By Chinelo Obogo
 
 
Unity  Schools Old Students Association (USOSA), the umbrella body for over one million alumni of the  104  Federal  Unity  Schools in  Nigeria,  has said it will mobilise its members to embark on peaceful demonstrations across the country if insecurity persists.
 
The President General of Usosa, Lawrence Wilbert, said in a press conference at the weekend in Lagos said it is sad about the indifference of the  Federal Government  and  other key
actors of state  to the  level of insecurity and  the  plight of victims and  their  families have made, saying the government  has  lost  the  will and  capacity
to do  anything meaningful about the insecurity  crisis.
 
Among other demands, USOSA said the government mus enforce comprehensive security and  atmosphere, stem and reverse the downward slide of the value of the naira and rejuvenate the economy.
 
The association said leaders at all levels in government must  be made to “perform or resign, or be booted out and that if its demands for a more secure country and better economy are not met, it will mobilise its members for a peaceful demonstration across Nigeria.
 
“We  are  particularly unsettled, angered, by  the  series of wanton killing,  kidnapping
and  rape  of thousands of innocent Nigerians  by devious,  blood-thirsty groups within and  beyond our national boundaries.
 
“Sadly,  the  police,  military  and other security agencies, hit  by years of poor  funding,  mediocre  recruitment  and  training,  and  entrenched  corruption,  appear  too
overstretched and overwhelmed to deal decisively with the  challenge.
The gruesome killing and abduction of scores of staff and  passengers of that Abuja-Kaduna
train  on  March 28, 2022  is  for us  an  inglorious crossing of  the  absolute  red line.
 
“This , coupled  with  the seemingly mindless indifference of the Federal Government  and  other key
actors of state  to the  incident and  the  plight of victims
and  their  families have made  it crystal clear that the  government has  lost  the  will and  capacity
to do  anything meaningful about the  crisis.
 
“Official  corruption  is at an all-time high, as  the  powers that be,  consistently  treat the  ideals of
accountability,  patriotism  and national unity with utmost derision.
 
“The  state  of our education is abysmal at all levels. The  recent report by UNICEF  indicates that
70% of ten-year olds are not functional literate and numerate; this is not to talk about  the  sad
statistics  of  over  10 million  out  of  school  children  across  the  nation.  The  insecurity  has
dangerously affected  our  secondary  education with  unfortunate  incidents  in  Buni  Yadi,
Chibok, Birnin  Yauri and  a host  of others  across the  nation still largely unsolved.
 
“Our tertiary institutions are  not left out. They  remain closed with Academic Staff Union of Universities
(ASUU) on  strike. Do we intend  to
grow as  a  country this way?
Manifold are  the dire consequences of the  current  inept leadership and gross misgovernance
of the country, as  the  Nigerian  masses are  now helplessly beset not just with total insecurity
and official disregard  for the  sanctity of  their lives and property, but with  scant electricity
supply,  zero water works, frustration-induced strike by university  lecturers, unreliable health
services, pathetically  high unemployment rate and abject poverty, increased occultism and
ritualism, food scarcity, a battered naira, hyper-inflation and skyrocketing prices of goods and
services, and  generally debilitating standards and costs of living.
 
“Things are  so  bad  that  many
citizens  yet  to be  gunned down by the  armed  enemies of the  state  are  beginning to die of
hunger, starvation and  easily treatable  diseases.
Meanwhile  President  Muhammadu  Buhari  and  other  persons  who  supposedly  avowed
themselves  to serve us through  the  executive arm,  as well as  the  National  Assembly and  much
of  the  Judiciary, to all intents  and  purposes, have not lived up  to  their  official responsibilities.
 
“Their  response have been very weak and  ineffective  given the current  challenge  being faced,
while working in cohort to solely serve their own interests at our expense.
 
“This  sorry  state of affairs has subsisted for too long. It has to stop  now.
Enough is enough! It’s time  for all well meaning Nigerians to rise to the  occasion, say no  the  untold decadence, and insist on  positive
 action  by  the  government to  stem  the  rabid anarchy  that  is  now  festering in  our  land. As
responsible  citizens, and  leaders created for a  time like this, we must  call the  government to
order  and  hold  them  accountable  forthwith , lest  they  sound  the  final  death  knell on  our
 
“Compounding the  abysmal security situation  is  the  fact that virtually all other aspects of our
national life are  also in  jeopardy and  experiencing unprecedented decay.  Therefore, USOSA, for and  on  behalf of ourselves and
the  abandoned  citizenry  of  this  country,  hereby  demand  the  Federal  Government  to accomplish  the  following at distinctly  significant levels: Enforce  comprehensive  security  and  atmosphere  for  peaceful  living  in  this
country; Stem and reverse the downward  slide of the value of the  naira;
 Rejuvenate the  economy, especially the  agricultural and industrial sectors;
Ensure  full  resumption  of security-guaranteed  academic  activities  in  all  schools
across the country; and Reinvent and  refocus  the  anti-corruption fight  without fear or favour.
 
“Should  there  be  no  significant compliance  with these legitimate demands, our next  step  shall
be to mobilise all  USOSA members  and  Nigerians  to embark  on  peaceful protest marches demanding
change.
We  call on  all rights  advocacy groups, the  labour  unions, students, market  women and  all other Nigerians who
love  this country  to  partner with us in  this common  fight  for our lives. Let’s close  ranks in
making this national sacrifice for the sake of our people and posterity.
 
“These  are  extraordinary times, and call  for extraordinary action and
sacrifice by all.  War, in  the form of incompetent leadership and  insecurity, has accosted the
Nigerian  masses,  and  fight  we must!
As leaders of our great coalition, we herewith re-echo the mandate to all our members, and
indeed all Nigerians, to ensure they are  registered voters. Be
ready to vote and  guard  your vote for your  choice for leadership of our country at all levels,” Wilbert said. 

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