The Labour Party (LP) Gubernatorial candidate in Kwara State in the 2019 elections, Comrade Issa Aremu has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s intervention at the heat of the crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
He appealed to INEC to suspend Edo and Ondo elections in honor of late Ajibola Ajimobi. Aremu, a member of National Institute Kuru Jos, said on Sunday in Kaduna that although he was not a member of the APC, any crisis in the ruling APC should be of utmost concern to compatriots.
According to him, “ a mark of statesmanship’ the recent intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari in steering the ruling party leadership from what he called “mutually destructive brinkmanship” and “imminent “ politicide” which he defined as additive acrimony and the deafening collapse of compromise, comradeship, and cooperation.”
He said “against the background of recent mutual suspensions, serial protests at APC secretariat and the eventual defection of Governor Godwin of Edo state from APC to PDP, President Buhari last Tuesday presided over an emergency NEC of the party during which he advised members of the party to bury hatchet, warning that “mutating disagreements have dire consequences and could lead to party self-destruction”.
Aremu observed that a crisis within a ruling party must be of grave concern because of what he perceived as it’s adverse implications for good governance.
He said “that a ruling party in crisis means actually a nation in “governance hemorrhage”.
He recalled that the internal crisis which rocked the ruling PDP created an atmosphere for deepening security challenge, the worst expression being the kidnapping of chibok girls in 2014 by Boko Haram militants, worsened corrupt practices, and reversal of economic growth of earlier years from Nigeria yet recovered.
“President Buhari has not just saved his party from self destruct ( his words! ) but has commendably inadvertently refocused the attention of all Nigerians to the current challenges of governance, the worst manifestation being the huge spikes in COVID:19 infection and fatality rates, ongoing commendable Presidential Taskforce interventions and the newly announced complementary Economic Sustainability agenda, “he said.
Aremu, a two time former Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and currently Vice President of IndustriALL Global Union, called for an urgent “quality control” of the country’s democratic process through what he called a strategic and systematic inculcation of “national ethics of Discipline, Integrity, Dignity of Labour, Social, Justice, Religious Tolerance, Self-reliance and Patriotism as envisaged by Chapter 11 of the 1999 constitution dealing with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy.
The frontline Labour leader said notwithstanding the “ongoing political discordant voices” within the ruling parties at national and states levels, Nigeria remains “the largest democracy destination” in Sub-Sahara Africa, citing as many as 80 million voters, 18 political parties after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had deregistered 74 political parties, thousands of old and new breed politicians, hundreds of legislators and governors as the “strengths” of Nigeria’s uninterrupted civil rule since 1999.
He however lamented that “political entrepreneurs and insular political warriors had since replaced genuine patriotic farsighted politicians of the first and second democratic republic, adding that “most of today’s politicians stood for no principles making them vulnerable, dysfunctional and inclusive of self-destruction”.
According to him, it was time for a “quality democratic process” in which “values and ethics in terms of ideology must return to politics and politics must return to ethics and ideology”.
He said more than ever before, Nigerian political class suffers “insufficiency of tolerance”, blind ambition without vision, “much-needed compromises, patience and unacceptable deficits of patriotism and cooperation needed for nation-building.”
He, therefore, called for what he called a new political movement for a truly progressive Nigeria with new Democratic culture that “serves the people, the people, the people before self .”
“Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey, To serve our Fatherland, With love and strength and faith, The labor of our heroes past.” alluding to the first stanza of the national anthem.
Commenting on the perceived failures of Adams Oshiomhole in politics as the failure of organized labor in politics, Comrade Aremu said, on the contrary, the challenges facing Oshimhole showed that democracy was too important to be left to any group whether, businessmen, contractors, lawyers or ex-military men, trade unionists or comrades.
” Democracy is about inclusion, contestation and those who win and ask for equity must come with democratic clean hands, failing which they face the consequences regardless of what they are called comrades or conmen.”
Aremu said he was among the earlier supporter of Oshiomhole as the second chairman of the ruling APC in the belief that as a former Union organizer, bargainer, negotiator, and statesman, globally adjudged two-term successful Edo Governor, with a rich background in the art of consultation, democracy, teamwork, persuasion would reinvent APC.
He said progressive forces were however saddened that Oshiomole would preside over a ruling party, the trademarks of which are “whimsical recourse to extra-constitutional legal pursuits with conflicting judgments, not justice, commercialization of nominations and candidatures, routing candidates through sensational findings on certifications even when Supreme Court had pronounced on the stupidity of papers, fetish, all combine to discredit the political class.
“There are so many whispers that all politicians are corrupt without credibility, scandalously that himself is a new- Godfather keeping elected legislators in Abuja instead of encouraging them to play politics a home”, he alleged.
Aremu insisted that “Nigeria and Africa need more tested trade unionists and non-state civil society actors in governance to uplift Africa from underdevelopment and inequality into prosperity and equity, citing, South Africa which elected Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, as the new South Africa President having also won as the Deputy President of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the oldest political movement in Africa.)
He also recalled that great pioneer unionists like late Michael Imoudu and Wahab Goodluck were active partisans who fought for independence and democracy with great politicians like Nnamdi Azikwe in NCNC.
He said it was gratifying that immediate-past National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has accepted the decision of the party’s National Executive Committee that dissolved the rowdy clumsy National Working Committee which he chaired and he even told his lawyers to withdraw all suits in court in obedience to the appeal of the President that all contending parties within the party withdraw their cases from the court.
He said it was time for bipartisan governance to fight the scourge of COVID: 19, damn the Virus, and ensure sustainable livelihoods through the new sustainability plan.