NGO decries high rate of poverty in Nigeria, blames bad leadership

By Steve Oni, Ilorin

A Non Governmental Organisation, under the aegis of Polling Units Ambassadors of Nigeria (PUAN), has decried the avoidable pains, sufferings and hunger millions of the citizenry have been subjected to by leaders they voted into power despite the abundant human and material resources the country is blessed with.

PUAN Ambassador-General, Ambassador Captain Dabas Suleiman, who made the condemnation while inaugurating the Kwara state chapter of PUAN in Ilorin, the state capital, over the weekend, said PUAN was established to reverse the backstabbing through adequate enlightenment and reorientation of the electorate, particularly at the grassroots, against selling their votes and voting for people of shady characters who have failed to deliver on their electoral promises in the 2023 general elections.

The Ambassador- General, who disclosed that 12 states’ chapters of PUAN, including Kwara, had been inaugurated by the national body, said the inauguration of the remaining states’ chapters would be done in a couple of weeks.

He said: “Our leaders are selfish, self-centered, without any iota of accountability, while corruption is alarmingly on the rise. How can the people be suffering like this without any serious concern shown by our political leaderships in a democracy?

“Sadly, unemployment in the country has reached a crescendo, our roads have become death traps, we are perpetually in darkness as there is no electricity, no potable water as people still go about with buckets in our cities, not to talk of what our people in the rural areas daily pass through, in search of water. To cap it all, there is seemingly intractable insecurity across the country with Boko Haram insurgents, kidnappers and bandits having a field day and holding our security agencies to ransom.

“The suffering has to stop; our only demand from our political leaders is nothing but good governance. We are not asking them to put unearned money in our pockets, what we are demanding is dividends of democracy, judicious spending of our common wealth to create jobs for the youth as well as provision of infrastructure to cover health, education, among others. It is the tax payers money, not their money.

“PUAN does not belong to any political party. We are an independent body, not sponsored by anybody, but only fighting for justice and fair play by the political class. Our goal is to mobilise the electorate ahead of the 2023 general elections, reorient them against selling their votes in order to ensure that we elect leaders who we can call to questions anytime on their electoral promises. Power belongs to the people, you have the power, you have the voter cards to elect or reject anybody and you must ensure that you use that power wisely so as not jeopardise the future of our children and generations yet unborn. That is the message we bring to the people of Kwara state, like other states, to vote out any political leadership they consider bad in the 2023 general elections, enough is enough.”

In his own remarks, Ambassador Prince Osa-Osaghae, who is PUAN Secretary-General, said: “PUAN is coming with a revolution, not the violent type, but the kind that will eat deep into the minds of the electorate to effect necessary changes at the forthcoming 2023 elections.

“Instead of sending thugs to the polling units as our politicians do, we are sending you, Ambassadors, to the polling units to effect changes that would be positive and beneficial to Nigerians. We are recruiting you to go down to the grassroots to enlighten and reorient the Psyche of the electorate. In every polling unit in Nigeria, we have decided to have five Ambassadors that will work assiduously to change the people’s mindsets from selling their votes, but to vote wisely and rightly for people who will not betray them again when they get to power.

“The politicians are fond of whipping up primordial sentiments of ethnicity and religion at election periods to hoodwink us to get our votes. Most of them are liars and time is now for us to say enough is enough to such tricks. What we are experiencing now in the country is nothing but bad leadership and incidentally those leaders rose on those tricks to get to power, after which they manifested their true colours.”

Newly inaugurated Kwara state PUAN Ambassador, Ambassador Abdullahi Bada, spoke on behalf of others, promising to discharge their responsibilities without fear or favour.


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