August 18, 2022

2023 PRESIDENCY: I Will Rescue Nigeria from Shackles of Debts and Economic Woes, Says Vivian Ebele Bello

…Reveals 6 Points Agenda

…Says Time for Money Bag Politics is Over

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By Shola Akingboye, 16th February 2022

Comrade Vivian Ebele Bello, a Presidential hopeful in the upcoming 2023 Presidential election has accused successive administrations in the country for lack of vision, failures and ineptitude on how they mismanaged the nation’s commonwealth and left the nation a harbinger of foreign loans, which she said has contributed monumental damage to the economy than saving it.

The renowned Environmental Activists made the declaration on Tuesday, during her official declaration for the apex office in the coming 2023 ‘Nigerians Decide’ Presidential race to elect who pilot the nation’s affair as the tenure of the incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari ends in May 2023.

The female aspirant, in her speech, while calling on Nigerians to tinker with fresh blood in governance seized the opportunity to revealed parts of her agenda for the nation.

Comrade Gerald during the Press Conference

According to Vivian Ebelle Bello, she harps on equity, justice and fairness as the only pedestal through which a great nation can stand, buttressing her point with a quote from the late Nelson Mandela and Ex-Nigerian Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme.

Hear her: “Gentlemen of the Press, distinguished guests here present; fellow Nigerians; it was the legendary Nelson Mandela that said and I quote; “…A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.

“Nigeria’s former vice president added to this when he said and I again quote (paraphrasing); “….if you want to be big and respected, then we have to be one, but we have to be one by Equity and Justice and reasonable Freedom and Autonomy for all the members of the society; there cannot be first-class and second class citizens” and finally Indian’s Laila Akita states that “ when a nation’s defence budget overwhelms its spending on education, know that something is fundamentally wrong with that nation”. She quoted.

She maintained that her quote aptly captures the state of (affairs) in Nigeria, today.

“From a country that proudly paraded an economy and currency that held its own in the comity of Nations and indeed rubbed shoulders with other global economies and currencies such as the Pound, U.S Dollars, to a now wobbly, devalued and severely depressed economy and currency”

“A country that paraded proud and robust public educational Institutions and Citadels of learning, that attracted foreign students from different countries all over the world, particularly our sister-African countries, has today been reduced to a country with an array of ghostly, funds-stifled and largely crippled schools and educational facilities that only merely offer what can best be described as skeletal services!!”

“Yes, that’s what you hope to manage to get, going through Nigeria’s public educational system (of) today. By so-doing as a Country, we have unleashed on our children, the children of this Nation, the worst disservice we could ever do to them.” Bello laments.

READ HER FULL DECLARATION SPEECH:

“And let me tell you the Truth about this; the Truth is that this disservice, this injustice we do to these children today, will live to hunt us all one way or the other, tomorrow.

“And did I say tomorrow? It already is! – The teeming children and youths we refuse to properly mould and educate to activate their innate, budding talents, are the same holding the nation by its throat today – via multifaceted acts of criminality, banditry and outright terrorism.

“Let me at this juncture, tell you pointedly and without any fear of equivocation, that no amount of naming or branding or even trillions to the military budget, will release the country from the clasp of terror, violent crimes and other reprehensible social vices we have seen sweep through the land until we begin to do the right thing.

“As a country, our response to the struggles, the problems, the challenges and now the quasi-collapse of public institutions like the educational system in Nigeria has been simple; abandon it, embrace private schooling cum education.

“Today, we have seen the rise and flourishing of Educational Capitalism – an exclusionist practice and system of education where qualitative education is offered to the highest bidder. In other words, you get educated if your parents (or guardians) have the money to pay for it! And if they cannot (as it is the fate with many struggling parents), well, good luck to you! Stay illiterate or embrace skeletal services, (you already know what I mean).

“No sector is spared. Those who have highjacked the country descended on all sectors like a scourge, wreaking havoc on the system without restraint.
People who attended public institutions like the legendary University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, UNN, etc in the 70s, 80s and even till early 90s can still tell you how as young students, they had the best an educational system can offer; access to the best books, libraries and study materials, world-class teachers, professors, excellent learning facilities and support-systems, decent hostels, meals, etc.

“In fact on special Days like Independence days, etc, those living on campus were served a special menu that included servings of Ice creams etc. I mean, young Nigerians were given world-class education regardless of whether their parents were poor or rich.

“The descent into where we are today educationally is simply heart-wrenching. We can’t let this continue, as Mandela rightly said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, we will revive and re-set our educational system and make it work for Nigerians and Nigeria. The same goes for other sectors that have been bastardized.

“From a country of zero debt, that lent to other nations, to one that today, its level of indebtedness threatens its very sovereignty.

“For all the massive borrowings and the consequent strangulating debt overhang on the neck of the country at over $87.1 billion, there is nothing tangible not to talk of, commensurate to account for it.

“The Obasanjo administration, for all the ills some are wont to attribute to it, exited Nigeria from crippling indebtedness in the year 2005, after a debt relief arrangement with the Paris Club on June 29, 2005.

“In very quick succession, successive administrations and mid-managers of the economy in these administrations swiftly roped back the country into the debilitating indebtedness it had only just laboured to come out from. Today, just one look at the country’s budget will bring tears to the eyes of any ordinary Nigerian; the bulk of the nation’s Capital Appropriation has been soaked up by Debt Servicing.

“At the rate of 61.6% debt servicing to revenue ratio in 2017, N2.5 trillion (56.6%) in 2019, 97% in 2020, (in fact, to underscore how bad situation is, in the first five months of 2021, the government spent a total of 98% of the revenue the country generated to service debt), one can see that, that dilapidated road that has become a deathtrap for innocent citizens and haven for criminals and terrorists, that moribund industry that sunk the jobs of countless of Nigerians, that hospital that has gone without the most basic life-saving equipment and machinery, the schools, our citadels of learning, etc, all will have to remain as they deplorably are or at best continue to offer the deplorable and skeletal services. And with time, even get worse.

“These are all the resources that are supposed to go into attending to the critical and social infrastructures of the nation that are practically being sunk into re-payment cum servicing of unproductive debts.

Nigeria Climate- Conscious Voters NCV-2023, also endorsed Presidential Aspirant, Mrs Vivian Bello for President for the 2023.

“These loans no matter how attractive they may appear are no free launch of course and most times, even the ones of these loans that appear innocent on face value, come with terrible concealed conditionalities that mortgage the future of both our present and future generations. Government officials that negotiate these loans on behalf of the country, never disclose these conditionalities to Nigerians.

“In this way today, Nigeria has effectively again entered the Debt Trap. And with a grim Debt servicing to Revenue ratio of over 80& on average, there is no seeming end in sight to woes, if the current economic governance system is maintained.

“As it stands today, gentlemen of the Press, distinguished Nigerians, with all the quantum of diverse resources our country Nigeria is endowed with, the Nigerian government does not seem to know or have any other thing to do than BORROW MONEY.

“Before our very eyes, the future of our children and future generation is being mortgaged – there is no limit to the damage purposeless leadership can bring about.

In virtually all facets of governance, Nigeria’s leadership have failed Nigerians – even in the most basic of leadership Thrust; Protecting the Lives and Property of the Citizenry, even that is now in itself a mirage. Security now is largely a reserved privilege of the privileged few, who are protected and enamoured with security apparatus while the common man, the ordinary Nigerians are largely left to their fate in the hands of marauders, terrorists and all manner of criminal elements who strike, kidnap, kill, rape, loot, abduct and destroy at will. Women have been at the worst receiving end of this State failure. As it stands today, I cannot see one single Nigerian, who has not been either robbed, kidnapped, attacked or had either a friend or relative did so. Today, millions of Nigerians are living in displacement in their land, from Benue to Zamfara, Enugu, Ondo, Edo, Kebbi, Niger, Imo, and so on.

“Tens of thousands of innocent school children suddenly no longer know what it is to go to school, study, play and return home freely, and this is across the entire land. It is so disheartening that suddenly, our security architecture is known for gallantry and professionalism in combating crime, suddenly became incapable of containing terrorism and banditry.

“Before our very eyes, several local government areas have been taken over and are being administered by terrorists who have hoisted their flags, formed and run their parallel governments, collecting taxes and levies from citizens in parts of the North.
Gentlemen of the Press, my dear fellow Nigerians, the wailings of mothers, and even fathers, who have lost children in most horrific manners; the cries of children terrorized, including innocent school children wailing from the dens of mindless abductors and terrorists, can no longer be ignored.

“The anguish of the people in Benue, Plateau, Ondo, Imo, Niger, Enugu, Zamfara, etc, many of whom have left (or lost) all that is of them in their native communities following violent attacks, and now live in displacement and severe difficulties in places, as well as many more who have been inflicted and struggling with mortal and deep wounds and pain, can no longer be ignored.

“The yearnings of Nigerians for even the most basic social infrastructures to enable them to thrive; the functional education system, good healthcare, safe and efficient transportation architecture, decent employment, shelter, etc, will no longer be treated with disdain. (Nigerians have no business sleeping under bridges and in shacks, while many completed houses lie vacant across the land…).

“The plummet of the economy, with manifest result in the fall in the value of lives and living standards of Nigerians as we see today, with many fleeing in droves; doctors and healthcare providers, Professors and a bulk of our best Academicians and Researchers, Citizens taking to suicides owing to dire hardship and hopelessness, can no longer be looked away from.

“That the Country is fast losing its grip on co-existence owing to feelings of marginalization mainly created by injustices and inequities, suppression of human and civil rights, deep-seated corruption and zero leadership accountability, can no longer be paid, sterile lip service.

“Those unjust Policies and Laws that propagate and hoist Inequalities, Injustices, System Inefficiencies, Gender and Youth stifling, Rights abuses and Economic hardship need not feature, and will not be given any place in our Statutory Books anymore.

“That parts of our Country along with the people living therein; In Delta, Yobe, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Anambra, Edo, Ondo States, etc presently face a dire and existential threat from climate change and environmental conditions as desertification, sea-rise, flooding, loss of farmlands and livelihoods, erosion, sooth, etc that require potent and urgent environmental and Climate actions, will no longer be treated with indifference.

“Gentlemen of the Press, my dear fellow Nigerians, for, and on the above; I hereby today announce my intention to run for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the Six thronged Program of;

1. EDUCATIONAL REVOLUTION;

2. RESTRUCTURING FOR TRUE FEDERALISM;

3. PARADIGN SHIFT TO CLIMATE – JUST ECONOMY

4. STRENGTHENING DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS & THE RULE OF LAW;

5. INFRASTRUCTURAL & INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION;

6. ADDRESSING THE VULNERABILITIES OF WOMEN & YOUTHS;

“I CONSIDER THIS A CLARION CALL TO SERVE AND TO RESCUE AND SALVAGE THE COUNTRY.

“All of my life, I have been in the forefront and trenches, playing up the voices (issues) of the Voiceless, shielding the weak from the tramplings of the strong and mighty, holding institutions to justifiable account to the citizenry, challenging the destruction of the system by those who have hijacked the governance of the country.

“I DO NOT JUST HEAR WHAT NIGERIANS GO THROUGH, I KNOW WHAT THE NIGERIANS GO THROUGH; I KNOW WHAT NIGERIANS WANT.

“I know what needs to be done to change the course of the present purposeless drift of a great country as Nigeria and of which has occasioned hopelessness and all the manifest vices and crimes that we see and witness today. ( I have summarized some of these issues and actions needed earlier, and will in due course, roll out my full and detailed manifesto).

“And it is not far-fetched; it is that the POLITICAL WILL will be fully taken up, to do what needs to be done to fix Nigeria; to re-direct the course of Nigeria through purposeful leadership.

“I AM ON A SALVAGE MISSION, TO RESCUE THE COUNTRY FROM THE SUFFOCATING GRIPS OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN HOLDING THE COUNTRY HOSTAGE IN THE GUISE OF RULERSHIP AND TO RETURN NIGERIA TO THE PATH OF GREATNESS AND FUNCTIONALITY, WHERE THE COUNTRY WORKS FOR ITS CITIZENS AND NIGERIANS REGAIN PRIDE AND CONFIDENCE IN OUR COUNTRY.

“As we speak today, those who have been at the centre of the woes that have befallen Nigerians are at it again; they have started scrambling again for the soul of the country.

“They are good at recycling themselves, even if it means turning the seat of power to home for the sick and elderly. They have started churning out blatant lies, seductive narratives, with irresistible promises, which they will always abandon.

“They want to remain in power so that the masses will remain in misery. It is time to retire them one by one. I have come to say enough of the wickedness and deception.

“I IMPLORE YOU ALL FELLOW NIGERIANS TO JOIN ME IN THIS ONEROUS TASK OF RESCUING THE COUNTRY. IT IS A CLARION CALL FOR YOU AND I.” Vivian Bello Declares.

Meanwhile, during the Press Conference to herald the declaration on Tuesday, the environmentalist now a presidential aspirant speaks further on the platform of a political party of her interest; Vivian Ebele Bello maintained that she would rather study the terrain well before deciding under which political party she is vying.

She said the decision is to avoid lack of direction mistakes by typical Nigerian politicians, which she said led Nigeria to where it is on account of lack of a cutting-edge political direction on party ideology and manifestoes. She said this must be considered before joining party politics.

“For now, I haven’t taken a decision on which political party I will join. Though, it is very germane. But I want you all to understand that political parties have different Ideology, manifestoes and principles, so, the consultation is ongoing to avoid joining a party that you find out at the end that they have this marriage of strange bird fellows, where you have conflicts of ideologies and what have you.

“As earlier mentioned to you, I have a very strong environmental background, so my party should have a whole lot of bias towards climate and environment. Some political parties may not have that as their immediate concern, and that is what we are looking at. We are still in talk with different political parties, which I will still communicate to all of you when that decision I made.” She said.

On her financial strength to rob soldiers with money bags, the aspirant though agreed that money has its place in politics was quick to add that the era of moneybag in Nigeria is going and fast waning for the good of all Nigerians.

The politician sighted the recently concluded Anambra governorship election, and how a woman turned down ‘cash for vote’, as an example to dispel the money politics claim thrown at her during the press conference.
She speaks: “This my election and my campaign is not going to be based purely on finances. It is a movement, a message, a clarion call that shall be taken out there to Nigerians.

“It is for the masses, you and I to take up this to prosecute this project and campaign, bearing in mind that this campaign is not about money bag, it is about the people, about the common man, just as I have told you. It is about the common man on the street, those without shelter on their head, the destitute on streets, the poor masses and you and I.

“Even though money is necessary for politics, by the time we take this message to the grassroots, I can assure you that money will be de-emphasized.

“Do not forget, or let me remind you of the incident in Anambra state, where people were lined up for money sharing on the day of the Governorship poll.

“We need to remember how a woman rejected money offered and chose to vote her conscience, she stood her ground, and the statement she made remains historical in the anal history of Nigerian civil rule. She says, “I may not have o! but I will not take and I will vote my conscience. The aspirant was stressed.

 

 

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