Iyoha John Darlington is an expert in conflict management and resolution and the International Media Aide of the Green Party of Nigeria in this interview with Paris-based Radio France, he discussed how his party will tackle corruption, insecurity and other issues in Nigeria.
How do you intend to advance the course of social justice in Nigeria?
We believe that every man is born free and owns a right to equality. Social justice in the view of street observers of justice goes in terms of equitable distribution of wealth and opportunities within a society. But it has a broader socio-economic and political understanding in the lens of our party, the Green Party of Nigeria, in that it explains equality in fundamental human rights as well as opportunities to social conditions. Therefore, it must be put in mind that putting the above-named idea into concrete practice is often flood with challenges. You see Nigerians have often run into a brick wall while trying to implement this concept to pave the way for peace, unity, progress and development. So, the Green Party of Nigeria shall start a process to first and foremost create a healthy relationship between and among the diverse communities and tribes that make up the states of Nigeria in order to reduce the cry of marginalization. We shall vigorously pursue social liberty, solidarity as it will be our binding duty so that justice can prevail. We remain religiously focused and fanatically committed. In fact, it is no news that our past leaders have failed in that regard. God’s willing, that is why the GPN controlled federal government will set up all machinery in motion from a distributive perspective, that is by ensuring equitable distribution of goods and resources. This will be done by restructuring of societal institutions to guarantee human rights and dignity for a free and meaningful social participation in bringing a new national economic policy for our country.
You are aware that past governments have failed the citizens of this country due to the way they manage the resources of the country. What do you think the Green Party should do to obtain tangible results?
The Green Party of Nigeria is not unaware of the blunders committed by the past and present leaders of Nigeria; therefore, our great party became a child of necessity to address this problem. We have carefully set up a package for a lasting solution. Infrastructural development and renewal remain our binding duty. We shall focus on agriculture and finance which are key ingredients to economic development and a cure to unemployment in Nigeria. We also intend to look at agricultural finance whose neglect has resulted to in no small measure the decrease in agro based development. We will focus on vibrant saving culture and intelligent revenue collection and international finance partnership. Our national debt is also an albatross to our country’s development trajectory in that we owe too much to reignite our service in infrastructure that has been damaged by greed and prodigal politics. In each sector, our party will work tirelessly to attract foreign investment so as to have a modest infrastructural development that will be adequately maintained to meet our various needs.
You mentioned that the best way to solve the Boko Haram crisis is through dialogue. Can you shed more light on how you can dialogue with a group of people that don’t want to speak to anyone except through arms and guns?
In answering your question, dialogue is the only antidote to conflict management and resolution. The angry young men that have been unleashing terror on Nigerians are not spirits but humans. We are fighting two things here. Number one is ideology which is deeply rooted in them and which they are ready to die if need be. You will also agree with me that this ideology needs to be contended with. We will adopt the carrot and stick approach to deal with them. We heard some people in Boko Haram captivity have been released but we urge the government to do more to release all of them. We will reach out to the leadership of the boko haram for an extensive dialogue and strike a deal that will see them lay down their arms. We believe that there are some things which the government of the day are not doing that has made the fight against boko haram to continue. We shall continue to extend the olive branch which will bring a lasting solution to this problem.
Our country has long been plagued by unemployment. However, we have a plan to end this social problem. Nigerians have no reason to stay without jobs and we are aware of the bad state of our economy. It is a pity that we have been reduced to nothing knowing fully well that we are blessed with human and natural resources. Our party believes in gainful employment and will do everything to ensure that the youths are employed. We are determined to take a clue from the west to start an agricultural revolution and food security. You see a society whose inhabitants are infested with hunger becomes vulnerable to crimes especially violent ones and all means are employed to get rid of it including arm robbery. As we develop the agricultural sub sector, we hope it will provide jobs for over one million youths and leave the country with enough food supply for even exports.
How do you intend to fight unemployment which is seen as one of the reasons why violence is on the increase in the country?
Your economic blueprint is rather very bold. How does your party intend to revive the nation’s ailing economy where past governments’ have failed?
Well that is a multi-dimensional problem. A country without a good economic plan will not achieve anything meaningful. That is why the Green Party of Nigeria has been consistent in this regard. Nigeria parades some of the best economic team and one thing we will remove is nepotism and mediocrity. We will concentrate in fixing the ailing economy. The selection of public office holders shall be based on merit to obtain optimal results. The incoming GPN government will constitute an economic advisory council that will offer advice. No expense will be spared in fixing the economy. We will maximize government’s involvement in the foreign exchange market. In order to drive growth and reduce poverty, we are encouraging small businesses. You know that SMES are key ingredients in economic growth. Therefore, we will learn from other countries to better the economy. In Nigeria, there is also the issues of skilled priority and physical haemorrhage and irresponsibility. Therefore, our people should not forget that small scale enterprise moves the economy and government is supposed to serve as the mechanism to boom and nourish it, which is what the GPN federal government intends to do.