The Centrist Manifesto of New World Ideology
By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
The centrist manifesto by Uchenna Nwankwo; Centrist Books – An imprint of Centrist Productions Ltd, Ikeja, Lagos; 2022; 202pp
Books that change history aren’t heavy tomes. In 1848 the world was shaken by the publication of The communist manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The battle cry across the world has become: “Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains! The underlying statement was: “The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles.” The revolution has become the rage all over the world. Now in this year of Our Lord, getting out of Nigeria is the historic book The centrist manifesto by Uchenna Nwankwo.
It is crucial to reiterate the two quotes that launch Uchenna Nwankwo’s speech The centrist manifesto. The first is a quote from Albert Einstein, namely: “If at the beginning the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope.” Then comes the quote from Miguel de Unamuno: “Only he who attempts the absurd is able to achieve the impossible.”
Society as a whole almost always puts the stamp of absurdity on the forehead of any original thinker. In Nigeria where most people prefer to eat and consume rather than think of origin, the thinker Uchenna Nwankwo amply represents an endangered species. The saving grace is that even if the original thinker is scorned at first, as history attests, he eventually achieves victory. For example, Galileo Galelei was made to backtrack on his observation that the earth revolved around the sun by the Catholic Church, but the Church had to apologize to the scientist in the end.
Uchenna Nwankwo is a prolific author who has been hailed by legendary titans such as the first Nigerian President, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, former US President George Bush, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former French President Francois Mitterrand , former United Nations Secretary General Javier Perez De Cuellar and former Commonwealth Secretary General Emeka Anyaoku.
The centrist manifesto paves the way for convergence at the Center as opposed to quondam extremisms of the left and the right. The author freely admits that centrism is not an easy thing to achieve since he writes that “it must be observed that the Center itself has remained for too long a varied, vaguely defined and nebulous concept”.
Starting in Nigeria, where political parties emerge from a numbing lack of seriousness with no ideology to brag about, Uchenna Nwankwo reaches out to the world, armed with the biblical saying that “my people perish for lack of vision”. . According to Uchenna Nwankwo, “The prospect of the emergence and maintenance of a virile and just society depends on the viability of the vision and ideology on which the society is founded, built or managed. The absence or non-enforcement of such a viable vision in the management of the affairs of the Nigerian country-state as well as most other countries of the world has for too long left the country and the world at large reeling in all the senses. the word.”
Uchenna Nwankwo’s centrist intervention aimed at bringing Nigeria and the world onto a path of sustainable development, growth, greatness and stability is anchored on the three-pronged channel of “(a) socio – economic measured; (b) a thorough examination of the concept of egalitarianism and the nature and characteristics of the model of social stratification for planet Earth as approved or ordained by the Almighty Lord; and of course (c) a pragmatic socio-political format.
On the socio-economic level of Nigeria, the author condemns individual businesses that dominate spaces as opposed to businesses, societies and systems that promote growth. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are failing through the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) and the privatization policy. The phenomenon of perennial depreciation on the part of labor ranges from the local to the universal. It is therefore necessary to adopt pragmatic measures combining socialism and capitalism, as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in the United States to save the country from the Great Depression of 1929 to 1939. This is the crux of centrist ideology. .
Uchenna Nwankwo delves into egalitarianism, communism, Marxism-Leninism, Euro-communism, fascism, classical capitalism, modern capitalism, socialism and nationalization before focusing on lifestyle or centrist ideology which, according to him, “you can say that it evolved naturally from the beginning of time.
Delineating the elementary and secondary distribution of political power, the author begins with monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, before delving into Nigeria’s special and unique status as a “Babel” having “more than 250 ethnicities and language groups (not to mention its multi-religious and multi-cultural status and, of course, ethno-developmental differences and dichotomies).
Finally, Uchenna Nwankwo in The centrist manifesto takes to the world stage to tackle the neglected and uncharted terrain of the issue of equitable distribution of power among nations or countries at the global forum. He argues that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) can truly function as the World Assembly or Legislature if an equitable format for the sharing or distribution of power is achieved.
After the statement of the theory, there is the ultimate drive of praxis. Putting the ideas of Uchenna Nwankwo into The centrist manifesto in effective practice, interested Nigerians are here urged to form a new party which should serve as a political vehicle to anchor and ensure the entrenchment of centrist ideology in Nigeria. The biblical injunction insists that new wine should not be put into an old vessel to avoid contamination or ruin.
Nigeria can follow the example of the transformation of old Russia. Nikolai Chernychevsky wrote a novel called what is there to do? Lenin followed up with his own book, also titled what is there to do? Words turned into deeds and the Russian Revolution happened. Uchenna Nwankwo gave the words for the change needed in Nigeria.
The centrist manifesto presents an ideology whose time has come.
Thank you all.
- A Review presented at the launch of The centrist manifesto on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, Nigeria.