The just concluded 2019 presidential election has exposed comprehensively the decay of the Nigerian state.
If left unchecked, this level of decay could unravel its core institutions and structures and lead to our losing the nation-state itself. The elections exposed the country as completely polarized, with a clear absent centre of moral authority and ideological clarity between the two major forces – the APC and the PDP. There is politics of resentment that has produced a poisoned chalice which every Nigerian will tragically have to drink from. National fault lines have widened more than ever before with an increasing number of ungoverned spaces all over the country; poverty is at an all-time high and a mindset of “us and them” is growing within the consciousness of the citizens – North vs. South, Christians vs. Muslims, etc. more than ever before. Even more worrisome is that all these are happening in a country that is presently playing host to one of the world’s deadliest terrorist organizations – Boko Haram.
Therefore, to rebuild the Nigerian State is not just about reforming the electoral infrastructure or system; it is about beginning on a fresh journey of recovering diminishing patriotic spaces in Nigeria, reducing the rise and tide of tribalism, and altering the existing political narrative of our democracy and state enterprise. This is a journey only genuine patriots from all parts of the country can undertake to rescue the Nigerian State from ultimate collapse, by interposing, between the two major parties, a national patriotic structure that will substantially weaken the two extremes by drawing the best from each of them for the emergence of a new national platform that will fill the necessary vacuum in terms of quality ideas about governance, development, national consensus and national integration. For this purpose, a movement is in the making, to be known as “League of National Democrats” (LND)
This is a movement for the reclaiming of national democratic spaces, and restoration of the foundational ideas and norms upon which post-colonial Nigerian State was established. Since 2015, the two major political parties in Nigeria – the APC and PDP, have altered the national political climate by going at each other in a manner that is threatening the very existence of our country. This is unacceptable and no matter what anyone would say, real patriots, must come together to rescue the situation. For once, after a sober reflection on our past and present leadership, I truly feel that the era of seeking our leaders from among the old breed politicians of the First, Second or Third Republics, or from retired generals, with half a century of unchallenged dominance of the political field, should fast come to an end. After holding onto power for over 50 years since independence without developing this country to an appreciable level commensurate to our real status in the global comity of nations, in spite of all our vast human and material endowments, the Nigerian political centre should per forcefully shift to a younger, more educated, more versatile, more dynamic and more well-grounded leadership.
The movement will comprise statesmen, core democrats and morally bound politicians who will be aided by
1. Civil Society
2. Public Intellectuals
3. Media Activists/Social Media Influencers
4. Nationalists of different cultural configurations
The Strategic Core Vision and Mission of LND is to build an immense pan-national momentum that will transform into a political party with a fighting chance in 2023. To achieve this will require the search for strategic pathways of weakening the two pre-eminent forces (PDP and APC), and taking the best out of each of them to create a third force for a new national political rebirth. Third Force here does not mean a temporary intervention platform that addresses periodic crises of governance, but as a permanent feature of the Nigerian post-colonial state, a party with ideological clarity, moral strength and authority, and deep philosophical vision. Its ideological centre of gravity will bestride the centre left, and centre-left spectrum.
The first step towards the formation of League of National Democrats lies in constructing a League of Southern Democrats across the 3 geopolitical zones of the South, and League of Northern Democrats across the 3 geopolitical zones of the North. These two leagues will fashion out common grounds on what the North and South seek from the Nigerian enterprise. Then the two leagues will engage in consultations, conciliations and negotiations to filter out common aspirations between the North and South, and then engage on issues of differences. These leagues of Democrats will keep on debating among themselves until they resolve the contradictions between the North and South, and then form a unified League of National Democrats. The LND has a reading team as its symbolic logo. The logo places the significance of education against ignorance in the society, and light to brighten our perennial dark political environment.