Dear Nigerian Professionals,

For over 50 years, you have been the drivers of this Nation development through your numerous social and economic activities. You gave this country the hope that kept it going when the hounds in power threatened to derail it. You keep oiling the engine of this great country’s economy when our ineptitude leaders are driving it toward the precipice.
For years, you have stood by the common men and women in this country and also provide jobs, supports and contributions to the national development through your various professional activities.

Your taxes, through the income tax, company tax and VAT are the only things that sustain this country apart from the petroleum and it is still the only hope of the country when the petroleum dries up.

Your creativities and innovations have led directly and indirectly to creation of millions of employments nationwide over the years. Your skills and knowledge have been the only resources that have remained the pride of this potentially great country.

In every part of the world you have been, your knowledge is and sagacity have been applauded and given due accreditations as you proudly display to the world that Nigerian professionals can hold their heads anywhere in the world and provide qualitative serves commensurate with other professionals worldwide. You are the golden goose that lay the golden eggs that fed this nation.

In all these years, our leaders have provided disappointing leadership while the best for us have never been allowed to get to the seat of power. Corruption is now the second name of our leaders while ineptitude is being gloried to the horror of those true professionals among us. What is more, our national resources continue to go into the private pockets while poverty, conflicts and unemployment are raving the lands.

Those of us with private companies are becoming a mini-local government providing all the infrastructures which the government ought to provide with our taxes. We are walking through an unusual period where the pillagers are ravaging the land and plundering our common resources while our businesses are being deprived of the right atmosphere to operate successfully. Our business partners and associates prefer to deal with us outside the country while we find it very, very hard to convince new ones to invest in the country. 

As a result of the various socio-economic problems created by corruption and ineptitude leadership, we have been forced to retrenched, undersized, relocate, downsize, and recently casualties most of our workers.

This in turn have been having negative impact on the socio-economic situation in the country.

The results:
  1. 80% of Nigerians live below poverty level;
  2. 70% of our youths are without job;
  3. More than 85% of industries are either being shut down or transforming into warehouses importing their products into the country, therefore turning Nigeria into dumping ground:
  4. More than 90% of our elected leaders do not have our mandates. They are either selected through fraudulence process or rigged their ways into power;
  5. Our universities are becoming glorified classroom with lecturers underpaid while no university can boast of 80% facilities;
  6. Our brilliant graduates does not have job to do and are immigrating into other countries to take up menial jobs just to survive.
  7. In the midst of all these, our Lawmakers are taking 25% of our Annual Budget as emoluments and other ridiculous allowances; the executive was reported to be taking more than 50% of the budgets while 140 million people are taking the remaining! This is unacceptable! They are turning the country into private enterprises while common men which include you are being left with the crumbs!

As we take deep insight into the state of our country, let us pause to look back into the 60’s after the independence. China, Malaysia, South Korea are all at the same developmental state. In fact, Nigeria is known to lead most of these countries and the hope of African nations is fully rested on Nigeria to provide qualitative leadership, politically and economically. Today, those countries have left is behind while we are still at crawling stage and are heading for the worse.

Almost all the states and local governments are now heavily dependent on the federation account that they have no strategy or plan to survive should oil suddenly run out. It is becoming more profitable to import junks and fake products into the country than to allow our professionals produced quality products. Inflation is on the rise, and poverty continues to ravage the masses while our politicians are siphoning our resources abroad for personal aggrandizement.

Every year, we are told that the next year will be better, alas, every year, it keep getting worse!

How did we get here?

Our journey toward this despicable level begins when we stopped showing interest in partisan politics. We forgot that the men and women who gave Nigeria her independence are professionals with their respective vocations. They did not go into politics to make money but to contribute into national development. Chief Obafemi Awolowo is a lawyer and a journalist. He was also an industrialist; Sir Herbert Macaulay was an Engineer, the first Civil Engineer in Nigeria, I came across his survey in one of the land cases I handled recently, Sir Amodu Bello, Chief Anthony Enahoro etc are all professionals.

Today, the professionals have reduced themselves into campaign financiers and contractors while many of us completely insulated ourselves from politics thereby giving the opportunities for dimwit, thieves, certificate forgers, area boys and ex-convicts are taking over the seat of government in the country. They lied to us and rig their ways into power yet, we continue to sustain our apathy toward government and governance.

It is when we left the decision on who rule us to incompetent people that our country begins to go down.
As the major stakeholders in Nigerian projects, it is quite amazing that most of us have chosen to be apathetical to politics and political activities. Many of us have been known to completely segregate our workers from partaking in politics, while many of us are in habit of paying homage to all government in power in the hope that they will provide supports to us. In return, they have been treating us with disdain while ruining the country and the economy.

And the consequence of our apathy is dwindling fortunes of most of our companies and resultant lost in business. Most companies that are thriving today are either in petroleum or having one or few things to do with government.

What is the way out?

We have to get involved. There is no way we can rebuild Nigeria without our involvement in politics. We need not become politicians, but we can all decide who we vote for and who our people, workers, families and associate vote for.

We can have a say in the polity through our vote and our respective influence.

The professionals must stand up now and be counted. The era of being gagged under the guise of being apolitical is no more applicable while the looters and incompetent people are leading our nation. Civil Servants for instance are told not to participate in politics, but they are allowed to vote, same with some of our industrial unions, whereas the policies of our government affect them most. It is through exercising this voting power that we can make our voice heard. We will continue to be tools being used to produce the looted funds as long as we are not actively involved in who lead us and who rule us.

We must get involved if we want a better Nigeria. Today, the INEC has commenced a registration process for all qualified Nigerians from the age of 18 years and above. All our staff must be encouraged to register while they must also be sensitized on the need to keep their voters’ cards and guard it very well. This is our power. This is the only tool we will need to make change in the system.

I am urging you all to depart from your traditional conservativeness to politics and political process in the country by showing interest in the political process in this country. You must begin to create a forum within your respective organization that will quietly scrutinize the caliber of aspirants that are presenting themselves for elective office and make wise decisions on who to endorse to your members, staff and families and associates. This is a time for us to begin to put our destinies in our hands. It is not a time for apathy, experimentation or “siddon look”. It is time for all of us to get involved.

I recommend the followings:
  1. Ensure that your members are register in the ongoing voters registration process;
  2. Place memo in strategic places and pass it across the land that all your staff must register to vote and they must be made to display their cars if need be;
  3. Ensure that they all mobilize their members and friends to register
  4. Begin to monitor the body languages of those presenting themselves for elective office and find a small forum to discuss them and also make logical comparisons among them
  5. Begin to overlook the parties and the symbol and start looking at the aspirants and their programmes. Do not forget to dig into their pasts and ensure that your members and staff are duly educated where necessary.
As the election draw nearer, I am urging you all to let us come together to salvage this country and make it great again. WE MUST GET INVOLVED IF WE WANT A BETTER NIGERIA. Remember, if Nigeria fails, if Nigeria is plunged into ethnic and religion war, if Nigeria is fall under the rule of another mad man, it is your business that will suffer. It is your pension and your tax that will be used to finance their foolish expenses, it is your family and the unborn generation that will bear the brunt. Therefore, let us come together in our own interest and register to vote while we show active interest in who represent us. We cannot afford to let Nigeria fail of slide farther in degradation. This country is God own country and its salvation is in our hands.

I believe a new Nigeria with all the grace and glory is possible. I believe a new Nigeria where the professionals are the kings is possible. I believe a new Nigeria where poverty is a thing of the past is possible. I believe a New Nigeria where elected officials are truly responsible and responsive is possible. I believe…that we can make Nigeria of our dreams possible. We want our country back! Together we can!

Thank you.

Lawyer & Labour Party, (FCT) Senatorial candidate

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