Toronto – Toronto resident, student (York University) and community philanthropist, Mr. Michael Bobby Obodo, Jr., has launched an initiative that promises to be historic- One Million Youths for Change in Nigeria. It was founded on June 18, 2009. It is geared towards mobilizing one million youths from across the globe, Nigerians and non-Nigerians, to a Million Person March in Nigeria, in (July ending or early August) 2011, which will help in strengthening the new wave of sociopolitical change that is already permeating the country.
At the rally, Michael intends to hand a 10-point petition to the President of Nigeria that represents and expresses the collective desires of all Nigerians, on what they demand of the government in order to put Nigeria on a path towards success. The purpose of the million man march is not to rein blames or point accusing fingers at the leaders. It is to get the leaders to come out en masse, hold hands with the youths, and March into a new and more prosperous Nigeria, together.
Below, are excerpts from some of Michael’s speeches on why he thinks the million person march need to happen:
“Nigerians are not oblivious to challenges their leaders face in governing the polity. These leaders are like family to us; and for this, we understand their difficulties. But we also recognize the fact that there are areas which we all need to come together and strengthen: accountability in government, an end to corruption by some at the top, an end to unemployment for graduates, an end to tribalism and favoritism based on social, class, and ethnic ties, an end to constant electric power failures, an end to deaths from treatable sickness and diseases, an end to the ethnic and religious wars, and many more, all of which are fixable, if only Nigerians can come together.”
“I believe, strongly, in the power and courage of the youths. Without the active involvement of the youths, and the allowance of them, by the government, into the affairs and governance of Nigeria, these issues may never be rectified.”
“I feel now, more than ever, that there is no other time, but now, for both local and international news networks to help the youths of Nigeria to spread the word and make this rally a reality. The interconnectedness of our world today has reinforced our human communal characteristics and responsibility to one another, that when a good or bad thing happens anywhere in the world, it affects everybody everywhere in the world. I hope the world does not allow this unprecedented spirit of patriotism and involvement that has engulfed the hearts and minds of the youths, to quench.
The website is witnessing meaningful engagements among members; the Facebook page of this initiative is enjoying nearly ten thousand in membership from concerned youths (Nigerians and non-Nigerians) across the globe; the twitter and fan pages are both attracting the attention of many; and the Youtube videos put out by this organization are also attracting the attention of thousands. It is no surprise why internationally renowned musicians and actors- like 2face, Eldee, The Kentro Family, Runs Tee, Blacko Blaze, Chief Yinka Fayinde, Ini Edo, and individuals in political leadership positions- are expressing their support for and participation/performances at the rally. The million man march in Nigeria may really be one that history will record.