By Chuks Okocha
One of the Co-conveners of the National Consultative Front (NCFront), Prof. Pat Utomi, yesterday listed the core objectives of the group to include checking the slide and restore popular trust in a democratic way.
Utomi, in a statement he issued, said: “Our goal is to check the slide and restore popular trust in a democratic way as well as in our institutions, currently being suffocated by the politics of state capture and power erosion with attendant consequences, which include violence in Nigeria at large, which begs the question of the traditional definition of the state as the sovereign with a monopoly of (lawful) use of violence.”
He stated that a widespread culture of corruption, the gulf between the government and the people as well as the state and are threatening the social order and state legitimacy.
Utomi listed the challenging economy as one of the items to be addressed, explaining that the failing state-owned enterprises and the disastrous state of both education and healthcare, among other challenges are also other critical issues requiring urgent citizens’ engagements.
“These matters are beyond partisan but all constitute existential threat to Nigeria as a nation. Most of us believe that to solve these problems and save our dear nation from this leadership pandemic, all citizens ought to take ownership of the problems and act in ways that can lead to their resolution,” he added.
According to him, many presently do not act as citizens for a variety of reasons, stressing that “we, therefore, believe the first duty of enlightened leadership is to wake up the citizen.”
He urged Nigerians to view NCfront as a web of networks of people of conscience awakening citizen’s consciousness that will prompt actions to redeem Nigeria.
“Our commitment, as NCFront is to create the structures, work plan and inspiration to make this different from similar initiatives in the past that stop at talking. Here and today, our goal is simple and focused. To move Nigeria forward because the consequence of failure is staring us in the face already,” he added.
According to him, the structure of the emerging people’s movement will be given direction by a steering committee with co-chairs, which will be coordinating clusters of stakeholder groups.
Utomi said each cluster would determine its general operating mode within a framework proposed by the steering committee, which has already “defined who we are, our values, and goals as stakeholders and members of the NCFront.”