INAUGURAL SPEECH BY DANLADI BAIDO, CHAIRMAN CITIZENS NETWORK FOR PEACE AND DEVELOMENT
INAUGURAL PRESS CONFERENCE OF THE CITIZENS NETWORK FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA (CNPD), 4th April, 2013
Distinguished Nigerian Citizens,
I heartily welcome you all to this inaugural press conference of the CITIZENS NETWORK FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA. My names is Danladi Baido, Chairman of the Network; a privileged position which I accepted with all humility and deep sense of duty.
We step forward today to formally present ourselves and our cause to the Nigerian people. Though we are products of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds, we have found that we have one thing in common; that is our genuine love for our dear country Nigeria and the belief that we can all, in one way or another contribute positively to national development.
To us, issues of the day should not always be about what government does or does not do, rather we should begin to learn how to look inwards and ask ourselves what part we can play in making the Nigerian Project a reality.
Since the advent of the present dispensation, the Nigerian polity has experienced a generous dose of both negative and positive incidents which rather than weaken its foundation have further entrenched democracy.
For Nigeria, the concept of democracy is no longer an experiment. Rather, it is fast becoming an intrinsic part of our national culture and with all sense of modesty; we can dare to say that we are finally getting it right.
Over the last decade, our democratic institutions spanning the three arms of government have impressively come to terms with their roles and are gradually adding value to the democratic process.
While these institutions have been engaged in executing their mandates, the major stakeholders in the system; the citizenry, have equally passed through a phase of positive change which has seen them become more politically conscious and enlightened. To say that the Nigerian citizenry have come of age would therefore be tantamount to stating the obvious. Attestations to this claim are evident in their zealous approach to issues that touch directly on their wellbeing as well as their seeming resolve to jealously guard our nascent democracy.
It is however unfortunate that whilst governments at all levels strive to provide the much desired ‘dividends of democracy’ for the benefit of the people, a seeming disconnect in citizen-government relations exists and has to a degree hampered the smooth execution of development oriented initiatives by the latter. The situation is made worse by a feeling of despair in the minds of the citizenry occasioned an ever pervading air of socio-economic insecurity which has hung over us for as long as we can remember. In the same vein, the business of governance (particularly under a democracy) has erroneously been deemed to be the exclusive preserve of politicians, which belies one of the fundamental principles of democracy; ‘government by the people’.
Fortunately, the indomitable spirit of the Nigerian is one that to comes to fore even in the most dire of situations. Nigerians are a largely optimistic and productive people who with effective orientation and enlightenment on those issues that matter most to them, are willing to identify positively with government towards the attainment of those goals that adequately reflect potentials for progress and development at both ends.
It is in realization of this perception that the CITIZENS NETWORK FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT was born.
The Network is a non-partisan, non-governmental and non-profit making body, whose mission is purely to promote good citizenship, leadership and patriotism under the ambience of peace which attracts sustainable development to the benefit of all Nigerians.
It is our belief that any democratic dispensation endures only when there is the mutually reinforcing practice and belief in citizen participation. As such, we seek to establish a network of citizens committed to the shared values of peace, justice, respect, cross-cultural understanding and national cooperation as the foundational contents for purposeful development.
Going by all that has been said, the CNPD humbly avails itself as a platform for expressing the will and aspirations of the Nigerian people as well as promote harmony between government and the citizenry as this will tremendously strengthen the democratic structure. After all, democracy is about the people.
The Network realizes that peace and development are complimentary principles which if properly preached and practiced, will see us rising above the issues that cause disharmony amongst us. Our motto: ‘Sustaining peace through development’ stands as a clear evidence of the premium we place on this declaration.
Membership of the Network is open to all Nigerians regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or political affiliation. Our goal is simply to move Nigeria forward bearing in mind the sacred principles of equity, patriotism and justice. Now and in the future, we shall be actively involved in the quest for good citizenship and governance
and will revolve our activities around this.
To our fellow citizens, we call on you all to be more receptive to those policies that have promise, realizing that every endeavor has its gestation period and must at some point deliver on expectations.
To government, we ask that you see ours as a desire to contribute to nation building. In view of this, we wish to state that we are willing to work with all arms of government towards ushering in an era of purposeful and sustainable development, which will enhance the standard of living of the citizenry and ensure the survivability of posterity.
Permit me at this juncture to formally present the principal officers of the Network; young and able Nigerians of like minds who have voluntarily and selflessly availed themselves to be of service to our teeming countrymen and women.
May I present as follows:
- Preye Dressman – Director-General
- Okezie Okereke- Director of Finance
- Paul Abbey – Director of Administration
- Olu Adekunle Snr. – Director of Media and Publicity
- Mallam Isa Nuhu– Director of Mobilization
- Victor Oche – Director of Research and Strategy
The commitment and loyalty of this group is first and foremost to the Nigerian people and the Nigerian project.
As we come to the end of this historic event, we wish to thank each and every one of you for the time you have taken off your undoubtedly busy schedules to grace the occasion. God bless you all.
CITIZENS! … NETWORK!
LONG LIVE THE NIGERIAN CITIZENRY!
LONG LIVE CITIZENS NETWORK FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT!
LONG LIVE THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA!