The Washington, DC-based United Nigerian Citizens Consultative Initiative Inc. (UNCCI) in association with its Nigeria-based subsidiary – United Citizens Consultative Initiative Inc. (UCCI) will play host to numerous internationally-acclaimed Nigerian patriots (as listed above, among others), a throng of reputable Nigerian statesmen
, current and past Nigerian leaders and all Nigerian citizens and people of goodwill in a “Citizens’ Votes-Must-Count” unity rally in the Garden City of Port Harcourt, Rivers State at the heart of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. This ground-breaking event is scheduled to hold on Saturday September 11, 2010, and it will be specifically held at the main bowl of the King Alfred Diette-Spiff Sports Complex, aka Civic Center, located at Moscow Road Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
United Nigerian Citizens Consultative Initiative Inc. (UNCCI) and United Citizens Consultative Initiative Inc. (UCCI) - its Nigeria-based subsidiary - expect to have this historic event as an opportunity to educate, enlighten and galvanize the Nigerian grassroots base within the region and beyond to massively participate in the on-going Nigerian nascent democratic process in preparatory for the realization of free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria, come 2011. This is a defining moment – a moment to rise and stand for the best. We can’t afford not to do it.
It would be recalled that the said organization is a patriotic and non-partisan one; truly dedicated to educating, enlightening, sensitizing, galvanizing, and engaging the good citizens and grassroots people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to heartily and conscientiously embrace, and engage in the compelling task of nation-building. The organization’s desirable plan of action is to be achieved through the assumption of a responsible path-finding role of bridging the gap between the government and the citizens, as people of the nation, as well as engaging the entire Nigerian citizenry both at home, and in the Diaspora to participate in a true democratic process that would stand the test of time. Nigeria shall rise again!
Nigeria has come of age as the nation will be celebrating her 50th independence anniversary on October 1, 2010. However, the nation’s most valuable assets – her citizens – have continued to be under-utilized, if not completely sidelined, in the scheme of things. This is unacceptable.
It goes without saying that at the moment, Nigeria’s image before the world is still appallingly dismal. In the year 2000, Transparency International ranked Nigeria the worst country among 90 countries surveyed for its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). During that same period, the United Nations Reports upheld that the poverty rate in Nigeria has gone up from 46 percent to 76 percent. So far, the picture has remained increasingly disturbing, and the hapless Nigerian citizens continue to lack daily necessities of life in the midst of plenty. God save our country!
Nigeria is a country that would have held great promises for being the home of great strides in modern civilization. No doubt, the success of Nigeria as well as the nation’s economic and political stability is inevitably a strong component of the much-anticipated breakthrough of the entire African continent. Participatory democracy is the heart and soul of the Nigerian national dream for development. It holds the key to our national hope and aspirations. The anticipated overhaul of the Nigerian system has to involve instruments specifically designed to appreciate the dramatic potential and value of massive voters’ education and voters’ registration drive.
In the words of His Excellency, Donald Duke, former Governor of Cross River State, “We need a critical mass of Nigerians to get out and vote. It is important because the more ballot papers that are legitimately used on Election Day, the fewer available to be used to rig the vote, that’s the truth.” We must all join hands and jealously protect our democratic ideals. Free and fair election in 2011 is the litmus test for our national pride and integrity. Our elections in 2011 can never be business as usual. Every CITIZEN’S VOTE MUST COUNT.
Election banditry, carry-go elections and stealing of votes is as criminal in scope and effects as kidnapping as well as bank and high-way arm robbery. Inaction in the face of emergency is indirect suicide.
The unique characteristic of true democracy is the right and ability of the citizens to freely make their choice of who would legitimately lead them. If we falter here, we falter everywhere! Nigeria is long overdue to freely enjoy the morning breeze. We can no longer wait. The labors of our heroes shall never be in vain. Remember, we are not alone in this struggle. History is with us, and God is with us. The historic Port Harcourt event is an opportunity to chart a way to take Nigeria out of the woods of democratic doldrums. We can’t afford to miss it. Come ALL!
Dr. Terry M. Bagia – Author, Human Rights Lawyer, Legal Scholar, and President of UNCCI Inc.
For and on behalf of UNCCI Inc. cum UCCI Inc.
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