A Communiqué Of The Choba Academic Research Initiative (CARI)

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A Communiqué Of The Choba Academic Research Initiative (CARI)

INTRODUCTION

This communiqué is one of the highlights of an extraordinary two-day retreat of the “Choba Academic Research Initiative (CARI),” which took place from the 26th to the 27th of August, 2022, at Mess-Tro Hotel and Resort, No. 10 Onugboji Street, Ahoada Town, Rivers state, Nigeria.

The Choba Academic Research Initiative is a group of forward-thinking individuals from around Nigeria, including academics, entrepreneurs, and civil servants. CARI is a non-religious, non-partisan, and non-tribal organisation that promotes inclusive peace, growth, and development in our communities through research-driven interventions. We are dedicated to achieving set objectives in the greater interest of society.

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REINVENTING NIGERIA: ISSUES AND STRATEGIES

After a lengthy brainstorming session in which we critically analysed the current state of the nation and explored the possibilities of reinventing Nigeria, we reached some painful conclusions: Nigeria is at the crossroads between survival and death, with all the trappings of a failed or failing state. Simply put, Nigeria is at a precipice.

The extent of poverty, corruption, unemployment, misery, and division in this once prosperous and peaceful country is startling. This is a recipe for a further crisis of armageddonian proportions. The “we versus them” mentality is at an all-time high in our country’s history. The emotional and cognitive references to Nigeria by Nigerians and other people around the world are completely negative and undesirable.

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From being Africa’s giant and hope, Nigeria is now known as the world’s poverty capital, zoo, and other unflattering terms. The feeling and thinking by the majority of ordinary Nigerians is that because the country does not care for them, they, in turn, do not love and do not care about them. Patriotism is zero or near zero among Nigerians today, even the armed forces.

The wonderful life promised by democracy has remained elusive, and both leaders and the followers are to blame; the leaders have abused the trust, power, and privilege bestowed on them, while the followers have demonstrated bastardly levels of docility and helplessness.

Our ideas and claims to nationhood and constitutionalism are questionable and perverted. Not only is Nigeria a mere nation state, it is also not on the road to nationhood. The operational 1999 constitution is fraught with a lot of challenges, especially the fact that it is not the people’s constitution per se. This has hindered the possibility of having a system that is truly governed on the principles of the rule of law and democracy.

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As we march towards the 2023 elections, the task before the contending parties and candidates includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Nigeria should be restructured immediately along the lines of true federalism. The very idea of the federating units of the country (states and local governments) queuing up in Abuja every month to share the national revenue, based on a warped sharing formula that has created disincentives for competition and efficiency, MUST stop forthwith. We believe that all and every president of Nigeria will fail unless Nigeria is restructured.

Constitutional, judicial and electoral reforms and the courageous cum consistent implementation are required to ensure a thorough and successful leadership recruitment process and system of accountability, and MUST be pursued with courage, dedication, and high patriotic verve.

We believe strongly that everything rises and falls on leadership, and a nation cannot rise above the quality of its leadership. The economy, education, health care, infrastructure, security, and other issues can only be addressed by competent and patriotic leadership capable of mobilising the people and resources of Nigeria for greater glory.

CONCLUSION

We are super confident and optimistic that Nigeria, like the phoenix, can rise again from the ashes of its self-inflicted ruin. Hence, we are calling on Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to hearken and commit to the heaven-inspired national anthem of Nigeria:

“Arise, o compatriot

Nigeria’s call obey

To serve our fatherland

With love and strength and faith

The labour of our heroes past

Shall never be in vain

To serve with heart and might

One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.”

Long live CARI

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Signed for and on behalf of CARI

Hon. Gift O. Worlu, MBA, PhD (Chairman)

Mr. Valentine Nwanze (Gen. Secretary)

Chief Ovunda Ihunwo, PhD (Convener)

Dr. Henry Dienye (Chairman, Communique Drafting Committee)

Prof. Friday Nwafor (Secretary, Communique Drafting Committee.

Prof. Emmanuel Emasealu (Member, Communiqué Drafting Committee)

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Seunmanuel Faleye is a brand and communications strategist. He is a covert writer and an overt creative head. He publishes Apple's Bite International Magazine.


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