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By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
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The stage was set for a major milestone in the chequered political

history of the Nation, when on Wednesday 28th October 2009

distinguished leaders of opposition political parties in Nigeria,

gathered at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja to set an agenda that

will hopefully through its implementation rescue Nigeria from the

brink of collapse in the hands of a very confused and misguided PDP.

Wednesday's event culminates the previous efforts of General Buhari

Muahammadu, Presidential candidate of ANPP; Alh. Attahiru Bafarawa;and

Alh. Atiku Abubakar, immediate past Vice President of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria and Leader of AC, who hitherto had been tirelessly

working behind the scenes to set up the blueprint of a Mass Movement

aimed at raising the consciousness of Nigerians for the need to take

their faith into their own hands by uniting to salvage the country

from the vice like grip of the inept PDP leadership.

Prince Tonye Princewill, Rivers State AC Leader and Leader of FOOPP

comprising 46 political parties in Rivers state uniting under one

body, who was at the event as one of the Leaders of the South South,

commended the “troika” of Buhari, Atiku and Bafarawa for initiating

this noble Movement in the face of the grim collective realisation

that the PDP lacks the wherewithal to handle State matters. Princewill

posited thus, “...the truth be told, no one opposition political party

can wrestle power from PDP considering its enormous aptitude in

rigging and its use of coercion and power of incumbency to perpetuate

itself in power. The decision by these three giants with divergent

political ideologies agreeing to lay aside their differences and come

together to form this movement in my humble opinion is born of an

expedient need to salvage the country once and for all. It therefore

behoves on all Nigerians eager to see a new dawn in the nation to

embrace and support enmasse this laudable gesture”.

Princewill also used the opportunity of the occasion to throw light on

the antecedents of the formation of the FOPPP in Rivers State. He

stated that hitherto misunderstood by many, he stands vindicated with

the major milestone of the formation the National Democratic movement,

which by all intents and purpose is not very different from what is in

operation in the FOPPP in Rivers State, a union born of the need to

lay aside political differences and work together for the good of the

General Buhari whilst addressing the participants pointed out the near

collapse of Education, total lack of portable drinking water, bad

roads, etc and emphasised the need of coming together to salvage the

country. He further stated that “the visit of both Atiku Abubakar the

former Vice President and Bafarawa to me on the on the state of the

Nation and the near absence of all that good governance is all about,

a vision which I shares with them culminated to the formation of the

National democratic Initiative, an initiative borne out of patriotic

desire aimed at reversing the downward trend of the ship of the nation

before its finally break down. In this, there is a clear and present

danger and an immediate threat to national security when raw,

untrained youths are unleashed on a vulnerable society. In the

long-term, of course, Nigeria is effectively mortgaging its future,

because it has failed to train its future leaders and mangers of its

economy who will be expected to operate in a fiercely competitive

globalizing world. The other bitter truth is that nothing is really

working as it should in this country; and no one seems to care with

unemployment high, inflation rate high, industrial capacity

utilization at its lowest ebb; this is an economy on automatic pilot

without destination in sight. With our elections rigged, our

legislators very often more interested in so called constituency

projects than in making laws, an our judiciary really afraid of its

own independence, this is a polity thrown to the dogs. It is in the

light of this and in response to the gravity of the situation that we

were left with no option but to answer the call and accept the burden

that history and the national condition have placed on our

shoulders-to initiate an give leadership to a process of extensive

consultation on the way to save Nigeria. We would like to be part of

the saviors of this generation and be an inspiration to the next. We

solemnly promise to Nigerians that we will never be a part of any kind

of conspiracy against them or their interest. With patience and with

reliance on the strength of the popular will, we will beat the enemies

of Nigeria's progress. We assure you that we won't give up; we won't

compromise and we never sell out. We will beat them: we shall never

join them”; General Buhari concluded.
Atiku Abubakar in his own submission stated, “There comes a time in

the life of a nation when all patriots have to sand up, come together

an do the hard work necessary to rescue the nation from imminent

catastrophe. Such a time demands collective effort and selfless

leadership. At such a time petty partisan and personal bickering have

to be primarily directed at rescuing the country. At such a time the

saying that the country is bigger than individual citizens, including

political leaders becomes truer. Our country is at that state right

now. Something must be done urgently to reverse our descent into

one-party dictatorship and possibly anarchy. As most of you know I

have been a long-time believer in a two-party system for our country,

Nigeria. Multiple parties have led us in two unwholesome but related

directions. One is that often one of the parties becomes so dominant

and intoxicated with power and arrogance that it brings the country to

the brink of complete collapse. The other, which is often a

consequence of the former, is that some of the other parties recoil to

become regional parties which exacerbate our regional, ethnic and

religious differences. Both of these are dangerous for this country.

This is why a number of us Nigerian leaders have come together to try

to build a brad mass-based movement of committed democrats and

patriots to save this country from imminent collapse. We must leave

behind a country that our children would be proud of; a country whose

best and brightest do not have to run to other countries in order to

find goo education and well-paying and professionally and personally

fulfilling jobs; a country where citizens will be free to move about

without the fear of being kidnapped, a country whose leaders

understand the centrality of electrical power, education and health in

economic development and job and wealth creation, a country whose

citizens do not have to take up arms in order to secure justice and

equity; a country whose leaders would be found in the company of other

world leaders as they try to deal with the key challenges facing the

contemporary world.
For the public, we are patriotic nationalists, true democrats and

reformers who share a strong belief in good governance, social justice

and rule of law. We believe that Nigeria's best years are yt to come.

We strongly believe that the current crop of power-wielders do not in

any way represent the essence of this country, what this country

stands for or the yearnings and aspirations of our people. We believe

that Nigerians are fundamentally a good people who have unfortunately

been mis-governed but who, when given the chance, will unleash

creative and productive energies that would put this country on the

path of sustainable economic growth and social development. We are

also united in our belief that this country urgently needs a reform of

its electoral system, broadly along the lines recommended by the

Electoral Reform Committee headed by the Honourable Justice Mohammed

Lawal Uwais.
We have only this country to call our own and we cannot abandon it for

anyone or group of individual whatever their misguided sense of

entitlement. We are stakeholders in the Nigerian project and,

therefore have an interest in seeing Nigeria survive and thrive, In

any case we cannot run away from freedom”; Atiku concluded.

In the Summit that had all known key elements within the opposition

from all the sections of this country were in attendance. These

include among others, General Buhari, Atiku Abubkar, Olu Falae, Lawal

Kaita, Ben Obi, Tom Ikimi, Pat Utomi and of course the Prince of Niger

Delta Politics, Prince Tonye Princewill resolved as follows :-

1. The meeting reaffirmed its faith in the Federal Republic of

Nigeria; its indivisibility, and a multi party plural democracy.

2. The meeting noted the deplorable condition of the country, which

threatens the viability of the Nigerian State
3. The meeting consequently resolved to work together to salvage the

nation from probable collapse.
4. The meeting agreed to establish the National Democratic Movement to

co-ordinate the collective efforts of its members in this broad based

patriotic democratic movement.
5. The meeting created two committees to undertake contact and

mobilization and develop strategy and program in pursuit of the

objectives of the NDM
6. The meeting further agreed to work together with all groups in the

country with similar aims and objectives, like the Mega Summit

Movement, with a view to harmonizing their positions.

7. The meeting called on all patriots and political organizations and

groups with similar objectives to join hands with NDM in this task of

national renewal.
8. The meeting resolved that the NDM shall work diligently to restore

our core values and ensure high standards an criteria for leadership.

All the participants accepted to work together for the growth and

revival of the Nigerian nation meaning that President Umaru Yar'Adua

should start in earnest to prepare his hand over note to a movement

ready to implement the ideals and vision of General Shehu Musa

Yar'Adua and salvage the nation from imminent collapse due to inept

leadership that was not his making but due to the cabal and clique

that does not meant well for this country in PDP.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Media Consultant, FOOPP, Rivers State