The pioneer National Chairman of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande on Thursday tongue lashed out that it was regrettable that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was returning the country into the era of impunity by imposing unpopular leaders on the people, especially in “each of the states in the Yorubaland”.
Akande who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, at an inaugural lecture organised in remembrance of the late Premier of the defunct Western Region, Alhaji Dauda Adegbenro, insisted that, despite all challenges, few patriotic leaders, including himself have resolved to work relentlessly towards achieving a “just and democratic Nigeria”.
He also advanced reasons why the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) considered in some quarters to be a Yoruba party decided to merge with the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) dominated by Northern leaders to form the APC.
Akande gave ten reasons why the ACN merged with the CPC and the ANPP among which were that there was abundance evidence to show that even the late revered leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo led Action Group (AG) wooed and courted friendships across the country, including the North with the sole aim of winning power at the centre.
According to him, “No one can accuse the ACN leaders of cringing or for undue clinging to the Northern leaders for selfish material gain by securing the merger of major oppositions in Nigeria because federal powers were not in the hands of the Northern leaders of ANPP and CPC when the merger of opposition parties was enacted.
“Real politics is about strategising how best to achieve your aim. APC, in good faith, merely acted in keeping with none-discriminating public demands that all opposition parties, including all parties in the South-east, South-south and those of the North generally, should merge to confront PDP in power at any democratic election.
“Apart from marginalising the Yoruba in all constitutional appointments of his government, Jonathan’s usual trait has always been to persecute the Yoruba leaders who he perceived to have some views contrary to his own. Jonathan’s first and most significant acts of ingratitude to the Yorubas was when he maliciously arrested and prosecuted unjustifiably Hon. Dimeji Bankole and Senator Bola Tinubu.
“Jonathan other acts of ingratitude include divisive propaganda to cause disaffections among various ethnic nationalities and religious divides with a view to undermine the security of Nigeria so that the Yoruba people shall begin to panic and live in fear.
“No government has ever disrespected the Yoruba nation like the Jonathan government. But it is yet morning because a few of us with our followers have resolved to continue the struggle for a just and democratic Nigeria. More importantly though for a Yoruba nation that can stand up against discrimination, nepotism and power tyranny,” the APC leader affirmed.
The Guest Lecturer Prof. Ademola Popoola insisted that in democratic governance there are bound to be mistakes, either out of enthusiasm or inexperience, explaining that whatever the mistakes are, military action must not be an option.
“This is because democracy provides ample opportunity for a change of bad government,” the don posited.
The Professor of International and Comparative Public Law told his audience that, “we must develop institutions that enjoy total independence to enable them check the excesses of government,” he said.
Popoola who spoke on the theme: “Is Nigeria Democractisng? Reflecting on the Past, Interrogating the Present, Remembering an Unsung Democrat”, stressed that societies must develop institutions that enjoy true separation of powers.
Among the dignitaries at the event were the representatives of both the Ogun state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and his Kano state governor counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Alhaji A. Amisu.
Amosun revealed at the event that the late Premier of the Western Region, Late Alhaji Dauda Adegbenro left a good legacy which the people of Yorubaland would forever be proud of.
Adegbenro was said to be an ardent believer in politics of principle and rule of law, when he was Premier for only one week before the first military coup in 1966.
He was known to have fought strenuously against all regimes of impunity and he died in 1975.
SOURCE: DAILY TIMES
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