…Urges action on a new Nigeria
By Dirisu Yakubu
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Hauwa Atiku Uwais, daughter of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has promised to support the aspiration of her father “if and when” he declares interest to run for the office of the President of Nigeria again.
Hauwa stated this in Abuja yesterday in her opening remarks at the second edition of Conversation with Hauwa; a pan-Nigeria talk show on how to make the country better.
Bemoaning the state of affairs in the land, Mrs. Hauwa Atiku Uwais urged Nigerians to get involved in conversations aimed at birthing the Nigeria of their dream.
Attended by security experts, politicians including member representing Lokoja/Kogi federal constituency, Hon. Shaba Ibrahim and youth leaders, the conversations centered on the deplorable state of the nation, particularly the growing insecurity across the country.
She said: “Make no mistake about it! I will support my father if and when he declares to run for office but this gathering is bigger than that. This is a clarion call on behalf of all Nigerians. Enough of permutations! How can we be so blessed yet, suffer so much?”
Explaining the rationale for the gathering, the eloquent convener said, “We are here to deepen engagements with fellow citizens who feel we can do better as a nation collectively. There is a fire burning inside my belly. I am here to collaborate with you to burn down the chain that hold us collectively captive.
“Admitted or not, there are some bridges in life that must be burn if the destiny of the nation is to be unleashed. There are roads that lead nowhere and the very foundations of those dead ends are what we are here to raise down once and for all and build a foundation for a new Nigeria.
“The gap between the haves and the haves-not is growing exponentially by the day. Poverty levels are at an all-time high with the population of Nigerians in abject poverty being the highest per capital in the world. And to cap it all, the level of insecurity of lives and properties is at a level that has never been witnessed in the nation’s 60 years of existence.
“I agree that Nigeria has never fully fulfil her potentials but she has equally never been this horrible and only one without genuine conscience will dismiss the fact that many Nigerians are living in despair and despondency.”
She explained that being Atiku’s daughter has not stopped her from toiling to earn her daily bread like most Nigerians do.
“As a female and Atiku Abubakar’s daughter, I know the burden of living as a privileged child in a society that is heavily prejudiced against you as if it was your fault to be born into some level of comfort. This pain is one carried by all of us. I also know what it takes to be able to afford a meal, knowing that a hundreds of neighbors within my vicinity are at the mercy of the elements.”
According to her, no one is wealthy enough to lend assistance to all those in need saying,
“You can try and help but the truth is that without a system that is designed to create equitable opportunities for citizens, most of the assistance you render is like water in the basket. It is never enough to quench everybody’s thirst.
“But rather staying in a cocoon and cry about it, I have set out to discuss with the common man because I am a common Nigerian too. I did what most entrepreneurs did. I trained myself in the venture that I wanted to embark upon which is pastry and baking . I started from home like most businesses and expanded gradually.”
She also called on Nigerians to imbibe the lesson of hard work in their children.
“I wake up every morning with a sense of pride so that my daughters and son will grow up to know the value of striving to earn a decent living through hard work and enterprise other than birthright,” she added.
Like every other Nigerian, Hauwa said she us not immune to the harsh policies of government; a reason she noted, necessitate the conversation in the first place.
“Because I earn a legitimate living, I am as affected by every bad policy of government and the poor amenities as everybody else. If I fail to stand with the Nigerian people, in what country will I ever find true fulfillment?
“Relocating abroad is not the issue. Millions of Nigerians live abroad. Even if you relocate because you can, will you be able to tag along with Musa, the struggling 19-year old mai shai
(tea seller) in your street? Can you relocate your hardworking electrician, Obinna whose family truly needs a lucky break? How about Bolanle, your very creative tailor who also deserves a good life?
“And this is not forgetting your biological relatives who look up to you for palliatives. How will I sleep when incessant phone calls will wake me up in the dead of the night to cry for help that will be difficult to get?
“I have realized that no single individual can give us the country that we deserve. Even great leaders can only succeed with a strong credible support system,” she added
To birth a new Nigeria, Hauwa called on Nigerians to eschew religious bigotry and nepotism and see one another as true brothers and sisters united in love.
On his part, Hon. Ibrahim urged Nigerians to show more than a passive interest in the way their country is being governed. He decried the prevalence of insecurity in the country and called on the federal government to make everywhere safe for dwelling and transaction of businesses for all.