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Nigerians Plan Rally to Counter Politicians’ Election War Messages #RUN2015
Abuja, 24 December, 2014
Are you worried about the future of Nigeria after the 2015 elections? Do you want a united and forward moving Nigeria beyond February 2015? Are you prepared to pay the price to make this happen? If you responded in the affirmative to the preceding questions, then you should run with RUN – Rally for a United Nigeria.
We live in challenging times in Nigeria and in the build-up to the forthcoming general elections; the political class appears to have increased the tempo of divisive politicking. Rather than focus on the things that bind us together, they take advantage of some of the existing fault lines to further divide our people. We are much more than the existing fault lines we are a people united by common sufferings:
In the past few months our national coffers have rapidly depleted with the current fall in oil price from $140 per barrel to $80 dollar per barrel; where 95% of our foreign currency comes from oil and the devaluation of the naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The fall in oil price becomes a major threat to our economy because we have overtime experienced a consistent drain in our economy due to gross mismanagement of funds and impunity for corruption. How do you build a nation on a mono-economy where funds cannot be accounted for? The reality is that the ordinary Nigerian remains the victims; they are the civil servants whose salaries will be adversely affected, the entrepreneur whose cost of production outweighs profit, the ordinary citizen who cannot afford a good standard of living. The 2015 budget presented already shows that we are in for hard times and if radical action is not taken we are headed for an economic crash worse than the 1980s.
Our bulging youth population remains largely unemployed and served by a weak educational system failing in its role in building young people that can face the challenges of our time and compete fairly in a highly competitive market. Their continued neglect promises catastrophic consequences that will affect us all.
The ongoing insurgency in the North- Eastern parts of the country and pockets of communal violence in other parts have resulted in alarming carnage and a humanitarian crisis comparable only with the Nigerian civil war. It is not just a North- Eastern problem -the continuing insecurity across the country has placed further strain on our already distressed economy. The southward spread of the conflicts also threatens our continued collective existence.
Also a major threat is the recent huge small and light weapons influx which we must not neglect.
The crises of ethnic, religious and perhaps cultural diversity unfortunately combines with the general atmosphere of insecurity to create some combustibility, which we need to address if Nigeria will remain as one indivisible country post elections in 2015.
Words and action drive war or peace. It is possible to limit the penetration of hate speech, incitement to violence and politically induced inter-ethnic or inter-religious crises by saying and doing the right things. Hate speech played a huge role in fuelling the genocide in Rwanda as well as post-election violence in Kenya. It has the capacity to do the same in Nigeria. Therefore, we must stand together to reclaim our country before it is too late.
With the sensitivity of the election period we cannot afford to have the independence and impartiality of Institutions of Security and law enforcement, and our Judiciary compromised. Nigerians deserve and must demand good service and accountability from State Institutions.
We need to mobilize our country men and women across the federation to sign up to hate-speech free and violence free elections and to demand that political candidates focus on addressing the issues stated above with a bid to moving us forward as a united country and not further divide us. We also need our identity and faith Institution to remain non-partisan as they join in mobilizing citizens for peaceful elections and a United Nation. Our faith and identity can only thrive in an environment of peace.
Every true Nigerian deserves and should support this because it is in our collective interest that the country remains united beyond February 2015. We have to tell our politicians that Nigeria belongs to all of us and we cannot afford to stand-by and watch them destroy our common heritage.
We invite true- spirited Nigerians to join us in rallying for a united Nigeria in the period leading to and after the general elections in February 2015. Our tools of engagement will include research, advocacy, mobilization and capacity strengthening. Nigeria and Nigerians will be our sole focus.
Rally for United Nigeria is a non-governmental, non-religious, and non-partisan platform for Nigerians to advance the cause of peace and unity before, during and after the 2015 elections. Everyone who shares our aspiration is welcome to connect with us.
Rally for a United Nigeria (RUN) is led and driven by concerned Nigerians from different socio-political backgrounds committed to working for a peaceful, progressive and united Nigeria.
Join us as we Rally for a United Nigeria. #RUN2015
For more information, please contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter handle: @RUN2015ng
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