Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Victor Attah and other political leaders in the country, on Friday, floated a new political pressure group: “The Compatriots” ahead of the 2023 general election.
The Chairman of the Compatriots, Attah, in his address during its maiden press conference in Abuja, listed other members of the group to include Mallam Hakeem Baba-Ahmed as Deputy Chairman and Prince Tom Iseghohi as Chief Operating Officer (COO).
According to him, the group was out to work with relevant socio-political stakeholders to reinvent Nigeria by “promoting national cohesion, good governance, peace and prosperity.”
He said the strategic objectives of the group are: “To mobilize the best intellectual resources in addressing the key challenges that are hindering the development of Nigeria as a strong and viable political and economic community.
“To promote a network of concerned Nigerians towards assisting in the improvement of governance at all levels as well as in the provision of social services.
“To involve Nigerian women at all levels and in all aspects of the activities of The Compatriots in order to become a role model for gender equality in Nigeria.
“To cultivate and assist in mentoring and leadership development initiatives so as to nurture younger generations into the mainstream of the Nigerian political economy.
“To assist in the development of the culture of social accountability in the Nigerian social formation with a view to expanding the political space, which will incubate harmonious partnerships between governments and the civil society.
“To play the role of a neutral Honest Broker and to provide a platform for discussion of all relevant local grievances of Nigerian communities in the context of Nigeria’s collective survival and development.
“To provide a compass for good governance and establish guard rails to prevent any individual or group of people from derailing the entire nation.”
He added that the group had resolved that Nigeria can be, and must be transformed from “An Aspiring Nation” to “A Great Nation”.
“In the process, there will be need for reconciliation, there will also be meetings with top government officials, community leaders, the many aggrieved parties and particularly those who aspire to lead us in the future, to work closely to secure the future of the nation.
“History has shown that multi-nationality, multi-ethnicity or even multi-racial and religious composition can be turned into a source of strength by a nation.
“Members of this group have decided that, though tribe and tongue may differ, we do not have to sing discordant tunes.
“We have therefore resolved, in the spirit of our National Anthem, to “Arise” to dedicate the remaining days of our lives to the service of Nigeria with the vision to re-invent a new and better Nigeria for every Nigerian.”
He said the core national values of the group include to work for a: “Strong and united Nigeria; equity, justice and fairness for every citizen; realization of full potentialities of every Nigerian and protection of the rights of every Nigerian wherever he/she deicides to
“Primacy of peaceful co-existence between and among Nigerian communities and a proper sense of nationhood and common nationality.”
“In pursuit of its mission,” he said the group “envisages to work with other well-meaning Nigerians, politicians, the academia, professionals, community leaders, and indeed with all relevant social groups to reinvent Nigeria.”
While answering questions from reporters, Attah described The Compatriots as a group of eminent Nigerians, cutting across regional, ethnic, religious, ideological and political affiliations that have decided to come together to midwife an initiative aimed at promoting national cohesion, good governance, peace and prosperity.
He said despite the members varied political or ethnic backgrounds, the utmost desire of the group is to work for good governance.
“Assembling eminent Nigerians together was not an easy task. What we did therefore was to consult with all legitimate socio-cultural groups in the country.
“We are not backing any candidate but supporting the concept of good governance, peace and prosperity,” he said.
He also said the group would engage whoever emerges as the country’s president with the message that “it can no longer be business as usual. Nigeria has to change and there must be justice, equity and fairness for all.”
Also responding to questions, the Deputy Chairman of The Compatriots, Dr. Baba-Ahmed, said: “We are non-partisan and we will remain non-partisan. That means that we will ensure active participation in political processes and electoral matters.
“Our role will be to make sure that we help to create a conducive atmosphere that will facilitate the emergence of a leader who is voted by Nigerians, credible persons and peaceful environment.
“We will work with all the candidates and ensure that we don’t have an election that will compound the problems of Nigeria.
“Nigeria needs to have an orderly power transition from the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to the next government.”