‘Nigeria’s leadership is the missing link in Africa’s greatness’
…SOTA advocates for coalition of alternative political parties and aspirants
Renowned Kenyan legal scholar, Professor Patrick Lumumba, has noted that Nigeria is the missing link in Africa’s greatness.
He made this known in his keynote speech at the Summit of The Alternatives (SOTA) held in Abuja on the 15th and 16th August, 2018.
According to him, “Until African politicians, and by extension, the people get its politics right, Africa cannot realize its potential.
“Chinua Achebe in his book The Trouble With Nigeria, explained that the problem of Nigeria is simply that of leadership.
“I remember so vividly in 1963, when African leaders assembled in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, they were as passionate as they were correct; they were all envied in the early days…they all made sense.
“When one listened to Nnamdi Azikiwe, he made sense. When one listened to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, he made sense. When one listened to the Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, He made sense. A lot of other Africa leaders made sense.
“We soon began to see a new breed of coup d’état leaders; the men in arms in the political arena.
“That was when the rain started to beat us as a Nation.”
He further added that: “Nigeria occupies such an important place not only in Africa, but in the world.
“Nigeria is a leader when it comes to producing some of the greatest thinkers in Africa.
“What continues to hold Nigeria down are the political elites; the politics of money. They should realize that when they lead Nigeria, they are also leading Africa.
“When Nigeria sneezes, Africa catches a cold. Nigeria should realize that she should be the political mecca where African leaders pay pilgrimage.
“Nigeria must improve agriculture, health, so that our president does not sojourn abroad for medical tourism.
“Nigeria is blessed with everything you can think of but leadership; Nigeria has showed its leadership position in the African region through various peace keeping operations in Liberia, Sierra Leone and mention it, Nigeria is the only link to Africa’s success.”
Global speakers and regional representatives joined participants at The Summit of The Alternatives (SOTA) to call for young, gender sensitive, competent, capable and credible leadership through the 2019 elections in Nigeria, as the two-day event focused on shaping narratives to redefine Nigeria’s political landscape through a coalition of credible alternatives.
Giving the welcome address, the convener of the Red Card Movement, Dr. Oby Ezekwensili extensively introduced the idea behind the Summit of The Alternatives.
She emphasized on the need for a new Nigeria of our dream and the economic implication of having a visionary leadership, with character, competence and capacity.
The summit comprised of influencers and thought leaders that have demonstrated model character, competence and capacity in their various fields, with a strong desire to build and remodel through active engagement in Nigeria’s political space.
The first day kicked off with a keynote speech the ‘A Rallying Cry for an Alternative’, as speakers and partners made presentations that centred on the need for Nigeria to get it right and insist on leadership criteria of character, competence and capacity.
The event also included panel discussions to further drive the new agenda for a new Nigeria. Campaign/Party Finance; Cultivating Grassroots Movements; Media Approaches to Elections; Nuances and Metrics of Youth and Women Inclusion in today’s Democracy; INEC: An Overview of Electoral Preparations in the areas of hardware, software and process; Youth Inclusion and Building a Political Brand.
The second day of the event had alternative political parties and presidential aspirants such Sowore Omoyele, Fela Durotoye, Dr Elishama Ideh, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, Emmanuel Etim, Dr Thomas- Wilson Ikubese, Engineer Martins Onovo, and Tope Fasua who addressed citizens on topical issues centred around the new Nigerian of our dream. These aspirants and political parties considered the need for a coalition of the 89 alternative political parties that will further strengthen the objectives of the summit.
SOTA is a collaborative idea of different groups such as Red Card Movement, Centre for Democracy and Development, Yiaga Africa, Nigeria First Project, BudgIT, EiE Nigeria and passionate citizens Framing the New Nigeria of our dream.