Buhari More Of A Stateman Than Obasanjo ― Issa Aremu

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The Director General of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) Ilorin Comrade Issa Aremu has opined that President Muhammadu Buhari is more of a stateman than former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

This is just as he questioned Obasanjo’s latest letter endorsing Labour Party’s Peter Obi.

 

He explained that Obasanjo’s latest letter is a typical example of “how not to be a stateman.”

He spoke on the sidelines of the two-hour annual walkout to mark his 62nd birthday at Murtala Muhammed Square in Kaduna.

The event was attended by family members, members of organised labour, staff and management of MINILS, Ilorin, top Kaduna State government officials as well as members of the Kaduna State chapter of Alumni of the National Institute for policy and strategic studies, (AANI) Kuru Jos.

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The two-term former Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Vice President of Geneva-based Industrial global Union who described himself as “a child of independent Nigeria”, observed that his “modest accomplishments and impact” in the past six decades as a non-state and state actor, indicate that “Nigeria is working in progress” contrary to what called “daily fictions of despair about a great country with challenges of nation-building called Nigeria.”

Sounding upbeat about the uninterrupted 24 years of the democratic process, Aremu said with 18 registered political parties, “vibrant two leading ones”, six presidential elections since 1999, and 96 million registered voters, Nigeria is the largest liberal democracy in Africa.

He, however, observed it was time for “quality control” of the democratic process, through “reinvention of new Statesmanship and new citizenship”.

The celebrant took exception to the latest letter of former President Olusegun Obasanjo asking Nigerians to elect the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi ahead of the February election, adding that “given the anti-labour credentials of OBJ in and out of power had further taken away what remains of the credibility of the Labour Party as the platform of working people, women and the youths”.

According to him, “Obasanjo’s letter in spirit and content amounts to how NOT to be a statesman; the former president suffers from chronic withdrawal syndrome that calls for pity by all Nigerians.”

 

“Obasanjo’s problem is not just his age, but the age of his diversionary unhelpful ideas with yesteryears’ method of long verbose word counts, allegedly written by him but certainly not believed by him,” Aremu said
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“His long latest verbosity called letter could not have been meant for the great Nigerian youths who prefer minimum honest word counts, but maximum wisdom, youths’ future he subverted with attempted third term ambition, serial brinkmanships and sit- tight mindset”.

According to the labour leader, the only statesman still standing in Nigeria is President Muhammadu Buhari who allows vote counts in Anambra, Osun Edo and Ekiti, not Obasanjo who trampled underfoot election results to favour himself even had the temerity to openly tear the membership of the party that took him from valley of death to mountain of the Presidency.”

Aremu recalled the words of Benjamin Disraeli, twice Prime Minister of Great Britain that; “The world is weary of statesmen (such as Obasanjo) whom democracy has degraded into politicians”.

Comrade Aremu hailed the ongoing campaigns by all the political parties but called for more contest of ideas for development not conquest by candidates and their spokesmen and women.”

While expecting optimism about the February polls, Aremu who is also a member of the National Institute, Kuru Jos observed that “all Nigerians are on the next ballots as much as the candidates, adding that it’s time for all Compatriots to rise for a free and fair contest.

“We must encourage a new Democratic culture that allows for unfettered free debate of issues. The democratic contest is a form of institutionalized conflict. But this healthy conflict should be about ideas, not personalities.

Let’s have a healthy debate about improving on the good work of President Buhari on fixing security, electricity, reviving the railways, budget year cycle discipline, ambitious public spending, conditional transfers to education, health and poverty alleviation, massive investment in infrastructure, instead of throwing missiles at each other.

“The winner in the next election,” he wrote “should govern according to the set of ideas most favoured by the electorate and be willing to cede power at the next election if his or her ideas do not convince the electorate, this calls for new citizenship as much as new Statesmanship.”

Earlier the celebrant described the Kaduna event as homecoming recalling his inaugural 50th birthday jogging in 2011 at the same venue, adding that three critical successes to healthy living are Worship, hard and smart work as well as keeping fit for moderation.

Comrade Aremu hailed Governor Nasir El- Rufai for his audacious, globally acknowledged Kaduna urban renewal urging the APC governorship Candidate, Senator Uba Sani to build on Mallam Rufai’s achievements for a better Kaduna.

“Once Kaduna works as it’s today through this remodelled Murtala Square, of course, Nigeria is working, Africa is working,” Aremu said.

 

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