By Ali Alkali
Over 200 of non-governmental organizations have yesterday converged in Abuja to kick start nationwide series of rallies in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2nd term bid.
The Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations in Nigeria (FONGON) said the campaign against a second term in office for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 was being orchestrated by those who have looted the treasury, promising that it will fight to the finish to ensure that Buhari continues in office.
The coalition of youths, women and artisans organizations had delivered a letter to President Buhari, promising him their three- million-member support by embarking on nationwide rallies to fight what they called “an orchestrated campaign” going on across the country “to demonize” his administration in order to pave the way for the return of the same people who brought the country to where it was before he launched his rescue mission upon assuming office.
“We are concerned that unless an urgent action is taken, the voices of these people, whom we believe are being sponsored by looters, and those who have been prevented from turning the nation’s treasury to their personal banks, may become the dominant voices,” said the group’s National Coordinator, Wole Badmus.
To give the opposition the battle for their money and neutralize the current political verbal war in the country, FONGON commenced the nationwide series of rallies in support of the Buhari Administration.
From Abuja, the nation’s capital, the coalition will move to all the six geo-political zones, promising, “It will be a rally like no other”.
“We are fully committed to this programme. We will mobilize all the mobilizable and consult all the consultable. We will rally students, women, Civil Society Organizations, youth groups, farmers, etc. We will use all the facilities and platforms at our disposal. We will move from house to house, use media platforms, and use pamphlets to reach Nigerians across the country.
The Coalition National Coordinator, Wole Badmus read the letter sent to President Buhari in front of a mammoth crowd at Unity Fountain in Abuja. Part of the letter reads:
“Mr. President, we have chosen to come out this time because there seems to be an orchestrated and well-choreographed campaign going on across the country at the moment to demonize your Administration and hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians into believing that the Administration has achieved nothing since assuming office. The reason for this campaign, which is becoming increasingly virulent, is simple: The looters, economic saboteurs and unpatriotic fellows are feeling the heat of your Administration‘s fight against corruption. They are earnestly yearning for a return to the immediate unedifying past in which the national treasury became the piggy bank of a few. They also want to pave the way for the return of the same people who brought the country to where it was before you assumed office.
“Your Excellency, the recent spate of letter and memo writing is not an accident. We believe it is aimed at discouraging you from running for a constitutionally guaranteed second term, which they are afraid will put Nigeria on an irreversible path of probity, prudence and progress.
“We believe there will be more letters and more voices urging you not to run. And we urge you, Mr. President, not to heed such calls. Those who are for you are more than those who are against you. That is why we have decided to come out. We are concerned that unless an urgent action is taken, the voices of these people, whom we believe are being sponsored by looters and their ilk, may become the dominant voices.
“We are a Coalition of 200 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with a total membership of 3 million members spread across the length and breadth of our dear country, Nigeria. We have decided to come together under the umbrella of the Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations in Nigeria (FONGON) to serve as a counter-voice to the naysayers and the looters who are increasingly dominating the polity.
“Today, the 6th of February, we are kick-starting a nationwide mass rally in support of your Administration and in appreciation of the achievements that have been recorded since you assumed office on May 29th 2015, especially in building a strong foundation for Nigeria and also by putting the country on the path of growth and development. We will take the rally to all the nooks and crannies of this country.
“We say NEVER AGAIN to enemies of the nation, looters and criminals taking charge of our nation’s affairs, we pray that Allah will continue to strengthen, guide and protect you, and also give you more wisdom and good health to pilot the affairs of this great nation. We ask you not to hesitate to go for another four-year term to enable you to consolidate on the good work that you have stated.”
Earlier last week, during a press conference at Top Rank Hotel, Abuja, FONGON pledged total allegiance to Buhari administration and promised never to let Buhari attackers have a field day.
“We will not allow them to sabotage the efforts of the Buhari Administration. We will not allow them to take Nigeria back to those dark days. We will not allow them to dominate the airwaves, the streets and the roads. We will not allow them to mortgage our future for their selfish ends.”
“No one should doubt our resolve. We won’t allow Nigeria to return to the dark days. NEVER AGAlN shall we allow enemies of the nation, looters and criminals to take charge of our affairs, said the National Coordinator.