Text of the New Year message to Nigerians by Bola Tinubu

December 31, 2014 3:29 pm

Text
of the New Year message to Nigerians by the National Leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu…

As we
enter a New Year today, it is all too easy to give in to despair and
despondency at the current state of Nigeria. The gap between our
tremendous potentials as a country and our actual attainments is
depressing and disheartening. For a country as endowed with human,
material and natural resources as Nigeria, the level of poverty in which
the vast majority of our people live is appalling and unacceptable. 
The voodoo statistics of illusory growth and progress peddled by those
currently in charge of Nigeria’s affairs do not reflect the dire
material circumstances of millions of Nigerians.
The ever
widening inequality between the wealthy minority and the impoverished
majority is fueled largely by a scale of corruption and outright theft
of public funds that have reached unprecedented heights in today’s
Nigeria. 
All of these are responsible for the large scale manifestation
of sundry forms of violence and insecurity across the country that
undermines the very foundations of the Nigerian state. Yet, the growing
impunity of an arrogant, imperious and complacent presidency weaken the
rule of law and prevent the purposeful and responsible governance
necessary to tackle Nigeria’s severe challenges.
But then,
despair is a luxury we can ill afford as a country and a people at this
time. Despair breeds depression and a sense of hopelessness. This can
only result in a paralysis of the popular will that will benefit those
who want to lull us into collective inaction, so they can perpetuate
their misrule of our much abused country. 2015 will be one of the
critical and momentous years in the history of Nigeria. It must be a
time to renew our hope in the possibilities of our country. Hope enables
us to generate the strength to take the positive action as citizens to
achieve the positive change Nigeria so badly needs today.
Another
Nigeria is possible. A Nigeria where focused, visionary and competent
governance vigorously tackles corruption, insecurity, poverty and
promotes peace, progress and prosperity for all is attainable. After the
current darkness, a glorious, new dawn for Nigeria is possible. But
this needed change will not occur by chance. It can only be the result
of deliberate and purposeful action on the part of our people to utilise
democracy and popular power to achieve national liberation and
transformation. 
If not urgently addressed, the stratospheric
level of hunger, deprivation and inequality in the land will inevitably
provoke a violent revolution in the land. Indeed, we already have a
situation difficult to distinguish from bloody revolution on our hand.
It manifests in the armed robbery, kidnapping, communal conflicts,
religious extremism, terrorism and ritual killings rampant in Nigeria
today. We have no choice but to be active participants in the common
sense democratic revolution needed to salvage our country. It is a
common sense revolution that must insist that legitimate power flows
from the will people duly expressed in free and fair elections.
Governments must assume and remain in power only at the pleasure of the
people. That is the only way that democracy can promote development by
ensuring that government is responsible and accountable to the people.  
My
message to our fellow country men and women is thus simple: this year
must be one of eternal vigilance on the part of us all. This is the
price we must pay for our democratic rights and liberties as citizens.
Let us make no mistake about it. The traumatic experience of the over
200 Chibok girls who have remained in captivity for over six months
shows that plaintive cries to an impotent government to ‘bring back our
girls’ have become insufficient. Rather, we must utilise the power of
our vote to ‘take back our country’ from the predators and scavengers in
the corridors and bedrooms of power that currently hold her hostage.
This calls for eternal vigilance to exercise our vote and protect out
sacred mandate at the polls.
As the careless, reckless,
irresponsible and highly suspicious handling of the distribution of
Permanent Voters Cards by the Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) has shown, every effort will be made to disempower voters by a
sinking and desperate administration. Millions of voters across the
country have been disenfranchised in the flawed process. This subtle
coup against the very foundation of democracy, voters’ power, must be
challenged and resisted. Flaws in the process must be corrected. All
eligible citizens must be enabled to exercise their inalienable right to
vote for a government of their choice. This can only be achieved
through eternal vigilance and persistence by the populace in insisting
that the entire electoral process must be free, fair, transparent and
credible.
Nigerians face a critical choice at the polls this
year. We must vote for either continuity of the present decadent order
or change. Yes, many state governments across the country have performed
creditably in diverse sectors despite the meager resources at their
disposal compared to the Federal Government. However, the PDP-controlled
Federal Government, which controls the bulk of the country’s resources,
has been an abysmal failure. It has failed to provide the necessary
leadership for accelerated national development commensurate with its
immense resources and its phenomenal powers under the present
corruption. The Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Presidency in particular has been a
catastrophic disaster.
The country today has degenerated to
unprecedented levels of global obloquy as a result of the prevalent
repellent levels of corruption, impunity, insecurity and leadership
mediocrity. The greatest need of the hour is a drastic change of
direction at the national level. It is the emergence of a visionary,
responsible, patriotic, purposeful and competent Federal Government that
will diligently pursue the path of transparency, accountability,
respect for the rule of law, true federalism and justice without which
there can be no national transformation. As I wish the good people of
Nigeria a happy new year, I urge us to rededicate ourselves to the
realization of the positive change on which the very survival of the
country depends. Eternal vigilance must be our watchword this year.  
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu    
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