Former World Bank Vice President, Oby Ezekwesili, and former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Kingsley Moghalu, were among dignitaries at the Summit of The Alternatives (SOTA) in Abuja.
The summit held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre.
It focused on how to develop a national vision and strategy to ensure effective democracy for the country.
In her welcome address, Ezekwesili, who is also the convener of the Red Card Movement, commented on the idea behind the Summit of The Alternatives.
She stressed the need for citizens to fashion out “a new Nigeria of our dream” and consider the economic implication of having visionary leadership with character, competence and capacity.
Moghalu called for accelerated economic development in all sectors.
The summit comprised of influencers and thought leaders who have demonstrated good character, competence and capacity in their various fields.
They expressed a strong desire to build and remodel the nation through active engagement in Nigeria’s political space.
The first day kicked-started with a keynote address, titled: A Rallying Cry for an Alternative.
Speakers and partners made presentations which centered on the need for Nigeria to get it right.
They insisted on creating leadership criteria of character, competence and capacity.
The keynote speaker, Prof. Lumumba, lauded the efforts of the organisers for uniting to rescue Nigeria from political nightmare and creating hope for Africa and Africans.
He said: “Nigeria is blessed with everything you can think of but leadership. Nigeria has shown its leadership position in the African continent through various peace-keeping operations in Liberia, Sierra Leone and other places. Nigeria is the only link to Africa’s success.”
The summit will also include panel discussions to further drive the new agenda for a new Nigeria.
Campaign/party finance; cultivating grassroots movements; media approaches to elections; nuances and metrics of youth and women inclusion in today’s democracy; INEC: an overview of electoral preparations in the areas of hardware, software and process; youth inclusion and building a political brand.
The second day had alternative political parties and presidential aspirants, like Omoyele Sowore, Fela Durotoye, Elishama Ideh, Kingsley Moghalu, Emmanuel Etim, Thomas-Wilson Ikubese, Martins Onovo, and Tope Fasua addressing the participants on topical issues which centred on “a new Nigerian of our dream”. The aspirants and political parties examined the need for a coalition of the 89 alternative parties to strengthen the objectives of the summit.
The summit was collaboration among various groups, like Red Card Movement; Centre for Democracy and Development, Yiaga Africa, Nigeria First Project, BudgIT, EiE Nigeria and Passionate Citizens Framing the New Nigeria of Our Dream.