You Can’t Run the Economy on Hope, KOWA Party Issues State of the Nation Address
In what it described as a State of the Nation Address, KOWA Party has issued a statement detailing its stand on issues affecting Nigerians across sectors.
The statement, made available to SIGNAL, was signed on behalf of the party’s National Executive Council by its National Youth Leader, Jude ‘Feranmi.
In the State of the Nation Address, KOWA Party took a swipe at the government of President Muhammadu Buhari berating its attitude to the economy, issues relating to human rights violations, the war on corruption among others. KOWA Party also commended efforts by the government on some sectors like Agriculture.
Read the full statement below:
We have found it necessary for us to address the nation on what we perceive as the current state of affairs of our country as it affects Nigerian Citizens both home and abroad and provide much needed criticism and alternative to the policies or lack of it that the incumbent administration have chosen to work with or not work with as the case may be. We also plan to regularly at the end of every month address Nigerians on the state of the nation and what we believe should be the way forward to bring in progress and prosperity to our people.
Today, our nation is fortunately still standing and against all odds, the resilient spirit of Nigerians has at more than any period in our history shown up to withstand the many unfortunate effects of an economic recession that bites hard and harder every day and once again, there is relative peace both in the Niger Delta Region and the North-East where vast amounts of lands that were inaccessible are now accessible. As gloom continues to define the global economy in all the continents of the world, the die-hard spirit of our people still ensures that business and economic activity, even though in the barest minimum do not ground to a halt. The Nigerian People continue to show in word and in practice that ours is a country we can be proud of and a country that can still achieve its potential and rise to become a global power in the nearest future.
This die-hard spirit does not necessarily overshadow the current landscape of our society. More people continue to die of extreme hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity in the North-East. Inflation continues to rise and shame the down-trodden of our society where they now exchange children for food so other members of their families can survive. Herdsmen continue to cause mayhem and kill innocent citizens going about their farming duties in the middle-belt while kidnapping has now turned into a full time job to the extent that it now forms part of our daily satire in scornfully laughing at the state of our nation. The business environment continues to lose more stakeholders to neighbouring countries in search of green pastures seeing that ours is no more green and forex policies continue to choke businesses who would rather invest in our land even as state governments that are not viable in any economic sense, still owing salaries continue to celebrate their existence as a political entity for the benefit of those who wield the political power in such places. Our currency is currently the third worst performing currency in the world next to the likes of Venezuela and in the midst of these, there is a rising profile of violations of the fundamental human rights of citizens all across the country both by individuals under the umbrella of religion or ideology and the state itself under the aegis of recently conceptualized notions that are ambiguous enough to warranty abuse – words ranging from cyber-stalking to breach of public peace. Our people who no longer even expect dividends of democracy in terms of development and growth and better standards of living are now even denied the fundamental freedoms that are guaranteed under democratic rule.
Our nation is headed for a ditch and a U-Turn is URGENTLY NEEDED to save us from the impending doom that we are destined for should we continue on this path.
On the economy, It is becoming clearer and clearer by the day that the economic team headed by the Vice President and managed by the Minister of Finance does not have the clout and the capacity to woo investors into an economy that is technically in a recession and that the environment is not conducive even for those who have not decided to leave for one reason or the other. For a turnaround in the economy, We advise that the Federal Government immediately consider the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and invite her representatives to the economic team of the administration. This would not just boost the confidence of the private sector in the plans that are being pushed forth but will ensure that support is given to the plans and policies and a high sense of ownership will follow. This singular act will go a long way in bringing the much needed clout and support that the current economic team requires push forth polices that create the enabling environment for business, ensure those policies work, woo investors who are interested in businesses not governments and deliver the desired results. Much more than any effect that will be evident, the Federal Government’s economic team will then realize that there is not much need for the unnecessary emergency powers that the government is seeking from Parliament.
On Security, We advise that an executive bill that relaxes the exclusivity of the Federal Government on the Nigeria Police Force be sent to Parliament for ratification so that individual states can set up mini-task forces that can work hand in hand with the Nigerian Police Force to ensure security of lives and property. All Policing is LOCAL and the same way citizens are not empowered to secure their lives and properties from herdsmen in the middle belt or to secure their friends from erratic criminals hiding under the umbrella of religion to kill in the name of a deity, an over-bloated Police Force cannot cope with securing 180 million Nigerians in their homes and at work.
On Internally Displaced Persons in the North East, We are aware that there are pockets of government efforts to arrest the situation, but as is evident, neither the state government nor the National Emergency Management Agency does NOT have the capacity to arrest the situation that is fast becoming the scourge of our nation and the stain on our conscience. We advise that help be sought from citizens and the international community to come to the aid of fellow human beings in need of humanitarian help so that what is already a devastating and heart wrenching situation does not worsen. There is an URGENT need to muster political will to save those who are in need and have been displaced from their homes. Much more importantly, the future of the children who are caught in this crisis needs to be given UTMOST priority with immediate effect in order to curtail what might become a generational crisis in that region.
On Agriculture, we commend the long awaited Agricultural Promotion Policy of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, what is needed is immediate ACTION and an understanding that these policy frameworks will not and cannot be effected in isolation of all other activities of the government. There is a need to arrest generally so that a situation where fertilizer which sold for N3000 this time last year and currently sells for N8000 will be curtailed.
On Power, we understand the relationship between peace in the Niger Delta and the stability of Power generation through gas and we hope that the current stability in the cities that exists continues. But, we cannot continue to run our economy on HOPE. There is the need to be able to guarantee Power Supply irrespective of what happens in the Delta Region and as such, we are advising that the Ministry of Power starts to consider alternative means of power generation asides gas. The notion that it cannot be done should be eradicated. If other countries have done this, we can too.
On Human Rights Violations, there is a need to understand the growing sentiment amongst the people of Nigeria by the incumbent government. Mr President’s notoriety for human rights violations during his time as military head of state still instils some measure of doubt about Mr President’s stand on violations of citizens’ right. A situation where events in the country point to a journey back to these times under this administration and there is NO attempt to either exude confidence in the belief and obedience to the rule of law or even outright actions that show flagrant disregard of the rule of law and these violations is NOT just dangerous, it is also unacceptable. Freedoms guaranteed in the constitution to citizens must be upheld and fundamental rights of citizens must not be violated. These actions and attitude by agencies representing the Federal Government or acting on the orders of the Presidency MUST STOP!
On Anti-Corruption, it is becoming more and more evident that if the trend continues, our anti-graft agencies will have become hungry lions and tigers to the average wo/man on the streets who delve into corrupt practices preying on them with precision and accuracy and just mere barking dogs tied to a cage to those who sit very highly in power who can only bark and bark without the ability to do anything to them. The many trials of those who sit highly in courts have gone on and on forever ending in indefinite adjournment by courts including a case against Mr President on the presentation of his certificates. The current events in the National Assembly involving various allegations against principal officers of the National Assembly have been treated without rigour showing an absence of political will and a step back from Mr President’s claims that no sacred cows will exist. This trend also has to stop. Nobody MUST be above the law and immune from investigations or query. The Speaker of the House of Assembly, other alleged principal officers and Hon Jibrin Addulmumin MUST ALL submit themselves for investigation and prosecution should there be need.
On the Judiciary, there is an URGENT NEED to save the face of the bar and the bench in what is fast becoming a threat to our democracy and the stability and peace of our society. The rate at which the judicial arm of government is deteriorating is not encouraging and more than any branch of government, the judiciary has what it takes to cripple our society faster than we can bounce back from. The reforms needed in the judiciary to curtail incidences of double judgements, corruption on the bench and abuse/misuse of judges for individual purposes or purposes for a group of persons therefore needs to begin immediately. It is high time this proposed reforms are put in place for the benefit of all in our society.
Overall, as it currently stands, we have so much work to do to ensure that we do not sleepwalk into the disaster that we are already marching towards. In another month from now, we would be celebrating independence from our colonial masters for more than 50 years, If we are still not able to confidently boast that we are on a path to achieving the so great a potential that was seen and testified to at independence both by local and international observers, then our existence as a people and as a united country will be put to question.
We urge all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria both home and abroad to continue to support the efforts of the government to make our lives better, abiding by the laws of the land, paying our taxes and dues to the government, commending efforts and encouraging results and condemning all condemnable actions in exercise of our office of the citizen which is the highest office in the land. Though the economic recession continues to bite us, it is our hope and prayer that the tide would turn sooner rather than later for the benefit of us all.
May God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Signed (ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL)
National Youth Leader, KOWA PARTY
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