Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi
By Toba Suleiman
As the merger of leading opposition parties in the country is being consolidated in a bid to unseat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) come 2015, Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi and his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola, have said that the manifesto of the opposition parties must reflect the yearnings of the masses.
Others, who spoke along the same line include the leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bola Tinubu, Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, and former Chairman of the PDP and now ACN chieftain, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
According to a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to Fayemi, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, and made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, the governors as well as other opposition party leaders stated this at the public presentation of a book titled: “2015: Manifesto of Nigerian Opposition Politics” in Abuja Tuesday.
Fayemi, who wrote the foreword of the book said it was time for all opposition parties to stop agonising and begin a movement that can effectively respond to the yearnings of the Nigerian masses.
He added that the opposition must focus on having a solid structure and organisation rather than build merger on individual personalities.
While making reference to Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party’s (PRI) fall after several decades in power, Fayemi opined that if concerted effort that is people-driven is put in place, the opposition would take the control of Nigeria from PDP in 2015, in spite of the orchestrated plans by the ruling party to rule for 60 years.
On party manifesto, the governor asserted that all ACN governors are guided by the people-oriented manifesto of the party as reflected in the free health, education and social security scheme for the elderly which was piloted by Ekiti State in October 2010 among others.
Also speaking on the occasion, Aregbesola said solutions must be proffered to the worries of Nigerians and the national question properly addressed in order to assure citizens of the nation’s future.
While lamenting that the country is not better than it was left behind by the colonial masters, Aregbesola stated that mitigating unemployment must be a major concern of the manifesto as he noted with sorrow that the country produces graduates daily with no job opportunities.
National Leader of the ACN, Tinubu, who was represented at the event by the Minority leader at the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said progressives must do more than just criticise the ruling PDP but must create a platform for a trustworthy alternative that will realise the needs of the people.
Tinubu assured that the alliance will not sacrifice national interest for personal goals.
Chieftain of the ACN, Chief Audu Ogbeh who chaired the occasion said the country has not had a progressive movement in the last 14 years as it could only boast of importing goods from other countries when it has potentials to cater for itself.
This, Ogbeh said, is not unconnected with the fact that political leaders have run the country like their personal businesses without any regard for the wishes of the people or their party manifestos.
Chairman of the ANPP, Onu described the 2015 election as a bout between the conservatives and the progressives, accusing the conservatives of running the nation down since 1999 as virtually all sectors of the economy are now ailing.
Onu added that it was shameful that Nigerians now abandon the nation to get quality education abroad and in neighbouring nations, saying that records have it that Nigerians have thousands of students in Ghana.
Former Kano State Governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, said opposition must proffer alternatives that will return the hope of Nigerians; adding that they must now begin to sensitise the public on the need for alternative.
Other dignitaries at the event included the presidential flag bearer of the ACN in 2011 elections, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Chairman of the CPC, Chief Tony Momoh, former Governor of Yobe State, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, former Kano State Governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau.