Segun James and Sunday Okobi
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, has called on Nigerians of all creed and tongue to take advantage of the rave of the moment in Nigeria called the National Intervention Movement (NIM) to put the country where it rightly belongs by demanding good leadership at all time from the political class.
He called on Nigerians to wrest power from the political elite for the betterment of the society.
Agbakoba who visibly lamented the current â€˜patheticâ€™ state of the country, highlighted the many wrongs in the system, saying it was time Nigerians called their leaders to order through a credible and apolitical platform like the NIM.
At a media parley yesterday in Lagos, the maritime lawyer cum activist who disclosed that on November 29, he and other concerned Nigerians, out of serious anxiety about the state of the nation, decided to initiate NIM as a platform to uplift and â€˜defreezeâ€™ Nigerians (who he said are frozen right now) so as to salvage what is left of the country.
According to him, Nigerians need a coherent platform to prevent bad leadership in the country, hence the constitution of NIM, adding that â€œwe want a functioning democracy where political office holders are accountable to the people, public institutions are strengthen and the rule of law works.
â€œWe want the government to work for Nigerians. Presently, it is not. President Muhammadu Buhari needs to take his job seriously by sacking his entire cabinet because they have failed. In the meantime, he is sleeping on the job.â€
Agbakoba, who noted that against the insinuation that he has the backing of some political bigwigs, stated that former President Olusegun Obasanjo did not give him any support in the formation of NIM, adding that NIM is a political movement but not a political party, and has no political interest at the moment.
He explained that â€œmembership of the movement is free and easy. Participation will be based on social media among others to galvanise Nigerians to speak against bad government in one voice. Changing the way our political leaders think and act is what the movement is all about. The movement which was formed by G90 doesnâ€™t hold onto anybodyâ€™s political ideology or interest, it doesnâ€™t also prevent any memberâ€™s political interest but must be distant from the movement because it is strictly apolitical.â€
On the many wrongs in the system which the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president said led to the initiation of NIM, he asked: â€œWhy for instance has nobody been fired for Mainagate? What is government plan for unemployment? 70percent of our young people are unemployed, and this is alarming!
â€œWhat is the federal government plan for power? Should the privatisation process be reversed? Why are our bidding and procurement processes failing? Why is government still appropriating billions of naira for turnaround maintenance of dead refineries?
â€œAt the states, governors must deploy state resources efficiently. For example, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State is fixing federal roads when state roads are deplorable; Governor Rochas Okorocha is erecting status of all kinds of people when Imo State owes pensioners; Governor Ayodele Fayose is making Christmas clothes for children but has not paid Ekiti State workers, and on his own, Governor Nyesom Wike is using River State money to buy SUVs for members of the National Assembly. All these must stop! Is it not a scandal that oil producing states like Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, Delta among others owe salaries? So the Nigerian people will use this movement to guide as well as cut the excesses of their political leader. Enough is enough!â€
Agbakoba also urge Nigerians to use the medium to demand that confidence return to the countryâ€™s judiciary, adding that â€œhow come corruption cases involving politicians never terminate in our courts? Governors accused of corruption after office, get judicial immunity? Politicians charged with corruption present themselves for public office in every election circle; some are even senators making laws for the country.
â€œTherefore, we believe strongly that the way forward is for civil society (including the media) to wrest power from this ruling political elite to achieve a new system that is inclusive and works for all and not a few.â€