Former Super Eagles defender and present assistant coach, Joseph Yobo, has decried bad governance in Nigeria, urging Nigerians, especially the youth, to take active participation in politics; in order to vote out bad leaders.
Speaking Monday in Abuja at the official unveiling of a social political organisation, the Grassroots Mobilization Initiative for Good Governance, Yobo, who is the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the organisation, said Nigerians must get it right in 2023 by voting the right people into elective positions.”
He said: “This organisation, formerly known as Ward 2 Ward Initiative, was birthed in 2014. We mobilise Nigerians to vote for credible leaders. For us in GMI, Candidates come first before political party.
“In 2015, this organisation chose to support Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and we thereby leaned towards his political party, the PDP. We canvassed every nook and crannies of our dear country from Alimosho, to Ogbomosho, from Kana to Toro, from Calabar to Abakaliki, from Umunze to Dawakin Kudu, from Makurdi to Uyo, from Zaria to Sokoto, from Ilorin to Yola, from Damaturu to Lokoja. Every area was covered.
“We have continued to canvass, advocate and mobilize Nigerians, especially the young people, to register to vote, pick up their PVC, and be prepared to defend their votes. We believe you lose your right to complain about your leaders or the state of the Nation if you don’t vote. This is not the time to be complacent. Be a true Nigerian, be part of progress.
“We desire a nation that works for all. A nation that rewards hardwork and dignity. A nation where leaders elected are accountable to the people that elected them.
“We admit Nigeria is work in progress. As a nation, we have made some progress, but we want more. Infact, a lot more. If you look at the country currently, we are not where we should be. It is against the background that I and some others of like minds have taken it upon ourselves to come together and speak out for the benefit of our country. We want a new leader that will consolidate on the current good gains and move Nigeria forward.
“We have agreed as an organisation, despite anyone’s political leaning or affiliation, personal interest and sentiments, to be apolitical and not be affiliated to any political party until we have identified a leader that is competent, capable, pragmatic, purpose driven and a true Nigerian.
“This means that, as an organisation, we will be consulting with all Nigerians, irrespective of your social status. We will meet our leaders, both political, traditional, religious and business leaders. We will meet the traders, schoolboys and girls, taxi drivers. Everyone matters!”
He added: “2023 elections are very crucial for the future of our country. From the North to the south, from East to the West, all Nigerians must be involved.
“We have delved into the current situation to speak to all Nigerians and say that it is time we learnt to do things a new way. We must move away from the politics of the past and do away with all the unconscious social and religious bias that tend to divide us all as a nation.
“It is time for us all to come together as a nation and embrace each other so that our country can be great. We have had periods of struggles and difficulties in our history. At this time of so much agitations in our world, we must come together and put our focus on the things that bind us. We must know that our strength lies in our strong undivided unity as Nigeria.
“We invite all Nigerians of like minds to join us. This country is filled with greatness and all parts of our country must have a say in who leads us. We encourage everyone to get their voter cards because the battle will be won and lost on the ballot boxes. We must not allow the politics of the past where we sell our votes or we sit at home. We must not give away our future to just any candidate for four years.
“We must take stock of the past and view each candidate on a pedestal where we are able to assess their achievements and come to an informed decision with regards to their suitability to lead this country towards the path of greatness. We must commend recent efforts from the citizenry, which we shall do all to sustain that only the best makes it past the ballot. Our country must understand that if we must have a new and better Nigeria then we must embrace a new way of doing things.
“Nigeria must rise to her position as the giant of Africa we must be able to harness the vast human capital that we are abundantly blessed with and channel that towards filling the vacancy in our leadership positions. Nigeria will work, Nigeria must work! Lets get to work!”
Also speaking, the National Coordinator of the group, Samila Musa, said the organization represents “a movement by younger Nigerians committed to the task of rescuing Nigeria from the margins of inconsequence and collapse in the context of a global order, which currently runs on the basis of values and practices that we need to understand, adapt to or create alternatives that suit our cultures, circumstances and interests.”
He said: “It was in recognition of the seriousness of the challenge of leadership selection in Nigeria and the urgency of the situation that we took this initiative with the sole aim of shopping for, assessing and ultimately adopting and mobilising the support of Nigerian youth for a credible presidential candidate.
“The grassroots mobilisation initiative is the metamorphosis of the yearnings and aspirations of young generation Nigerians into an improved brand primarily concerned with mobilising and guiding the Nigerian public towards a credible process for the selection of leaders.
“The grassroots mobilisation initiative represents a movement by younger Nigerians committed to the task of rescuing Nigeria from the margins of inconsequence and collapse in the context of a global order, which currently runs on the basis of values and practices that we need to understand, adapt to or create alternatives that suit our cultures, circumstances and interests.
“The GMI represents a major step up in the activities of the youth as part of the mobilization strategies to embark on a massive nationwide campaign for a general review of the current leadership selection process.
“This, without doubt, is a necessary step, because if Nigerians today need to hear the truth, they should be told that its past and present leaders have lost the energy and some of the courage to take up serious national issues and confront challenges around security, corruption the economy and to manage the limitations imposed by our diversity.
“Interestingly, this has nothing to do with political parties but rather individuals. Sometimes reading comments on social media has almost destroy my faith in the capacity of Nigeria to evolve beyond its current status but having realised that the kind of leadership that knows how to turn the energy and vibes of these youth for positivity,unite South and North, handle criticism which is a core structural feature of democracy gives me hope that Nigeria will evolve and tow the path of workability.
“With the strength of our members all across Nigeria, we will mobilize Nigerians to look beyond self interest, sentiment, and even political persuasion this 2023 election. Nigerians must ask the right questions and set timelines for the deliverables. The quest for power should not be the drive for any politician. GMI will be in the forefront to identify and showcase the best and the most ready of the candidates that emerges after their party primaries. Nigeria must work.”