Thursday, 6 June 2013

Speech: The Aspirations Of Nigerians Are Still Very Far From Being Met

Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin

(Being Keynote address delivered by Dr. Joe okei-odumakin, President, Campaign For Democracy (CD) & International Woman Of Courage at the CD South east state of the nation colloquium, Wednesday 5th June 2013 at Top Rank Hotel, Onitsha. Anambra State.)

Let me express my pleasure to be here with you all today on this great opportunity that we have to once again collectively engage ourselves on the State of the Affairs of our Nation Nigeria.

I must commend your courage in sustaining the struggle for the advancement of democracy in our country which remains one fundamental objective of the existence of the Campaign for Democracy CD.

We must continue to maintain the standard because we seriously require courage and dedication to see our nation through its current challenging period. We must not faint nor cower in fear for our purpose is right and our ways remains legitimate and democratic.

We have learned from our experiences and History that only those who are consistent win the struggles. We must be resolute for there is no shame in the struggle that we continue to fight for democracy to be entrenched in our country.

Today, our nation is presently faced with several challenges ranging from Poverty, Illiteracy, Insecurity and Diseases. The rule of law is being mocked daily and justice is gradually becoming the exclusive preserve of the privileged in our society. It is important to take ourselves briefly through the current state of the nation. A heavy cloud hovers overhead. The challenges are numerous. From Poverty, unemployment, disease, Insecurity, crime, and religious and ethnic polarisation. The level of infrastructural decadence is also alarming.

Despite all these challenges, I have always believed in the power of the people to put a stop to all these anomalies. The power to entrench democratic principles which is key to finding solution to all the problems confronting us as a nation.

What we have in Nigeria today is not the democracy that you and I fought for, what we fought for is not a government of the few, by the few for the few. We must therefore be prepared to arise once again by realizing that it is not yet uhuru. The last 14 years of democracy in Nigeria is not in any way better off the dark days of the Military dictatorship in Nigeria.

The aspirations of Nigerians are still very far from being met.

We cannot continue to celebrate a democracy that does not guarantee the future of our youth, a democracy whereby over 1.7 million candidates seek admission to the nation’s universities but only about 500,000 places exist for placement in the universities.

These are interesting times for Nigeria, and we need to come together as a people to pursue those things that elevate us, heal our people, enlighten our children and enhance our economy. The future is bright because Nigeria has some of the brightest people in the world.

We are all aware of the crisis around the country, but we should see them as opportunity rather than platforms for decay or failure.

The time is now for us to gear up and realize that if this order continues, the future is very bleak for us and the coming generations.

We cannot continue to surrender our right into the hands of the ruling elite whose ultimate goal remains personal enrichment.

We must come to realize that we have a greater stake considering our sacrifices towards enthroning democracy in Nigeria.

The situation in Nigeria should no longer be acceptable to us as concerned Nigerians. We must be prepared to hit the streets to demand for genuine democratic practices that seek to tackle our various challenges as a nation.

We must be prepared to embark on a process that will give power to the people.

We must be prepared to mobilize our people in the days ahead towards ensuring that the labours of our heroes shall not be in vain.

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