The Progressives : Then and Now

Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a  political leader of Yoruba extraction, who lived and acted by example.

His leadership style impacted positively on the Yoruba people in all spheres of life, but it is doubtful if those who hold sway today, followed his footsteps.

Chief Awolowo had a formidable political structure, with established hierarchy, that outlived him. Meetings were held at his Ikenne, Ogun state  residence.

After he passed on to glory, in the days of military rule, Pa Adekunle Ajasin took over the mantle of leadership. During Pa Ajasin’s time, meetings were held at his Owo, Ondo state home.  This was the foundation of the National Democratic Coalition(NADECO). The platform of Pro Democracy Activists during the dark years of military rule.

On the glorious home call of Pa Ajasin, Pa Abraham Adesanya became the leader of the group, up till the end of the military era.

In the course of Pa Adesanya’s leadership, those who could best be described as Pseudo Awoists and Pseudo Democrats were accepted into the fold.

Sadly, the foundation progressives were barred from the group, this was hinged on the fact that they served under the inglorious regime of late Military Despot, General Sani Abacha.

Now known as Afenifere, the group seemingly selected its members, while ensuring a close relationship with the Alliance for Democracy(AD). This did not go down well with others who had different political inclinations.

The composition of the group included, the first generation Awoists, the second 11 and the new elements. The new elements eventually hijacked the structure through unconventional means, taking advantage of the weaknesses of the group.

Out of the first generation Awoists, only a one time Governor of Lagos state in the Second Republic, Alhaji Lateef Jakande is alive.

However, Chiefs Bisi Akande and Segun Osoba  emerged after the first generation Awoists, while the remaining were yet to emerge during the functional and active period of the group.

In an interview session with a Lagos based news magazine years back, the Director of Organization of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria(UPN) in the Second Republic and now a member of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Chief Ebenezer Babatope disclosed that during the last convention of the UPN in 1982, Chief Awolowo expressed hope that a time will come when the good elements of the conservatives will join the good elements of the progressives to form a synthesis.

But present happenings in political parties in the land contradict this synthesis.

Polarization and division in the parties  were  the means to the present scheme of things, even though the foundation progressives embarked on the  free education policy to empower the Yoruba people.

Strangely, capitalism side by side nocturnal ideals and  preferences have played great roles in shaping the well being of the South-West Geo-Political zone of Nigeria, much to the disappointment of the disillusioned and impoverished people.

 

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Some Nigerian Leaders Oppose A One Party State.

At the time former Governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomole was celebrating his first year in office, Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka delivered a lecture, titled ”Electoral Integrity Begets Governance Integrity”.

According to Prof. Soyinka, electoral reforms remained the ultimate solution in the process of making preparations for credible future elections.

Indeed, Nigeria operates a multi-party system which does not encourage the proponents of a one party sate to thrive.

Interestingly, the former Edo state Governor had called on Nigerians to share in his philosophy of rising against those proposing a one party state for the country.

Of not, is the fact that in 2009, incumbent President, former Vice President, who was also the Presidential candidate of the Action Congress(AC) in the 2007 elections and a former Governor of Sokoto and state, and Presidential candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party(DPP), Attahiru Bafarawa, despite their glaring differences, had joined forces to prevent Nigeria from becoming a one party state under the rule of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). They operated under the name, National Democratic Initiative(NDI).

”Something must be done urgently to reverse our descent into one party dictatorship and possible anarchy, the former Vice President had warned, while disclosing that a number of Nigerian leaders had come together to establish a broad, mass based movement of committed democrats and patriots to save the country from ”imminent collapse”.

Today, one of the selfless leaders that belonged to the NDI, is the President, and Nigerians are expressing worries over unfolding events, which suggest that the country is fast drifting into a one party state.

They might not be wrong, if the selective anti-corruption fight by Government is anything to go by.

Indeed, other members of the National Democratic Initiative also belong to the ruling arty,even though it is not clear if they are righteous people, with the predicament of Nigerians in mind. What is their source of inspiration and driving force ? Greed ! Perhaps.

Oyo Tertiary Institutions Workers Groan, As State Govt. Pays workers One Month Salaries

As workers in  all the tertiary institutions institutions in Oyo state continue to lament their pitiable condition occasioned by ttatehe none payment of their several months salary arrears, the  state Government has opted to pay public and civil servants in the state a month’s salaries.

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The workers who berated the state Government for its insensitive and non- chalant attitude, are praying for God’s intervention.

They also insisted that it was with great difficulties that they make efforts to meet up with their domestic obligations, while  that their children and wards were sent out of their various schools because they could not pay for their school fees.

In the same vein, informed sources disclose that the state  Government had to agree to pay a  month’s salaries, after various interest groups  made ceaseless appeals for it to do so.

Reacting to this development, the Chairman Trade Union Congress (TUC) Comrade Emmanule Ogundiran said that workers in the sate will celebrate the festivities in happiness.

”As at today we  still believe that workers will celebrate the yuletide. His Excellency,  agreed to pay one month last week and anther one month, before the end of the  week.

As at last Friday, workers started receiving alerts  for one month salaries and  before the end of the week they will receive another bank alert for another month’s salaries”, Comrade Ogundiran concluded.

Sadly, there are conflicting figures on the actual number of months of salary arrears the state Government owes its workers

The Urgent Need for The Peoples’ Votes To Count In Nigeria

In Nigeria today, Nigerians exercise their civic responsibilities at the polling booths, with hunger and poverty in the land intheir  minds.

This is to the advantage  of the contestants, who are extremely desperate to garner votes, to give them unhindered access to the Government treasury.

Sadly, at the Local  and State Government levels, the electorate are’blindfolded’ to vote for unknown candidates, who at the long run behave true to type, after winning elections. Since, they do not know those who voted for them, they immediatley disconnect with the electorate, once they occupy public office.

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Although sources of funds of contestants is of great importance, same  has not been given serious attention over the years.

However, in the time past, specifically 2007, the situation was quite different, when Princess Patience Ajudua won election into the Delta state House of Assembly on the Platform of the Accord Party, to represent Oshimili North state constituency.

The people of the  state constituency voted for whom they know very well and who also know them very well.

Princess Ajudua is from the Ajudua familyt of Ibusa, a family which has impacted poisitively, on the lives of the people.

The family, singlehandedly tarred the major link road from St. Augustine Primary school to the General hospital in Ibusa.

In addition the family rehabilitated and resuscitated the water reservoir in the community for the benefit of the people, while also ensuring that it constructed  an ultra moderm library inside St. Augustine Primary school. It also granted scholarships to imdigent students of the community.

Not done yet, the family established a community bank and named it after the founder of Ibusa, Umeje.

Indeed, personal resources had gone into the empowerment of the people , before Princess Ajudua became the peoples’ representative.

Such instances are rare in the present dispensation, considering the lies, deceit and unfulfilled promises of the elected representatives of the people.

The people have actually identified those who can deliver the dividends of Democracy, unfortunately, those identified do not belong to the two dominant  political parties in Nigeria. Although, Nigeria is not operating a two party system, the two political parties have up till date won  almost all elective positions in the country .

Of worry, is the  fact that most of the elected rperesntatives are rubber stamps to any decision taken by the Executive, even if  such decisions against the interests of the people they claim to represent.

Sadly, the cries of the people, that they are tired of cosmetic empowerment  programmes, have fell on deaf ears.

Curiously, the people insist that their votes did not count in the 2015 general  elections in a number of states of the federation, this they say resulted in the presence of strange faces as their representatives in public offices .

For the major purpose of economic growth and development, Government should do all within its capacity to ensure that the peoples’ votes count, and depend less on imposition and manipulation. Hopefully.

 

 

The Wages of Shielding Corrupt Persons

In 1996, when Jose Maria Aznar became the Prime Minister of Spain, the country was ranked among the poorest in Europe.

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Weighed down by the home grown separatists, deteriorating economy and penetrating poverty, Spain was not in the competition within Europe.

However, within a space of five years,  Aznar made the difference. He turned around the economy of Spain, and effectively curtailed the activities of terrorists in the Basque region. At a point in time, the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) of Spain was more than those of Canada and Russia.

Spain regained its frontline position in Europe, while its citizens had a refreshing  new lease of life,  for the period  it lasted.

With this as a background,  the present administration in Nigeria has since its inception on May 29th, 2015, focused on corrupt elements outside the corridors of power.

Curiously, happenings have indicated that no political office holder either former or serving, who belongs to the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) has come under the searchlight of the anti-graft agency-the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC). The EFCC has been ferocious, in its hunt for  those in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). Blackmail, intimidation and threats are now tools in the hands of those with the wherewithal, to whip dissenting voices to submission.

Of worry, is the visible signs of corruption that are present in every nook and cranny of most states of the Federation.

A dangerous method on parade presently, is the public indictment of targeted passt or serving politically exposed persons, in a bid to frighten them to part ways with their political ambitions. Also of note, is the existence of the ‘untouchables’, these are the individuals who bankrolled the present administration to power.

Out of self preservation, those indicted and the ‘untouchables’, support the ‘status quo’, while their ‘wrong doings’  are discreetly, swept under the carpet. Among the lot are ‘spoilers’ and thos co-opted to mislead the citizenry.

With this as the latest  template, the present administration, as could be observed from  happenings, has continuously exhibited its inability to be sincere in its fight against corruption in the land.

Sadly, Nigeria might not be able to follow the path of Spain, as long as identified corrupt persons remain in Government and are vigorously shielded from prosecution.

Nigerian Politics and The People’s Predicament

In politics, lessons are repeatedly taught and learnt. It is now left for those involved to modify their gains and loses to suit the situation they eventually find themselves.

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Regrettably, the laws of Niccolo Machiavelli have all along been wrongly applied in this clime.

After the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) convention in 2003, Chief Barnabas Gemade made spirited attempts to be adopted as the Presidential candidate of the United Nigeria Peoples Party(UNPP), but failed. This was Chief Gemade’s fall back option, when his future in the PDP became uncertain.

Indeed, Chief Gemade was the backbone of the UNPP, in his home state, Benue, even though he was a card carrying member of the PDP. Not surprisingly, meetings were held in his home, with Chief Gemade in attendance. Of note, is that is followers held him in high esteem.

Curiously, it was discovered that the former PDP National Chairman, contested the Presidential primaries, alongside, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, with the intention to use same as a bargaining chip to persuade the then President to compensate him with a ‘mouth watering’ political appointment. This did not sail through.

Indeed, double standards, as a means to an end in politics has become a unique brand in Nigerian politics.

Chief Gemade began losing his followers, after he abandoned Senator Daniel Saror, who he successfully convinced to let go of his senatorial ambition to contest for the Benue governorship seat on the platform of the UNPP.

To be extra sure that Senator Saror abandoned his ambition, Chief Gemade boosted his morale financially and that was how Senator Saror was able to purchase the UNPP nomination form for a whooping N2 million.

Interestingly, at the Swange cinema hall, Makurdi venue of the governorship primaries, Chief Gemade, with the financial backing of a political money bag, Usman Abubakar(a.k.a Young Alhaji) influenced the leadership of the UNPP in the state to adopt Mike Mku, instead of Senator Saror as the party’s Gubernatorial candidate.

Already, aspirants for elective positions in future elections are aligning and re aligning, while hinging their intentions on optimism.

Indeed, a sizable number of these aspirants rely solely on optimism and money(for the money bags), as a strategy to hoodwink their competent opponents to the bargaining table, with hope that rewarding agreements would be made.

With this in mind, the average Nigerian, contending with insecurity and economic hardships, brought about by bad governance, is of the hope that the same quality of political office holders, presently on display, would not re-emerge to torment and torture all and sundry in a new dispensation.

About Behaviour                About Attitude               About Values

Political Office Holders As Servants of the People

The basis for true civilization is the respect for law and order. Due process and the rule of law, features prominently in the lexicon of societies all over the world.

Indeed, unstable power supply, lack of good roads, declining standard of education, unreliable health care delivery, high unemployment rate and insecurity are just some of the challenges threatening  the diminishing  hopes of Nigerians, who before this time, had high expectations.

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The myriad of challenges persist because the political class are in short  supply of Democrats, who possess finesse and are willing to embrace the culture of Democracy and the rule of law.

At a point in time in Nigeria’s history, the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari was the Presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party(ANPP), while a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar was the standard bearer of the Action Congress(AC). The stake holders of the coalition are now singing different tunes.

Indeed, constitutional Democracy is a vital tool for a stable united Nigeria, with emphasis on unity in diversity.

This line of thought recommends that the  of leaders of each ethnic group should have  a basic willingness to engage in cooperative efforts with the leaders of other segments in a spirit of moderation and compromise, while still retaining the support and loyalty of their own followers.

The commitment of leaders of all ethnic segments to the continued unity of the country becomes crucial and debatable.

Without doubt unity is synonymous with the safety of lives and property, in a workers’ friendly environment. With this in mind, it would not be wrong to call for the restructuring of the Nigeria Police Force by Government and at the same time, it is high time workers restructured their trade unions for better results.

In the present dispensation, a major characteristic of governance at all tiers, is the constant abuse of power.

Sadly, over the years, the servant leadership ideology has failed to take root in the country’s national life, with political and public office holders as prominent actors.

However, Nigerians are hoping that sometime very soon, political and public office holders will reconsider their present positions, and become servants of the people. Maybe.

About Attitude                                           About Behaviour

 

 

Agitations : Nigerians Should Follow The Path of Constitutionality and Law- Senator

Nigerians with grievances have been called upon to follow due process and the rule of law, while agitating for a change in the status quo.

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This call was made  by the Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

“Whoever has genuine grievances should follow the path of constitutionality, law, dialogue, love, brotherhood and peace. We are one. We have the resilience and infinite capacity to handle all challenges confronting us as a people”.

“Every Nigerian should feel at home and protected wherever he or she finds himself or herself in the territory of Nigeria”.

“So I want to strongly advise and appeal for peace and urge our security agencies to be vigilant and maintain the peace at all times. We don’t want our fellow citizens to be intimidated, harassed or killed extra-judicially for whatever reasons”.

“I must advise also that this should not be a pretext by any security agent to harass our peace-loving people. That shouldn’t happen at all.  Let’s constantly engage with ourselves in wisdom as we build a better society for all, Senator Omo-Agege  concluded.