New group launched in Lagos, vows to tackle insecurity, ethnic conflict
By John Akintomiwa
A new movement, National Alliance for Development, (NARDEV) was on Monday launched in Lagos with the mandate to stem the growing ethnic conflict and mobilise communities and socio-cultural organisations against insecurity, corruption, lack of competence in govenance, killings and banditry in Nigeria. Over 60 leaders of ethnic and socio-cultural organisations drawn from the six-geo political organisations in Nigeria attended the historic meeting which the organisers said was motivated by the unrelenting spate of insecurity, threats to livelihood, increasing ethnic tension and weak capacity of state institutions to rekindle hope in Nigerians.
The meeting was facilitated by the Chairman, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shetima, Executive Director, Journalists for Democratic Rights, Mr Adewale Adeoye, Chairman, Ohanaeze Youth Movement, Isiguzo, Yoruba global youth leader, Barrister Dotun Hassan, President Ijaw Youth Council, (IYC), President, Itsekiri National Youth Council, (INYC) and a few others.
The over 50 representatives later issued a communiqué leading to the formation of the National Alliance for Development, (NARDEV)
“We are worried by the state of the nation. Security and livelihood is not the business of the government along. The solution to the killings and banditry cannot be addressed by the government alone. The people should come together out of their own freewill to engage the challenge in their own interests”, the communiqué issued at the end of the one day summit stated,
The participants said they were alarmed by the general state of insecurity and incessant killings in Nigeria that have escalated in recent times with several communities at the mercy of a murderous insurgency, marauding killers, bandits and kidnappers at unacceptable proportions that gravely endanger the peace, unity and development of the country. They argued that the mismanagement of the national economy already approaching a second recession and characterized by a disabling level of accrued and accruing debt profile and that despite the claim of war against corruption, the highly acknowledged corruption perception monitor, Nigeria is still adjudged as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
The communique stated rejected what it called the clannish nature and approach to governance that has resulted in breading deep divisions and inter-communal distrust. Participants stated that the goal of the one-day was to facilitate the forging of a consensus on the formation of a unified platform for the pursuit of the building of confidence among Nigerians in their ability to reclaim the floundering socio-economic fortunes of the country. The delegates said the country now witnesses unprecedented incompetence and enthronement of mediocrity in dealing with the regularity of killings and general insecurity across the country and that while the security of lives and property is the cardinal responsibility of government, the apparent failure of the country’s entire security and law and order assets to check the killings which have claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions, is giving rise to suspicions of government complicity among the affected communities.
The new group regretted that the these killings have claimed more than 3,500 lives in 2017 with the number of internally displaced persons rising to about 4 million
On the economy, NARDEV noted that today, the economy is characterized by such massive youth unemployment, a rising level of poverty, and instability, that Nigeria was recently announced as the poverty capital of the World. In addition, Nigeria’s ranking on the Human Development index is one of the lowest in the World standing.It said the risk of inheriting an accumulated and accruing debt burden negotiated by government in absolute secrecy and spent without due transparency and accountability or commensurate development projects constitute a source of worry for many Nigerians.
“Under the weights of this strangulating and ruinous debts, all the fundamentals of our already ailing economy are seriously beginning to dither. The high percentage of our dwindling national revenue that is now devoted to the repayment and servicing of these loans are to put it very mildly, threateningly strangulating and unsustainable.”
The meeting also observed a trend of shielding and protection of certain powerful corrupt politicians and friends of government with some facing scandalous graft cases from answering to lawful scrutiny, while targeting and subjecting perceived rivals and voices of dissent to unfair treatment, harassment and blatant victimization.
They condemned the manifestation of a systematic manipulation of the electoral system and undue exploitation of the political party system that perpetuates electoral malpractices, incompetence and political brigandage.
The meeting observed that the generation of young Nigerians within the age bracket of 20 to 55 years, have risked their fate by allowing their collective destiny in the hands of aged leaders who have constituted most of the nation’s problems and are clearly out of ideas.
“A unanimous consensus was reached on the imperative of mobilizing the young generation of Nigerians as critical stakeholders, to rise and take their destiny in their hands by forming a vanguard to challenge the observed entrenched fascism and perpetuation of ineffective, and unfocused people in power. The young generation of Nigerians are urged to insist on the emergence of a visionary and dynamic leadership which will effectively deal with our security and economic challenges, and ensure good governance in the country,” the group said in the communique.
It demanded the immediate revamp of the security architecture of Nigeria and ensuring the removal of marauding killers from the communities they have occupied and return same to their rightful owners who now live in IDP camps.
It called on the Federal and State Governments to “address the root cause of poverty among other things include but not limited to poverty, exclusion, unemployment, human right violations and weak institutions.” Other groups at the meeting were Oodua Peoples Congress, (OPC), Oodua Liberation Movement, (OLM), Nigerian Human Rights Community, (NHRC), Agbekoya, Peace and Development Project, (PEDEP), Labour movement, women groups, students and farmers associations from across the country.