- The Youth
- Our Children
- Our Women
- Our Fundamental Rights
- Retirement and Pension Security
- Our Veterans and Military Families
Nigeria is the only country in the world where a 45 years old person is called youth. In other countries, when you hear youth, you think 14 to 25 years.
My administration will be committed to raising young people of class for our New Nigeria. The young people in the world are no longer seen as future leaders, they are now today’s leaders, and the time for our children in Nigeria to join them in that leadership is now.
We will reorganise the entire sporting landscape in Nigeria. We will involve our young ones in the reinvigoration, refurbishment, and rebuilding of the systems and structures involved with sports and sporting activities in Nigeria. This will include all our stadiums, sporting halls, sports schools and clubs etc.
We will fund the introduction of sports and other leisurely physical activities in our primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions. Our preschools will use active play to keep the children fit, and our vocational schools will include those strictly designed for sports related studies.
We will put men and women of great calibre in charge of our sporting institutions and departments in government. Problems and concerns can be directed by the general public to the boards which will be known to our local communities. We will encourage community sporting activities where outstanding performances will be recognised and rewarded.
We will promote and support our athletes who go out to represent us as a country. We will not let them go hungry. We will properly accommodate them and provide them with agreed financial incentives as at when due. We will not tolerate irresponsibility from those we entrust the safety and care of our sports men and women into their hands.
Management and Leadership Development Programmes
My administration will work with our secondary and tertiary institutions of learning to inculcate basic management and leadership development programmes in their syllabuses. When our children learn about responsibility early on, we are less likely to raise children who will follow in the footsteps of the men and women we have experienced in the leadership and governance of Nigeria till date.
The National Youth Service Corps
The National Youth Service Corps (“NYSC”) is a creation of the post war rebuilding that took place in the 70s. Nigeria has come away from that conflict, however we are not yet fully integrated.
The NYSC programme has proven extremely useful in helping our young minds develop creative ways to solve problems in the communities they are deployed for service. The programme helps bridge the gap between leaving educational institutions – be they at home or abroad, and facing real life challenges working within communities alien to our their cultures. Our Corps members gain first-hand experience of ethnic and religious groups different from theirs, and try to adjust accordingly to be useful to those communities. This is priceless, so we will maintain the spirit if the NYSC.
We will review the NYSC program with a view to restructure it and provide adequate funding for its proper management, and the management of the welfare of the Corps members. The new programme will completely exclude our Military, so that the three weeks of compulsory orientation camp will not be necessary. This part of the program adds no value, and causes participants a lot more harm than it does them any good.
We will support reasonable punishment – including the requirement to pay higher taxes, and/or imposition of alternative means of serving the country on defecting young graduates. However, the policy that requires NYSC Discharge or Exemption Certificate before our young men and women may become gainfully employed is counter-productive, thus will be removed.
Many of our young children in Nigeria have no access to education, they work under hazardous conditions to help their families, and many are forced to serve as armed persons and bomb carriers in the terrorist activities we witnessed on our shores in recent years. Our children are targeted in their schools, kidnapped, made to endure inhumane conditions and assaults on their dignity, and left with little or no hope for a bright future. They are often exploited and abused by the individuals responsible for their care.
My administration will work with our parents and communities to give our children the best possible start in life including, security, the best possible parental love and care – even where it must be in foster homes, good health, education, opportunity for leisure and play, and opportunities to choose career paths in accordance with their personal interests.
Nigeria has come a long way, but infant mortality is still a big problem especially in our more rural communities. We will work with our community health centres to ensure our children get free and compulsory immunisations from birth onwards. We will invest in community wide primary health care delivery systems aimed at helping our less educated mothers adopt good sanitary and hygiene practices for the benefit of their infants. We will help our rural communities gain access to portable water, so as to reduce the infant mortality rates associated with water borne diseases.
Malaria is the biggest child-killer in Nigeria. We will find answers to malaria that will completely eradicate it from Nigeria. We have seen this happen in countries around the world, why not Nigeria?
Development through Leisure Activities
I propose with the help of our parents and communities, to establish playgrounds and recreation centres for children in every corner of our communities. Children learn very fast from playing, therefore providing opportunities for learning while playing will be a key factor in ensuring that our children have the best start in life.
Children with Disabilities
We must fulfil our national commitment to provide meaningful education to our children with disabilities. We will fully fund the highest possible standard of education of all the children with disabilities in Nigeria up to secondary school certificate level.
We will ensure that institutions which sign up to educate our children with disabilities receive the extra resources and services they need to enable them perform to the highest possible standards.
I believe an appropriate educational foundation for our children with disabilities will afford them maximum opportunity to thrive and become adults who will enjoy greater opportunities and more meaningful life experiences.
Several women’s rights movements around the world have tried to help secure equal rights for men and women, however women are still married off as children, trafficked into forced labour, or made into sex slaves in Nigeria. Many of our communities still refuse women access to education, political participation, and good paying jobs. Indeed, many are kidnapped, confined and raped as weapons of war.
In Nigeria, deaths related to diseases predominantly affecting child-brides, pregnancy and childbirth are needlessly high, however women are still prevented from making personal choices in their private lives due to some old fashioned views and laws that we have yet to let go.
Child Marriage and Related Health Issues
Many of our girls in the north between ages 12 and 17 are married. Some are married off as early as age 8. Life threatening venereal diseases and maternal mortality is the norm. I believe that the time to change that is now. I will not sit back and let our young girls suffer inhumane treatment because of traditions, beliefs and cultures which are clearly repugnant to natural justice, equity, and good conscience.
My administration will work with our local communities to bring enlightenment to the areas most affected. We will endeavour to show our parents how their rights to determine the welfare of their children, end at the point the fundamental right of those children are infringed. They birthed the children, however our constitution protects those children even from they who brought them to the world.
We will not tolerate illegal marriages to our young children no matter the guise under which such abhorrent acts are brought. Our laws must be reformed to clearly state the prohibition of marriage for both sexes before the age of sixteen years, and for those between 16 and 18 years to only marry after proper consents are obtained – from parents or guardians as well as the children.
I am committed to ensuring full equality for men and women in every sense. My administration will fight to end gender discrimination in the areas of education, employment, political participation, or any other sphere. We will combat biases across economic, political, and social life that hold women back and limit their opportunities in Nigeria. We will seek to ratify the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
Women’s Right to Self-Determination
I am committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health rights for our women. I believe that women should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion provided intervention is sought within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Women who desire to abort older foetuses, must seek approval which they may only get where the foetuses are less than 20 weeks old and there are sufficiently good grounds for needing to end the pregnancy. In every other case, only where the life of the mother is threatened by continuation of the pregnancy.
I believe that reproductive health is core to women’s, men’s, and young people’s health and well-being, therefore family planning centres will be located in every corner of our communities however remote. While we will not impede on any woman’s access to safe and legal early abortion, we will initiate and support preventive health care measures including free contraception for women of child bearing age. Evidence based sex education and a full range of family planning services will be employed to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions in the first place.
I strongly and unequivocally supports every woman’s decision to have her child. My administration will support women who decide to have their children against all odds by ensuring safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth. We will work to provide services during pregnancy and after the birth of the child, including adoption and social support services.
I am committed to creating a society where children are safe, where they can thrive physically, emotionally, educationally, and spiritually. I recognize and support the importance of civil structures that are essential to creating this for every child.
Right to Own or Inherit Property
Many of our customary laws in Nigeria still prohibit women from owning or inheriting land. This runs afoul of every woman’s constitutionally guaranteed right to own immovable property in any part of Nigeria, and our women’s constitutionally guaranteed right not to be discriminated upon due to their sex or the circumstances of their birth.
My administration will promote awareness campaigns throughout the communities which are particularly affected. We will encourage our people to view women as true equals with their male counterpart, thus grant them same treatment in issues of inheritance and property rights.
Guarding Against Harassments and Violence
I am committed to ending the scourge of violence against women wherever they occur. Whether they occur in our homes, on our streets, schools, within the military, or at our workplaces; anywhere! My administration will support movements which provide law enforcement with the tools needed to combat violence against women. We will support services which look after survivors of violence, and we will increase prevention efforts in our communities and on our school campuses.
We will fight to ensure immediate disciplinary proceedings in our criminal justice courts. We will vehemently pursue just and adequate punishment to sexual assaults, including sexual assaults on our men and children wherever they occur – in our homes, schools, offices, factories, campuses, on our streets etc.
I believe everyone deserves a safe environment where they can thrive, not one where they will live in fear. We will therefore increase sexual violence prevention education programs that cover the issues of consent and bystander intervention in our schools and across our communities.
I will abide by the words and spirit of our Constitution in all of its relations with the people. Subject to the constitutionally permitted interferences, I will respect every person’s right to life, right to dignity of person, right to liberty, right to fair hearing, right to private and family life, right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, right to freedom of expression, right to freedom of assembly and association, right to freedom of movement, right to freedom from discrimination, and right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.
Safe-Guarding Our Constitutional Rights
We will revamp our courts to ensure they become many times more efficient than they are today. We will simplify the process of raising complaints, and support human rights organisations to make it easier for them to pursue redress on cases of fundamental rights abuses of interest, be they attributable to public, or private persons and bodies.
Our Disabled Persons
Our laws are mostly silent on our disabled, so they tend to face discrimination based on their disabilities, especially those living with visible disabilities.
We will protect and expand the right of Nigerians with disabilities. We will help them get good education, accommodations which take cognisance of their special needs. We will help integrate them into our community settings, we will contribute our quota to improve their access to meaningful and gainful employment suitable to their individual disabilities. We will provide tax reliefs to help the families caring for them, especially persons caring for those with severe disabilities.
I am of the view that our retirement and pension plans in Nigeria are a sham. On one hand, our corrupt leaders receive ridiculous incentives while in office, and much more in the name of pension when they leave. On the other hand, our teachers, nurses, military, police, all of the other professions, have to live in penury following retirement because there is no identifiable pension plan in most of our States.
My administration will revamp the entire pension system in Nigeria. We will review the system of setting pension for our public office holders. We will give our workforce the choice of joining a government pension plan, joining a private pension plan, or going with a combination of the two. Workers in Nigeria will be able to estimate their pensions depending on what age they retire so as to properly plan for old age.
We will ensure every pensioner who is still alive today is paid their dues – irrespective of the number of years of pension they still have outstanding.
We will ensure pensioners are paid as at when due, and we will electronically monitor the investments of our pension boards, so as to safeguard against irresponsibility. We will ensure the savings of our working class men and women are invested wisely so as to curb disappointments to our pensioners at the point of their retirement.
We have a moral responsibility to keep faith with all our veterans and wounded service men and women. We must take care of those who put their lives on the line to protect and defend us. Under my administration, our soldiers will not come home to nothing. They will not sleep under the bridges or on the streets after their service.
We will ensure our service men and women are treated fairly when it comes to employment, health, education benefits, deployment, and reintegration after their service tours. We will push for more educational benefits and training for them in service.
We will pay their pensions and gratuities. We will ensure they receive the best possible health services in their own communities. We will be there for them the way they have never failed to be for all of us.
We will honour the sacrifice of our military families. These people serve alongside our service members. We recognise the unique concerns and challenges which they face, especially after many years of continuous deployments to the worst possible conflict areas at home and abroad.
We will support military families with jobs, education, child and health care. We will promote family friendly policies and develop systems of care for our military family members, especially the spouses and children who have to rebuild their lives following the loss of a loved one, or a life-altering injury, or a disability. We see their pains, and we will join hands to help them.