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A chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, and Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, Dr. Salihu Lukman, has called for the relocation of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, from the Ministry of Information to the Presidency to better position it to deliver on its mandate.
Lukman made the call in a statement issued Tuesday titled “Nigeria’s Challenge and need for Reorientation” and made available to journalists in Abuja.
Speaking on how the NOA can be transformed to get it to develop and drive the kind of strong mobilisation programme, which can begin to re-orient the mindsets of Nigerians and get everyone to take responsibility, Lukman said it may be necessary for it to be moved out of the Ministry of Information and make it a specialise agency of the Federal Government directly under the Presidency, adding that making it a specialise agency under the Presidency will strengthen its powers to be able to engage all agencies of government at all levels.
The PGF DG, who bemoaned the inability of NOA  to develop a strong mobilisation programme for Nigerians since 2015, noted that its current status as an agency under the Ministry of Information limits its powers and to that extent, its capacity to deliver on its mandate of mobilizing Nigerians to embrace positive behaviours and to that extent, therefore, envisioned a prosperous future for the country.
 The party chieftain expressed worry that the programmatic details of the ‘Change’ slogan of the APC which underlines the commitment of the party and its leadership to bring about change in the country, as articulated in the party’s manifesto are yet to be fully actualized because it requires a mobilisation programme in order to win the support of Nigerians.
He added that the absence of this mobilisation programme to engage Nigerians to take responsibility in their different fields of endeavours in responding to challenges facing the country has made it easy for opposition politicians to dent the party and its governments’.
Lukman posited that getting Nigerians to take responsibility in their different fields of endeavours in responding to challenges facing the country is a critical success factor in terms of producing the change envisioned by the APC and its leadership as articulated in the manifesto of the party.
He said, “Inability of Nigerians to take responsibility through initiating appropriate actions raises questions about the sustainability of initiatives of the government. Beyond questions of sustainability, there is the issue of public awareness and the associated challenges of public support and endorsements. It is not enough for government to initiate programmes and projects as responses to challenges facing the country. Public support and endorsements will be required to make them sustainable, which is not automatic.
“For instance, take the case of insecurity, which is the most important threat to the survival of the country. As much as combative military operations against insurgency in all its manifestations – banditry, kidnappings, abductions, etc. – is fundamental to restoring order and protection of lives and property in the country, equally important is also how Nigerians across all strata of social life are being mobilised to take responsibility in restoring order and guaranteeing the security of life and property in every part of the country.
“Therefore, beyond the question of insecurity, the broader issue of mobilising Nigerians to develop new orientation requires a programmatic national coverage.
“To be different, APC members should be able to appeal to the party’s leaders to urgently develop a strong mobilisation campaign that can connect citizens with all the initiatives of the government. As part of such a mobilisation campaign, raising public awareness about the initiatives’ government is taking should be a priority. The second thing is also to be able to provide feedback to the government about the effectiveness of initiatives taken by APC governments’ so far.
“As members of APC, we need to take responsibility and acknowledge that challenges facing the country require a strong mobilisation campaign as a fundamental requirement for bringing about change in the country. This is, at the moment, almost taken for granted. In fact, most of the distortions going on today in Nigerian public spaces, which attempts to dismiss the APC and its governments as a failure is large because of weak or absence of strong mobilisation programme.”


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