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Socialist Democracy April - May 2003 | Index



Between Tuesday 4th of March and Thursday 6th March, 2003, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the NCP presidential candidate was in Oyo State to launch the presidential and gubernatorial campaigns of the party in the state. On the first day, 4th March, the campaign was launched in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

On the arrival of Chief Gani Fawehinmi and the presidential campaign team at Ibadan toll gate at about 11:30 am, hundreds of party members and supporters in Ibadan, Oyo State, including the gubernatorial candidate, Femi Aborisade, were already on hand to receive them. The campaign train immediately proceeded from that point, in a convoy of buses and cars, with solidarity songs and music from the 'band boys' through major populated routes in Ibadan.

As the campaign train moved along these routes hundreds of people mostly the youths, middle-aged workers and traders thronged after the convoy of vehicles conveying Chief Gani Fawehinmi and the campaign team. Most of them wanting to either see Gani better or shake him while some scrambling to get copies of the Ten-care programme, which Gani was giving out randomly. Those who could not go through such 'trouble' cheered and waved from afar. Thousands of leaflets particularly the one produced by the presidential campaign committee titled "15 reasons why you must vote for Gani Fawehinmi as president of Nigeria" was circulated as the train moved along.

Speaking at the Teachers House, venue of the launching, Gani restated the commitment of the NCP to the task of abolishing poverty by running a government that will put the people first on its agenda. He stated that the high level of poverty, suffering amidst plenty, collapsed educational system, a system of high interest rate, inflation and pervasive corruption in official quarters which has so far characterised the government of all the bourgeois parties of AD, PDP, ANPP (and others of their likes) at all levels, was unacceptable to the National Conscience Party (NCP). He said, if elected to power, the NCP, by its pro-masses programmes, shall take bold and courageous steps to decisively tackle the scourge of poverty and corruption in Nigeria. He declared the support of the party for the ongoing struggle of Academic Staff of Universities under the aegis of ASUU far-reaching reforms in the tertiary education sector. On the planned scrapping of the third tier of government, the local government system by the speakers of state Houses of Assembly, Gani said the NCP was outrightly opposed to such criminal plan and would employ all legitimate means available to it to fight against it. According to him if implemented, about 600,000 workers would add to the already overstuffed unemployment market.

The Oyo state gubernatorial candidate, 'Femi Aborishade, promised that the party would not disappoint the masses. He also buttressed the preparedness of the party, if voted into power, to tackle poverty and corruption head-on. Unlike the incumbent AD government in the state, the NCP government would massively invest public resources in public health, housing, education, job creation, road construction and rehabilitation, agriculture and other social services.

He further stressed that the NCP government will not operate an unduly expensive bureaucratic government wherein public officials live ostentatious lifestyles with fabulous wages and allowances at the expense of the state while workers and the people who they are supposed to represent are left to suffer. If elected as governor of Oyo state, he would live on the wages of an average civil servant. This, according to him is also in accordance with the code of conduct of the NCP.

Other persons present at the rally were Dr. Oyebade Olowogboyega, the ex-president of Osun State NULGE and NCP guber candidate in Osun state and his deputy governorship candidate, Chief Amitolu Shittu, Mr. Lanre Banjo, Ogun State governorship candidate, comrade Biodun Olamosu, Oyo State Deputy Governorship candidate, Barrister Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, the Deputy National Legal Director of the party and Chairman of Lagos State Central Campaign Committee of the NCP, among numerous other persons.

On the second day 5th March, the campaign train moved to Oyo and just like the Ibadan experience, was received by enthusiastic supporters of the NCP ideals and that of its presidential candidate, Chief Gani Fawehinmi. At the Atiba Town Hall, venue of the NCP campaign rally in Oyo, Gani spoke to hundreds of party members and supporters in Yoruba Language and urged them to reject any appeal to ethnic and/or religious sentiments and vote for the NCP as the only party that has the programmes, credibility and courage to bring succor to the Nigerian people.

In all, 50 copies of Socialist Democracy were sold, 35 during the Ibadan rally and 15 at Oyo.

The presidential campaign team was also warmly received in all parts of Ekiti State which it visited. Altogether, the team went to 16 towns. In all these towns, people, particularly the youth, waited for many hours to receive the team.

It was very clear that there is mass disenchantment with the present AD government in the state. The PDP and other elite parties do not offer a better alternative either. In contrast, recent months has seen hundreds of members of other parties resigning from the parties to join NCP. The party has a bright chance in the coming elections. The party’s governorship candidate in Ekiti State is Mr. Femi Falana, the human rights activist-lawyer and former national chairman of Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR).





Socialist Democracy April - May 2003 | Index