NCP Charts Way Forward For Nigeria At Independence Anniversary | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NCP Charts Way Forward For Nigeria At Independence Anniversary

Posted: Oct 4, 2016 at 4:26 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)







As Nigerians observed the 56th independence anniversary on Saturday October 1, 2016, it was a double celebration for the leaders and members of the National Conscience Party (NCP). That day, they gathered at the Jabita Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, to celebrate the nation’s 56th independence anniversary like other Nigerians, as well as the 22nd anniversary of the formation of the party by the late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN). A scheduled protest march by the members from the Ikeja Under bridge to the venue of the event was scuttled by a heavy morning downpour.

However, when the event took off, the hall was filled with activists, party members and the media. The party’s National Executive members came from different parts of the country to be part of the event, with the party’s National Chairman, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, physically present. Several members of the party displayed placards severally castigating policies of the current federal administration, especially the proposed sale of public assets, fuel price hike and high unemployment rate.

After the national anthem and the usual NCP solidarity protocols, Comrade Ayodele Akele, the veteran labour activist turned politician, who is the party’s National Secretary, recalled how Chief Fawehinmi waged war against military dictatorship to form the NCP 22 years ago amidst intimidation, arrests and detention by the powers-that be. The party, he said, became the nation’s first political party, first called the National Conscience (NC), thereby paving way for the emergence of political parties on for the post military democracy in the country.

As a party that believes in honesty and integrity, Comrade Akele stressed that NCP does not buy votes and that whatever votes its candidates get at any election are earned as people vote for the candidates as a matter of principle, not minding whether they win elections or not.

He stressed: “Every October 1, we, the NCP members and other activists, come together to mark the establishment of this great party. It is a coincident that the establishment of the party falls with the nation’s independence anniversary. So, we use one occasion to celebrate the two each year. This is a difficult period for Nigeria due to the recession and planned sale of national assets by the government.”

With this preamble, it was the turn of the NCP National Chairman, Dr Yunusa Tanko, to speak. He stated that the 56th independence anniversary of the nation should be a moment for sober reflection, lamenting that rather that rejoicing for electing the All Progressives Congress (APC) into power, Nigerians have been lamenting, as they get very little from a government they had given very much.

He described as worrisome the fact that the elite had been ruling the Nigerian masses with iron hand through a brand of politics that makes life difficult for the down-trodden. He cited such past policies as the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), the frequent hike in fuel price, hike in tuition fees in higher institutions, poor development of infrastructure, pro-rich programmes and very poor minimum wage, which he said, had combined to pauperise the masses of the country. He lamented that the democracy, which Nigerians fought very hard to bring about, has almost collapsed

Tanko stressed: “Comrades, human rights activists, it is time to take the country back to democracy. NCP made it possible for Nigerians to have more political parties through legal instrumentality. We need to draw inspiration from the struggles of the past.”

He maintained that the country is passing through unprecedented political and economic crises. According to him, the crises at the central, state and local governments have been adversely affecting the masses, adding that the plunge of the naira has made the situation worse for the people.

He lamented: “The increase in the pump price of petrol has escalated prices of goods and services. A bag of rice is now higher that the national minimum wage. The salary of workers has remained stagnant. This APC government is based on falsehood and failed promises. President Buhari has failed to equalise the value of the Naira with the Dollar as promised during his campaigns.

“Note that all promises of the APC have been cancelled. He failed to devolve powers, which was a promise on restructuring. The N5,000 monthly stipends for jobless youths is now a mirage. The promise to reduce fuel price has been cancelled and is unattainable with the price of petrol now at N145. The myth of President Buhari and the Progressives has been smashed.

“Boko Haram is still killing and displaying people. There has been no end to insurgency contrary to claims by the government, while hundreds die in the Internally Displaced People’s Camps (IDPs). Renewed calls for the liberation of the Chibok Girls have not yielded efforts, while the Boko Haram leader, Shekau, who the government claimed had been killed, is still alive.

“Militants have been wreaking havoc in the Niger Delta, bombing and destroying national resources due to lack of cohesion in government and failure of the administration to enjoy the trust of the people. The anti-corruption crusade has become just a propaganda and a media affair, even as it has been targeted against the opposition, with government dishing out contradictory figures as recovered loots and other accruals totaling N13 trillion.”

The NCP chairman lamented that at the beginning of the fourth quarter of the year on October 1, the 2016 budget remained unexecuted even with the huge amounts the government had recovered from the treasury looters and several other earnings. He therefore maintained that the time has come for Nigerians to reject the current government, which he said, is formed on falsehood, stressing that there is no difference between the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as both depend on the policies dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other imperialists.

As an alternative, Tanko urged Nigerians to unite to bring about the real change they deserve by joining and supporting the NCP as it is the only party that has the masses at heart and can bring about the necessary change in the nation.

Chief Martin Onovo, the party’s presidential candidate in the 2015 election, in his remark stated that the NCP does not believe in violence, but a constitutional democratic activism. He stressed that although the NCP is not in power presently, it is closer to power.

According to him, “the fight for institutionalised injustice is hard to fight. The NCP has programmes from activism to the quest for political power.  If Nigerians will believe in the NCP, the change they are clamouring for will be actualised without delay. Nigerians need a critical mass for change to take place. The conflict in the current leadership will make it easier for a change in government.

“If Nigerians do not persevere, they will not bring about a change. Nigerians should not be discouraged by what is happening now. The struggle must continue. The corrupt political elite belong to APC and PDP. The two are the same. The only credible alternative is in the NCP.”

Comrade Achike Ude, Vice Chairman of the Joint Action Front (JAF), in his solidarity message, urged Nigerians to be ready to make sacrifices if they really want to actualise the change they have been clamouring for. He commended the NCP leaders and members for remaining faithful and committed to the ideals of the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. He also lauded the NCP for ensuring that party politics in Nigeria thrives without being hindered, through legal instrumentalities.

He also enjoined the media to support the NCP in its avowed mission to redeem the nation, reiterating that it is the only credible alternative to the APC and PDP. He stressed that no matter how long it takes, Nigerians must have the deserved change.