40 Owo massacre victims get mass burial Friday
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A human rights organisation, Pacesetters Movement, has sought alternatives to the socio-political and economic system of Nigeria, adding that the current arrangement no longer served the interests of the majority of Nigerians, particularly the working people.
In a statement titled, “State of the Nation”, signed by the Chairman and General Secretary of the organisation, Ebenezer Kayode and Abdullahi Onaolapo, they maintained that “the rate at which the leaders of Nigeria are making life unbearable for the masses and the working people is unimaginably alarming.”
The statement, made available to The PUNCH on Wednesday, partly read, “We warned in 2014 that Nigerians should not see both the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress or any other anti-poor political party as their haven or alternative to the already heightened economic poverty.
“The PDP has ruled Nigeria for bad sixteen years with corruption in every sector of the economy and the APC led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has continued to replicate the same policies that are making lives more vulnerable for the good people of Nigeria in the last seven years.”
Addressing the Democracy Day, the organisation also noted that June 12 was a remarkable day and it represented a victory for the masses against the political oppression of the rulers, saying “We believe this day should be used to intensify political actions to ensure the democratic dispensation is directed towards the emancipation of the oppressed people of Nigeria.
“We believe that June 12 should not just be seen as a democracy day got on the magnanimity of the APC/Buhari regime but rather it should radically and politically be a sober reflection to continue the struggle against the continuing economic crisis and austerity that will follow after the 2023 elections.
“It has been proven that both the PDP and the APC regimes have not served the interests of the poor masses but rather, they have continued on the same path of enriching their few 1% capitalist friends and the economic subjugation of the 99% hard-working people of Nigeria.
“This is a serious indication that neither the PDP nor the APC government has the interests of the poor masses at heart as we have witnessed in the last 23 years.
Addressing the ‘Not Too Young to Rule’ policy, the movement stated that the policy was used to deceive unsuspecting Nigerians.
“Again, we need no soothsayers to tell that the not too young to rule Act is a mockery of the oppressed people of Nigeria. This regime of the APC/Buhari is so smart at deceiving the people and should never be trusted. Whenever they concede to a demand from the people, they will come from behind, like a thief in the dead of the night, to take it back.
“A government signed an act that is supposed to make the political space much easier, less corrupt, transparent, progressive and to empower and embolden the youth massive participation in politics, but all we can see is a grand deception.
“In the just concluded party primaries, we saw how the PDP, the APC, and even Labour Party gave presidential nomination forms at N100 million, N40 million, and N30 million respectively. This only shows that the agenda of these parties are against the youths and the poor masses participating in the politics,” the statement said.
Citing way forwards, the organisation said the working people must be allowed to take part in decision-making in the critical sectors of the economy, adding that “the working people need to organise for a political alternative to compete with the recurring cycle of politicians.
“People can no longer have access to healthcare, electricity, water, and other necessary basic amenities even when they pay astronomical fees to get them.
“Against the backdrop of the 2023 general election, Nigerians should not build their hope around a Messiah or an individual but must be ready to take part in civic actions for a better Nigeria.
“Labour leaders should, as a matter of urgency, demand for an immediate end to the four month-old-strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, through the implementation of the Federal Government’s agreement with the lecturers, the replacement of the exploitative IPPIS with UTAS, and university autonomy, among other vital demands of ASUU.”
Conclusively, the organisation called for 50% reductions in electricity tariff, as well as costs of petroleum products, particularly petrol, diesel, and cooking gas.
“There should be provision of an enabling working environment for Nigerian youths and graduates,” the statement added.
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