Published On: Fri, Aug 9th, 2019

When poor becomes focal point of APC govt.

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That majority of Nigerians belong to the category of the poor is not contestible. Successive administrations in the country have promised to uplift the poor masses from their parlous state by offering them succour.
But the Buhari’s administration has not only taken steps in addressing the challenge of poverty by introducing life changing policies but has also identified the underlining cause of poverty in the society.
The President has left nobody in doubt about his administration determination to stamp out poverty with the introduction of the Social Investment Program.
But the ruling APC seems to have recognised the fact that the main cause of disequilibrium in the distribution of the nation’s wealth remains the yawning gap between the extremely rich and the desperately poor.
The party leadership has since challenged the President to work with the APC dominated National Assembly to bridge the gap between the two extremes in order to bring sucour to the poor.
To this extent, it is expected that the government will do all within its power in the next four years to recreate the middle-class which has long been lost in the society.
Those in the extremely rich category must be made to pay more taxes that the government will in turn use to develop the nation’s infrastructures in order to uplift the living conditions of the poor in the society.
Since the ruling party has decided to identify with the poor, Buhari’s performance in the next four years would be measured by how far his policies are able to recuse the extremely poor from their suffocating poverty.
Nigeria must deliver to the poor, APC government must deliver. That is why I told you that the only thing we came here to discuss today is, the easiest part is congratulations, the challenge is now with the mandate, how do you recreate the middle class so that Nigeria can be stable, all other things will then fall in line. All that is required is clear thinking, determination and to ensure that the ministers that are coming are not coming to implement what they think, but that they are coming to implement programmes that the party has agreed to. And that is why they are going to have a retreat before the president assigned ministerial position to them.
There is no question that we have challenges but I don’t not think of you were an American, British, Ghanaian or even a Nigerian, you were about to set up a farm or a factory and you hear that a revolution is in the making, in which country do you here that? You go to any country including established democracies and say your business is to create revolution…
Have you monitored what is happening in France, that yellow jacket people, who were organizing those protests? Initially when they were organizing those protests they were asking for labour reforms that President Macron introduced but from there they went into something else, you must have seen on your television how the French authorities dealt with that.
I think we have to be clear. I am a believer that the rights to protest is a fundamental human rights but it does not include the right to suggest that you want to overthrow a constituted order. No, there is a difference.
As NLC president when we were organizing protest, when we had put down the head of the then President after one week protest, I think it was late Gani Fawehinmi that said instead of to push him out we raised the head again, and I said our purpose is to defeat a set of anti-people policies that we have seen but recognizing that we are in a democracy and that the president was elected, our mission was not to remove him from office. There is a difference between the two.
So you can go and contest election and when you lose you say you want to do revolution. It is not about this president, it is not about APC, it is recognizing that we have challenges, are we prepared to allow none democratic means to effect a change?
Nobody knows the value of democracy more than you the media because once upon a time two of your colleagues were convicted for allegedly plotting coup with a pen. The accusation was that he was plotting to overthrow a military government with pen. So we have come a long way, I am for a right to protest but you must state what you want out of the protest. But if you want is a forceful change, then the issue go that and we have to look at the laws.

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