take place in the next nine months or so given the will on the part of all concerned. That is why I find as odd the opposition by SNG to the idea of new polls next January.
SNG and the opposition in general should spend more time building credible electoral alternatives instead of their current obsession with the PDP's byzantine quarrels.
What is he saying anyone ? Prepare for war. You are invited. Are you coming or you are not ?
That was the question. so so so so so grammar. confusion unlimited.
welldone and thanks to the SNG.
Btw, If you use twitter / facebook (on the web or your phone ) may I implore you to generate as much chatter of this that you can.
http://twitter.com/savenigeria - the more people are aware of this, the more you increase the chances of enough turnout.
It would also help, I propose, if a shortened version of the date / time / of the call-to-protest invite is sent out virally via SMS for folks in Abuja.
You either sinking, or you are fighting. That's the score for Nigeria now. no more. no less.
Send this to your friends via sms.
I think we are just deceiving ourselves. Some people think they own Nigeria more than others. We need to voluntary split this country for an experimental period of 10 years and then after that decide if we wish to come together again. This project called NIGERIA as it is presently constituted IS NOT working and we all know it. There is no need trying to resuscitate a dead thing.The SNG must be supported by all and sundry as a first step.
I think we are just deceiving ourselves. Some people think they own Nigeria more than others. We need to voluntary split this country for an experimental period of 10 years and then after that decide if we wish to come together again. This project called NIGERIA as it is presently constituted IS NOT working and we all know it. There is no need trying to resuscitate a dead thing.
The obvious solution to the failed Nigeria fiasco is to split the country. Water and oil do not mix. How long can we continue to deceive ourselves? pretending as if we are a federation when in truth Nigeria is a sinister Unitary government designed to rape the minorities of the Niger Delta. A system that has became an abstruse to the development and progress of 150 Million people. What a shame.
I believe that what the nation needs urgently are fresh and credible elections.
I agree with you on the above but minus the word "urgently".
Those elections can take place in the next nine months or so given the will on the part of all concerned. That is why I find as odd the opposition by SNG to the idea of new polls next January.
We must uphold the constitution at all times. This in practice means that both the Presidency and NASS, irrespective of their imperfections, must run their full course as prescribed in the constitution. To prematurely truncate their term is tantamount to subverting the constitution.
Credible elections can only be conducted after electoral reforms have been put in place. The recent Anambra gubernatorial election, as a case study, has exposed both the weakness and strength of INEC and the logistics problems inherent in conducting nationwide elections. For example, would INEC perform better if elections were staggered over several days or weeks instead of the current one day wonder? It is essential to identify and isolate the factors that mitigate against free and fair elections. Credibility of the elections must not be sacrificed on the altar of urgency.
I must restate my earlier position that the current crisis is unnecessary and would have been avoided if people placed national interest above personal ambitions. There is a wide spread perception that Yaradua's supporters have deliberately misled the nation on the status of his health. This is dishonorable. It is a standard practice that a leader delegates authority in his/her absence in order to avoid a leadership vacuum. If for any reason this is not done, steps (inclusive of constitutional ammendment if necessary) must be taken by the appropriate authorities to ensure that the ship of state is not rudderless. We must look beyond the artificial North/South dichotomy and uphold the constitution which is the supreme law of the land.
The only way you can have a lasting impact is to groom winnable candidates for the next round of elections.
This will take some time and a lot of patience and intelligence.
Progressives have been sitting by and seeing crooks get elected and then hoping that they could be anything but crooks once in power.
Progressives cannot save Nigeria by issuing statements and empty or; by demonstrations.
Progressives can only save Nigeria by taking power or some of it.
I think you are very confused. Are you saying that the kleptomania and the treachery of the ruling oligarcgy and their satellites all over the country are preferrable to the activities of the Wole Soyinkas of this world despite their contradictions? Or are you suggesting that we should banish the Wole Soyinkas of this world to allow your masters in the North to continue to enslave the rest of us and turning us to second class citizens? I do not get you.