Gentlemen of the Press,
Permit me to welcome you all to the State-of-the-Nation World Press Conference by the Citizens Watch Advocacy Initiative (CWAI) & Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance in Nigeria (COCMEGG).
This conference is occasioned by the recently issued press statement by a self-acclaimed Coalition of 70 CSOs across Nigeria to pass a Vote of No Confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance in Nigeria is an umbrella body of over 350 CSOs, NGOs, human rights activists, Bloggers, Media Executives, who have, over the years, advocated for transparency, accountability and good governance regime in the country, knowing full well that without these templates, there is nowhere democracy can thrive and democracy dividends can percolate to the grassroots in Nigeria. And, that was what precisely informed the decision of the NGOs, CSOs, human rights community to come together to form this umbrella organization.
As champions and propagators of good governance and accountability in Nigeria, having seen and read the said press statement, we have come to the conclusion that it is the handiwork of fifth columnists, rabble-rousers, agent provocateurs, divisive tendencies from enemies of Nigeria and their foreign collaborators aimed at bringing down the present government of at all cost, not minding whose ox is gored. Due to the foregoing, we are compelled to issue and state as follows:
That the security situation across Sub-Sahara Africa is a fallout of the disintegration of Libyan State with antecedent proliferation of small arms across the sub-region and, as such, Africans and, indeed, well-meaning Nigerians, are abreast of the concerted efforts by the present administration to curtail the excesses of these criminal elements and Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgents. It is a known fact that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari inherited a ramshackle military with obsolete equipment, low morale. But today’s Armed Forces can boast of state-of-the-art equipment, armoury and one of the best standing forces in Africa.
The present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has sacrificed both men and equipment to keep Nigeria safe, secured and united, in spite of all these subterranean forces masquerading as foreign NGOs with local collaborators, aiding, abetting and inciting divisiveness, hate speech and ethnic bias amongst the populace, so as to give the dog a bad name in order to hand it. We want to let Nigerians know that security is on the concurrent list of the Nigerian Constitution, and, as such, everyone’s business and should not be left to the government alone. Therefore, these CSOs that are supposed to be partners in progress with government, have remained passive and aloof to these security challenges and allowing themselves to be used as pawns against the hard-working administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In view of the foregoing, we call on all well-meaning Nigerians and the international community, to jettison, disregard these innuendoes, orchestrated by vile elements who have sworn for their self-inordinate ambition and mesh of porridge.
These co-travellers of CSOs, NGOs and groups masquerading themselves as conscience of the Nation, have been wining and dining with the same present administration since they took over the mantle of leadership in 2015. Now, our findings have revealed that, instead of offering positive and constructive advice, the group prefers rather to go cap-in-hand, soliciting and arm-twisting the present administration to harken to their outrageous demands, failure to which, they now cajole and blackmail the present administration, in order to achieve their selfish agenda.
We also have it on good authority that these groups have been sponsored to stampede the government of President Buhari, whose only perceived crime is that the government has refused to play along their story line. At this juncture, we still urge the government to remain steadfast, focused, and not be distracted from concentrating on its avowed agenda to safeguard lives and property in Nigeria and the delivery of good democracy dividends to the grassroots.
We, as well, call on the international community, friends of Nigeria, politicians and well-meaning Nigerians to join hands with government in its endeavor to protect lives and property in Nigeria. We also inform the world that, despite the CSOs’ insinuations, Nigeria is safe for investments as it is a choice destination and an investment haven.
It will be recalled that the Department of State Services (DSS) has consistently warned Nigerians for the past three months that, there are orchestrated plans and motives by political jobbers, none state actors and boot-lickers who are fanning the embers of disunity and insecurity by increasing and constantly gathering and disseminating fake news to Nigerians through the social media and recycling old videos and clips so as to look as fresh to fan ethnic clashes and banditry. We therefore call on the media and Nigerians, not to be gullible from the antics of these merchants of death, originators of hate speech and sponsors of disunity in Nigeria.
Agreed, that these pockets of banditry, ethnic clashes occasioned by foreign herders with local collaborators, have been blown out of proportion and fan divisive tendencies across religious and ethnicity in Nigeria. We, however, assure that, no amount of sacrifice is too much for the resolution and rescue of Nigerians in danger. Consequently, we call on the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to reign-in broadcast stations that have been abridging the Nigerian Broadcasting Code and apply appropriate sanctions where necessary.
It is commendable that, while most nations are still in economic recession occasioned by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Nigerian government has, through deft economic, prudent management of scarce resources, exited the recession to the applause of the World Bank and other financial world bodies. A case in point, is the support and diplomacy given to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to emerge as the first African Woman to occupy the exalted office of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which has drawn global acclaim to the good works of President Muhammadu Buhari.
We therefore, after a critical evaluation and analysis of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in all ramifications, now pass a Vote of Confidence on the present administration for being alive to the primary responsibility of safeguarding lives and property across the nation; most Nigerians youths are now gainfully employed across the length and breadth through the Agricultural Value Chain; many, especially women, have been empowered through the N-Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and a whole lot of successful social safety nets and initiatives which have lifted and propelled millions of Nigerians from poverty to prosperity.
We can also recall that, one of the main policy thrusts of the Buhari administration is the security of lives and property and the safeguarding, protection of the territorial integrity of our nation; as such, due to the yearnings of Nigerians, the President re-jigged the security architecture by appointing new Service Chiefs to carry the baton of decimating the insurgents and safeguarding the nation.
The big question now is, “Why the impatience from these disgruntled and self-appointed society watch-dogs who do nothing but are always picking holes from government policies and programmes without proffering solutions?”
It is a well-known fact that corruption under President Muhammadu Buhari has been fought head-on, as we speak; there are various cases of high profile Nigerians languishing in Kuje Prisons, Abuja and across the country for dipping their hands into public till. Indeed, the fear of President Buhari has become the beginning of wisdom and, as such, politicians and administrators in Nigeria have been kept on their toes like never before in the history of this nation. Nigerians can attest to the fact, that this is the first government that has shown sincerity in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. And, for that, disgruntled politicians have gone to the market square to frustrate the anti-corruption agenda and use their ill-gotten funds to make sure that the plans and prosecution of corrupt politicians should not see the light of the day, by spending huge sums to thwart government efforts, using legal rigmarole and jargons to hold us to ransom and later accuse the government of non-performance.
We therefore call on all well-meaning Nigerians to discountenance, disregard and jettison these wolves crying foul when there is none, as these same set of people have been hobnobbing with this same government for long, only to turn back and accuse them of non-performance. Nigerians should open their eyes and read between the lines that, these are the same people singing the praises only to summersault due to conditions not favourable to them presently. We, as well, call on government to continue the good work in making sure that development continues to percolate to the grassroots. Security is a collective responsibility of all and as long as the President, state governors and the security chiefs are working together assiduously, Nigeria will overcome the security challenges because every nation goes through different phases of challenges in becoming great. We need Nigerians to become one, to be their brother’s keeper so as to surmount our challenges together as one nation.
Thank you all and God bless Nigeria.
OMOBA KENNETH AIGBEGBELE – President
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