Deborah Samuel

The Convener of the Big Tent Coalition that constitutes the Third Force, Professor Pat Utomi, has announced the reconstitution of the Coalition’s Policy team to drive an issues based campaign to liberate Nigeria in 2023.

In a statement personally signed by him, Professor Pat Utomi, a political economy expert, activist, politician, and business angel, stated that the National Policy Review and Futureview Team will “enhance the functioning of Democratic Institutions and to begin to restore legitimacy to government.”

READ FULL STATEMENT BELOW

GOVERNING FOR THE PEOPLE

In consideration of the troubling state of governance in Nigeria, the Big Tent coalition of Political Parties, social movements and civil society that constitute the Third Force for national retrieval and transformation, is inaugurating a National Policy Review and Futureview Team.

This is to enhance the functioning of Democratic Institutions and to begin to restore legitimacy to government at a time when Governors are pointing to large areas of ungoverned spaces, ways and means money creation that has repeatedly violated the law and set the country on the course of surging inflation; Oil theft and the production of Oil at close to half of our OPEC quota has driven up the misery index from an already negative pole position of the poverty capital of world.

The team of policy players we unveil and whose engagement in policy contestation will shed light on why the promise of Nigeria has become blighted will henceforth suggest how policy can move Nigeria from the obsession with the sharing of hardly existent revenues to production. Such production we expect, can result in a demographic dividend from our youth bulge.

In assembling this group of citizen actors for the people, primary consideration has been given to competence, passion, inclusion, and commitment to the unity and security of Nigeria and advancing the wellbeing of the people, in the firm belief that a new Nigeria is possible and can be achieved now.

In addition to this team, we are pleased to announce that we have set up a college of spokespersons from every state of the Federation, and the six zones, plus Abuja, to deepen the communication to the grassroots, of the work of the policy teams as they propose alternatives to extant policies in other to see a shift from revenue bating and conspicuous consumption emphasis to a production culture that will lift up the quality of life of Nigerians. This shift in emphasis which will dramatically shrink poverty, and put the Nigerian economy in a place where SDG targets are advanced will form the core of the new orientation. Prescriptions will have to include practical, immediately implementable decisions that can stem the rot and reverse Nigeria’s slide.

These spokespersons, to be coordinated by the Director of Media and Communications of the Big Tent, and the Peter Obi Campaign/Labour Party Chief Spokesperson, will also communicate the efforts of the Big Tent for Peter Obi Campaign, as the Labour Party candidate leads the college of leaders working together to win the 2023 election so Nigerians can take back their country through what is truly a government of the people, for the people and by the people. This would replace the dysfunctional tradition of a government of politicians by politicians for politicians, in which the rest live in insecurity, shrinking opportunity, and economic hardship.

This Policy Team has a duty to be manifestly ethical, accountable and live a disavowal of corruption.

Due care has been taken to have a team that includes very experienced older leaders, creative and highly exposed younger people, women, the physically challenged and patriots from all parts of Nigeria. They are also drawn from the academic community, policy arena, domain of praxis, civil society, and politicians active in the field.

The Policy Review and Future Watch Team includes:

Power: Dr. Jerome Okolo and Professor Auwal Aliyu

Agriculture: Prof. Murtala Sagagi and Soji Apampa

Constitution Reform: Dr Muiz Banire (SAN) Chidi Odinkalu, and Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed.

Law and Order: Rtd. IGP MD Abubakar, Augustine Edet

Economy and Finance: Ituah Ighodalo, Dr. Emeka Okengwu, Remi Babalola.

Transportation: Dr. Chris Asoluka, Gbenga Ajayi

Defence: General Henry Ayoola (Rtd), Dr. Sadiq Gombe

Health: Dr. Lorieta Oduwa Ogboro-Okor, Pharm Ifeanyi Okeke

Establishment and Pensions: Prof. Lilian Oby Orogbu, Amb Hassan Tukur.

External Affairs: Amb. Joe Keshi, Ms. Bilkisu Magoro.

Education: Dr Usman Bugaje, Mrs. Halima Dada-Abubakar, Dr. O. J. Yakas.

Youth Development: Naseer Sidi Ali.

Information and Culture: Dr. Tanko Yinusa, Femi Joshua, Rashida Abubakar

Women’s Development: Ms. Temidayo Nike Oriola, Madam I. Usman.

Petroleum Resources: Nuhu Yakubu, Tonye Princewill,

Economic Planning: Prof. Bongo Adi

Water Resources: Danladi Ndayebo, Atinuke Odjenima

Constitutional Reform: Bar Alfred Oloko, Wale Okuniyi, Bar. Dele Farotimi

Public Works: Dr. Engr. (Mrs) Halibat Adediran, Engr Ashana Mundi

Blue Economy Development: Prof Chris Ekong.

Aviation: Chibuzor Nwachukwu

International Trade, Industry and Investments; Prof Osita Ogbu

Humanitarian Affairs: Lolo Kadafa

Mobilization for Self Help: Aisha Yesufu

Environment. Prof Chukwumerije, Mrs Ifechidere Kanu

Labour: Comrade Precious Adewusi Hauwa Yabani

Interior: Akin Osuntokun

Science and Technology: Saminu Turaki

Communication: Hadiza Saidu

National Integration: Najatu Mohammed.

Police Affairs: MD Abubakar,(IGP Rtd)

Youth Entrepreneurship: Ms Sarwi Rahaman, Dr Chidi Okpaluba.

Housing: Salamatu Yaradua.

Senior Advisors: Prof Atahiru Jega, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Femi Falana(SAN), Olutola Mobolurin, Prof J Isawa Elaigwu

In accepting a Coordinating role for this Policy Team, I have canvased an economic strategy based on incentivizing the States and Local Development Areas currently called LGAs to scale up local factor endowments in Agriculture to be aggregated in Wholesale produce markets in the economic geopolitical zones for processing in industrial parks to be set up in each zone which will become the focal point for limited Industrial Policy to enhance competiveness on global value chains we must aim to dominate with our latent comparative advantage on those endowments we select to anchor our great surge forward.

These thrusts for change have to depend on massive increase in power generation and distribution and retraining of the civil service to be professional, ethical and competent in their functions.

Unless policy can increase opportunity for venturing, dramatically increase job creation, security of life and property, advancing happiness of the greatest number and not just a few with access to economic rent it is worthless.

We must therefore act to be of great impact in how we elevate rational public conversation to drive society towards choices that advance the common good of all.

Finally I want to urge our Law and Order, Constitutional reform arrowheads and our legal defense team led by Mrs Boma Alabi(SAN) to never loose sight of the fact that the Rule of Law and Property Rights are Anchor Institutions on which the goals of progress are founded. Like health and education drive the capacity of man to act, institutions like the rule of law must be defended with everything we have.

I have no doubt that our impact on the coming months will define the future of Nigeria and welcome the team to champion the cause with uncommon dedication to duty for the common man.

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