The group called on ordinary Nigerians to mobilize themselves ahead of 2015 polls.
A group, United Action for Democracy, UAD, has lamented ‘the progressive decline’ in the quality of governance in the country after an appraisal of the 14 years of democratic rule in Nigeria.
The group noted that the only areas the country’s politicians have shown expertise are the looting of public treasury and political brigandage.
UAD describes itself as a Pan-Nigeria historic coalition of citizens’ organisations; a central social formation in the anti-military and pro-democracy struggle that led to the birth of this present republic.
It is also a core member of the Labour Civil Society Coalition which coordinated the epochal January uprising and an integral component and driving force of the mass social movements and popular struggles in Nigeria.
In a statement jointly signed by Jaye Gaskya and Ken Henshaw, its National Convener and General Secretary, respectively, on Tuesday, UAD said it is appalled by the current state of the nation and expressed worry over the quality of governance and management of its collective resources.
“The UAD conscious of the price in blood, sweat, and limbs paid by ordinary Nigerian citizens in the struggle to end military dictatorship and democratise all facets of our national life, is appalled by the current state of the nation; the progressive decline in the quality of governance and the management of our polity and collective resources since the 1999 return to civilian rule,” it said.
“We observe that over the past fourteen years, the only area where our politicians have demonstrated expertise and competence is in the area of treasury looting and political brigandage; a competence and level of expertise that has now brought our nation to the brink of a catastrophic collapse.”
The group noted that in spite of the growth of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, at 6 per cent annually as claimed by the ruling class, poverty increased tremendously from 54% in 2000 to 69% in 2012, while unemployment, particularly youth employment, has also risen to almost 50%. It added that homelessness and misery have also increased.
It lamented, “And rather than build homes for the homeless, support the livelihoods of the poor, and improve access to basic services; governments at all levels and of all parties have together persistently demolish the homes of the poor, evict the poor from cities, criminalise the livelihoods of the poor, harass the poor when they are going about eking out meager existence, and generally make life and living more difficult for ordinary citizens.”
With specific reference to the scale of insecurity and armed violence and insurgencies across the country, UAD bemoaned the “scale and scope of the quantitative and qualitative increase in poverty and the shamefully and dangerous dilapidated nature of basic infrastructures and services.”
The group said it is aware that the sorry state of affairs has arisen as a result of the combination of the ineptitude of the ruling class, and the direct implication of politicians in the competitive arming of youth groups and sponsorship of armed groups and armed insurgencies.
“We also know that the increasing poverty levels, and the rapidly declining levels of basic social services and infrastructures, despite the increasing levels of national wealth generated by our collective sweat, and the truly humongous scale of public investments over the last 14 years, has been a direct consequence of the greed, monumental corruption, and rapacious scale of treasury looting perpetrated and perpetuated by this thieving elite bands in power serially gang raping our nation.
“With level of human and natural resources we are endowed with as a nation, there is no reason why any Nigerian should live in and live with poverty,” it said
UAD called on “ordinary Nigerians to get ourselves readied and prepared for a strategic return to the barricades, with the aim and goal of reclaiming our Humanity, as we take our destinies back into our hands and Take Back Nigeria.”
The group added, “It is our country, let us collectively take it back from these bands of treasury looting gangsters who have turned our country into a giant battle ground as they wage low intensity proxy wars in their quest for exclusive access to pillage our collective wealth.”
The group said that should Nigerians want to take their destiny in the 2015 general elections, they must begin to organize themselves now, stressing “we must not allow ourselves to be used as canon fodders by the various factions of the ruling class as they battle themselves for the right to repress us and loot our resources. The Future Starts Now!”