Thank You Nigerians: You made us proud!, Ibrahim Khaleel, Editor-in-Chief, Spring 2015
Thank you Nigerians, you made us Diaspora Institute for Nigerian Justice and Accountability (DINJA) proud!!! On March 28, 2015 (national Presidential and Assembly elections) and April 14, 2015 (State Governorship and State Legislative elections), you came out en-masse, in your millions and sent a strong, clear, and unambiguous message to our politicians, political leaders, and the ruling class that you have come of age politically. Nigerians have sent an unmistakable message to Africa in particular and the world in general that no more could people take them for granted when it comes to expressing their political freedom and right to choose and vote who they want to choose them.
Nigerians on those days told the doomsday prophets, propagandists, and disintegration forecasters that they know their rights and what is good for themselves and Nigeria. They showed that the predictors of violence, a civil war, and/or the breakage of Nigeria are nothing but opportunists and fear mongers who want to use the opportunity to further their personal interests. Those political pundits who charged the polity during the election period have been proven wrong!
Was the just conducted elections perfect? Of course the answer is “No!” Is there any human endeavor that is perfect, the emphatic answer is “No!” Are there lessons we should learn from the just concluded elections? Yes, there are. For one, the Nigerian masses should no more be taken for granted by the political class because they show that their interest and that of Nigeria is no more for the highest bidder. They voted for people who are credible, sincere, honest and are interested in their welfare and the cooperate existence of Nigeria. Second, for the first time, a sitting President has graciously conceded his defeat. Whether freely or coerced, the President’s acceptance of the election results cooled the polity, which was a much needed relief for Nigeria and Nigerians. Third, the introduction of a more transparent election process, through technology (Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVCs and Card Readers, CRs), as imperfect as it was, was a welcome effort. Independent Nigerian Election Commission (INEC) should be congratulated for this and hope that it will continue to enhance its capability with an improved system. Fourth, the night flight regionalists, religious bigots, ethnic and cultural marauders should learn a lesson that the common person in Nigeria is no more going to allow them to use them for their selfish interests. The hyperbole related to the ethnic, religious and regional domination did not work, because Nigerians are now aware of how they have taken for a ride and focus on those who will harness the Nigeria’s resources and serve them with resolve and honesty.
To the outgoing government and party, you will do yourselves and Nigeria a big favor if you become a credible and objective opposition. Nigeria and Nigerians need it and will appreciate and respect you for that.
To the incoming government and party, Nigerians voted for change. Not for new personnel but for change in direction and orientation. Nigerians are interested in developing themselves. They are no more interested in handouts and crumbs while the political leaders and their families and cronies are siphoning the funds and resources of the country for themselves. Nigerians are
interested in leaders who will articulate and implement policies that will make their lives better. Nigerians are no more interested in people who are using our diversity to divide and rule.
To Nigerians, you have clearly expressed your desire for Nigeria to be a better, prosperous, and dynamic country. You have staked your lives for change. You need to continue to be vigilant and hold our leaders to the virtue and application of fairness, accountability, and justice. DINJA stands and supports you. We will demand nothing less from our leaders. DINJA is ready and willing to partner and work with any Nigerian government that stands for and implement fairness, justice, and accountability.
Nigerians, you made us proud on March 28, 2015 and April 14, 2015. You made us to hold our heads up and high and thumb our chests forward and proudly proclaim our Nigerian identity! Thank you!! And congratulations!!!
Editorial Note, Ibrahim Khaleel, Editor-in-Chief, Summer 2016
The Diaspora Institute for Nigerian Justice and Accountability (DINJA) held its First Annual Convention June 6th, 2016 at the Comfort Suites, Park Place Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, with the theme: Repositioning Nigeria in the New Socio-Political Order. The purpose was to critically explore policy directions and options that might guide the new government of Nigeria. The Convention presentations centered on the economy, education, women’s role in development and health. In order to broaden the audience for the papers presented, this special edition of The SearchLight offers you the reader an opportunity to be informed about the various positions taken by our presenters. We hope readers will read these insightful and well-thought out articles with a view to commenting/contemplating on the issues, challenges, and solutions proffered.