Our nation is at a crossroads. Quality of life is at its lowest. Unemployment is at its highest. Underpinning systems for sustaining the state and society have collapsed, including education, health care, and the judiciary. We cannot continue on this course, we must change direction.
Today, our future and that of our children is at risk. And the outcome, whatever it may be, is up to us. We must rise as a nation and herald a new Nigeria; together we must identify credible and capable Nigerians to stand for elections. We must evolve higher standards of governance, transparency and accountability at all levels. Nigeria must demand more from its leaders. The past leaders of our country have failed us, but this nation of great, strong and hardworking people can find from among its children, men and women willing and able to deliver a better Nigeria.
KOWA is a political party and grassroots movement founded to lead the way to a new Nigeria. We seek political leadership, through peaceful and democratic means, for the purpose of providing the highest quality of social services to Nigerian citizens within our borders and beyond.
We pledge ourselves to rebuild Nigeria into a nation that works. This will not be an easy task, but we remain determined nonetheless. The Nigeria we envisage is one in which every Nigerian has access to food, clean water, decent education, good health care, and can live in a safe, peaceful and stimulating environment where he or she is guaranteed opportunities for self-actualization.
We commit ourselves to build a secure, prosperous, orderly, just and compassionate society in which every citizen is enabled to freely participate in building a government that is responsive to the needs of all citizens. We are committed to advancing social democracy and our decisions and political actions are and shall remain, driven by ideals, principles and beliefs that derive from this basic philosophy.
While a sustained political engagement and the overall welfare of the individual Nigerian citizen form the ultimate focus of our political and grassroots movements, the organizing principle of our party is based on service, discipline, efficiency, accountability and the highest professional and ethical standards. It is time for a change. We can do better. And it is up to us.
FIVE GIANT VICES FACING OUR GREAT NATION
The nation we live in today is a parody of our ideals, expectations and aspirations. We are faced with ignorance, injustice, a less than perfect union, bad governance and insecurity. These giant vices hinder our progress as a nation, drawing us perpetually downwards and backwards.
It is time we took action to confront these giant vices to overcome them and to lay the ground for the much-desired change in our nation. It is up to you and me, as concerned citizens and stakeholders, to ensure that the change we desire starts today. KOWA Party commits itself to find the solutions to these giant vices. We will come together to actualize our vision of a progressive Nigeria by getting rid of the giant vices that face it.
- IGNORANCE: In a nation so vastly blessed with human talent, ignorance is an expense that we cannot afford but which has held Nigeria back in many ways and deprived it of the opportunity to optimize the potential of its human resource to assume its rightful leadership role in the global community.
Over the years, the absence of a well thought out and properly implemented national education policy has led to the underdevelopment of a large proportion of the Nigerian populace and the consequent inability of the affected citizens to self-determination in any significant way. Also, the limitations of our educational curriculum, especially its failure to accord the necessary attention to instruction on civics and the socio-political history of the nation, has diminished our respect for our own cultural identity as well as for our languages and our original national values. The resulting ignorance has also engendered a widespread lack of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
Developing minds through education
KOWA believes in education as a fundamental human right crucial to the advancement of the nation.
Our goal is to evolve a nation that educates and empowers its people to develop their personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential and to optimally harness their local, regional and national resources for production.We will promote compulsory education up to the senior secondary school for every Nigerian child and increase government investment with a view to broadening access to education for all and improving quality at all levels, including higher education, teacher training and adult education. The promotion of research will be one of the cornerstones of our educational policy.
- INJUSTICE: Injustice essentially means “unfair” action, behaviour or attitude towards people, a thing or a situation. It is characterized by inequality, exploitation and marginalization, among a long list of undesirable and unprogressive symptoms. A case in point is the Niger Delta, which has endured a long history of exploitation in the sense that for four decades it has accounted for much of the country’s foreign exchange and national revenue but has benefited only minimally from these riches, making the region the least developed in the country. Nigeria’s lack of economic and social progress is also linked to the unequal access of men and women to strategic resources and opportunities like information and education, income and wealth, as well as to decision-making.
Marginalization of our young people puts the future of our nation at risk. Government has developed policies and established agencies to cater for the rights of the vulnerable. However, there are still major gaps in areas of their access to good quality education and skill development. Our elderly citizens become increasingly marginalized with age, given the absence of a well thought out, a robust social security system to cater to their welfare post employability.
Seeking durable peace and sustainable development in the Niger Delta KOWA Party believes that it is in the interest of the whole country that the conflict and tension in the Niger Delta be immediately de-escalated.
We believe that it is just and equitable that the Niger Delta should have physical infrastructure and social amenities to show for its contributions to the national treasury.
The people of the Niger Delta deserve justice. It is their right to demand true representation at the state and federal levels, a safe and clean environment, resolution to the conflict, fairer control of their land and resources, and for these demands to be met.
KOWA recognizes the intrinsic equality of women to men and this belief will be fully reflected in all of our major policies and programs at every level of governance. We also recognize the significant role women play in the domestic sector.
Therefore, the Party is committed to working to ensure the formal recognition of women’s domestic functions and their invaluable contribution to the development of the country.
Empowering the Youth
Youths are one of the greatest assets that any nation can have. They are the future leaders and a precious investment for a country’s development.
KOWA’s policies will not only envision positive youth development but will equally target youth empowerment in order to address the issues at stake. We will work to create the right atmosphere where everyone can grow, becoming good role models for the young and old alike.
Respect and empowerment for the vulnerable
KOWA will protect the rights of people with disabilities, ensuring funding to empower Nigerians with disabilities to participate in all spheres of life.
We will provide social support for the aged and other vulnerable segments of the society to promote their wellbeing and avoid their abandonment or ill-treatment due to their inability to generate income for their upkeep.
- AN IMPERFECT UNION
The challenges of an incongruent federalism, the absence of mediating structures to delimit federal and regional government powers, and also the historical baggage of a colonialist enforced polity, without attendant negotiation of the terms of federalism among the individual federating units, have led to an imperfect union; a union which is increasingly threatened. Our post-colonial experience shows that the social and economic challenges that face Nigeria cannot be solved by the federal government alone. Powers and responsibilities of the state and government must be devolved as much as possible to the immediate communities which are, in the real sense, the primary federating units of our Republic. True Federalism and the Devolution of Powers
Our Nigeria will practice true, fiscal and political federalism, where the powers and responsibilities of the state and government are devolved as much as possible to the immediate communities which are, in the real sense, the primary federating units of our Republic.KOWA’s position is that the federal units should have greater control and management of the resources found or generated in them. The federal government, for its part, must guarantee equity and peace in our communities and defend the constitutional rights and personal safety of the individual Nigerian citizen in any and every part of the country and also beyond her borders. It should impose standards that protect both the environment and vulnerable citizens. It should levy taxes and raise armed forces for these purposes.
- BAD GOVERNANCE
The crisis of development in Nigeria can be attributed to a history of bad governance characterized by poor public service delivery and inept leadership. The poverty situation is very severe and unemployment statistics are particularly staggering among the youth. There is an overdependence on oil revenues to the detriment of the non-oil private sector. Electrical power supply is grossly insufficient resulting in very high operating costs for businesses.The cost of doing business in Nigeria is extremely high due to the failing infrastructure and rampant corruption. We live in almost perpetual darkness with resulting adverse effects on our productivity and, consequently, on our development and well-being. Many of the electricity problems we face stem from a failing power infrastructure, non-service oriented government monopoly and poor energy policy planning and implementation.There has been too little investment in the maintenance of the country’s refineries and the consequent frequent scarcity and price instability of refined petroleum commodities result in loss of productivity and promote inflation within our economy. Nigeria’s rich supplies of natural gas, tar sands, plenty of prospects for hydropower and, of course, wind and sunlight have been under-exploited to the disadvantage of the people.
Government as a Service Provider
KOWA’s ambitions for a new Nigeria hinges on a productive, better trained and adequately equipped civil service that responds promptly and effectively to public needs. As a corollary to these changes, a minimum standard of work infrastructure-cum-environment would be enabled for all agencies of government. Good leadership styles and adequate motivation would be employed to boost morale and productivity. Corruption must be fought systematically and with tact. This requires a strong judiciary and police force to ensure that this evil is finally laid to rest. Corruption thrives on the absence of a development agenda. KOWA will set clear-cut benchmarks against which the performance of governments at all levels will be evaluated.
Merit-based Leadership KOWA Party believes that the key leadership positions at all levels of government should be filled by the most competent, credible and compassionate persons and that such people exist in every part of the country. KOWA Party therefore affirms the civil and political rights of every Nigerian regardless of his or her background, religion or ethnic origin, to aspire to any public or political post at any time whenever those positions become vacant, in any part of the country or at the federal level within, the express provisions of the subsisting constitution of the Federal Republic.
KOWA has a strong commitment to the creation of wealth as a remedy to the evil of poverty. This can be achieved through industrialization and commerce. We believe that there needs to be a cycle of wealth distribution that encompasses the entire country. No one must be left behind. We are also committed to developing a Nigerian state that guarantees continuous improvement in the living standards of its people by providing food security, shelter, healthcare and potable water for all its citizens and equitable access to social amenities, facilities, services and utilities.
KOWA will develop and fully implement an Industrial Master Plan for Nigeria towards the realization of full employment. This will be complemented by an enhanced policy on research, science and technology which align Nigeria’s higher education system to the country’s industrial development priorities. Our Nigeria will be committed to addressing the problem of credit access and the attendant cost.
Stable Energy Supply
In government, KOWA will bring bold, ethical and dynamic leadership to the development and management of the energy sector. Our goal will be to better manage our oil and gas resources by obtaining global standard agreements, rents and environmental terms with multinationals and local companies operating in the sector and enforcing strict energy efficiency standards and regulations for all operators in the sector. KOWA will increase the capacity of our Nation to refine petroleum products. We will also ensure delivery of time-bound targets in electricity generation, transmission and distribution and strict performance management to ensure the timely completion of new power projects.
One of the key issues faced by the Nigeria Police Force is poor information and communication capabilities. Our police force lacks the technology, skill, and organization to effectively communicate on an operational level. Also, data management systems used by the police agencies are outdated and inadequate. As a result there is a dearth of accurate crime statistics, proper evidence documentation and storage, and forensic technology.Over the years the police forces have acquired a reputation for holding prisoners without trial, arbitrary arrest, extortion, torture, use of excessive force and even murder. As a result of failed policing, vigilante groups have arisen in various regions with their own agendas. In addition, the military is stretched thin in its efforts to enforce order nationally and regionally.The challenge of accessibility to proper healthcare is perhaps the greatest challenge facing our physical security against illness, with less than 35% of the population currently being served, despite the establishment of the community health scheme. Infant and maternal mortality are unacceptably high. Diseases that are extinct and forgotten in other countries of the world continue to take the lives of our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and children.Despite years of investment in agriculture development initiatives, Nigeria remains a country that cannot grow its own food and depends on massive importation of food items from less agriculturally endowed nations.
Securing safety of life and property
KOWA will tackle crime and improve the security of lives and property through the consistent pursuit of economic and social policies that generate employment, foster cohesive communities, and stabilize families. We will also ensure the strategic reformation of the criminal justice administration as well as upgrade and enhance law enforcement and security agencies including the judiciary.
National health coverage plan
KOWA believes that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation primarily because it is only a healthy people that can truly contribute to the socio-economic development of a nation. Our Nigeria will be committed to the availability of constant access to health services, especially to rural inhabitants and the urban poor. Funds will be made available to support research into the various health care challenges confronting our nation, to train and properly equip staff and to purchase state-of-the-art machinery and drugs for both preventative and curative care. Food Security KOWA understands that the current level of public spending on agriculture is far too low. Therefore, the Party will aim to increase the overall amount of public monies spent on agriculture.
This is of vital importance given the large role that agriculture plays in Nigeria. Our Nigeria will strive to reach its goal of food self-sufficiency. Less emphasis will be put on food imports and more on domestic supply to match the demand. Securing National Integrity KOWA Party will pursue a foreign policy, guided by our interests as a sovereign nation and a developing economy with a focus to protect our territorial integrity and the welfare of Nigerians throughout the world, while simultaneously promoting our national interests.
Our foreign policy undertakings will be routinely guided by the quest for concrete outcomes that are in the best interest of the overwhelming majority of our people. KOWA shall focus specially on the West Africa sub-region because of the closeness of Nigeria’s historical and cultural ties to the peoples of the sub-region, the potentially easy-to-access large market for products and services of Nigerian firms that it represents, and the fact that instability in our immediate neighbourhood could easily spill over into Nigeria. KOWA will do more to engage the Diaspora to invest back into Nigeria. This we will do by restoring their hopes in our systems through the adoption of global best practices in the conduct of government business and by leveraging their already proven interest in contributing to Nigeria’s development.
The foregoing are the main pledges of the KOWA Party for the next ten years. We believe we can deliver them and, in doing so, make Nigeria fulfill its great potential in our life-time. It is a lot to do. But all Nigerians and Nigeria as a corporate entity stand to lose more if we do not carry out these plans of KOWA Party for the future of Nigeria. We believe in democracy, transparent elections and the empowerment of the citizens to freely participate in civic and political matters.