Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said the newly formed Coalition for Nigerian Movement (CNM) is not a third force but a popular socio-economic movement working towards replacing the present leadership in the country with competent government. Obasanjo, who is the convener of the coalition, said: “This movement is not about personalities but about platform and system. Our system so far has not given us what we must have, and for the first time, we (CNM) are building a platform from bottom up.”
The former president, who spoke yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital insisted that the movement was yet to become a political party. But he quickly added that the membership would be free to collectively decide on whether CNM should become a political party.
“If the movement decides to transform itself and go into partisan politics, I will cease to be a member,” he said.
The former president spoke after registering as a member of CNM at a ceremony held at the Ogun State Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre. Registration of the state chapter of the movement opened in Abeokuta yesterday. Among the top officials of the movement at the ceremony were the National Coordinator and former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke and a former minister, Dupe Adelaja.
Obasanjo lamented the unserious manner the Federal Government has been handling the precarious security situation in the country.
“The spate of violence, criminality, organised crime, insurgency and terrorism has not received sufficient proactive AND ameliorative responses through transformational leadership, a determined leadership that brings cohesion and wholesomeness to the polity”, he said.
To him, a popular socio-economic movement such as CNM needs to be the new vehicle to give hope to the youths, dignity and encouragement to women, confidence and a promising future to all Nigerians.
Obasanjo, in his three-page speech, stated: “If the instruments we have used so far in our nation-building and governance since independence have not served us well, it is imperative that we should rethink and retool.”
He said only a fool would continue to do things the same way and expect different results.
That Nigeria has many challenges, he said, was not unusual but “what should matter is how, when and with what instruments we address or fail to address the challenges or create more problems.”
The areas Obasanjo would like the country’s leadership to give priority attention include nation building, saying “we seem to have taken nation building for granted.”
He said nation building must be given continuous attention to give every citizen a feeling of belonging and a stake in his or her country.He was optimistic that the movement would bring about new democratic and efficient Nigeria.
“The CNM will also act collectively with political awareness, social responsibility, sustained and sustainable economic development and progress.
“Timidity and cowardice must not be part of its (movement) make-up or culture and neither must there be an indifference,” Obasanjo said. He explained that his interactions with President Buhari when they met in Ethiopia should not be misinterpreted as he was only showing respect to the office of the presidency “as a well brought up Yoruba boy”.
According to Obasanjo, the CNM has neither direct nor indirect relationship with any other movement. At the well-attended ceremony, forms were distributed to interested members to register.
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