Originally Published On Feb 18, 2020
In the words of Femi Falana (SAN), Africa’s foremost human rights lawyer about the new book on Nigeria, “…In the main, the book is a wake-up call to the youths who have left the fate of the country in the soiled hands of corrupt and selfish politicians who have arrested the development of the country. No doubt, Nigeria has a large percentage of young people but out of ignorance about strategies to win elections, the political space has been polluted and taken over by power mongers. Convinced that the youths are very passionate about transforming Nigeria, the author is critical of the lack of understanding of the rudiments of politics. He says that the involvement of the youths through the social media is not sufficient to make any meaningful impact on the politics of the country. According to the author, election is unarguably the bedrock of democratic governments. Hence, all modern democracies hold or conduct elections on a regular basis. He is however highly disturbed to note that the electoral process of the country is manipulated by the political class for the sole purpose of maintaining the status quo. He is of the firm view that the time has come to reform the nation’s electoral landscape.”
“Liberating Nigeria: A Guide to Winning Elections and Reviving our Country”, written by Debo Onifade was top 200 best seller under Political Freedom book category on Amazon, and remains one of the only few books on Nigerian politics that clearly focuses on election-winning strategies and policy solutions. In Nigeria, book is also available through top classified ads website in Nigeria and leading bookshops across the country. The author believes that Nigerians have complained about and analyzed their problems long enough, and that it is now time for young people and new-breed politicians to elevate the discussion from mere rhetoric, sensationalism and fantasy to apt understanding of smart politics and solutions. Using facts and history and comparing Nigeria’s political peculiarities with other successful political revolutions across the world, Onifade explains election-winning strategies and policy priorities for Nigeria. He concluded that since most traditional politicians in Nigeria will remain corruptly oppressive, and rebellion or revolt will not succeed in Nigeria, young people could either give up in despair or unify their efforts alongside older patriotic politicians to liberate Nigeria from our oppressors. This will require a lot of learning, patience and readiness to sacrifice ambitions.
“The author argues that it is incumbent on the people clamoring for the transformation of Nigeria from poverty to prosperity to submit themselves to a credible electoral process by actively participating in the election process with a more coordinated approach than ephemeral social media debates….In the 200-page book, Debo Onifade has demonstrated his passion and commitment to the task of liberating Nigeria from political and economic quagmire. He is a patriot who has painstakingly written this book as his intellectual contribution to the task of nation building. Indeed, it is a contribution that has been enriched by a combination of his deep knowledge of Nigeria and extensive experience in the United States. Even though the author currently lives in the United States, his penchant quest for good governance in Nigeria runs through the entire book…In view of the foregoing, I have no hesitation in recommending the book to politicians – young and old, electoral bodies, political parties and other stakeholders in the politics of the country.” – Femi Falana SAN.
Onifade, who has a master’s degree in engineering management from Tufts University (USA) and a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) has published essays, articles and books. And some of his essays have won him awards inside and outside Nigeria, including an IEEE prize at the historic Bletchley Park, UK in 2004, a Professor Femi Osofisan prize at the University of Ibadan in 1999, and a National Orientation Agency Award in Abeokuta, Nigeria in 1998. Onifade is a registered electrical engineer in Nigeria, has several IT certifications and is also a soccer coach, policy enthusiast and historian. The book is different because unlike previously published similar books, the texts are very simple, focused on solutions (not the problems) and easily comprehensible by Nigerians and non-Nigerians that are new to African politics.
The book explains that no matter how brilliant Nigerian technocrats and citizens are, if the country cannot cannot elect good people into power, it will continue to suffer. The author will be featuring on major television programs across Nigeria to discuss his vision for Nigerian politics. As mentioned earlier, book is now available in Nigeria at Delon.ng (a classifieds that also teaches people how to create or grow their business), and leading bookstores. On the author’s website are three quotes that he says are his guiding quotes for his new found political love: (1) When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle – Edmund Burke (2) One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors – Plato (3) The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis – Dante Alighieri.
“Liberating Nigeria: A Guide to Winning Elections and Reviving our Country” is indeed a top Nigerian book that everyone lover of global politics should read. Whether you’re in Europe, Asia, North America, South America or Africa, as long as you have some interests or connections with Nigeria, this is a must-read book. And for those that really want to play active roles in developing Nigeria, we must start reading Nigerian Political Books again. The book explains that new-breed politicians are not perfect or dogmatically ideological people, but they are selfless, visionary, not corrupt, decisive, adherent to the rule of law, humble, fair to all tribes and religions, resolute, and persuasive. It extensively discussed about building coalitions with several different groups across the northern and southern parts of Nigeria, without which a liberation could not happen.
According to the author, “Like many Nigerians, my strong passion for our dear country has been overwhelmed many times with despair. But the fact that I cannot stop weeping about the poverty, insecurity, poor health care, educational crisis, and corruption across our land always reminds me that I still love the country. If you have similar deep concerns about Nigeria, it means that you are indeed a stakeholder in the process of liberating Nigeria from our corrupt rulers. Transforming Nigeria will take several years, but we can steadily begin the process by humbling ourselves to learn the rudiments of politics. This book is a manual for election-winning strategies and policy priorities within a four-year term. I do not claim to have all the answers, but I make my suggestions based on the history of successful political liberation in different parts of the world, my in-depth understanding of Nigerian issues and politics, and my vast experience of relating with Nigerian politicians and brilliant minds across the world….Finally, we need to understand that our options are currently limited to only democracy. Military coups are no longer fashionable or acceptable around the world, and I do not support them. Nigeria has also not done well in the past under the military—so there is certainly no wisdom in praying for a military take-over in Nigeria. As of this writing, some people have started clamoring for revolution, but let’s be frank with ourselves: an effective revolution will not happen in Nigeria. We are certainly not that resolute. The typical South West people will not give up their lives for a revolution, the majority of the youths in the North East and North West will not engage in revolution against their leaders, and the South East, South South, and North Central elites who have huge investments in Lagos and Abuja will not support a revolution. So the percentage of Nigerians who are ready for some serious revolution is certainly not adequate to seize power. I do not support any violent revolution, but I am also experienced enough to know a successful revolution cannot happen in Nigeria. The only way to liberate Nigeria is to get new-breed politicians into power through a democratic process. Let us begin that process today by learning what it takes to win elections. It is time to liberate Nigeria!”
Finally, the author explains in recent interviews that rather than abuse one another over social media platforms, Nigerian youths across the length and breadth of Nigeria and beyond need to unite to compete against the corrupt elite minority. He believes that the young people have adequate numbers to win elections if they can form a single party and strong alliance. He encourages them to seek mentorship from traditional politicians and focus on building a strong party before thinking about elective positions. For people interested in digital copies, the kindle version is $3.49 and Amazon Kindle app can be downloaded free of charge on a phone or tablet. Paperback is available at $12.99.