Text of a press statement by the United Action for Democracy (UAD) on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of return to civilian rule, May 29, 2013.
The United Action For Democracy [UAD] is a Pan-Nigeria historic coalition of citizens’ organisations; a central social formation in the anti military and pro democracy struggle that led to the birth of this present republic; a core member of the Labour Civil Society Coalition which coordinated our most recent epochal January Uprising; and an integral component and driving force of the mass social movements and popular struggles in our country.
The UAD conscious of the price in blood, sweat, and limbs paid by ordinary Nigerian citizens in the struggle to end military dictatorship and democratise all facets of our national life, is appalled by the current state of the nation; the progressive decline in the quality of governance and the management of our polity and collective resources since the 1999 return to civilian rule.
We observe that over the past fourteen years, the only area where our politicians have demonstrated expertise and competence is in the area of treasury looting and political brigandage; a competence and level of expertise that has now brought our nation to the brink of a catastrophic collapse!
While according to this ruling class GDP has consistently grown at over 6% annually, yet inspite of this growth, poverty has also increased tremendously from 54% in 2000 to 69% in 2012; and so also has unemployment – now almost 30% [particularly youth unemployment – now almost 50%], homelessness and misery.
And rather than build homes for the homeless, support the livelihoods of the poor, and improve access to basic services; governments at all levels and of all parties have together persistently demolish the homes of the poor, evict the poor from cities, criminalise the livelihoods of the poor, harass the poor when they are going about eking out meager existence, and generally make life and living more difficult for ordinary citizens.
With specific reference to the scale of insecurity and armed violence and insurgencies across the country; the scale and scope of the quantitative and qualitative increase in poverty; and the shamefully and dangerous dilapidated nature of basic infrastructures and services; we know that this sorry state of affairs has arisen as a result of the combination of the ineptitude of the ruling class, and the direct implication of politicians in the competitive arming of youth groups and sponsorship of armed groups and armed insurgencies.
We also know that the increasing poverty levels, and the rapidly declining levels of basic social services and infrastructures, despite the increasing levels of national wealth generated by our collective sweat, and the truly humongous scale of public investments over the last 14 years, has been a direct consequence of the greed, monumental corruption, and rapacious scale of treasury looting perpetrated and perpetuated by this thieving elite bands in power serially gang raping our nation.
With level of human and natural resources we are endowed with as a nation, there is no reason why any Nigerian should live in and live with poverty. We therefore call on all ordinary Nigerians to get ourselves readied and prepared for a strategic return to the barricades, with the aim and goal of Reclaiming our Humanity, as we take our destinies back into our hands and Take Back Nigeria! It is our country, let us collectively take it back from these bands of treasury looting gangsters who have turned our country into a giant battle ground as they wage low intensity proxy wars in their quest for exclusive access to pillage our collective wealth.
If we must change our destiny in the 2015 general elections, we must begin to organise ourselves now; and we must not allow ourselves to be used as canon fodders by the various factions of the ruling class as they battle themselves for the right to repress us and loot our resources.
The Future Starts Now!
NATIONAL CONVENER UAD
GEN SEC UAD
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