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Published On: Thu, Aug 8th, 2019

Oshiomhole: APC to establish institute for progressive studies, recreate middle-class

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…presents financial reports to the President
…asks what Sowore wants with #RevolutionNow

By Lawrence Olaoye

National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said that his party would establish an institute for progressive studies where the ideologies of the party would be taught.
The APC boss, who briefed State House Correspondents after leading the members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa yesterday, said he engaged the President on the need to bridge the yawning gap between extreme wealth and desperate poverty in the country.
He also officially presented the financial reports of the party detailing its incomes and expenditures during the general elections to the President. He however refused to disclosed how much his party spent to prosecute the 2019 general elections saying he was obliged to do so only to APC card carrying members.
Commenting on the arrest of the leader of the #RevolutionNow and publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, Oshiomhole said the demands were not well articulated and his motive misplaced in a democracy.
Asked what he discussed with the President, Oshiomhole said “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 even 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 in 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, it’s about social democracy.”
On the need to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, he said “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 be bridged by recreating the middle class.”
Reacting to the incarceration of Sowore, Oshiomhole said “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, want.”
While conceding that the country was facing several challenges, with himself having some reservations, the APC boss said calling for revolution was absolutely off the mark.

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