2019: Soyinka, Agbakoba, labour leaders endorse grand national coalition

Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; Mr. Ayuba Waba, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Dr. Abduljalil Tafawa Balewa, son of former Prime Minister, the late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, among others have endorsed the Grand National Coalition (GNC) of the National Intervention Movement (NIM). This was disclosed in a communique issued at the end of a meeting of 35 registered political parties, labour, women, youth and civil society groups as well as coalition of persons with special needs. The communique was signed by Mr. Naseer Kura, Deputy Director-General of the new political movement.

The groups noted that the country is tilting rapidly towards social and political disharmony and anarchy, requiring urgent political actions to restore cohesion among the citizenry.
They also stated that present governance structure of the country needs to be constitutionally redefined to be more democratic and citizen inclusive.

“There must be a concerted drive to bring about a new Nigeria that works for all and such new Nigeria, in our view, must guarantee the safety and freedom of each citizen of Nigeria,” the groups said.

Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and Professor Wole Soyinka 

In addition, they asserted that the spate of  killings across the country is a failure of governance at all levels and is unacceptable. The GNC called on every Nigerian adult to obtain a voter’ s card and participate in the recruitment process of public office holders, who aspire for elective office in the 2019 elections.

To achieve a new Nigeria, the various groups resolved to work together under the umbrella of the newly formed GNC, start a nationwide sensitization, advocacy and public awareness programme on the need for every adult citizen to obtain a voter’s card as a means of dislodging the current  political order and recruit more national change agents.

The groups also resolved to engage in grassroots and mass media mobilization at all levels, with special focus on local communities and the youths; organize rallies and meetings with social, cultural groups across the country and hold zonal, state and local government summits to ensure optimal participation in next year’s elections.

They equally agreed to commission researches,  production of documentaries, information leaflets, jingles and NIM newsletters in English and all the major Nigerian languages.

Aside from Professor Soyinka, other notable personalities who endorsed the GNC, co-chaired by human rights leading light, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and Dr Tafawa Balewa, included Comrade Isa Aremu, Comrade Ikpe Obong and Comrade Peter Balogun, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, Professor Pat Utomi and Mr.  Shettima Yerima, President, Arewa Youths Consultative Forum.

The communique disclosed that the Grand Coalition endorsed a high powered steering team, chaired by Dr. Agbakoba. The steering committee is scheduled to hold its leadership meeting in Lagos to agree on a strategy and the choice of presidential candidate.