Vote Lanre Arogundade as Lagos State Governor
Vote Lanre Arogundade as Lagos State Governor
By Demola Yaya
Of all contestants to the political offices in the forthcoming 2007 general elections, Lanre Arogundade is the only untainted candidate with a genuine socialist and working class background. In sharp contrast to the private sector oriented economy programmes being advocated by virtually all the candidates for the elections, Lanre is going to run a working class alternative socio-economic programmes to the present rot.
In his extempore address at a dinner organised by private sector in Lagos State recently, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the PDP presidential candidate, was quoted on February 21, 2007 in the Daily Independent Newspaper that, “Government has no business whatsoever in business. It is the private sector that should be in the driving seat of the economy and government must provide the enabling environment and make sure that the necessary infrastructures are there and the road map charted out very clearly, unambiguously and in a sustainable manner that will propel us to surely and gradually meet our goals.” Private people are in business solely for profit reason. Government therefore is the only institution that can provide quality essential services and amenities to its citizens at affordable rates. If government has no business in business, then what is the business of government?
Although the NCP manifesto, under which Lanre is running, clearly spells out a 10-care welfare programme for the people if voted to power, these lofty welfare programme could, however, only be implemented by a socialist government.
Lanre Arogundade, if elected as Lagos State Governor, will run a publicly oriented socio-economic programme. The entire Lagos State public resources will be used to provide education, health, roads, housing, decent jobs, water and other essential services, with the involvement and democratic participation of workers and their representatives in the process.
If well utilized, resources accruing to Lagos can go a long way to give free and qualitative health, education, good road network to Lagosians. It is the self-centred interest and corruption of the thieving ruling class that has made all these facilities elude the vast majority of Lagosians. It is the irresponsibility of the ruling class that has made it to say it has “no business in business”.
NCP government in Lagos State under Lanre Arogundade leadership will have business in giving free and qualitative education from primary to tertiary level, free healthcare, provision of cheap and affordable social amenities like water, housing, transportation, etc. for every Lagosian.
In the elections that are generally beclouded by corrupt and thieving capitalist politicians that have brought Nigeria to the present prostrate level, voting people like Lanre is a viable way to salvage the pathetic and gory state of our condition.
Nationally, the Lagos State Government, under Lanre Arogundade, shall identify with the day-to-day struggles of workers and poor masses against neo-liberal attacks on the living and working conditions. More importantly, it shall support campaign for the labour and pro-masses organisations as well as radical political parties to come together to form an alternative political platform that could wrest from the thieving capitalist ruling elite power at all levels of government. It will argue for such platform to aim at ushering a workers and poor farmers’ government that will be run on a socialist programme which will include nationalisation of the commanding heights of economy and resources of nature under democratic management and control of the working people themselves. This is to guarantee provision of basic needs and infrastructure for the working people and the entire country.
We therefore call on workers, youth, market men and women, traders, artisans, professionals etc to rally round Arogundade campaign, vote him and be prepared to defend their vote for him. This is the alternative platform that can make life a better place for the poor working people who have continued to suffer under the political grip of the capitalist ruling elites. We also solicit for vote for all other contestants under the platform of NCP in Lagos State.
Lanre is a National Executive member of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), a socialist organisation affiliated to the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI).
Despite the massive rigging and manipulation that characterized 2003 farce dubbed general elections, Lanre recorded over 77,000 votes when he contested at the Lagos West Senatorial District at these so-called elections.
Lanre is a socialist class fighter right from his student days in University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University. He emerged as the President of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in 1984. Under his leadership, Nigerian students organised a coordinated national campaign and protest against Buhari-Idiagbon junta attack on education. This led to expulsion and rustication of student leaders nationally. He was also the Chairman of Lagos State Chapter of Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) between 1995 and 1999. Under his leadership, various welfare programmes were initiated for the journalists in Lagos State.
He was an active member of Civil Society in various struggles culminated in kicking out military junta. He has been an active member of Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) in organising and coordinating general strikes and protests led by NLC in the last period.
As at the time of going to press, the right wing national leadership of the NCP is working assiduously to frustrate Lanre from contesting for the Guber race in Lagos. The leadership prefers a candidate that will work with it in supporting capitalist politicians and their parties in 2007 general elections and not the one with a distinct working class alternative which Lanre represents.