Every country has its ‘lost generation’. Some were stolen away by war, some by economic downturns, and some by governments. Nigeria is perhaps the only country stolen by a cabal of political Mafias, merely for power, money, leisure and privilege. When the British administrators lowered the Union Jack in Lagos on October 1, 1960, Nigeria was Africa’s greatest hope. Its pool of talent mass of fertile land, and its newly discovered oil wealth, promised economic transformation and the role of leading the then independent African nations and those who were still struggling for freedom, under different forms of colonialism, to eventually lead the African Continent, onto the global stage.
Now, over fifty years of independence and despite our vast wealth – abundant natural and human resources, at home and abroad, we as a nation continue to struggle with the most basic needs (food, shelter, water, security sanitation, and electricity, etc. As a nation, we are paralyzed by wide spread poverty, endemic institutionalised corruption; high levels of unemployment; a near total collapse of our educational system and facilities, collapse and decaying health and ineffective social services systems, chaotic transportation and communications systems; and other basic but essential infrastructure; less than adequate institutions of government at all levels, resulting to break down of law and order, institutionalized insecurity to life and property; and weak, fragile and unstable economy, with non-functional financial institutions, etc.
Today, hospitals and universities are struggling with obsolete skills of by-gone centuries; insurgency controls large chunks of the Nigerian territories, kidnapping is now a profession and a cottage industry. For the little and common man and women who helped build this nation, things have never been so bad for these fellows. But for the corrupt politicians and big moneys bags, things have never been better.
Many Nigerians have completely lost faith in the country’s ability to govern itself. Nigerians have fundamentally, lost faith in the leaders at the helm of the nation’s affairs. The lack of confidence in the system and its leaders, erodes democratic principles thus further jeopardizing the country’s future.
Nigerians of goodwill, are angered by failures of corrupt and poor leadership. They are frustrated by economic policies that did not deliver on its promises. Nigerians are therefore impatient and want to regain their lost rights. Nigerians are worn out by conflicts, all over the country. Nigerians are now striving for a fresh start. This start must come from a new team, new ideas, that are committed to the promotion of acceptable and sustainable reforms. The mood now in Nigeria is changing as people begin to speak out more confidently against corruption, human rights abuses, and are not afraid to criticize and critique the unpopular policies of government. Throughout Nigeria there is ongoing debate on what is critical to the future of the country: CHANGE! POSITIVE CHANGE!!
What is certain in Nigeria today is that the entire country is in need of being fixed. The truth of the matter is that Nigeria today has all the indices for both success and failure. Skewing the role of the State towards serving special interests, dividing its citizens along ethnic and religious lines, trapping whole generations into avoidable poverty through educating the young with basically, no skill, etc., are all attempt to perpetually one set of corrupt leaders in power, forever, these are the indices of a failed state. However, assuming the will to power, by this other Nigeria, to remove the incompetent, corrupt leaders, with no progressive ideals, is the success side. The making of this competent team has become more urgent and imperative, but this can only be achieved through resilience and courage. I, Muhammadu Buhari have now come for the rescue. This is success by design. It will overcome our failure by design matrix.
The challenge, and choice facing all Nigerians at home and abroad is whether Nigerians have enough will and courage to unite, and resolve to radically move the nation forward –not looking backward to practices of a failed past, but building bridges to the positive fatherhood, motherhood, brother and sisterhood of the future! Again, my teaming supports are already leading the way to this possibility.
As a nation and the Sub Saharan Africa’s leading energy producer, we had in the past squandered the opportunity to build functional infrastructure to better the lives of the average Nigerian. We can no longer afford this luxury of inactivity. We must revive our public and private sectors in order to provide functional services and secure the good of the individual Nigerian and his or her family.
We are here committed to Change Nigeria:
February 2015 will bring be our Presidential elections. As you know, the general trust level of politics, politicians and political leaders, is at an all?time?low. One may ask why? And we can as well understand why! After years of broken promises, hyper-corruption, the feeling that politicians have become too remote from the people, etc., it is no wonder that Nigerians have completely lost faith in the country’s ability to govern itself not just because of the problems facing the country, but the lack of faith in the present set of leaders at the helm of affairs.
The challenge, facing all of us as Nigerians is whether there is enough will and courage amongst us as citizens to unite, commit and resolve to radically reform, modernise and move the nation forward. I Muhammadu Buhari have resolved that the task ahead of me is that of Securing our Nation and Prospering our people –not looking backward to the failed policies and promises of the past. As I noted before, it is no longer a question of choice but that of the will and courage.
This document sets out our side of the bargain: the things I as your future president, want to do to change Nigeria for the better. I will however warn you all: I cannot do this alone. Each one of you and I must work together to get our economy on the right track, mend our broken lives, infrastructure, institutions, and the overall society. You must help me to reform our rotten political system, by getting involved, taking responsibility, and working together as a team.
I, Muhammadu Buhari believe that our polity, is broken. Our nation is in urgent need of a fundamental political reform. This requires honesty, integrity and forthrightness in order to improve governance, so as to make it transparent and accountable to the all Nigerian. Make me your Presidential candidate in both the Primaries and the Presidential elections.
On Politics and Governance:
I, Muhammadu Buhari, believe that our politics is broken. Our nation urgently needs fundamental political reform and improvement in governance more transparency and accountable. If you nominate me in December, 2014 and elect me in February 2015, my administration will:
Initiate action to amend the Nigerian Constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties, and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true Federalism and the Federal spirit;
Strengthen INEC to reduce, if possible, eliminate electoral malpractices in Nigerian’s political life;
Attract the best and brightest of our sons and daughters into our politics and public service by aggressive recruitment of private sector people, academics, and professionals within Nigeria and in the Diaspora through internships, fellowships, executive appointments, and special nomination to contest elective offices;
Prevent the abuse and misuse of Executive, Legislative and Public offices, through greater accountability, transparency, strict, and implementable anti-corruption laws, through strengthening and sanitising the EFCC and ICPC as independent entities;
Amend the Constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal cases;
Restructure governance for a leaner, more efficient, and adequately compensated public service sector, while promoting effective participation of the private sector for more robust job creation programmes to employ the teaming youth.;
Require full disclosure in media outlets, of all government contracts over N100m prior to award and during implementation at regular intervals;
Reform and Strengthen the Justice System for efficient administration and dispensation of justice with the creation of special courts for accelerated hearing of corruption, drug trafficking, terrorism and similar cases of national importance;
Fully enforce the Freedom of Information Act l so that government held data sets can be requested and used by the public and then such data sets be publish on regular basis;
Amend the Constitution to require Local governments to publish their meeting minutes, service performance data, and items of spending over N10M.
On National Security and Defence:
I will urgently secure the territorial integrity of the nation. I will never leave the defence of the nation in the hands of Hunters, Children, and Civilian JTF through the following:
Urgently address capacity building mechanisms of law enforcement agents in terms of quantity and quality as this is critical in safeguarding the sanctity of lives and property;
Establish a well trained, adequately equipped and goals driven Serious Crime Squad to combat insurgencies, kidnapping, armed robbery, ethno?religious and communal clashes, nationwide;
Consult and amend the Constitution to enable States and Local Governments to create city, Local government and State Policing systems, base on the resources available at each levels, to address the peculiar needs of each community. I will therefore work with the National Assembly to set and revised, when needed, boundaries of operations, for Federal, State, and Local government policing units, through new Criminal Justice legislation to replace the Criminal Code, the Penal Code and the Police Act.
I will push for more robust support in the Security and Economic stability of the West-African sub?region and African Continent as a whole. I will seek and maintain close and frank relationship with ALL of West Africa; Special relationship with South Africa and its Sub-region; UK, USA, Canada, EU, Asia, and the Middle East.
· Establish a Conflict Resolution Commission to help prevent, mitigate, and resolve civil conflicts within the polity;
· Bring permanent peace and solution to the insurgency issues in the North-East; the Niger Delta; and other conflict prone states and areas such as Plateau, Benue, Bauchi, Borno, Abia, Taraba, Yobe, and Kaduna in order to engender national unity and social harmony;
· Initiate policies to ensure that Nigerians are free to live and work in any part of the country by removing state of origin, tribe, ethnic and religious affiliations from documentation requirements in our identification of citizens and replace these with State of Residence and fashion out the appropriate minimal.
qualification for obtaining such a state of residency, nation-wide
On Foreign Policy, I will:
Make regional integration a priority within ECOWAS including free trade with a view to ensuring that common tariff currency are in use by the end of my term in office, under Nigeria’s guidance and leadership, base on the size of its market force;
Maintain a strong, close and frank relationship within the Gulf of Guinea, the Commonwealth, South Africa and the rest of the world.
Establish a special relationship with the leading emerging markets like Brazil; Russia, India and China (BRIC) and other strategic partners around the world.
On the Economy & Infrastructure Base
Maintain sound Micro and macro?economic policy environment, and run an efficient government and preserve the independence of the Central Bank;
Restore financial confidence in the citizens and the world, by putting in place a more robust monitoring, supervising, and regulating of the financial institutions;
Make our economy one of the fastest growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging at least 10-12% annually
As at 1999, Nigerian rate of unemployment stood at about 8%, today it is estimated from official statistics to be close to 30%. I will embark on vocational training, entrepreneurial and skills acquisition scheme for graduates along with the creation of Small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme to create at least 5 million new jobs by 2019. A Small and Medium Enterprises Development Commission will be created for this purpose. I will also encourage State Governments to focus on employment creation, by matching everyone job created in the same state.
Integrate the informal economy into the mainstream and prioritize the full implementation of the National Identification Scheme to generate the relevant data;
Expand domestic demand and will undertake associated public works programmes to achieve this goal;
Embark on export and production diversification including investment in infrastructure; promote manufacturing, through Agro Based industries; and expand and promote sub?regional trade through ECOWAS and AU;
Make Information Technology, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Entertainment key drivers of our economy, by reviewing the present reward system, which is based on certification, to that based on skills, competencies, and performances;
Balance the Nigerian economy across regions by the creation of 6 Regional Economic Development Agencies (REDAs) to act as sub?regional hubs in order to promote healthy regional competitiveness;
Put in place a N300bn Regional Growth Fund with an average of N50bn in each geo?political region; to be managed by the REDAs, to encourage private sector enterprise and to support places currently reliant on only on the public sector, to migrate to a private sector reality;
Amend the Constitution and the Land Use Act to create freehold/leasehold interests in land along with matching grants for states to create a nationwide electronic land title register on a state by state basis;
Create an additional middle?class of at least 4 million new home owners by 2019 by enacting a national mortgage single digit interest rates for purchase of owner occupier houses as well as review the collateral qualification to make funding for home ownership easier, with a 15 to 30 year mortgage terms. This will equally help our banking system migrate from short to long term perspective of their role in sustaining the economy.
Create a Social Welfare Program of at least Five Thousand Naira (N5000) that will cater for the 25 million poorest and most vulnerable citizens upon the demonstration of children’s enrolment in school and evidence of immunisation to help promote family stability.
Provide allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for Twelve (12) months while in the skills and entrepreneurial development programmes.
On Agriculture: I will
Modernize the sector and change Nigeria from being a country of self-subsistence farmers to that of a medium/large scale farming nation/producer;
Create a nationwide food inspectorate division with a view to improving nutrition and eliminating food?borne hazards
Inject sufficient funds to the Agricultural sector to create more agro-allied jobs by way of loans at nominal interest rates for capital investment on medium and commercial scale cash crops;
Guarantee a minimum price for all cash crops and facilitate storage of agricultural products to overcome seasonal shortages of selected food crops.
Move the nation to an all year round small, medium, and commercial farming through a coordinated integrative irrigation of our existing dams as well as creation of more dam to collect the over flooding waters, nationwide.
Revive our Agricultural Research Institutes that are in a state of comatose;
Review and strengthened Veterinary practices nationwide.
On the Oil and Gas Industry: I will
Revive and reactivate our minimally performing Refineries to optimum capacity;
Make the industry and Nigeria one of the world leading/cutting edge centres for clean oil and gas technology; also producing leading world Oil and Gas technologist, scientists, and owing mega structure installations, drilling, processing, and production facilities and engineers. These facilities and scientists will be supported with the best services and research facilities.
Fully develop the sector’s capacity to absorb more of the nation’s new graduate in the labour market. The sector will be funded to produce more home?grown, but world class engineers, scientists, technologist, etc.;
Modernise the NNPC and make it the national energy champion. I will consider breaking it up into more efficient, commercially driven units; and may strip it of its regulatory powers, so as to enable it tap into international capital market;
Enforce the government master plan for oil companies to end flaring that pollutes the air and damages the communities and people’s health and ensure that they sell at least half of their gas produced within Nigeria;
Speedily pass the much?delayed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and ensure that local content issues are fully addressed
Make Nigeria the world’s leading exporter of LNG through the creation of strategic partnerships.
On Education I will:
Fully review provisions of the Universal Basic Education Act with emphasis on gender equity in primary, secondary school enrollment whilst improving the quality and substance of our schools, through outcome based education, that address the individual, family, and societal roles in education; and the associative skills and competencies that go with these responsibilities;
Targeting up to 20% of our annual budget for this critical sector whilst making substantial investments in training quality teachers at all levels of the educational system;
Implement a performance based education, predicated on outcomes, skills, and competences as against the current certificate based qualification. I will adjust the reward system accordingly too. This way, exams malpractice and certificate forgery will be resolved once and for all. Young men and women interested in real liberal arts education, based on a true understanding of scientific, the humanistic, and the social sciences will fill our classrooms to be prepared for future leadership of the nation;
Enhance teacher training and improve the competence of teachers in the light of the 21st Century and beyond understanding of the learner types, intelligence types, as the multiple assessment types, in order to open up learning for all our children types. The era of one student type will give way to an all learner type for our children and young people as well as adults who want to return to the classroom to sharpen their skills, competencies, and sensibilities. This re-engineering of our education will be followed with a clearly thought out and vigorous national inspection programmes;
Make learning experiences more meaningful for children as the nation’s education will no longer be a preparation for life, but life itself. Our children will be democratised for education, rather than be educated for democracy. This view of education will make educating our children more cost?effective in the long run;
Provide One Meal a day for all Primary school pupils. That will create jobs in Agriculture, Catering, and Delivery Services
Develop and promote effective use of innovative teaching methods/materials in our schools;
Ensure a greater proportion of expenditure on university education is devoted to helping our youth to understand the juxtaposition of Science, Technology, the Humanities and the Social Sciences.
Establish at least six new universities of Science and Technology with satellite campuses in various states. These six universities should be fully equipped with ICT technologies in order to attract and encourage small and medium scale ICT enterprises after their university education;
Establish technical colleges and vocational centres in each state of the federation;
Provide more conducive environment for private sector participation in all levels of education. Re-authorised the NUC, TETFUN, JAMB, etc, Acts to enable Private institutions of Higher learning to benefit from research funds and programmes that will serve the national good;
Establish six centers of excellence to address the needs of special education;
On Healthcare I will
Prioritise the reduction of the infant mortality rate substantially; reduce maternal mortality rates to the levels acceptable by the World Health Organisation; reduce HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases drastically and improve life expectancy by an additional 10 years on average through our National Healthy Living program;
Increase the number of physicians from 19 per 1000 population to 50 per 1000 through deliberate medication education as epitomize by nations such as Ghana. I will increase national health expenditure per person per annum to about N50,000 (from the less than N10,000 currently);
Increase the quality of all federal government owned hospitals to world class standard by 2019;
Invest in cutting edge technology such as tele-medicine in all major health centers in the country through partnership programmes with communities and the private sector;
Provide free ante-natal care for pregnant women; free health care for babies and children up to school going age and for the aged; and free treatment for those afflicted with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS;
Boost the local manufacture of pharmaceuticals and make non adulterated drugs readily available.
Set an effective prosecution and punishment systems, for those importing or adulterating drugs in the country.
The enhancement of the Epidemiological Units / Centres for Disease Control to meet up with Global standards in containment of disease outbreaks, proper vaccine storage and research;
Create an Insurance Policy for our Journalists as the nation faces hard times and our Journalists faces more dangers in the discharge of their investigative work, to educate Nigerians in their rights and responsibilities.
On Youth, Sports and Culture I will:
Provide the opportunities such as setting up functional recreational facilities, Library with e-services, Community Centers, in collaboration with States, Local Government Authorities, Local Development Areas, etc for youth to realize, harness, and develop their potentials to the fullest, in order to facilitate the emergence of the new generation of citizens, who will be committed to the sustenance of good governance and service to the people and the country;
Establish Zonal world class sports academies and training institutes and ensure that Nigeria occupies a place of pride in global sports and athletics;
Revive and restructure the Nigerian Football League and put incentives in place to make it as competitive as other national leagues
Put in place measures to identify talents early and ensure their participation in local and international games to enable them to be true professionals;
Help as well as mandate schools and communities to create neighborhood playgrounds/sports centre. I will create matching support funds for communities to acquire the needed equipment to develop skills and competencies;
Assist Nollywood to fully develop into world class movie industry that can compete effectively with Hollywood and Bollywood in due course. I will support the creative and performing arts with the necessary environment where by our great entertainers do not end their lives in abject poverty as is currently the case.
On Women Empowerment I will:
Ensure the rights of women are protected as enshrined in our Constitution;
Guarantee that women are adequately represented in government appointments and provide greater opportunities in education, Job creation, and economic empowerment;
Recognize and protect women empowerment and gender equality with special emphasis on economic activities in the rural areas;
Use the Party structures to promote the concept of reserving a minimum number of seats in the States and National Assembly, for women.
On the Environment I will:
Ensure compliance with policies and measures to halt the pollution of rivers and waterways in the Niger Delta and the other parts of the country;
Create shelter belts in states bordering the Sahara Desert to mitigate and reverse the effects of the expanding desert
Support and accelerate the implementation of regional water transport initiatives across the country through effective dredging of the main waterways;
Adopt a holistic approach to erosion and shoreline protection across the country;
Create teams of volunteers to plant and nurture economically viable trees in arid regions;
Restructure the Ecological Fund Office to enable it meet today’s environmental challenges;
Regulate the timber industry to ensure that double the number of trees felled are planted by the loggers;
Ensure full compliance with town?planning and environmental laws and edicts