Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Speech: “We Are Watching You, Mr. President.”

Chude Jideonwo
(Being Text of a Speech Given By Chude Jideonwo, Managing Partner of Red Media/The Future Project, at the Pre-Inauguration Youth Lunch with President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, 24 May, 2011.)

I was a bit worried when I was asked yesterday to speak about youth corps members and corruption at the same time. Beyond the ‘C’ in both words, how does one link both? But then it hit me.

You see, sir, the issues are simple: the National Youth Service Corps, like many Nigerian institutions that are ailing, needs urgent reform. It is the reason The Future Project, in conjunction with EnoughisEnough Nigeria, Sleeves Up, AIESEC and the National Youth Council, has activated the youth-led ProtectTheCorpers campaign, which is urgently demanding this reform.

But beyond that, the question is: why hasn’t this change come – even after so many years and so many lives lost? Why is it so difficult to restructure a scheme that has been ridden by neglect of its young people, lack of basic amenities from uniforms to water in camp, a complete inability to provide these young people with genuine learning opportunities and a total collapse of the original intent of this programme to forge unity?

Sir, it is corruption. People who benefit from this corrupt, inept system will fight tooth and nail, rain and shine to ensure that they continue to plunder the commonwealth. They cannot want change, they do not want change, and they never will. And now sir, these corrupt people are part of this government… your government, and therefore your responsibility.  

Therefore, the times call for you, dear sir, to make a sharp break from the past and impress us – and we are not easy to impress - with the sheer strength of character to fundamentally restructure our state of affairs. Good intentions are great, a positive disposition is desirable, and your personal credibility is not in doubt, but those cannot dislodge such a fundamentally flawed system.

Sir, you have a prime opportunity to be a hero and change this system - for good - in a way your predecessors have sadly been incapable of.  

We will be watching sir. But we won’t just watch, we will demand it, and we will work to make sure that we get it. We will hold you to every one of your promises.  

God keep you sir, and God bless Nigeria.

News Report: Nigeria's Security Apparatus Step Up Survillance In "Trouble Flash Points"

Rtd. Gen. Owoye Azazi: National Security Adviser
Nigeria's Security apparatus have stepped up surveillance in "trouble flash points" within and outside the country, top Security insiders have hinted chidi opara reports.

The "trouble flash points", according to these insiders are major mosques in Sokoto, Kaduna. Kano, Bauchi and Abuja, as well as the homes of radical Islamic clerics and some centres of Islamic learning. The "trouble flash points" outside Nigeria are said to be in Niger and Chad. The outside operations are as usual, mounted by the National Intelligence Agency(NIA).

These activities, we learned, have close connection with recent security reports hinting at a plan by disgruntled politicians from northern Nigeria to scuttle the May 29th, 2011 swearing-in ceremony of President Goodluck Jonathan to be held in Abuja. Jonathan was declared winner of the April 9th 2011 presidential election. The main opposition candidate, Muhammadu Buhari is challenging the verdict in court. chidi opara reports was not able to see any of the security reports at the time of preparing this report.

This plan, Security insiders revealed further would be in form of simultaneous anti-government demonstrations by youths in Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi and Abuja on the day of the ceremony. These demonstrators, knowledgeable Security insiders insist, are usually mobilized inside mosques and centres of Islamic learning after prayer and learning sessions by radical clerics.

It would be noted that a youth organization, the Arewa Youths Forum(AYF), had in a news release recently alerted security angencies about a plan to scuttle the May 29th event by some northern politicians it did not name.

chidi opara reports network members have reported increased security around key political, religious and traditional figures from northern Nigeria, known to have sympathy for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).