Iyorwuese Hagher: How I will govern Nigeria
Being the speech made by Professor Iyorwuese Hagher, front line presidential aspirant of the SPD, while receiving his nomination and expression of interest forms from his supporters in Abuja yesterday
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
It is a huge privilege, an honor and a great responsibility that I stand here to accept the Social Democratic Party’s nomination form purchased by my friends, family and the coalition of youth groups. This form is the first shot we have taken at the wickedly expensive system of politics in Nigeria which is skewed against the poor and until today and now, been preserved exclusively for the very rich 5% of the population. In recent times, Nigeria passed the “Not Too Young To Run” Bill. But we forgot to abrogate the unwritten law of “Too Poor To Run” which is passionately enforced by the parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission. Nigeria must provide a level playing field to protect our democracy from being a democracy of the rich for the rich by the rich. This is why I am running for president.
I stand here for all of you to run a decent campaign of talent, ideas and common decency, that the future of this great country can be changed by ideas that work and not by changing one bad government with more of the same. The song of “It is my turn to chop” has filled the air as the same 5% people who ruined the country have crossed to other party platforms for yet another term of political spoils. These five per centers are those who have brought Nigeria to its shameful stagnant state where 58 years after independence we have been denied the greatness our founding fathers envisioned for our country. The time has come for Nigeria to be great. This is why I am in the race.
We have been handed a decayed country instead of a developing one by a handful of Nigerians who have stolen the country from us and have instead given us a democracy that is not working. We earned 500 Trillion US dollars from oils revenues since the 1970’s. This has been stolen by less than five percent of Nigerians who live in luxury on unearned wealth. They flaunt their riches and taunt the poor and are protected by their barbed and electrified wired walls and attack dogs and armed security that hide their indecent wealth and prodigal lifestyles. They live in contempt of the hardworking masses of Nigerians who are poor, unemployed, and vulnerable to food, environmental and social insecurity. We cannot justify a country so rich and the citizens who are so poor and live like animals while the elite class continues to gulp more and more without remorse. This is why we must restructure the whole system. It is a moral obligation for all Nigerians to rise up and participate in the political process, and the reason why I am running for president.
There is critical absence of Infrastructure and abysmal energy, health, educational and social services. We have been deceived and abandoned by the few who have stolen our country and call themselves governors, senators and presidents. The rest of the 95% are left in social frustration and unrest. Nigeria is at war with two of the World’s most dreaded terror groups and the government has surrendered due to incompetence and ignorance. We are faced with death in our homes, death on our roads and death in our daily work stations with no government to protect us. The top 5% (The Oga on top) seeks to impose their will, their democracy and then rule us forever. God forbid! It is time to call their bluff. This is why I am running for president.
Nigeria faces huge challenges which are complex, inter connected and demand deep thinking, hard work, complex research and above all a serious commitment to nation building. This is why it has become necessary for Nigeria to employ an unusual leader with a track record of intellectualism and public service integrity. Nigeria needs a bridge builder to unite Nigeria’s divided ethnic and religious groups to become vibrant cohesive national strategic assets. This is the time to celebrate our differences and not be killed because we pray to a different god or pursue a different livelihood and are called a different name. This is the time I am needed to be president to heal a hurting nation.
I Professor Iyorwuese Hagher have offered myself to make Nigeria a great nation. I offer myself to lead a peaceful revolution against those parading themselves with lies and money to buy your votes. I am not one of them. All my life as an intellectual and activist against injustice, I have resisted these enemies of Nigeria. These people have ruined our democracy by playing politics with peoples lives. Politics has pitted us against each other. It has cheapened us and mocked our poverty by buying our votes so that the corrupt politicians can openly steal from our treasuries without any consequences.
I am not your usual politician. I am an academic professor seeking an election as president to fix the problems of Nigeria. I have acquired legislative experience as a 2nd Republic Senator. I have acquired executive experience as a member of the Federal Executive Council, as Minister. I have also acquired significant diplomatic experience, which a modern Nigerian president needs to have. These are the modest credentials that I bring to seek your mandate to serve this country. This is why I will be a better president than your usual politician. As a man of ideas, I search for the truth and stand for the truth. I shall not deceive you with fake promises. To me politics is morality in practice. I will fix our democracy and take it away from the big man and bad politics. The lack of respect for one another, the backbiting, the mudslinging and the shameful physical combats in our legislative houses must now end. The Political culture of the big men; the command and control, sirens and horse-whip, must bow to a new type of politics, where the political leaders are servants and must give account to the voters who are supreme. Nigeria needs an enlightened president to enforce this. This is my commitment and promise to you. I will be the servant of the Nigerian people and not an emperor like we have today.
I am in this race because I believe Nigerians are tired of the old politics practiced by old politicians and their young recruits that is based on rigging, vote buying, ballots snatching and thugs. I am in this race because I believe Nigerians are looking for a president and a politician who is decent, accessible, and sensible to build rather than destroy Nigeria. The politics that dishes out disrespect invites disrespect, the politics of violence invites more violence and when our politicians bully each other it is Nigeria that loses. These politicians of the old ways should not seek to run for the exalted position of president. They should be helped to retire by the permanent voters cards.
I have entered this race with very clear ideas, which I have distilled from our Nigerian culture and the best of the world’s democratic ideals. These ideas are here in a ready manifesto, which will usher in a mentality revolution to change the way we feel and think about Nigeria. I promise you that I will fix the country, I will usher protection to the masses of Nigeria from bad governance of the five percent that think change is to make citizens poorer, more insecure and allow our lands, homes, property and lives to be taken by violence.
The Hagher Presidency will put Nigeria first and will banish tribalism. As soon as I am sworn president next year no citizen of Nigeria will be required to state which tribe he or she belongs to in any official document. We will all be Nigerians. I will make all Nigerians safe and guarantee the security of lives and property. I will win the war against terrorists and bandits through the most modern methods by winning the hearts and minds of the citizens in combat zones. My government will not repeat the mistake of taking the easy way out, by repeating the same things again and again and getting the same negative results and deceiving the public.
My agenda to make Nigeria great will be built on the foundation of the Nigerian youth, which is our most important asset. I will train and retrain our youth to be employable at levels consistent with the needs of a rapidly evolving global economy. I will give them adequate knowledge and experience as part of my government, which will be youth based and I will gender mainstream by giving 18 ministers to women and 18 male ministers. Equality will always remain my watchword.
I will arrest economic decline by sanitizing the finance sector, which is nothing but a comprehensive crime scene. Three hundred and fifty Nigerians owe 4.3 trillion naira to Banks. Nigerian banks are stealing from their customers and declaring fantastic profits and colluding with less than 500 Nigerians to take away money in loans, which are then declared delinquent. My presidency will not encourage nor tolerate these criminals as is being done now.
As a university professor and a great beneficiary of western education, I will rapidly expand the best qualitative education for all citizens. I will devolve the ministry of education’s budget and activities to the states and ensure that the annual budget for education is not less than 26%. I will promote STEM education and ensure our universities are amongst the best in the world in research, research and development, research commercialization and innovation. I wish to call on all university staff and students to come out of hiding and save Nigeria from a comatose leadership that has declared war on education. My campaign is your campaign. It is the campaign of all Nigerians to rise up and be members of the Revolution of Hope Movement.
To conclude I stand here as the presidential aspirant of the 95% of Nigerians. I stand here to take back Nigeria from those who have stolen our wealth and future and made us slaves in our land. I ask for your support for the Social Democratic Party the only Nigerian party to guarantee good governance and social justice. My presidency will end the rot and end the decay process where we have continued to recycle bad leaders. I call on Nigerians across our beautiful country from Badagri in Lagos State to Bama in Borno State from Degema in Balyesa State to Daura in Katsina State and from Gwadabawa in Sokoto State to Eket in Akwa Ibom state and beyond, to join hands with me to usher in the Revolution of Hope to make Nigeria a great country built on justice, equality, freedom and unity.