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Successful Launching/Dinner party of New Democrats (ND) in Toronto, Canada...prior to the National Convention schedule in Abuja Nigeria, 6 February 2003. Following the registration of the New Democrats (ND) Party in Nigeria, the Officials of the Party carried out a dinner/launch of the Party in Toronto, Canada before its Abuja Dec;laration

 

THE ABUJA DECLARATION: We, the New Democrats (ND) believe that intellectual and entrepreneurial ballast is the key to success for any political administratio

 
 

Dr Baba J Adamu has always been pro-active in Democracy and promoting International Trade and Democracy throughout the world. He participated in the Canada Trade Mission to Africa with Canadian Minister Pettigrew which was held on November 15 - 26, 2002. Johannesburg, South Africa, Lagos, Nigeria, Dakar, Senegal following the G-8 commitment towards Africa. Dr. Baba Jibrin Adamu, a Nigerian -Canadian; and is the CEO of iNetworks Canada, in Toronto, Canada.

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ND Principles and Agenda for 2010

The Abuja Declaration

The New Democrats (ND) believes that intellectual and entrepreneurial ballast is the key to success for any political administration. Recent events in the Nigerian political landscape clearly shows that a political party and indeed a government that loses sight of the "big picture" can easily be swept off course by events, driven by sectional or sectoral (Zoning) fundamentalism and splits, and bogged down in administrative minutiae. They risk becoming little more than exercises in crisis management.

 

This is why Nigerians greeted the registration of the New Democrats (ND) with an audible sigh of relief.More importantly because the driving force behind the New Democrats is a collection of patriotic Nigerian entrepreneurs and intellectuals in Diaspora. The New Democrats believe in the need "to start building a common thread between the ideas of academics, thinkers, entrepreneurs and intellectuals. Nigerian political parties have lost the philosophical battle regarding party political engineering and the art of politicking and governance. For the sake of national interest there is a need to replace the current “interest group” politics with a rejuvenated intellectual movement. ND rrelies heavily on intellectuals and entrepreneurs abroad and at home to chart its course.


Expanding the Vital Center

New Democrats has assembled an impressive and productive staff of a coalition of thinkers, including Nigerian intellectuals and entrepreneurs residing in the Diaspora, and of-course in Nigeria. Although, Nigerian political parties will want us to believe that their domination of Nigerian politics is based on their strength, our research indicates otherwise. They are merely factional groups which seek to manipulate parochial ethnic interests.

 

Challenging Lazy Orthodoxies and Introducing “the right way”

New Democrats philosophy of governance is "very much a work in progress," it is “the right way” of doing politics. The right way politics will stand in the traditions of previous Nigerian political parties, it will transcend both "old-style democracy" and its reliance on voodoo economics and "ethnic fundamentalism." We will challenge some of the laziest orthodoxies of current Nigerian politics.

 

The New Democrats believe that there is a rare opportunity to identify and move on the big, long-term challenges the country faces in the new century. We have both the opportunity and the responsibility to put forth a declaration here that guides our party and should guide our nation for the next 10 years. We will do everything we can to turn the ship of Nigeria around. And with the Nigerian people support, make sure that it keeps sailing in the right direction.

 

A New Politics for a “New Nigeria”

At the beginning of this new political era we see the nation in the midst of great chaos. As modernizers of the Nigerian progressive political tradition, we call for a new politics for the next decade to reflect new realities.

 

These new realities include:

  • An information-, technology-driven, and ever more global New Economy that is changing the wayNigerians work, live, and communicate with each other.

  • A population that is rapidly becoming more diverse, more affluent, more educated, more suburban, more "wired," less political.

  • The emergence of a new social structure, in which the "learning class" of well-educated and skilled citizens prospers while those without education and skills are still not left behind.

  • The aging of the population, creating new intergenerational tensions over resources for schools, retirement, and health care.

  • A generational change in attitudes as the old gives way to the baby boom generations that are far more sceptical about politics and government, even as they crave a "higher politics" of moral purpose.
  • A rapidly changing environment in which Nigerian values and interests are predominant, but in which we face a new series of internal challenges based not on a monolithic threat from another country, but on regional instability, economic rivalries, ethnic conflicts, rogue states, and “terrorism”.

 

Where We Stand

In keeping with our party's grand principle, we reaffirm our founding fathers’ belief in individual liberty and capacity for self-government. We endorse their credo of equal opportunity for all, special privileges for none. We embrace their thirst for innovation and their summons to civic duty. And we intend to carry on our insistence upon new means to achieve progressive ideals.

 

As New Democrats, we believe in a Third-Way that rejects the old left-right debate and affirms Nigeria’s basic bargain: opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and community of all. We believe in free enterprise to stimulate economic innovation and growth and in public activism to ensure that everyone can share in Nigeria’s prosperity.

 

We believe that government's proper role in the New Economy is to equip working Nigerians with new tools for economic success and security. Knowledge is power. The availability of such knowledge is empowerment. We must provide tools of empowerment to the younger generation including women.

 

We believe in expanding trade and investment because we must be a party of economic progress, not economic reaction. We believe that global markets demand global rules and institutions to ensure fair competition and to provide checks and balances on private power.

 

We believe that fiscal discipline is fundamental to sustained economic growth as well as responsible government. We believe in our mission to expand opportunity. We believe that education must be Nigeria's great equalizer, and we will not abandon our schools or tolerate their failure.

 

We believe that all Nigerians must have access to healthcare that balances governmental and individual responsibility. We believe in preventing crime and punishing criminals and that Nigeria's criminal justice system should be rooted in and responsive to the communities it serves.

 

We believe in a new social compact that requires and rewards work in exchange for public assistance and that ensures that no family with a full-time worker will live in poverty. We believe that public policies should reinforce marriage, promote family, demand parental responsibility, and discourage out-of-wedlock births.

 

We believe in shifting the focus of Nigeria's anti-poverty and social programs from transferring wealth to creating wealth. We believe in replacing top-down bureaucracy with more flexible, accountable public institutions that enable citizens and communities to solve their own problems. We believe government should harness the forces of choice and competition to achieve public goals.

 

We believe in enhancing the role that civic entrepreneurs, voluntary groups, and religious institutions play in tackling Nigeria's social ills. We believe in strengthening environmental protection by giving communities the flexibility to tackle new challenges that cannot be solved with top-down mandates. We believe government must combat discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, creed, gender, or religious; defend civil liberties; and stay out of our private lives. We believe that the common civic ideals Nigerians share transcend group differences and forge unity from diversity.

 

We believe in progressive nationalism -- the bold exercise of Nigerian leadership to foster peace, prosperity, unity and democracy. We believe that Nigeria must be strong technologically, and have superior defence to protect our interests and values only.

 

Finally, we believe that Nigerian citizenship entails responsibilities as well as rights, and we mean to ask our citizens to give something back to their communities and their country.


 A New Agenda for the New Decade

Based on the new realities on our enduring values as progressives, we present the following agenda for Nigeria's next decade.

 

Making the New Economy Work for All Nigerians

1. Expand the Economy While Expanding the "Winner's Circle"

Our first economic priority must be to bring start a "long economic boom" utilizing global formula, customized to Nigerian environment: fiscal discipline, open trade, support for innovation and entrepreneurship, and investment in the knowledge and skills of the work force.

 

Fiscal discipline means not only balanced federal budgets, but action to reduce the national debt and to deal with the obligations associated with the retirement of the old generation.

 

Open trade is integral to growth because it creates new markets abroad for our goods (setting quality standards in production to meet the global market), and services, lowers consumer prices, and spurs innovation. At the same time, we must tap new markets in inner-city and rural neighbourhoods at home.

 

The key to lifting wages and living standards for all Nigerians is to boost productivity by investing heavily in technology and skills. As the economic rewards of education rise, we must continue to expand access to higher education. We should also stimulate the spread of new technologies and the Internet to every industry, every classroom, and every family. As e-commerce grows, citizens must be empowered to control the use of personal information they disclose online.

 

As we expand our economy, we must expand the winner's circle of Nigerians equipped to benefit from the New Economy. This is the New Deal for economic security in the New Economy: lifelong learning for everyone, portable pensions and healthcare, and new opportunities for working families to save, build financial assets, and become homeowners.

 

Goals for 2010

  • Boost investment in technology and lifelong learning.

  • Create jobs and entrepreneurial training programs

  • Pay down the national debt.

  • Increase the percentage of Nigerians owning capital assets (including homes) up to 75 percent. 

  • Make access to the telephone and Internet very common.

  • Ensure that all students who make a "B" average or agree to serve their country can afford to go to University.

 

2. Write New Rules for Participation in the Global Economy

The rise of global markets has undermined the ability of national governments to control their own economies. The answer is neither global laissez faire nor protectionism but a Third-Way: New international rules and institutions to ensure that globalization goes hand in hand with higher living standards, basic worker rights, and environmental protection.

 

Nigerian leadership must actively seek ways to participate in the rules-based global trading system as well as international structures that enhance worker rights and the environment without killing trade. For example, Instead of reversing privatization, we should restructure the law to prevent monopoly, instead of restricting trade, we should negotiate specific multilateral accords to deal with specific trade issues, and restructure our industry to be able to compete on a global scale.

 

3. Create World-Class Public Schools

Now more than ever, quality public education is the key to equal opportunity and upward mobility in Nigeria. Yet our neediest children often attend the worst schools without even the basic educational facilities. While lifting the performance of all schools, we must place special emphasis on strengthening those institutions serving, and too often failing. To close this achievement and opportunity gap, underperforming schools need more resources, and above all, real accountability for results. Accountability means ending social promotion, measuring student performance with standards-based assessments, and testing teachers for subject-matter competency.

 

As we demand accountability, we should ensure that every school has the resources needed to achieve higher standards, including safe and modern physical facilities, proper educational facilities and equipments, well-paid teachers and staff, and opportunities for remedial help after school and during summers. Parents, too, must accept greater responsibility for supporting their children's education.

 

We need greater choice, competition, and accountability within the public school system, not a diversion of public funds. With research increasingly showing the critical nature of learning in the early years, we should move toward universal access to pre-kindergarten education.

 

Goals for 2010

  • Turn around every failing public school.

  • Make "private" schools an option in every state and community.

  • Offer every parent a choice of public schools to which to send his or her child.

  • Make sure every classroom has well-qualified educational facilities, equipment and teachers who know the subjects they teach, and pay teachers more for performance.

  • Create a safe, clean, healthy, disciplined learning environment for every student.

  • Make pre-kindergarten education universally available.

 

Creating a New Social Compact for The New Economy

1. Help Working Families Lift Themselves from Poverty

The job of welfare reform will not be done until we help all who can work to find and keep jobs -- including fathers who must be held responsible for supporting their children. In the next decade, Nigerian leadership should embrace an even more ambitious social goal -- helping every working family lift itself from poverty. ND new social compact will reinforce work, responsibility, and family. By creating jobs, increasing the supply of affordable healthcare, providing training programs to both young and old, promoting access to home ownership and other wealth-building assets, and refocusing other social policies on the new goal of rewarding work, we can create a new progressive guarantee: No Nigerian family with a full-time worker will live in poverty.

 

Goals for 2010

  • Start a welfare reform by moving all recipients who can work into jobs.

  • Cut the poverty rate in half.

  • Create training programs to train people to be able to seek employment.

 

2. Strengthen Nigeria's Families

To strengthen families, we must redouble efforts to reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and create an "extended family" of adult volunteer mentors. Family breakdown is not the only challenge we face. We should continue public efforts to give parents tools to balance work and family and shield their children from harmful outside influences. For example, we should encourage employers to adopt family-friendly policies and public officials should speak out about violence in our culture and adopt self-policing codes aimed at protecting children.

 

Goals for 2010

  • Cut the rate of out-of-wedlock births in half.

  • Provide affordable after-school programs at every public school.

  • Make every workplace "family-friendly."

  • Promote policies that help parents shield their children from violence and sex in entertainment products.

 

3. Strengthen Nigeria’s Common Civic Culture

We must all work harder to affirm our common civic culture -- the values that unity us and democratic institutions we share and what define our national identity as Nigerians, largely because of our diverse ethnicity and culture, and religion. This means we should resist an "identity politics" that confers rights and entitlements on groups and instead affirm our common rights and responsibilities as citizens.

 

Multiethnic democracy requires fighting discrimination against marginalized groups; empowering the disadvantaged to join the economic, political, and cultural mainstream; and respecting diversity while insisting that what we have in common as Nigerians is more important than how we differ.

 

One way to encourage an ethic of citizenship and mutual obligation is to promote voluntary national service. If expanded to become available to everyone who wants to participate, national service can help turn the strong impulse toward volunteerism among our young people into a major resource in addressing our social problems. It will also help revive a sense of patriotism and national unity.

 

Goals for 2010

  • Reduce discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, national background, religion, age, or disability.

  • Shift the emphasis of affirmative action strategies from group preferences to economic empowerment of all disadvantaged citizens.

  • Expand the NYSC program so that everyone willing to serve can serve -- with 1 million participants enrolled by the end of the decade.

  • Promote character education in all public schools.

 

Reinventing Government and Politics

1. Performance-Based Government

There is a strong anti-government sentiments at the moment, because most Nigerians still think government is too corrupted, too bureaucratic, too centralized, and too inefficient.

 

The New Democrats (ND) strategic programs include a second round of "reinventing government" initiatives which means transforming public agencies into performance-based organizations focused on bottom-line results. Many public services can be delivered on a competitive basis among public and private entities with accountability for results. Public-private partnerships should become the rule, not the exception, in delivering services. Civic and voluntary groups, including faith-based organizations, should play a larger role in addressing Nigeria's social problems.

 

When the federal government provides grants to states and localities to perform public services, it should give the broadest possible administrative flexibility while demanding and rewarding specific results. Government information and services at every level should be thoroughly "digitized," enabling citizens to conduct business with public agencies online.

 

Goals for 2010

  • Require public agencies to measure results and publish information on performance.

  • Consolidate narrow federal-state grants into broad performance-based grants that offer greater flexibility in return for greater accountability for results.

  • Make it possible for citizens to conduct all business with government online.

  • Create a chief information officer to drive the digitization of the federal government.

 

2. Return Politics to the People

At a time when much of the world is emulating American democracy, too many Nigerians have lost confidence in their political system. They are turned off by a partisan debate that often seems to revolve not around opposing philosophies but around contending sets of interest groups. They believe that our current system for financing campaigns gives disproportionate power to wealthy individuals and groups and exerts too much influence over legislative and regulatory outcomes.

 

The time for piecemeal reform is past. As campaign costs soar at every level, re-circling the state funds into campaign fund, we need to move toward voluntary public financing of all general elections and press broadcasters to donate television time to candidates. The Internet holds tremendous potential for making campaigns less expensive and more edifying and for engaging Nigerians directly in electoral politics. We should promote the Internet as a new vehicle for political communication.

 

Goals for 2010

  • Introduce voluntary public financing for all general elections.

  • Allow properly regulated voter registration and voting geared towards voting online.

  • Implement civic education courses in every public school.

 

3. Modernize Environmental Policies

We face a new set of environmental challenges for which the old strategy of centralized, command-and-control regulation is no longer effective. The old regime of prohibitions and fines levied on polluters is dead, or perhaps not well equipped to tackle problems such as climate change, contamination of water from such sources as farm and suburban runoff, loss of open lands, and sprawl. Without relaxing our determination to maintain and enforce mandatory national standards for environmental quality, it is time to create more effective, efficient, and flexible ways of achieving those standards.

 

For example, a system of tradable emissions permits would give factories, power plants, and other sources of air pollution and greenhouse gases a powerful incentive not only to meet but to exceed environmental standards. Decisions about solving local environmental problems should be shifted from Abuja to communities, without weakening national standards. Finally, to empower citizens and communities to make sound decisions, government should invest in improving the quality and availability of information about environmental conditions.

 

Goals for 2010

  • Create a domestic emissions trading system to reduce greenhouse gases by 10 percent.

  • Promote innovative agreements for community and regional partnerships to achieve national environmental goals and standards through local strategies.

 

Promoting Peace and Security At Home and Abroad

1. Make Nigeria the "Safest Country" in the World

The Nigerian public remains deeply concerned about the prevalence of crime rates and religious/ethnic violence in the country. To continue reducing crime, we need to keep policing "smart" and community-friendly, prohibiting unjust and counterproductive tactics such as ethnic profiling; focus on preventing as well as punishing crime; pay attention to what happens to inmates and their families after sentencing; use mandatory testing and treatment to break the cycle of drugs and crime; and enforce and strengthen laws against unsafe or illegal gun.. Moreover, we need a renewed commitment to equal justice for all, and we must reject a false choice between justice and safety.

 

Technology can help in many areas: giving police more information on criminal suspects so they do not rely on slipshod, random stop-and-search methods; allowing lower-cost supervision of people on probation or parole; and making it possible to disable and/or trace guns used by unauthorized persons. Above all, we need to remember that public safety is the ultimate goal of crime policy. Until Nigerians feel safe enough to walk their neighbourhood streets, enjoy public spaces, and send their children to school without fear of violence, we have not achieved public safety.

 

 Goals for 2010

  • Reduce violent crime rates another 50 percent.

  • Cut the rate of repeat offences in half.

  • Prevent use of firearms by unauthorized persons and implement sensible gun control measures.

  • Ban ethnic profiling by police but encourage criminal targeting through better information on actual suspects.

  • Require in-prison and post-prison drug testing and treatment of all drug offenders.

 

2. Build a Public Consensus Supporting Nigerian Leadership

What's needed is a new foreign and national security strategy for a new era. Our leaders should articulate a progressive nationalism based on the new realities of the Information Age: globalization, democracy, and the rise of a new array of threats ranging from regional and ethnic conflicts to the spread of missiles and biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. This approach recognizes the need to revamp, while continuing to rely on, multilateral alliances that advance Nigerian values and interests.

 

Nigeria must strengthen its military to use new technology and training. This also means undertaking a systematic overhaul of the military to create a force that is more flexible, integrated, and efficient.

 

Goals for 2010

  • A clear national policy with bipartisan support that continues to adjusts our alliances to new regional threats to peace and security, promotes the spread of political and economic freedom, and outlines where and how we are willing to use force.

  • A modernized military equipped to deal with emerging threats to security, such as  destabilizing regional/border conflicts.

 

Conclusion

The ideas in this Abuja Declaration are not an exclusive or exhaustive agenda for Nigeria in this millennium. We welcome other ideas based on the enduring values of opportunity, responsibility, and community.

 

But we do urge our fellow Democrats, and fellow citizens, to take heed of the rapid pace of economic, social, and political change here and abroad; the great potential of new technologies to transform how we live, work, and interact; the inequality of opportunity that will emerge if we do not address it; the dangerous disengagement in public life of our citizenry; and the fresh needs and perspectives of the young people who will succeed us.

 

This is the wrong time in history for politics as usual: for empty partisanship; for treating citizens simply as members of contending groups; for divisive appeals based on religion, ethnicity, or culture; for efforts to encourage voters to focus on narrow self-interest; and for perpetuating the issues and ideologies of an ever-more-distant past.

 

We are firmly convinced that our party, which is more than ever and must always strive to be the New Democrats, the New Nigeria, has the right values, policy goals, and ideas to represent the new politics our country needs. But we cannot rest. We must continue to embrace change if we are to engage the electorate and offer a governing agenda that can produce positive results. As one great Nigerian said, "New conditions impose new requirements on government and those who conduct government." That is why we best honour the true legacy of our founding fathers, Zik, Awolowo, Sardauna to name a few, not by acting as guardians of the dead letter of past progressive achievements but by living up to the bold, innovative spirit that made those achievements possible. With this Declaration, we affirm our intention to do just that.  Read the Untapped Nigeria Now!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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