By Augustine Ehikioya
Towards having the right people at the helm of affairs in the forthcoming 2023 general elections, the Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI) has tasked politicians to shelve their personal interests and embrace the overall interests of Nigerians.
The President of AANI and former Inspector General of Police (IGP), IGP M.D. Abubakar (rtd) made the call while addressing a press conference on the forthcoming AANI Annual General Meeting.
Security Watch Africa (SWA) covered the briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
The former IGP also urged Nigerians to shun money politics in the forthcoming elections.
He said “Similarly, as we approach the 2023 general elections, we are calling on the political class to uphold global best practices and focus on the security, welfare, and economic prosperity of Nigerians over and above their personal ambitions and pecuniary interests.
“Moreover, the recent assent to the Electoral Act by Mr President provides a new opportunity for free and fair election in Nigeria. We call on the Independent National Electoral Commission to activate all the provisions of the law towards the conduct of free and fair general elections in 2023.”
He also pointed out that the challenges facing Nigeria cannot be properly addressed unless broadminded and selfless individuals with capacity and courage seek and get elected to elective positions.
He added “We therefore urge Nigerians with these qualities including members of the National Institute to participate actively in the political process as part of efforts to rescue Nigeria.
“We must deemphasise money politics and come together to sponsor candidates that can pursue an agenda for the common good.”
To achieve this, he said, AANI intends to convene a stakeholder meeting ahead of the 2023 election, to “sensitize both politicians and electorates on the need to focus on issues that affects the lives of the people and the candidates with the capacity and pedigree to address them rather than selfish interests and material inducements.”
According to him, AANI is deeply concerned over the noticeable divisive tendencies among the components of Nigerian society, including armed violence, economic difficulties, and heated political space that have “created social tension, loss of lives and widespread fear over the future of our dear country, as a united and democratic society.”
He stressed that efforts by Governments at various levels to tackle these challenges have achieved only a marginal success because the challenges are deep rooted and require comprehensive, participatory, and proactive solutions.
“In response to this AANI as a Think Tank is going to hold a national dialogue on national unity,” he stated.
He said AANI is always available to partner with Government and all stakeholders to tackle challenges through promoting a comprehensive strategy that would stabilize the polity and promote a proactive agenda for the overall development of the country.
“We believe that adequate focus on qualitative and functional education for our teeming population and agriculture and agroallied processing as our area of comparative advantage would increase employment, reduce poverty and crimes, and promote overall growth and development in Nigeria.
“These require a comprehensive programme of action that is objective, participatory and implemented on a continuous basis in an integrated and strategic manner. We must rededicate ourselves to the Nigerian project and provide durable solutions to the prevailing situation in the country,” the former IGP said.
On the programmes for the 42nd AANI Annual General Meeting, he said “This year’s AGM is therefore scheduled to take place in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, from Friday 4th to Saturday 5th March 2022. Realising the importance of peaceful and harmonious co-existence among Nigerians and to further encourage same, we will start this year’s AGM with a Peace Walk at the Central part of Abuja tomorrow, Friday 4th March 2022 from 6.00-7.00 am.
“The starting and ending point is the Old Parade Ground, Garki, Abuja. There will be a Cocktail Party later in the evening for all members at the Swimming Poolside of Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre, Abuja, from 7.00-8.00 pm. On Saturday 5th March 2022, the association will conduct its AGM for 2022 at the Main Conference Hall of the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre, Abuja, starting from 9.00 am.
“The essence of this press conference is to brief you on our esteemed association, AANI, primarily regarding activities lined up for our 42nd Annual General Meeting and Conference from Friday 4th – 5th March 2022, here in Abuja.
“The AANI is an association of eminent Nigerians that attended the Senior Executive Course (SEC) at the prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State, since the establishment of the Institution in 1979 to date. Our members are spread across the various fields of endeavours in Nigeria.
“The aim and objectives of our association are to articulate policies and strategies for good governance as well as promote the ideals of our alma mater-NIPSS, as embodied in its motto; “Towards a Better Society.”
“Our objectives include promoting understanding, unity, brotherhood, and cooperation among members. It is also aimed at strengthening the relationship between the Association and NIPSS with a view to maintaining synergy, interact and collaborate with Federal, State and Local Governments of Nigeria, as well as other organisations or associations with similar objectives.
“Other objectives of our association include contributing positively and objectively to national discourse on any issues affecting the development of Nigeria and proffer appropriate recommendations and implementation strategies to the government. We also serve as think-tank to all tiers of government on matters of national development, peace, and security. AANI also establish schemes for the promotion of the welfare, security, and economic advancement of its members in addition to the creation and maintaining an endowment fund for the proper observance and discharge of any of the objectives of the association.
“Therefore, it has been the tradition of our great association to meet once in a while to discuss issues that bordered on members’ welfare and critical national issues.
“However, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a yearly gathering of all members to discuss critical national issues and the welfare of members and how to reposition the association further to contribute more to national development. It is in line with this and the critical role of our association in national development, the theme for this year’s AGM is “Repositioning AANI for greater effectiveness,” he stated.