*From protest to power, street to service, grievance to governance
My name is Jaye Gaskia, and with your active support I intend to run for office as President of Nigeria in 2019. I invite you to join me on this Improbable Journey, and together we can change the course of our History for better, forever ….
BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT: For a generation the world has been passing through tumultuous and chaotic times, defined and characterised by the most severe and all embracing systemic crises of the global capitalist system. The crisis is at once a food, financial, economic, environmental/ecological, social and political one. And rather than abate it has continued to deepen since its dramatic emergence with the food price crisis of 2007 and the epochal collapse of Leyman Brothers, signaling the collapse of the financial system in 2008.
Since its inception, the crisis of the global market system has led to not only the dramatic collapse followed by bailouts of large corporations, but also of whole national economies – Iceland, Ireland, Greece, and the struggling and near collapsed Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian economies. The Eurozone crisis has become the most enduring emblem of this global crisis.
In Nigeria, this deep-rooted crisis of neo-liberalism is compounded by the epochal ineptitude, political and economic incompetence, as well as the selfish pecuniary interests of a parochial, provincial, pedestrian, and thieving treasury looting ruling class and political elite.
This disastrous infliction on the nation includes loss of one million industrial jobs with closure of over 1,000 industrial enterprises over a 10 year period; industrial capacity utilisation stubbornly remaining below 50%; intensification in scope and scale of fratricidal hostilities bordering civil war; continuing ethno-religious strife orchestrated by the counter mobilisations of ethnic and religious fractions/factions of the ruling class; and increasing Impoverisation of overwhelming majority of the toiling citizens.
The resultant effect has been rising poverty, unemployment, inequality and hopelessness. We are one of the most unequal societies in the world, with the top 10% owning more than 40% of national wealth in contrast with the about 4% of national wealth owned by the bottom 20%.
Cost of living and inflation has remained persistently high, while composite unemployment has been consistently over 30% for some years now.
Yet in all of these the ruling class seems to have run out of ideas, blinded by their greed, hampered by their ineptitude, and constrained by their lack of patriotism.
Incapable of visioning, they continue to run from pillar to post, further compounding our problems, and leaving the country perpetually adrift.
At the core of our national problems, and driving our current situation is the failure of governance, and the abysmal failure of the elite to provide leadership – failure of elite leadership.
THE IMPROPABLE QUEST: This is why it has become imperative, and urgent for all those of us who are convinced that our country is not realizing its full potential, who are disgusted by our self-induced failure, who are convinced something drastic has to be done; To step forward and take on the mantle of leadership. It is time that we should come out, actively build a platform, and actively canvass the support and participation of citizens in a collective political project to take over the governance of our country and provide the necessary strategic leadership and direction for the all-round national and human development of our country.
Those of us who believe that we are better together, that we are stronger and more empowered united, must now step out and make the case for the Nigeria of our dream.
This is why I am considering running for office; this is why I will run for office of the President of Nigeria. And let me be very clear about this; I am not running on behalf of, or as a candidate of any geo-political zone, any religion or faith, any state of local government, or any ethnic group or community.
I am running to be President of Nigeria; I am running as a citizen of Nigeria, who wants to help provide leadership for Nigerian citizens; who wants to help lead the process of building an equitable, socially just, inclusive Nation, where every citizen has unfettered access to opportunities and the necessities of life, and where our institutions work, are enabled and strengthened, and governance is about effective and inclusive service delivery.
For the avoidance of doubt let me reiterate; I am a Humanist, a Marxist, a Socialist, a Democrat, a Revolutionary Activist, an Active Citizen, and I WILL BE RUNNING FOR OFFICE AS PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA.
I want to lead so we can collectively and together build a New Nigeria, one that can realise its full potential, and rise up to its historic duty of providing leadership for the African continent, for the black race, and for all of humanity.
This is why I am reaching out to all of you, every active citizen, and imploring you all to come and join hands with me as we embark on this seemingly Improbable Quest.
I have a vision, that I am calling on you to participate in helping to shape; I am on a mission that I know requires the exercise of the collective will to succeed.
Along with this declaration is a platform and program of action that outlines our vision for Nigeria, and the components of our mission.
I ask others who may also seek to contest, to engage with the platform, enrich it, and own it.