Patience Ndidi Key on Wednesday formally presented her manifesto for the 2023 presidential elections.
Patience, who had declared her interest in the presidency in November 2021, is running on the platform of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
At a media briefing in Abuja, the certified health professional, who was the immediate past Chairman, Board of Directors of Nigerians in Diaspora Organization Americas (NIDOA), United States of America (USA), and past President of the Maryland Chapter of the same organization, lamented the maladministration of Nigeria by successive leaders.
The Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, graduate with another Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Coppin State University, Baltimore, USA. as well as a Masters degree Public Health from Walden University, USA., said she was poised to aggregate her experiences in the diaspora where she established the Maryland chapter of NIDO, a continental non-profit organization that advocates for the interest of Nigerians in the Western world.
She had also deployed her experience in Nigeria as Chairman of NIDO, when she led the organization to distribute palliatives to the vulnerable populations in Lagos State, Nigeria in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier in the year, the presidential aspirant said that if elected in 2023, she would implement an agenda with special focus on Peace, Equity, and Wealth (PEW).
Having over 15 years of leadership experience and exposure, Patience, yesterday, stressed that she would Nigeria out of its peril.
Full speech below:
The question that should be agitating the mind of every honest and conscious Nigerian now is how do we extricate our nation from the dreadful, humiliating abyss that successive decades of bad governance has plunged us into?
Indeed, after 108 years of nationhood, 62 years of political independence and over two decades of uninterrupted civil rule, the state of our country is a woeful depiction of how efficiently our past and present leaderships have mobilized, exploited, and managed our over 200 million vibrant population; rich cultural diversity; apparently inexhaustible deposits of natural resources; congenial climate; rich soil, flora and fauna, among a horde of other potentials.
With GDP estimate of over USD 432 billion in 2020, Nigeria is acclaimed the largest economy in Africa. Hurray! However, the weak linkage between the various sectors of the national economy, with petrodollars contributing disproportionately to boost the figures, makes our GDP figure a charade! Only a few privileged Nigerians reap the bountiful rewards from the rent-seeking structure of our petroleum industry.
In reality, our country is profusely bleeding! Poverty, hunger and anger are boldly imprinted on the faces of the vast majority of the populace. Pervasive insecurity has denied many Nigerians not only their lives and the lives of their loved ones, but also their freedom, dignity and means of livelihood. Terrorists now hoist their flags on huge swathes of land within our national territory; more alarmingly, some within a few hundred kilometers from our nation’s capital! Our villagers and assiduous farmers in the Northeast now gladly pay taxes to terrorists and armed bandits, rather than government, to stay alive and access their own farmlands.
Never, in the chequered history of Nigeria, have we witnessed such heights of ineptitude by a duly elected Federal Government! With persistent stagflation and a national economy waddling in and out of recession; critical infrastructures on the brinks of dereliction; health systems in shambles; peace and social justice mere mirages; dysfunctional educational system; spiraling unemployment; palpable disillusionment and innocent Nigerians being hounded and disparaged overseas, even in other African countries, we must not compromise the golden opportunity of the 2023 General Elections to take back our country for the good of all Nigerians.
It’s time to inject a fresh breath of air, a fresh ray of hope, for every Nigerian. At this defining moment, we cannot allow political party prejudices and the primordial sentiments of religion, ethnicity, tribe, and gender to becloud our reasoning. This is also not the time for indifference, complacency, or despondency. We must all honestly admit that our nation-state is precariously drifting in murky waters, and if we fail to take conscious and urgent steps to alter the deleterious course of our national voyage, we will be complicit in the eventual capsizing or outright sinking, of our State-ship!
Nigerians are sick and tired of the callous, deceptive and manipulative tendencies of our key political actors since the return to democracy in 1999! With escalating insecurity, asphyxiating poverty, mounting foreign debts and apparent citizens’ disenchantment being the order of day, it is evident that our key political parties have failed to deliver on their campaign promises to Nigerians over the years!
Consequently, Nigeria has earned the ignoble title of ‘poverty capital of the world’ and ranked 149 out of 180 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, the leading global indicator of public sector corruption! In terms of security, the 2021 Global Peace Index (GPI) ranked Nigeria 146th out of 163 independent nations and territories, making it the 8th least peaceful place to live in Africa.
Whereas, some African countries returned favourable ratings, e.g. Mauritius, the most peaceful African country ranked 28th, followed by Ghana (38th) and Botswana (41st), Nigeria is at the base of the global ladder, along with war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, South Sudan and Iraq. The GPI measures the state of peace in countries. Yet, the incumbent Federal Administration vehemently swore to tackle insecurity headlong, nip corruption in the bud and revive our ailing economy.
The acclaimed deregulation and restructuring of the power sector with private sector participation, turned out to be a grand scheme to empower themselves and their cronies. While the promised to inject several megawatts of electricity into the national grid, turned into injected several megawatts of excuses! Nigerians have since resorted to alternative sources of electricity to power their homes and businesses, many using gasoline generators in spite of their high cost of purchase and maintenance, and their harmful effects on the environment.
Our universities are swelling in number, but our educational standard is rapidly hitting rock bottom! As a reflection of our weak human capital development profile, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, renowned Professor of Economics, once lamented that Nigerian graduates were unemployable!
The irrefutable fact is that Nigeria needs a new Captain and a new Crew altogether, to navigate our State-ship from the brinks of disaster! The leading political parties have had their chances and have failed us woefully.
Political leadership is not a tea party! It’s not about having unfettered access to the national treasury. In the words of Professor of Theology, Yusuf Obaje, leadership is a sacred responsibility with multiple dimensions. National leadership is not ethnocentric or gender-specific! It is a divine call to duty for true visionaries: eligible persons with the required levels of competence, selflessness, compassion, empathy and patriotism; those that would do all it takes to unify and protect their people and engender peace and prosperity in the land.
There exists a serious contradiction between our nation’s latent potential and its current status, and we cannot allow this anomaly to continue. Tough times call for superior ideas, to tackle our numerous problems as a nation. Nigeria desperately needs a New Voice, a New Vision, and a New Direction.
A peaceful environment is a sine qua non to development. The Federal Government seem to have exhausted all its strategies; and the security status of Nigeria has really deteriorated. Nigeria now struggles with various security challenges such as kidnapping, extremism and jihadism, banditry, gun proliferation, intractable herdsmen-farmers conflicts, separatists and insurgency. These major security challenges have troubled most parts of the country over the years and have even gotten worse more recently. Therefore, we must enhance peace in Nigeria by firstly tackling poverty, which is a remote cause of the various security deficits that have caused humongous challenges for economic growth in Nigeria. In view of these challenges, to achieve peace and stability, we must collaborate with the governments of neighbouring countries where most of the problems emanated from as this would reduce the influx of arms through the various border areas into Nigeria.
The overhauling of the Nigerian Police and Military remains very significant. Proper auditing and funding of units working directly against insurgency and extremism is strictly required. As a matter of fact, all of Nigeria’s security-related units such as Customs, Immigration and many more are areas of focus. As it stands, proper digitalisation of policing as well as Community Policing, strategies that have been very successful in various civilised countries, is advised in various Nigerian communities till stability is achieved in the security sector of our country. Nigeria’s security must be made digital, with the introduction of CCTV cameras in most parts of the country, along with other sophisticated devices used in crime detection and prevention.
In the light to maintain peace, provision of standard healthcare becomes imperative. An average Nigerian is entitled to standard and accessible healthcare services. When a society thrives, it is assessed based on metrics such as health accessibility and affordability. We need access to healthcare right from rural to the urban areas in all geopolitical zones where all and sundry can equally enjoy proper healthcare. We all know that healthcare in Nigeria has really deteriorated in recent times. We have even lost most of our professional hands in healthcare to other countries. There is to conduct a general overhaul of the healthcare system in Nigeria that will be beneficial to the public and all health workers, to stop the incessant immigration of expert hands in the health sector.
In social justice, equity simply means the notion of being fair and impartial as an individual engages with a system, especially in a system embodied with grievances such as ours. Nigeria today, lacks fairness in most areas. That is why tribalism, nepotism, unequal allocation of resources, ethnicity, favouritism, and corruption are the order of the day. We must emphasise on the significance of equitable justice and social system that will eradicate the above-named societal ills. Equity is a veritable tool that enables stability and increases the standard of living in any system in the 21st century. To achieve this, it is important to restructure the current systems within Nigeria such as educational system, justice system, social systems and many more.
Furthermore, there is an urgent need for a constitutional review in Nigeria, as Nigeria must deal with colonial imprints currently causing diversity and iniquitousness in all areas of our constitution. The strides of our forefathers as well as their mistakes must be assessed for the design of a Nigeria that we all hope for. Equity between gender and all areas of our economy is for sure a veritable tool that can enhance us more than the current statuesque by 50%; where all citizens are empowered equally for wealth creation and enhancement. We must liberate our fellow citizens with disability and the less-privileged Nigerians and create a level playing field for all and sundry. Currently, most organizations have come up with various indexes that categorise Nigeria as one of the poverty capitals of the world. This is reminiscent of the fact that leadership in Nigeria has not been very inclusive but didactic in recent years.
To say that a society is fair means every citizen will have access to basic amenities. We know this isn’t the case in Nigeria, as several children and youths in Nigeria cannot even go to school because there is no easy access especially for poor households. More funds are needed in the education sector and work on revamping the standards of education in Nigeria. In recent times, our universities have been ranked lowly in the international community. This is unacceptable! Furthermore, the cost of education needs to be investigated significantly and possibly subsidised with more budgetary funds made available for our schools to thrive without much burden on the students from poorer households. When education in Nigeria is compared with other civilised countries, some countries budget as high as 30-40% on education as against the 2022; 7.9% education budget in Nigeria which happens to be the highest in the last ten years, hence the reason for the continuous deterioration of the sector.
Nigerians deserve an all-inclusive government where every citizen of Nigeria will have a say in the government and can have a feeling of being secured in their own country.
Wealth creation is about diligently investing in Nigerians, both the young and the old. Proper education, which will be designed to enrich an average Nigerian in terms of understanding the currents trends around the world where businesses can flourish, a space where creativity can be eminent and enabling a potential for risk analysis and management. The current poverty rate in Nigeria, according to the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics as of 2021 is at 40% or we say that about 83 million Nigerians live in poverty. Poverty in Nigeria currently stands as a giant, obstructing major government efforts towards developmental plans. Poverty in Nigeria is estimated at an alarming increase of about 10% annually, which means that poor people will increase to 90 million, or 45% of the population, in 2022.
While population in Nigeria is also a factor to be considered when growth and wealth is anticipated, a balance is required in the Nigeria population to enable equilibrium in allocation of resources among Nigerians. We must work to intentionally alleviate poverty and reduce it to the barest minimum among Nigerians. In wealth creation, it is important to focus within Nigeria and focus more on production than importation. Nigeria needs to feed her people first and then make room for export; to help increase revenue generation in areas of mining, agriculture and construction; and create jobs for more youths, enhance proper engagement of the population and a proper utilisation of the diverse natural resources the country is blessed with. Hence, creation of wealth encompasses various sections of the country’s needs at the moment: from job creation, to exports, infrastructural growth, poverty alleviation and many more.
In summary and conclusion, these are points to look into to achieving the Nigeria that works for all Nigerians.
[Engendering a convenient physical and socio-economic environment for all citizens to not only survive, but thrive and attain their optimum potential].
Declaring a State of Emergency on Insecurity
Peacefully Addressing the Mounting Quests for Secession
Qualitative, Functional and Affordable Formal/Vocational Education
Holistic Reform of the Armed Forces, Police & Paramilitary Services
Guaranteed Full Local Government Autonomy
Reinforcing our National Emergency Response Architecture
Enhanced Communal Reintegration, Peace and Progress
A Robust Foreign Policy
Restoration and Preservation of our Physical Environment
Engendering a Convenient Social Environment
Establishment of a Credible Social Welfare Scheme
Curbing the Rising Spate of Drug Abuse and Use of Psychotropic Substances, Especially Among the Youth.
Grooming the Youth for Leadership Succession
[Fair and just treatment of all Nigerians]
Strengthening the Institutions of Democracy and the Rule of Law
Judicial Autonomy and Unfettered Access to Social Justice for All Citizens
Upholding the Tenets of Human Rights and Dignity
Promoting and Defending the Rights of Nigerian Consumers
Entrenching Transparency and Accountability in Governance
A Fair and Equitable Tax Regime and Administration
Economic Diversification Away From Crude Oil
Promoting Gender Balance, with 30% Affirmative Action for Women in Governance
Comprehensive Reform of the Federal Civil Service
Access to Affordable and Qualitative Healthcare for all Nigerians
Massive Investments in Physical and Social Infrastructures
Functional Public Transportation System
Provision of Potable Water for Enhanced Sanitation & Hygiene
Urban Renewal and Housing Development
[Financial inclusion/empowerment for all Nigerians]
Sound Fiscal and Monetary Policy Frameworks
Prudent Public Expenditure
Focus on 21st Century Precision Agricultural Practices
Massive Employment Creation through Aggressive Public Works
Public-Private Sector Partnerships for Rapid Socio-Infrastructural Development
Human Capital Development through Skill Acquisition
Comprehensive Energy Sector Reforms; With Holistic Review of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan
Emphasis on Engineering, Scientific and Technological Research & Development
Information and Communications Technology Revolution
Development of the Nigerian Solid Minerals and Steel Industry
Establishment of the Nigerian Industrial Development Fund
Promoting Tourism, Sports and Nigeria’s Creative Industry
Leveraging Nigerians in Diaspora
Thank you. May God bless you all and bless our great country, Nigeria!
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