Nigeria and Nigerians can only actualize it’s abundant inexhaustible potentials as a developing nation if democracy is deepened and nit undermine through despair and cynicism.
Comrade Issa Aremu, a member of the National Institute and 2019 Kwara State governorship Labour Party (LP) candidate in his 2020 EID Kabir Sallah message entitled: Sallah in the times of COVID-19:Time to reset in Kaduna at the weekend.
The labour leader said, notwithstanding that as a developing nation, Nigeria grapples with crisis of governance manifesting in corruption, inequality, insecurity and poverty, there are opportunities therein for a better country.
“Let’s turn the crisis into opportunities for better Society. Therefore Nigerians should not give in to despair. Democracy might not be perfect but other forms of government are certainly worse. Experience shows that it the long period of military rule that underdeveloped Nigeria for decades”.
He observed that just like Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismeal sustained faith in Allah’s commandment which later turned to blessings for mankind in terms EID Kabir, Nigerians must renew commitment to the 21 year sold uninterrupted democracy. He called “on all compatriots to condemn any call for extra constitutional order adding that what Nigeria needed was “ quality control of the democratic process by electing credible people and putting sustainable institutions in place”.
According to him, “the litmus/ acid tests for our democracy are the forthcoming Edo and Ondo states gubernatorial elections in September and October respectively. He therefore urged all the political actors in the two states to maintain “the best of democratic practices so as to compliment the efforts of INEC in conducting free and fair.’ “The campaign” he advised “should be issue based and depersonalized adding that the elections are between brothers and sisters of the same states NOT with unknown aliens”. “ Whoever wins, whatever party wins will not have indivisible water supply or road networks. All of us are winners once there is a good governance” .
BETWEEN ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE AND GODWIN OBASEKI
With respect to Edo state, Aremu puts the responsibility of peaceful and free elections on the “statesmanship” of both the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki and his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. He decried what he called a slide into violence and what he called “ politicide defined as abuse of political space for war of attrition”.
“The responsibility is on Comrade Oshiomhole, two term Governor , former chairman of the ruling APC and a member of National Institute whose motto is towards a better society. The sound bites from EDO are not encouraging. In fact the language of Campaign is too dangerously personalized and unhelpful too.” He urged Mr Oshiomole to be “ measured” in his pronouncements. “Political opponents are what they are: NOT “snakes” to be hounded. Candidates are NOT commodities but candidates whether they win or lose are still friends and brothers. Not all is fair in politics.”
LOVE SPEECH NOT HATE NAME CALLINGS
According to him “hate speech, hate innuendoes and promote violence permanent injury which belated apologies cannot assuage”. “Comrade Adams is permanently hunted by unsavory remarks about Pastor Ize Iyamo which as political irony had it turned to be the flag bearer of the APC today.
Democracy is about being measured, being serious so that we can be serious again. No politician is absolutely bad or absolutely good but good governance is Indivisible and desirable. And that is what we must work for. As somebody who has been involved in Edo project since 2006/ 2008, I bear witness that Oshiomole who campaigned on the mantra of one man, one vote should not in unnecessary desperation slide into one man should go , no peace mantra.” he said.
In the same vain he advised Governor Godwin Obaseki to be fair to all as “a contestant-incumbent!”. He should avoid the pitfalls of “conflicts of interest and interest in conflicts”. It’s bad enough that this election takes place under a pandemic that has no cure. But this is why all actors in Edo and Ondo elections must be measured and sober in the knowledge that only those alive will vote and be voted for”.
EMULATE PRESIDENT BUHARI’S STATESMANSHIP
Comrade Aremu urged politicians to learn from President Buhari who he said with “dignity and decorum is carrying on notwithstanding provocations from within his party and outside”. “In particular the way President Buhari manages his relationship with former President Jonathan transforming from adversary to partner in nation building is a lesson for all members of the political class. Again we must learn from how Ibrahim the father and son ismael, submitted themselves to Allah”.
Aremu noted that EID at times of a pandemic which has claimed 673, 000 lives world wide regardless of religions and race was unique. According to him the EID more than any others tasks the forbearance and sense of sacrifices, especially on the part of Nigerian leaders and citizens alike.
He hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for offering leadership by observing this year’s Eid-el-Kabir prayers with his family members at home as he did during the EID fitr. “I commend most state governors who have obeyed the guidelines of NCDC with respect to curtailing the spread of the Virus during and after the Sallah. The point cannot be overstated that we must sacrifice our conveniences by maintaining social distancing and wearing face masks to protect lives during this great Feast of the Sacrifice”. .