*Photo: Akinsiju *
The ancient city of Kano stood still today as the National Prosperity Movement led over 50 Civil Society Organisations and Students to the landmark civic engagement of The Nigeria Agenda (TNA) at the Mambayya House.One after the other, National Prosperity Movement, Democratic Action Group, Community Right Initiative of Nigeria, Haliru Memorial Youths Development Council, Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative, Foundation Against child abuse, Women in Agriculture, Council of Ulaama, APC (Kano chapter) announced their presence and their interest to engender a new Nigeria.
In his keynote address, Dr Joe Gana said the need for the occasion becomes more imperative with the emergence of several ethnic organizations like the Southwest Agenda( SWAGA) trying to impose ethic agendas on the country. “We can no longer sit without taking action with the emergence of emergence of ethnic champions masquerading as leaders else ethnic agendas will destroy the nation. We have to come up with a national agenda in order to put our ethnic champions in their proper place “.
Breaking down the objective of the advocacy mission, Chairman of the Buhari Media Organization (BMO) and Chief Advocate of the TNA , Mr Niyi Akinsiju, acknowledged the historical and progressive political antecedent of Kano which informed the choice of the city to host the inaugural edition of the TNA advocacy:
“Indeed, the choice of Kano is the outcome of a rationalisation that was premised, not only on the city’s central positioning in Nigeria’s Northwest geopolitical zone, but more significantly, because of its robust history of citizens’ engagements made manifest in the historical sublimity of the Talakawa political culture and tradition that still define the politics of the city and to a large extent, the politics of the State in contemporary times.”
According to Akinsiju, Kano’s history of citizens’ political activism and ideological pedigree should be adopted by the nation’s mainstream citizenship class as a paradigm of choice in the national effort to identify and elect responsible and accountable political office seekers at all levels of governance:
History is replete with politicians and peripheral political activists of different hues and characterisations, who, at convenience, and in pursuit of vain political and material gains, routinely verbalise, in vicious excoriation, the challenges and deficiencies of Nigeria’s nationhood and, sometimes, in the most deliquent manners, engaged in brazen revisionism as they fraudulent maneuvre to manipulate public sentiments with the end to set one group of Nigerians against the others, in mind, with primary intent at securing places and advantages within the nation’s political leadership hemisphere.
“Whilst Kano’s political and ideological pedigrees provide a strong ground to host this advocacy, we equally find an alluring proposition in the testimonials of the political activism of its political history, which continues to evolve through contemporary times, as a paradigm of adaptation for The Nigeria Agenda.”
Speaking further, he dismissed what he described as the vicious excoriation of Nigeria’s nationhood by vendors of disaffections as desperate maneuvres by politicians deliberately exploiting the country’s ethnic and religious divergence to secure and occupy public offices:
“History is replete with politicians and peripheral political activists of different hues and characterisations, who, at convenience, and in pursuit of vain political and material gains, routinely verbalise, in vicious excoriation, the challenges and deficiencies of Nigeria’s nationhood and, sometimes, in the most deliquent manners, engaged in brazen revisionism as they fraudulent maneuvre to manipulate public sentiments with the end to set one group of Nigerians against the others, in mind, with primary intent at securing places and advantages within the nation’s political leadership hemisphere.”
He observed that while agents of divsion have continued to propagate the erroneous submission that we are not yet a nation in the real sense of nation, the reality is different:
“The truth of our history is in contradiction to what these subject-matter experts and champions of our national chasms want us to believe in with their scurrilous venting of an alternate reality, as they frivolously argue to indicate that despite our more than 150 years of social and economic interactions as peoples of different tongues and ways of worship within this common geographical space, we are yet to evolve into true nationhood. This, I dare submit, is a deliberate misrepresentation of our reality. While, indeed, nationhood is a journey and constantly evolving, Nigeria has, from all markers of national identity, arrived at the anchorage of nationhood.”
On this count, the Group’s Chief Advocate enjoined Nigerians to adopt the culture of citizens’ activism as exemplified by the Talakawa:
“In borrowing from the phenomenon of the Talakawa, there is a need to band together in conscientious vertical and horizontal solidarity, the more than 280 different tongues-ethnic groupings, divided along the two mainstream religions, must transform into active leadership recruitment officers, conscious of their rights, duties and responsibilities as Nigerian citizens and made potentates in the democratic space by jettisoning base appeals to primordial differences.
And, as a collective, demand of leaders, the requirements of social progression, economic growth, security of lives and properties at all tiers of government. And to that extent, emplace leadership that will ensure inclusiveness, transparency in government, and integrity in the business of governance rather than those that will excuse abysmal performance or criminality in the conduct of government on the smokescreen of ethnicity and religious persecution.”