14th February, 2011
The Democratic Front observed with immense satisfaction a political development that has taken place within the current â€œruling partyâ€ of the nation, a development that finally put paid to the deceptive and retrogressive zoning policies that the party has deviously attempted to foist on the nation as aÂ constitutional provision.
While this by no means spells the emergence of a genuine democratic disposition, it nonetheless brings the nation a small step closer to the embrace of due democratic practice, enabling choices to be made on merit, rather than through regional, sectarian opportunism and blackmail.
While the Democratic Front acknowledges the near insurmountable legacy of rot, disorganisation, sabotage and near-total corruption of the electoral system that was inherited by the present INEC administration, it remains nonetheless obvious that this has been an unsatisfactory voter registration exercise so far, nor can all the failing be blamed on the past. The DFPF position is that the exercise requires, not a mere weekâ€™s extension, but a fortnightâ€™s at the very least. An inadequate extension merely consigns INEC to a cycle of failure, and the loss of confidence in the coming electoral exercise itself.
This was a totally unnecessary motion in the first place and merely betrays a failure in planning. Other options were available and still are. The nationâ€™s educational structure, already in an alarming state of disintegration, should not be further undermined by such arbitrary interruptions.
A NATIONâ€™S INTERNAL HEMORRHAGE
The nation bleeds, and bleeds, and bleeds some more. The current bloodletting has a long history. That history has been one of complicity at the highest tier of governance in the culture of impunity, purely for political advantage. The manifesto of the DEMOCRATIC FRONT has ranged the party with all who believe that religion is a private matter that should be left to the spiritual search and conscience of individuals or associations of the like-minded, not decreed as a principle of governance. The insertion of the theocratic state within the body politic of the nation cannot be divorced from the present rash of homicidal religious zealotry. The nation, innocent individuals, businesses, institutions and habitations are paying the price of complicity through inaction and political opportunism, and the evil Genie of murderous fanaticism is out of the bottle.
While notice must be taken of the social conditions that have bred a roaming army of malcontents, and concerted efforts urged to reduce the economic frustrations of millions, the nature of the present menace calls for drastic action against individuals and groups to whom any Nigerian life is for cheap and brutal disposition. They must be made to face the full rigour of the law, most especially those politicians that are guilty of manipulating such agents of violence. Education is a key part of the solution, so is the extension of social amenities to cover the present zones of marginalization, neglect and poverty.
We must not shy away however from the proliferation of the criminal minds among us, for whom religion is merely a channel for the gratification of brutal instincts. Regarding this minority, there are only two choices: surrender by a people or engagement in resolute battle. Wish it or not, the battle is already joined, and any government with the sheerest sense of responsibility to its citizens must act pro-actively, empowering all security agencies as well as channels of civil collaboration in a mutual onslaught on the forces of dehumanisation.
LESSONS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE
First Tunisia, then Egypt, rumblings in Jordan, next..? The tide of freedom and justice cannot be held back for ever. Sooner or later the dam will burst, and the people will come into their own. It is the turn of open dictatorship today, tomorrow it may be the turn of false democracy, where the very principles of democracy are prostituted, indeed pressed into the service of dictatorship, cronyism, consensual thievery and massive exploitation.
Nigeria is a prime example. A nation where a microcosmic minority, having largely manipulated itself into office through degraded electoral means, proceed to engorge over a third of a nationâ€™s annual expenditure, using the same extorted resources to perpetuate themselves in arrogance and alienation, is a contradiction of all democratic definitions.
Any state of glaring social inequality, of greed and indifference is over-ripe for overthrow, and the only question that remains is whether such means will be violent, or peaceful. We of the Democratic Front believe that the latter means is still possible but â€“ only just! We are convinced that the nation is facing its watershed of decision, where only a bold, courageous step, not afraid of risks, can save the nation from violent disintegration.
Hence our position for CHANGE. Hence our careful, meticulous exercise in examining the credentials and potentials of those who have positioned themselves for the highest executive office of the land. The DEMOCRATIC FRONT has resolved to place itself at the service of similarly inclined but far longer entrenched democratic bodies. The process of scrutinising the credentials of partners in such limited but focused objectives has been undertaken with a deep sense of responsibility to the nation, and to the generation that the failed ones have produced to mop up their failures, betrayals, egocentrism and waste of one historic opportunity after another. The efforts of these â€˜chosenâ€™ to replicate themselves in the coming elections through sponsored surrogates must be countered with all possible resources and strategic thinking.
Following a spirited debate on the credentials, track records, and potential of all the candidates for the position of presidency, the Democratic Front has made its choice, and now declares its support for the candidacy of Mr. NUHU RIBADU. We shall join hands with other progressives and mobilise the resources of the party, material, moral, and organisational, towards the attainment of this goal in the coming critical elections for the nation.
Leadership requires support pillars, thus we urge all subscribers to the manifesto of the Democratic Front to engage in mobilising support for aspirants for political positions identified and endorsed by the Democratic Front, from national and state legislative houses to local governments, across political affiliations. While retaining its distinct identity, the Democratic Front will work closely with other parties identified with progressive thinking, so as to avoid splitting of votes to the advantage of the current ruling party that has devastated the nation of Nigeria nearly beyond recovery. The current â€˜ruling partyâ€™, the People Deprivation Party, is Nigeriaâ€™s common enemy, against which all serious minded people should be mobilised.
From the very enabling statements at its inauguration, the party has made it clear that it is a party of the future, a future whose task however begins today, an enabling organ for a betrayed, marginalised, and incapacitated generation. Its primary agenda is the total transformation of society by whatever means the party finds necessary and non-contradictory to its manifesto.
We appeal to the electorate to study the DFPF manifesto in detail, educate itself about its provisions, send questions and comments through the party website, and engage in a sincere dialogue that has been denied the Nigerian citizens since its declaration of independence.
The battle has just begun.
â€¢Being the communique issued by the Democratic Front for a Peopleâ€™s Federation at the end ofÂ its emergency meeting at its headquarters in Abuja, on Sunday 30 January 2011