BEING THE TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE NATIONAL PUBLICITY SECRETARY OF THE YOUNG PROGRESSIVES PARTY, COMRADE EGBEOLA OLAWALE MARTINS ON SALIENT NATIONAL ISSUES ON OCTOBER 2, 2018.
58TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY: THE NEED FOR VISIONARY LEADERSHIP IN 2019.
Let me first on behalf of the leadership and teeming members of the Young Progressives Party commiserate with the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Air Staff, family and friends of the deceased and all Nigerians on the death of Squadron Leader Bello Mohammed Baba-Ari, the Nigerian Air Force pilot, who died in a F-7Ni aircraft crash in Abuja on Friday. This event though sad calls for sober reflection as we appeal to the Federal Government to please honour the memory of this fine pilot so that his sacrifice will not be in vain.
A French philosopher, Joseph de Maistreonce said “Every nation gets the government it deserves”. This quote was made even more popular by Abraham Lincoln when he captured it more succinctly as thus “Every country has the government it deserves” and “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.”
The above statement by Abraham Lincoln may not be entirely true in the case of Nigeria considering our political sojourn in the past 58years. While we had selfless and visionary leaders in the mould of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Sir Ahmadu Bello in years that heralded our independence and all through the first republic, the same cannot be said of leaders we have had since the military truncated democracy in 1966.
Our greatest calamity as a nation has been lack of visionary leaders with capacity to think from the future, which explains why almost six decades after independence, Nigeria is currently the poverty capital of the world, the nation with the highest number of out of school children coupled with the record of having the highest rate of maternal mortality in the world.
Even though it seems like there is nothing to celebrate after 58years, the fact that Nigerians are now beginning to get more involved in order to ensure that charlatans no longer find their way to positions of leadership gives hope that it is not too late to rewrite the wrongs done by past myopic, self-centred and visionless leaders.
While congratulating Nigerians on the occasion of her 58th independence anniversary, the Young Progressives Party offers to Nigerians an opportunity to solve the leadership conundrum that has plagued us for so long by supporting and voting for all candidates on our platform with Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, the Presidential candidate of our great party as the epitome of this new breed of bold leadership without greed so that the people of Nigeria can begin to get the kind of leaders they truly deserve.
CHANGE OF DATES OF OUR PARTY PRIMARIES
Having successfully conducted our Presidential Primary on September 8th, which saw the emergence of Prof. kingsley Moghalu as our Presidential flag bearer coupled with staggered primaries in Imo, Benue, Ogun and FCT, our party has resolved to do a final change of date of our Party Primaries to enable us democratically nominate candidates for the election as required by sections 85(1) & 87(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) as follows :-
Combining all other remaining primaries to be held on the same date; namely:- ON SATURDAY, 06TH OCTOBER, 2018, with the exception of the Nomination of Councillors in all the Wards of the Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory which shall be held on Thursday, 04th October, 2018 and AMAC/BWARI Federal Constituency to be held on Friday 05th October, 2018.
Therefore our revised time-table for the Primaries are as follows:-
(1) Saturday, 06th October, 2018: Nomination of Area Council Chairmen in all the 6 Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory;
(2) Saturday, 06th October, 2018: Nomination of House of Assembly Candidates in all the States of the Federation;
(3) Saturday, 06th October, 2018: Nomination of House of Representatives Candidate in all the 360 Federal Constituencies of the Federation;
(4) Saturday, 06th October, 2018: Nomination of Senatorial Candidates in the remaining 107 Senatorial Districts of the Federation;
(5) Saturday, 06th October, 2018: Nomination of Gubernatorial Candidates in 34 States of the Federation, (as Imo and Ogun States had held theirs already).
ON THE JUST CONCLUDED GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION IN OSUN STATE
After a careful assessment of the just concluded Osun governorship election with emphasis on the rerun, which took place in some selected polling units, it is now clear that democracy like never before is in grave danger after the APC muscled the will of Osun people through vote buying, intimidation and violence. The APC has succeeded in not only replicating the undemocratic actions widely condemned during the dark reign of the PDP but has further raised the bar of impunity in a desperate bid to remain in power at all cost.
The killings, maiming cum disenfranchisement of voters through intimidation, harassment of journalists and civil society observers in a rerun of not more than seven polling units and less than three thousand eligible voters shows how far the APC government is willing to go to crush anybody and anything that stands in the way of their ruthless ambition.
We condemn the Osun rerun election because it was not a credible, free and fair contest and could not have reflected what the good people of Osun wanted especially on the backdrop of irredeemable poor performance of the incumbent Governor who has placed the entire workforce of the State of Osun on half salaries in the past three and half years and also succeeded in dragging this once competitive State in terms of Education and all round development 20years backward.
There is no where in the world except under the failed leadership of the APC that re-election has been a reward for non performance. It contradicts logical reasoning that the APC wants us to believe that Nigerians massively voted against the PDP in 2015 on account of non performance yet propagate a contrary narrative by wanting us to believe that they would be embraced despite an obviously terrible performance since taking over the mantle of leadership.
Having pauperized Nigerians under the joint administration of the PDP and APC in the last 19years in the worst democratic period ever witnessed by mankind with the PDP laying a foundation for impunity and the hypocritical APC building on same, both parties have now devised the vote buying approach invented by PDP and improved upon by APC to take the option of choice in a democratic process away from the hands of the poor masses.
While PDP lacked the moral justification to cry foul because that which they allowed to fester while in power is now hunting them, it is however no justification for the APC to continue this reign of impunity. We are amazed that the APC has learnt nothing both as opposition in recent past and currently as a ruling party but let us assure the powermongers in APC that just like the voting masses revolted against the PDP in 2015, same fate awaits them in 2019 as the time for honouring themselves through this tyrannical reign of terror will soon come to an end.
Though the governorship election may have had some semblance of credibility, the rerun that saw the APC candidate emerge as winner was a complete sham. However, we appeal for calm and implore all aggrieved parties to fully explore the opportunity availed by the judiciary, which is the only beacon of hope under the current oppressive administration of the All Progressives Congress.
Until Nigerians come to the full realization of the need to begin to reject both the PDP and APC, nothing will change because the same lack of ideas from these parties that have driven Nigeria to the point of precipice will continue. Unfortunately, the people of Osun should be ready to endure another torrid 4years of half salaries, indebtedness and cluelessness except there is any kind of redemption.
In conclusion, we call on all Nigerians to please join the YPP train of redemption to rescue our great nation from the strangulation of the APC and PDP. Since it is crystal clear that APC has proven not to be the solution we expected then going back to the PDP, the source of our many problems is definitely not an option.
Comrade Egbeola Olawale Martins
National Publicity Secretary.