By Mike Ubani
Making good his promise, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday officially registered as a member of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), with an explanation that the association stands as a pressure point towards achieving good governance.
The registration which took place at the secretariat of the Ogun State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abeokuta, came a day after the movement was formally launched in Abuja.
The former president who ruled the country from 1999 to 2007 on the platform of now main opposition Peoplea��s Democratic Party (PDP), had on January 23, released a blistering letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him not to seek re-election in 2019.
Obasanjo anchored his position on Buharia��s alleged helplessness to perform to the expectation of majority of Nigerians.
In proffering an alternative to Buhari in 2019, Obasanjo proposed the emergence of a credible candidate, through a new political group aside the PDP and the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC).
He named the new group Coalition for Nigerian Movement (CNM), of which he affirmed his full participation till whenever it decides to become a full-fledged political party.
At Thursdaya��s event, Obasanjo reiterated his earlier decision to withdraw his membership of the association, if the members collectively decide to transform CNM to a political party.
After filling his membership form, he handed it over to former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who is the national coordinator of the group.
He said that according to Einstein, a�?it would amount to height of folly for anybody or any group to continue to do things in the same way and expect different resultsa�?.
According to the former president, a�?Coalition for Nigeria Movement is proposed as the new direction to mobilise our population for unity, cooperation, development, rule of law, employment, law and order, justice, integration, peace, security, stability, welfare and well-beinga�?.
He said that in these regards, a�?special attention and space must be given to youths and women, who in most cases have been victims and underlingsa�?.
He expressed happiness that on Thursday, a�?men and women of like minds joined hands to launch CNMa�?, adding that the movement a�?among many other things, will raise standards generally but particularly, standards of political leadership and governancea�?.
He noted that Nigeria like other countries, has many challenges, adding that a�?what should matter is how, when and with what instruments we address or fail to address these challenges or create more problems.
He said that nation-building must be given continued attention so that every citizen would have a feeling of belonging and a stake in the country.
a�?For instance, the federal character principle, as espoused in our constitution, was to guide the leadership to search for competent holders of major offices to be distributed within the entire nation and avoid the concentration in a few ethnic hands or geographical places as we currently have in the leadership of our security apparatus.
a�?To avoid such non-integrative situation, we have the National Assembly and the Federal Character Commission, both institutions which must raise alarm or call for correction of actions by the executive that violates the spirit of our constitution,a�? he stated.
Obasanjo further regretted that a�?the spate of violence, criminality, organised crime, insurgency and terrorism, has not received sufficient proactive ameliorative responses through transformational leadership a�� a determined leadership that brings cohesion and wholesomeness to the politya�?.
According to him, a�?nobody and no group should feel excluded in his or her own countrya�?, adding that, a�?inclusion and popular participation must be visibly pursued in terms of politics, the economy and our overall social lifea�?.
He added: a�?This is the commencement for our popular and grassroots association. Of course, the membership will be free to collectively decide on whether CNM becomes a political party.
a�?If the Movement decides to transform itself and go into partisan politics, I will cease to be a member. And as a member for now, I accept all the conditions attached to membership of the Coalition.
a�?We must promote the CNM and mobilise membership all over the country including membership from the Diaspora.
a�?This is an opportunity for women and men, especially youths who have hitherto been feeling marginalised and helpless to go all out and bring friends and families into the CNM fold.
a�?The CNM will remain a popular socio-economic Movement open to all Nigerians who believe in the greatness of Nigeria and are ready to contribute to ita�?.
Assigning responsibilities to the organization, the former president said: a�?When the platform is formed and the new system is put in place, the Movement may decide to sponsor/support candidates or transform itself into a political machine for that purpose.
a�?A socio-economic popular Movement needs to be the new vehicle to give hope to the youths, dignity and encouragement to women and security, confidence, and a promising future to all Nigerians.
a�?It must work to bring about a new democratic and efficient Nigeria. The Movement must speak up boldly and bluntly about the truth but politely in accordance with African culturea�?.
He espoused the roles of the Nigerian youths and women in the unfolding new Nigeria, insisting a�?they must play responsible roles in the leadership and governance of the country in all ramificationsa�?.
He enjoined Nigerians to join the Movement a�?to build a new Nigeria that will be in the hands of God.a�?
By Mike Ubani