A leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George, says he will tear his Nigerian Passport and renounce his citizenship if APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu becomes the nation’s President in 2023.
Addressing a multitude of PDP members and party stalwarts in Lagos today, Chief George took potshots at Tinubu over his presidential ambition, saying: “The truth has only one face, one color, one reality. It is on this we stand as we embark on the rescue of our state from the greedy clutches of the Iragbiji usurper and ultimately push forward in the crucial journey towards our collective national salvation.
It is rather amusing when I see some mercenary pretenders prancing about the Nigerian space, hallucinating about an elusive presidential ambition. Yes, hallucinating because they do not have their priorities right.
“Even as every corner of the country is challenged by variegated insecurities ranging from banditry, urban outlaws, rogue herdsmen, destructive fissiparous forces, the murderous Boko Haram terrorists and sundry insidious elements – the basic priority of all right thinking patriots should be about restoring peace and harmony among our people rather than the mercantile pursuit of a chimerical presidential bid. This is what is called true statesmanship. This is what is called discerning, progressive leadership.”
Chief George also urged Nigerian leaders to listen to the voice of reason, encourage knowledge, and be kind to talent.
He said that excessive centralization of power was destroying competition, as he decried what he described as greed by some leaders who are embezzling what is meant for everybody.
In his speech titled “Nigeria: Time to Chart a New Direction”, Chief George said, “The Nigerian polity is now straying towards its elastic limit. It is now over -stressed and over-stretched beyond the bounds of acceptability. Our survival as a nation is genuinely being questioned from the desert to the sea.
Violence sprouts everywhere from the distant outpost of Ajangbadi in Lagos to the farthest reaches of Malum-Fatori in Borno, from Kiṣi in Oke-Ogun to Odiani in the swamps of Delta- our nation gradually descends into a dangerous gangland where the rule of the bayonet and clubs seems to be the norm. Surely, we can’t continue like this. Our survival as a people is to reverse the ruinous course and retrieve ourselves from the gaping chasm that confronts us all.
“This is the time to change the path of old, to look beyond what hobbles our progress, to redefine our value system, to rejig and restructure the various anomalies that presently hinder the greater possibilities of the Nigerian Union.”
The audience included the Secretary, Southwest PDP, Hon Rahman Owokoniran; former Lagos State deputy governor, Chief Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Chief Remi Akitoye, and Chief Mrs Onikepo Oshodi.
Chief George added, “The challenges before us are far beyond the confines of partisan politics. The turmoil within the Nigerian entity is about the twisted present situation. It is about who we are. It is about what we ought to be. It is about the greater tomorrow.
“Unfortunately, the sway and the swing of the present political culture do not favor the triumph of merit. It does not favor the promotion of excellence. It does not encourage the accommodation of hardwork. And it discourages the blind indifference to ethnic or sectarian provenance.
Alas, our political culture is still much engrossed in the glorification of cronyism over intellect, the celebration of charlatans over patriotic commitment, the narrow worship of the gains of the moment over the truth and the base withdrawal into nepotistic laager over the greater good.
“Surely, no nation can long endure on this limiting vision. We live in a very competitive global village where the entrepreneurial drive are often predicated on the ethical draw and the business friendly nature of the enviroment. Global conglomerates like Twitter, Kia, Hyundai, Facebook and so many others are trooping to Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa.
“And our nation is losing an estimated 29 billion dollars every year due to epileptic power supply. This is not sustainable. Electrical Power is the very life-blood of all industrial revolution. It is the fuel of all economic development.
“A nation without efficient power supply cannot rise into the bright dawn of the digital civilization. It is stuck forever in the bleak dark side of economic underdevelopment and teeters inevitably on economic ruination.
“Indeed, something must give way to spur a Nigerian rebirth and renewal lest we become the permanent invalid giant of Africa.
“To change cause, to redefine our path, we must cultivate the essential ingredients of meritocracy as the critical building blocks of modern nations. Wherever young, vibrant, intelligent minds are given a pride of place to steer the destinies of their nations, such societies invariably are widening the opportunities for competitive growth, encouraging a healthy contest of ideas, strengthening their developmental advantages.
“Our young men and women excelling from the tundra of Russia to Saint Albert in Canada are symbols of our great possibilities if only we do the right things; If only we encourage knowledge and be kind to talent; If only we disregard the narrow province of nepotism and embrace merit regardless of its origin.
The skewed structures of political power are equally an inherent hindrance to national development. Every stakeholder from Kaura-Namoda in Zamfara state to the farthest reaches of Isaleko on the edge of the Lagos lagoon now agrees that the excessive centrality of political power in our nation is destroying competition, holding everyone down to an unhealthy indolence, strips the states of individual growth and development, disallows free-willing local initiatives, strangles fairness and equity in the larger Nigerian union, inflames tension and fissiparous tendencies.
“We can do better than this. We must listen to the voice of reason. We must induce debates and let a thousand flowers bloom. We cannot stifle peaceful dissent through the gulag and the stakes. The iron steel does not breed genuine patriotism. It merely drives dissent underground. This is more dangerous. This is not the road to be taken.
“The scourge of brazen corruption is another hindrance to our collective union. Politics which ought to be a noble service is now perceived as a blatant, certified avenue to make money.
“Ours is now a bullion van democracy where characters of blemished, dubious identities have virtually seized our collective coffers, turning a people’s treasury into a private family vault.
“Lagos State, my much trampled state which a writer recently referred to as a zombie state is perhaps the best example of a seized and conquered territory where an Iragbiji native dwells like an obscene Persian monarch determining who becomes a councillor, who becomes a local government chairman, who becomes a house of Assembly member, who becomes a Representative, a Senator and a Governor.
“All these he does by compromising all the agencies and organs of the state, including the warped electoral commission itself.