The Nigerian Intervention Movement (NIM) has increased the momentum of its alliance talks with about 37 opposition political parties.
The leadership of NIM, it was learnt met with some parties operating under the auspices of Coalition for New Nigeria (CNN) as part of efforts to consolidate political ties ahead of the 2019 general election.
But NIM at its meeting yesterday in Abuja, said its major priority is to impact the 2019 general elections, which it said is going to be a “rough fight.”
Speaking at their Grand National summit, the NIM leaders underscored the need to upstage the current administration.
However, Nobel Laurette, Prof Wole Soyinka, warned the coalition movement to beware of those who he called experienced spoilers. Other speakers at the event including the co-chairperson, Dr Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, Dr Abdul Jhalil Tafawa Balewa among others, however challenged Nigerians youths to register and collect their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC).
In his opening remarks, Agbakoba declared that the movement has a target of about 30 million youths. He added that 2019 general elections would be a “rough fight.”
“And if you agree, it means that we here must be very united. We cannot do it alone. It reminds me of when we started the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), we were exactly seven but confronted this huge military apparatus. Eventually, we became the 12th largest human rights organisation in the world. It was our shared commitment. So, that is the commitment you are going to make. It is not to come to Abuja, dress fine and sit down.
“If you want to displace the APC or PDP, it is going to be a rough fight. It is going to be tough. I can see so many people without PVCs. So, if we are going to make a difference, the first thing is to get your PVCs. It is of no use going to the mosques on Fridays or Churches on Sundays to pray. Without PVCs, there will be no change.”
According to him, “Nigeria is like a big company where there are two million shareholders and in the case of Nigeria, about 200 million shareholders. Less than one thousand are controlling the rest. Think about it. The people holding you bondage, how many of them? They are not many.
“So, we have to break this bondage by participating in the affairs of our nation. That is the only way, but we need money. We do not want the money bags, but we need money. Do not kid yourself, we need money to prosecute this election but we do not need the old type of money.
“I have studied the National Bureau of Statistics Demographic analysis. There are 30 million Nigerian youths between 18 and 40 years. That is our base. Trump had a base. Trump won because he allowed Hillary Clinton to roam around the whole place. He focused on the uneducated white working class. We will focus, once we identify this base and work on them. If we have 10 million youths on our side, we are going to win”, he added.
Another co-chairperson of the movement, Dr Abdul Jhalil Tafawa Balewa, said the NIM was not “moved by bitterness nor are we motivated by hatred. So we shall not wipe away our past”.
“If we were asked to choose only three things for our children, it will be education, education and education. You cannot have prosperity without education and as our recent experience is showing us you cannot even have peace and order without education”, he added.
On the abduction of school girls by terrorist groups, Tafawa Balewa said; “Heaven forbids we lower our standards so much that we start to compare how different administrations deal with mass kidnapping.” In a message to the launch, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka urged them to be vigilant and watch out for ‘experienced spoilers’.
“You must however exercise unrelenting vigilance. Prowling around you already are those recurrent interlopers, whose sole aim is to hijack your efforts or infiltrate your ranks with their stooges. Experienced spoilers, they are part and parcel of the very predicament you are trying to alleviate.”
Prof Pat Utomi said there is the need for a movement to get ordinary Nigerians to come on board.
According to Utomi, the idea of the NIM is to bring ordinary Nigerians together to form a huge voting block ahead of the 2019 general elections.