NATIONAL Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Wednesday said that Nigerians have the right to protest but must properly articulate their grievances.
Briefing State House correspondents after a meeting of the APC National Working Committee, NWC, with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, Comrade Oshiomhole condemned Omoyele Sowore, the convener of the Global Coalition for Security and Democracy for the revolution protest on Monday.
He said that Sowore who was the Presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC and the Sahara Reporters publisher decided to lead the protest after failing to win the February 23 2019 presidential election. What does Sowore want now that Nigerians must make him president? – Oshiomhole According to him, “What was the reason for protest? Let’s be honest! I have led series of protest even to this villa. Whoever wants to protest should articulate the particulars of his grievances and make specific demands about the solutions that he wants.
“So what exactly as far as you know as members of the fourth estate of the realm, that Sowore, the publisher of Sahara reporters, a presidential candidate, cleared by INEC to bid for power, who had opportunity to ask Nigerians to vote for him. “Now Nigerians have voted, the votes have been counted and he was not a favoured candidate,what does he want now? That Nigerians must make him the president? Because we all have to be careful, nobody should talk as if we have another country. “We have challenges but somehow we have all resolved as a people that the way and route to power in the ballot box.
Our task as a people I to continue to work to clean up the system so that only Nigerians alone shall determine who governs them at all levels. That I believe is a legitimate thing to fight for. “But if you want over throw, you want a revolution then he should have spared us the INEC putting him on the ballot paper. “I don’t want to talk about this but I believe Nigerians have a right to protest, I believe people have a right to contest issues, people have the right to disagree. I have often said government doesn’t have the right to dictate to people how to protest, but you must state exactly what you want. “I ask you to name any country in the world where somebody stands up and say after the election that I contested and lost, now therefore I want revolution.
“Go and check the dictionary and political meaning of a revolution, if it comes it will be like the Christmas turkey, nobody knows which one will be first slaughtered on Christmas. ” I think we do need to take things seriously, we have serious issues in this country, I have my own reservations about many things but we have submitted to this process and we must work hard to make it work. Nigeria must deliver to the poor, APC government must deliver. ” Oshiomhole explained that they were at the Villa to congratulate the President as it was the first time after the elections the National Working Committee of the party was officially coming to congratulate him at the State House. He said,” We have had a couple of meetings with Mr. President since his re-election but an exclusive meeting between members of the national working committee and the president and Vice President had not taken place. ”
So this is the first one and it was natural that we congratulate him but also to remind ourselves that this renewed mandate is a call to duty and there is a lot to be done to deliver to the people of Nigeria. The party, the executive, the National Assembly all of us working together sharing ideas, we are much more likely to make faster progress and those are the sort of things we discussed.
“We also assured the president our commitment to build institute for progressive studies. Because, the people of Nigeria is that people belong to various political parties, they don’t event understand the ideology of that party if they have any, some are not even familiar with the manifestos and they don’t have conversations about how appropriate or inappropriate those manifestos are.
“And you will find that people holding very high position on government both legislative and executive and even so party leaders may not even be aware of what we stand for. ” And so we told the president we are going to build institute for progressive studies so that people understand what defines us, what is the essence of progressive politics, basically is about social democracy. ”
So our party must be seen to be pro-poor, putting policies in place that will lift our people out of poverty and recreate the Nigeria middle class. Unless you recreate the Nigeria middle class, you are not going to have a stable and a peaceful society. “The tragedy for now is that over the period people are either very poor or they are very rich. The president has to provide leadership working with the National Assembly leadership to see how we can over the next four years deliver, so that the current situation of extremely poor and extremely rich will is bridged by recreating the middle class.
“Secondly, as a political party which is committed to social democracy, we want to make sure that everybody elected on the platform of our party understands dos and don’ts, in terms of politics and a policy choices, our commitment to egalitarian society and all of those things that makes a progressive party different from a Conservative party. “We think this is not something we want to be doing on adhoc basis. We don’t want to go and sleep because we have won election, the fact that we have won election means a call to duty, so we have to work together to ensure these things are done. ”
Thirdly, we congratulated the president for appointing ministers. We happy with the progress that has been made and we also commend the senate for delaying their recess to be able to screen the ministers. “We also commended the president for the idea of having a retreat for the ministers before their allocated their respective ministries, so that they understand that they have been appointed and understand that they have been appointed and this is the job the employer has for each and everyone of them to do that they have to be well thought out before they are assigned to carry out those jobs.
Culled from the Vanguard