Barely 24 hours after President Buhari requested assistance from the American government to address Nigeria’s hydra-headed security challenges, the Nigerian Diaspora Network, an America-based non-profit organization, has agreed to provide a ten million dollar grant toward a process that will encourage and support the emergence of credible and more productive candidates for the 2023 round of general elections in Nigeria.
The group said in a statement widely circulated in the media and signed by its Director of Publicity, Akintunde Ademola, that it was ready to make tangible contributions to the lingering political leadership that has held back Nigeria after more than six decades of independence from colonial rule.
According to the group in the release, “Today, we announce the institution of a $10 Million Grant to support our partner organizations and candidates who meet our rigorous selection criteria. The aim is to produce progressive leaders and groups dedicated to leading Nigeria on a good governance structure.
“Nigeria Diaspora Network wishes to re-confirm our commitment coupled with our unconditional continued efforts to support young intelligent candidates to run for elected government positions in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We believe that to put good governance in place, honest, God-fearing and selfless leaders must be elected into public offices.
“We have also observed that such candidates are shying away from participating in the electoral process because they lack the resources to do so. “Parameters for identifying and supporting candidates with these qualities are being worked out.
“We will initiate a letter requesting for a meeting with candidates with an intent to provide funding support from our Nigerians in the diaspora coalition for the purpose of media and logistics.
“However, we have accomplished tremendous strides in mobilizing multiple and diverse Nigerian ethnic communities/groups to support our candidate choice and creating a global awareness avenue for the candidate through social media and websites.
“We have also established multiply credible and secured online funding campaigns; we have organized Diaspora community supports for any good governance candidate and successfully Securedhigh network individuals to underwrite town hall venue bookings and logistics in Europe and North America and Asia.
“While we are proud of the support and efforts we have made in the diaspora, we will not relent our zeal in providing local Nigeria media and logistics support through our local partners now and in the future.
“Nigeria Diaspora Network will continue to remain active to support candidates with good governance initiatives”the group opined. The group prides itself on the vision be dedicated to advancing the vision that will guide good governance in a country through the six principles of independence, openness, accountability, integrity, clarity and effectiveness Democracy thrives better where good governance is the rule and not an exception.
In the statement, it maintained further that “Good governance is perceived as a normative principle of administrative law, which obliges each country to perform its functions in a manner that promotes the values of efficiency, transparency, accountability, and responsiveness to civil society.
“We encourage citizens’ engagement to organize, get involved, support good governance candidates running for office, Nigeria Diaspora Network advances progressive values and works to build a brighter future for generations to come.
“Citizen engagement at every level is central to a strong and vibrant democracy. In recent years, we’ve seen what’s possible when people come together and stand up for a fairer, more inclusive Nigeria.
It further enjoined Nigerians abroad to join Nigeria Diaspora Network, though The challenges we face as a country are real, there’s no telling what we can achieve if we approach the fights ahead with the passion and determination we feel today, and bring that energy into 2023 and beyond.
The Nigeria Diaspora Network was established to lend logistics and media support to leaders and candidates — particularly young and vibrant leaders — kicking off projects and founding new groups to fight for our shared progressive values.
Since our founding, we have plans to grant funds to our candidates and partner organizations combined. The Nigeria Diaspora Network, a composition of Nigerian professionals abroad, was established to lend logistics and media support to leaders — particularly young leaders — kicking off projects and founding new organizations to fight for our shared progressive values.
Nigerians in the Diaspora remit billions of naira to their home country every year but are denied the right to vote during elections. Recall that in his bid to find permanent solutions to the security challenges in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday urged the United States to reconsider relocating US Africa Command (AFRICOM) from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa, nearer the Theatre of Operation, admonishing the international community to support Nigeria and the sub-region in tackling growing security challenges to avoid spillovers.
Special Assistant on Media to the President, Femi Adeshina later signed a statement that reported that President Buhari, in a virtual meeting with the US Secretary of State, Mr Anthony Blinken, said AFRICOM, which partners with countries to counter transnational threats, should be relocated to Africa to strengthen ongoing efforts to check the security situation, with likely effect on other nations.
“The security challenges in Nigeria remain of great concern to us and impacted more negatively, by existing complex negative pressures in the Sahel, Central and West Africa, as well as the Lake Chad Region.
“Compounded as the situation remains, Nigeria and her security forces remain resolutely committed to containing them and addressing their root causes. The support of important and strategic partners like the United States cannot be overstated as the consequences of insecurity will affect all nations hence the imperative for concerted cooperation and collaboration of all nations to overcome these challenges.
“In this connection, and considering the growing security challenges in West and Central Africa, Gulf of Guinea, Lake Chad region and the Sahel, weighing heavily on Africa, it underscores the need for the United States to consider re-locating AFRICOM Headquarters from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa and near the Theatre of Operation,’’ he said.
The President said Nigeria will enhance collaborations in all forms, with friends and strategic partners, to work together for greater security for all, which remain the most significant condition for overcoming the existential challenges.
President Buhari congratulated Blinken on his appointment by President Joe Biden and commended the United States for the decision to repeal the immigration restriction known as the “Muslim ban’’, re-joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“Nigeria attaches great importance to its relations with the United States. Let me in this connection express appreciation to President Joe Biden for his welcome and reaching decision to repeal the Immigration restriction known as the ‘Muslim ban’ on travel and visas for citizens predominantly from Muslim Nations and African Countries, including Nigeria.
“I also wish to congratulate the United States for re-joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The leadership of the United States in these two organizations is crucial for the international community.
“This action is a demonstration of the United States commitment in championing and supporting international organizations with the aim to build a better world for all,’’ he added. President Buhari noted that Nigeria remains resolute in her commitment to supporting global efforts as enshrined in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which seeks to limit global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the President, the convening of the Climate Change Summit last week by President Biden was a strong indication of the renewed interest of the United States in the Paris Agreement.
“I would like to extend our goodwill message to President Joe Biden and his Administration. May I also thank you for initiating this meeting, which I am confident, given your background and current position, you will use to promote the existing bilateral relations between our two countries,’’ the President said.
The Secretary of State said he was pleased to make Nigeria part of his “first virtual visit to Africa,” noting that Nigeria and the United States of America, share a lot in bilateral issues.
He added that he would be delighted to build on the foundation that was laid between the two countries over 60 years ago, disclosing that areas of discussion with Nigeria would include “how to build our economies back after the COVID-19 pandemic, security for vulnerable communities, and climate issues.”