Curiously the first words of our National Anthem ARISE, O COMPATRIOTS, NIGERIA’S CALL OBEY were configured for a time as this. Curiously those deep words are perhaps gaining the most fervency since Nigeria chose that National Anthem, and the reason for this fervency is the Movement across Nigeria that is called The OBIDIENTS. Folks, something huge is happening across the nation. And curiously after 62years of Independence, our nation is clearly at the throes of authentic independence from the many troubles with Nigeria.
I was born 11 years after Nigeria’s Independence from Britain, I have all my life seen administrations and ‘leaders’ who claim to have made monstrous sacrifices for Nigeria. Peter Gregory Obi the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party was born 11 months after Independence, so he has obviously seen more of such ‘leaders’ of ‘sacrifice’ and therefore has risen to change the narrative. Folks, a NEW NIGERIA is PO-ssible.
At the core of the many faiths that humankind professes is the call to OBI-DIENCE over uninformed and unguarded sacrifice of initiates and or followers of faith. Nigeria craves a NEW DEAL in leadership, Nigerians seek a New Republic of responsible and responsive leadership, and NIGERIA’S CALL is for a nation and leadership that works for the good of ALL.
Apart from Peter Obi who was born about 11months after our Independence, the other three top contenders for the High Office of President come 2023, Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and Abubakar Atiku were born before Nigeria gained Independence from Britain. And most of the other 14 candidates or so were born after Nigeria’s Independence. You may wonder why this preamble. I have chosen to make this brief Independence Day intervention as didactic as possible, believing that we shall ultimately resolve to build a nation where PEACE and JUSTICE reigns.
Countrymen and women, we are poised to obey NIGERIA’S CALL for justice, equity, fairness and inclusiveness. Statesmen and women in the Southwest including the Afenifere Group have said so. The Middle Belt/North Central people have said so. The South South people have said so. The wonderful people of the Northwest and the Northeast have in no uncertain terms said that a just and equitable Nigeria is their desire. And the Southeast is committed to this cause. Our Country has chosen to do right, and to the right the wrongs of the past the OBI-diently Yusful Movement have become a massive uniting force across our nation. In no less than 14 States and Cities, the Obidients are out celebrating Nigeria’s Independence in monstrously attended marches and rallies. Yes, they are saying that OBI-dience is better than sacrifice. We have very interesting times ahead.
Nigeria is in dire need of leaders who are true to what they say on paper. Nigeria is in great need of leaders who will appropriate her great resources for the common good. And now more than ever is the time to heed the call for a NEW NIGERIA. Indeed 2023 is our date with destiny, and I pray and hope that Nigerians will truly and dedicatedly elect OBI-dience over and above ‘leaders’ of ‘sacrifice’. Yes, we do not need such ‘sacrifice’ that brought our nation to the nadir, we need a New Dawn centred on sincere OBI-dience to the pristine value of nationhood.
Nigeria is in dire strait because until now we have had ‘leaders’ of ‘sacrifice’ who largely sacrificed Nigeria at the altar of self, ‘politicians who got to Power promising a lot and left office stealing a whole lot’, and we have seen power brokers, power mongers, men and women of power, and power players who denominate the destiny of a nation on the scale of personal greed and avarice. May we not walk that path again.
After 62 years our nation’s history is a chequered tale of policy summersaults, a benumbing spectacle of leadership failure, a sad epistle of lost hopes and dreams, a space where education is placed low, a polity of rampaging buccaneers and scavengers who masquerade as leaders, and the tragedy seems intractable. But not anymore.
As we mark the 62nd year of Independence there is a silver lining in the horizon. It is manifestly so, there is a resurgence of HOPE. Today something awesome and great is happening across the nation, yes, Nigerians old and young are pushing through a Peaceful Ballot Based Revolution. Nigerians are determined to change the story. Nigerians are committed to birth and berth a new deal for all. Nigerians are committed to TAKE BACK their Country. Nigerians are poised for a NEW DAY where justice, equity, fairness and genuine brotherhood is summon bonum. And Nigerians are united in Project Rescue Nigeria, that’s the CALL that they have chosen to OBEY, and that is why the North and the South have elected OBI-dience over and above sacrifice.
COMPATRIOTS the campaign season is here, and the challenge to rework, reshape and refix Nigeria is before us. If we truly believe that a NEW NIGERIA IS POSSIBLE. If we truly want a better story for the 62 years ‘infant’ called Nigeria, we must love NIGERIA enough to hand her a new order. We must make the political gladiators who see nothing but personal ambition to realize that the cards have changed, and that Nigerians have chosen to heed the CALL for a nation that works for all.
We have chosen FRUGALITY over PROFLIGACY. We have chosen the PRIMACY of Education over egocentrism and perennial ASUU Strike. We have chosen the Security of Lives and Property over the liberalization of terror, banditry and insecurity. We have chosen PRODUCTION over CONSUMPTION and CORRUPTION. We have chosen the one who will spend our money wisely over those who spend our common patrimony on themselves, their friends and court-jesters alone. We have chosen the one who will revolutionalize the Power/Energy sector above those who profiteer from the energy sector and have left out nation poorer and in darkness. And we have chosen to TAKE BACK our Country for good, for such was the promise at Independence, and such is the CALL and the urgency of now.
Congratulations Nigeria, it feels great to be alive and well to see Nigerians of various creed and clan marching in unison, and united in the call for a NEW DEAL and a NEW DAY. It is beautiful to sing along with our young people and to boldly say that Nigeria and Nigerians are profusely, passionately and profoundly Obidient and Yusful to the CALL and the cause for a NEW NIGERIA. For this cause we live, and such is our unalterable and unalloyed commitment.
Happy Independence Nigeria, WE MOVE, WE WIN.
Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr.
Convener COUNTRYFIRST MOVEMENT.