Pat Utomi

OBINNA EZUGWU

Political economist and former presidential candidate, Prof Pat Utomi has said the agenda of NCFront, a new political movement formed by himself and other prominent activist and intellectuals is to bring about a new Nigeria that works for all.

Utomi who is the co-chairman of NCFront’s steering committee, spoke during his maiden visit to the movement’s National Secretariat in Abuja at the weekend.

The visit marked the beginning of consultations to ratify the strategy and activity chart of the NCFront.

Utomi laid down the programme of activities for the group, while calling on Nigerians to lend their support towards attaining the stated objectives.

His speech read:

Dear Compatriots, members of the NCFront Steering committee and members of the Fourth estate of the realm, NCF Staff and Volunteers.

I am delighted to have finally overcome COVID-19 lockdown and be visiting the National Secretariat of the NCFront, as we launch into a national tour of sharing the NCFront testament for organizing to save and create a New NIgeria that works for all

On behalf of the networks of Thought Leaders of conscience in Nigeria, who have subscribed to a citizen activation movement called the National Consultative Front, NCfront, I am pleased to present our short to medium programme for rescuing and saving Nigeria from a wave of troubling negative trends.

After a series of webinars, robust conversations on several social media groups, and brainstorming sessions, we have noted some unpleasant trends which if unchecked threaten the legitimacy of the Nigerian State and its democratic order. Our goal is to check the slide and restore popular trust in Democratic way as well as in our institutions, currently being suffocated by the politics of State capture and power erosion with attendant consequences, which include violence in Nigeria at large, which begs the question of the traditional definition of the State as the sovereign with a monopoly of (lawful) use of violence.

Equally threatening the social order and state legitimacy are widespread culture of corruption, the gulf between Government and the people as well as the state and society. Challenging economy, even as we approach the end of the age of crude oil, others are failing state-owned enterprises, and the disastrous state of both education and health care among a variety of other challenges are critical issues requiring urgent citizens’ engagements.

These matters are beyond partisan but all constitute existential threat to Nigeria as a nation. Most of us believe that to solve these problems and save our dear nation from these leadership pandemic, all citizens ought to take ownership of the problems and act in ways that can lead to their resolution. However, many presently do not act as citizens for a variety of reasons. We, therefore, believe the first duty of enlightened leadership is to wake up the citizen.

We, thus see NCfront as first and foremost, a web of networks of people of conscience awakening citizen consciousness that will prompt action that can and will redeem the land.

Therefore, our commitment, as NCFront is to create the structures, work plan and inspiration to make this different from similar initiatives in the past that stop at talking. Here and today, our goal is simple and focused. To move Nigeria forward because the consequence of failure is staring us in the face already.”

But how can we do the needful? We need the structure, systems and transforming leadership impetus.

STRUCTURE
The structure of the emerging people’s movement as conceived will be given direction by a Steering Committee with co-chairs which will be coordinating a web of clusters of stakeholder groups. Each cluster will determine its general operating mode within a framework proposed by the steering committee which has already defined who we are, our values, and goals as Stakeholders and members of the NCFront

“Among these clusters are concerned Professional Groups, Youth Groups, Trade Unions, Artisan Groups, Women Groups, Students Leagues, Committed Political Parties, and an Elders Committee of Statesmen, and Business Leaders. In the preceding weeks, we have had consultations with the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Movement, Youths and Students Leaders and Elder Statesmen like Dr Christopher Kolade, Dr Uma Eleazu, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Chief Olu Falae, Dr Kunle Olajide among others and intend to advance nationwide to continue these consultations with eminent elder statesmen and women of conscience.

The steering committee in its guardian role will offer alternative views to those advanced by government’s public policy, where they are at variance with synthesis of positions thrown up by the Think Tanks servicing the NCfront. This is particularly urgent because opposition parties are not doing enough in the area of shadow government politics

MODUS OPERANDI
The launching of a Citizens’ owned and driven mega party movement calls for an open invitation to all citizens who desire system change in Nigeria, or feel a need to rescue and save the country from the direction its current trends seem to point, to urgently register on the NCFront website and then proceed to form a cell of not less than 12 and no more than 20 people of conscience. Each of these cells shall be required to meet weekly on a format to be clearly spelt out by the National Secretariat in discussing issues of importance to the Nation and their local communities, while proposing relevant interventions for the NCFront and Government to undertake.

ACTIVITY CHART OF NCFront:
On International Democracy Day, September 15, the NCFront is planning to interface with the National Assembly on critical issues of constitution and electoral reforms and also through a Grand National webinar will discuss issues that affect the development of our democracy, which include, electoral laws, process, and convention of Political Patties, internal democracy in political parties, money politics, the systems of recruitment and socialization of leaders based on ideas, values and worldviews. The role of the judiciary in the current loss of regard for elections will be equally periscoped.

Again, on October 1, the NCFront plans, at a Grand National Summit, to focus on why a country of great promise is now the poverty capital of the world 60 years after independence and therefore intends to launch an initiative for Executive vocational education and a major conversations on policy that will seek to move Nigeria from a culture of sharing to one of production and human solidarity of Neighbours Caring for Neighbours.

Central to this philosophy of economic thrust is the building the nexus of a common cause between a rural agriculture class, an artisan class, an emerging people’s entrepreneurial class producing values and productive middle class workers. This people’s solidarity shall be the basis for policy prescriptions of the movement in seeking to elevate the dignity of Labour to a central place in Nigeria, even as we promote justice, and fairness to all because of dignity domiciled in all people as an inalienable gift of God. We shall therefore spare no cost where human life is concerned

It is on this note that I hereby invite all people of goodwill and conscience to join us on this journey of National restoration and renewal.

Thank you all for your support!

Patrick Utomi
Co-chairman, NCFront.

#NCFront! #Agenda for New Nigeria!!