Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega; and foremost Nigerian Professor of Political Economy, Pat Utomi, alongside several politicians on Tuesday, unveiled the Rescue Nigeria Project (RNP).
According to the group, the RNP is designed to provide an alternative political platform to the dominance of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party.
Apart from Jega and Utomi, other promoters of the movement include former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke; and his former Kwara State counterpart, Abdulfatah Ahmed; Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Senator Lee Maeba, Dr. Usman Bugaje, Ambassador. Nkoyo Toyo, among others.
Delivering a keynote address during the event, Ahmed expressed sadness that the inability of the current regime to manage our diversity has led to the unprecedented level of separatist agitations by different ethnic groups.
He said, “It is based on this that we decided to set up this Rescue Nigeria Project. We want to salvage this country and see how we can fix the mess. We want to set a template and key criteria leaders must have before they can attain any political position.
“Despite the great opportunities of the past, Nigeria has failed to live up to the dreams of its founding fathers and the hopes of successive generations of its citizens.
“Perhaps, at no other time have these failings become more apparent than in the past decade or so.
“In 2015, Nigerians overwhelmingly embraced the promise of change. These hopes have not only been dashed, but they have arguably turned out to be the worst political statements ever to be made in this country. Nigeria today appears set to fulfil all the prophecies of doom.”
In his opening remarks, the national coordinator of the group, Usman Bugaje, said, “When you reduce the problems of this country to what they are, ultimately, it all comes to leadership.
“We have been unable to exit the leadership conundrum precisely because the leadership recruitment mechanism in our political parties is so flawed that, except for accidents, they are incapable of producing competent leaders with the requisite knowledge, discipline and commitment to make a difference. We are living with, or better still, groaning under the consequences of this folly.”