Comrade Ogwuche Gabriel is the National President of Society for Youth and Downtrodden (SYDN), a non-governmental organization with focus on addressing social imbalance and inequality between the rich and the poor in Nigeria.
In this interview, Ogwuche bares his mind on the mandate of his organization, their support for the anti-corruption of President Buhari and advocates that corrupt Nigerian officials should be handed the capital punishment as is the case in China. Excerpts:
You recently marked the public presentation and unveiling of your organization. what informed the action?
Our independent investigation showed that despite efforts in the past by different administrations and concerned organizations to tackle the issue of poverty and inequality in the country, the task still leaves much to be desired.
We totally agree that much has been done but believe that more still needs to be done, especially in a developing country like Nigeria. This is why the SYDN decided to come in to bridge the wide gap between the rich and the poor.
There is need to protect the fundamental human rights and guarantee the future of Nigerian youths and vulnerable people, even though, we are aware that violation of these rights are as old as human race.
As a quarterly event, the programme is expected to last from now to 2020. SYDN is coming out with programmes to address the plight of youth, women and children and vulnerable in the society.
Why the focus on youth?
It is a fact that youths are the future of tomorrow and whatever policy decision government takes, affects them whether positive and negative and for the fact that the future of this nation depends on them, we felt that if things are good for the youth, then it has become well for the nation.
WE also observed that virtually all the ministries and parastatals of government has in one way or the other special programmes or plans to address issues affecting the youth, yet nothing seems to have been done. The local and international organizations are not left in this mandate.
We strongly believe that the poverty and hunger in Nigeria and Africa are directly linked to corruption. It is corruption that resulted to poverty and hunger because the monies that had been made available for projects to affect lives of people have been mismanaged. That is why the vicious circle of poverty and hunger have been re-circling from one administration to another.
Even though people are complaining the government is delaying and all that. everybody should be happy and everybody who goes against the administration of this government I think that person should be regarded as a key enemy of this country.
What should the past administration had done?
Comrade Ogwuche Gabriel
What we expected from it is after it lost the election, it should have prepared a softlanding for the incoming administration in terms leaving a significant fund in the coffers and enabling environment for the incoming administration to thrive economically. Nigeria is very rich country. No matter the situation, there is no way you will leave such paltry sum in the treasury.
Do you see any possible revolution in Nigeria, given the way things are going in the country?
We pray for revolution and I think the revolution has already started but some people may not understand what it is all about. The revolution we are talking about is the one people will not pick up arms and begin to shoot at their leaders as some people have already started stoning their leaders across the country.
That is not the revolution we pray for but the one whereby ordinary Nigerians will see something wrong and come out publicly to condemn it and people go with him. A revolution where one will make Nigerians be proud of been Nigerians. The one that will introduce a new Nigeria we all believe in.
You talked about closing the gap between rich and poor, how possible is this going to be?
We are determined to close the gap between the rich and poor in Nigeria, as interpreted in our logo. We have a clamp, which stand as a gavel of our authority with a Justice scale, which hangs down wards, signifying the imbalance against the poor.
We will be working until a balanced position is achieved. That is what we are set to do.
The organization is not just an NGO but committed to improve the business of governance in Nigeria that is why we are collaborating with government to achieve our goals.
Anti-corruption war of government?
If government is ready to fight corruption, it has to take it holistically on the right standard. I feel we will continue to be talking and calling on government to be proactive in tackling the hydra-headed monster across all facets of the economy.
Mr. President should continue to fight corruption head on without minding the distractions. We see him as a revolutionist that can make significant difference from the past. Nigerians are with him and so he should not be deterred. We want more action. He should talk less and do more. Let Nigeria be one of the countries that have ever disgressed corrupt people, even if it means stopping them from walking on the road. Let them be a mark of stigma, that they will find it difficult to appear in the public or have access to public utilities. I believe that Nigeria can learn from China how to make corruption a capital offence so that people will stop depleting the public treasury without blinking an eye. If only we can tackle corruption, every other thing will be addressed in Nigeria.