A scholar and former diplomat, Dr Nnamdi Onochie, has unfolded a blueprint to put Nigeria back on track to achieve peace, prosperity, and progress for survival as an entity.
The PDP chieftain, who is planning to contest for the highest level of leadership in 2023, said ‘Nigeria is better served by zoning.’
Onochie told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday that social tension and hostility in the polity had increased because of a feeling that politicians in the dominant parties were unwilling to open up and democratize internal processes in their parties on the presidential position.
He further said the political class must close ranks at this critical time, to chart a road map to guarantee that Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities continued to stay together.
Citing recent ugly developments in the country, Onochie described the scenario as disturbing, saying that the situation could still be salvaged with a sense of mission and commitment by leaders.
Onochie said it would be tragic for men of ideas to watch helplessly while “the situation gets out of hand.
“It has become increasingly apparent that the worsening social condition in Nigeria is exacerbating tensions in the country and tearing the nation apart.
“For the ordinary citizen, despair and hopelessness have encapsulated their thinking that the situation will not improve in the foreseeable future.
“The ruling political class, especially the ruling political party appears to live in a cocoon of comfort that dumbs the mind.
The compelling reality is the inevitability that we the political class in the APC, PDP and other political parties must confront the hardship in Nigeria headlong,’’ Onochie stated.
The doctorate degree holder argued that rescuing Nigeria should be the immediate concern of the political class, rather than “watching helplessly and playing the fiddle while Nigeria burns.’’
He condemned the dog-eat-dog scenario and apparent lack of patriotism in the country, which according to him, has resulted to social hardships, including slaughtering of Nigerians by fellow Nigerians.
Onochie said that it had become unimaginable that some misguided Nigerians would take up arms against their compatriots, dealing harsh blows to their country, while grandstanding as jihadists, bandits, militants, herdsmen etc.
“Killing of service men, arson on police stations and judiciary facilities and setting prisoners free are condemnable acts that have brought Nigeria to a new low.’’
Onochie argued that he had what it takes to make Nigeria great again, noting that as someone seeking the highest political office, “the way out is to tackle key problems plaguing Nigeria headlong.
“My solemn commitment to the Nigerian people is that I am totally aware of their electricity problems — low generation, poor transmission and uncoordinated distribution of the product.
“I know that the way forward is to pay for the construction of new plants to guarantee electricity supply for our teeming 200 million population with an average of 14,000 megawatts of electricity annually.
According to him, government must increase public comfort and prosperity and reduce cost of living and also guarantee that hard work brings success and prosperity.
“Work and assured income must promote and be the only factor and basis of prosperity and economic progress. Government can only guarantee this with the organised private sector.
“Government must also insist and ensure that banks and financial houses open up consumer funding and credit to assured income earners and boost consumer spending and confidence.
He said that to expand national industrial growth, firms and technology innovations should be encouraged and supported by all tiers of government.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria, taking a cue from government should seek consumer prosperity as a pathway to increased economic wellbeing of citizens.
The PDP stalwart argued further that social tension and hostility in the polity had increased because of a feeling that politicians in the dominant parties were unwilling to open up and democratize internal processes in their parties on the presidential position.
“The two dominant political parties, PDP and APC should recognise and acknowledge that bad, constant or `permanent aspirants’ and candidates in the parties portend continued corruption.
“Political parties must follow the pathway of rule of law, inclusion, fairness, equity and egalitarianism, while eschewing winner-takes-all syndrome and concentration of political power in an ethnic zone or region.
“As a member of the PDP with interest to serve Nigeria at the presidential level, I’m urging all political parties, especially the PDP and APC that they should zone the presidential position to the South.
“By so doing, there will be true sense of inclusion and participation by every zone in Nigeria.
“The earliest occupiers of the highest political position must admit that instability and tension arise when other zones are denied occupation of the presidential position.
“Nigeria is better served by zoning.’’ Onochie, a former Nigerian envoy to the Philippines and Algeria stated.