Soludo: We Can Fix Nigeria By Participating Actively In Politics Instead Of Complaining

Chukwuma Soludo, governor-elect of Anambra, says there is a need for a new liberation movement in Nigeria and, by extension, Africa.

Soludo spoke on Saturday at the 2021 pioneer class graduation ceremony of the School of Politics, Policy and Governance (SPPG) in Abuja.

The event had as its theme, ‘Emergence of the Unconventionals’.

In his address, Soludo said the new movement would promote selfless service of political leaders, adding that for Nigerians to effect a change for the better, more people need to participate actively in the political process.Advertisement

“Dear friends, fixing politics requires talent and skills. But these won’t be enough. It won’t happen by lone wolves working in silos. It requires new developmental organisations – organisations/teams of believers, driven by defined ideology, purpose and character,” he said.

“Let’s be clear about one point: Nigeria does not lack well educated/skilled and widely travelled stock of human capital to drive her development. In the US alone, Nigeria ranks highest on education among ethnic minorities and as a percentage of its population, it has the most educated population of all ethnic groups. At home, we have over 100 universities churning out hundreds of graduates every year.

“All over the world, Nigerians excel as champions in their various fields. A key missing link is purpose-driven cohesion and organisation for transformation of the homeland. There are many disparate groups and organisations, including political parties which claim (at least on their statutes) to champion national development.

“Only a few, if any, can be identified by any soul in terms of a nationalist ideology, professed and practiced by its members. The liberation struggle for independent Africa was driven by a nationalist ideology to be anchored by a developmental state. There is a huge void today, and I am not sure how we can fix our politics without the requisite organisations for change.

“So, my first charge to my new friends and graduates is to profess their purpose in the political farmland and actively participate to actualise it. If you have not yet done so, when you go home today, write down your purpose (what do you want to achieve) in the public arena and paste same beside your reading table or anywhere for everyday reference.

“Then, join a political party, a civil society organisation, or organise alternative better platforms of leverage. You may better disrupt from inside than outside. Organisation is power. The key is to participate in the process or stop complaining.

“For Nigeria, most people focus on politics in Abuja and we have for too long tried in vain to fix Nigeria from the obtuse centre. It is time to try fixing it and its politics from below — from the subnational units.Advertisement

“If you have something to offer, go and run for office. Win or lose, your participation will add something to the process. Then persevere, endure, and remain focused on delivering your purpose.”

He also said the liberation struggle for independent Africa was driven by a nationalist ideology anchored by a developmental state, but that the elite created new institutions to suit their personal interests.

He further claimed that politics has become a haven for criminals seeking escape from drug trafficking and internet fraud, adding that people with good intentions need to be more active in politics.

“There is almost a sense of nostalgia, recalling the mission and accomplishments of our founding fathers, especially as we contemplate the world without oil,” he said.

“Much of the existing social order is founded on competition for, and distribution of rents, oil and the easy money that came with it destroyed the social fabric and the elite created new institutions and political structures to maximise their gains.

“As the noose tightened globally on other rentier/criminal enterprises such as drug trafficking or internet scamming, many of the barons flocked into politics as the next easy alternative.Advertisement

“Politics has become big business. Appointment or election into public office is seen largely as an opportunity to ‘eat’ rather than a call to selfless service.”

Soludo added that a classic feature of the political environment is that corruption has become part of the “culture”, with little incentive for honesty.

He, therefore, urged the graduands to be ready to show honesty and knowledge in their quest for a new Nigeria.

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