Exactly seventy odd years ago – to be precise, on 8th August, 1950 – arguably one of the most forward-looking and conscientious political parties in Nigeria was midwifed in the ancient city of Kano. Christened the “Northern Elements Progressive Union” [NEPU], the founding of the Party, marked the breaking of an epoch in Nigeria’s political history. The event itself was spearheaded by eight young men, viz: Bello Ijamu, Abba Maikwaru, Mudi Sipikin, Magaji Danbatta, Babaliya Manaja, Musa Kaula, Abdulkadir Danjaji and Garba Bida. In addition to these historic eight personalities, there was the influence of Mallam Aminu Kano [who, as a public school headmaster and therefore a public servant, could not openly associate with the Party at the time] and Saad Zungur [of the defunct NCNC] in the background.
Founded in the context of a social order characterized by unrelieved feudal oppression, unrelieved aristocratic excesses and arrant colonial impositions, the NEPU openly and unambiguously committed itself to mobilizing the common man [“talaka”] for the struggle to wrest political power from the clutches of both British colonial authorities and their collaborators, the Emirate aristocracies of Northern Nigeria. In its founding document, The Sabawa Declaration, the NEPU declared that: “…the talakawa must organize consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government – both nationally and locally – in order that the machinery of government, …may be converted from an instrument of oppression into an agent of emancipation and the overthrow of Bureaucracy and aristocratic privilege.”
In its daily and routine political praxis, the NEPU emphasized and exhibited three fundamental principles which up to date are critical to the peaceful and progressive advancement of the Nigerian Project. These three principles are, viz; (i) a commitment to multiculturalism in political organization and popular mobilization, (ii) the promotion of working peoples’ solidarity in terms of the forging of peasant-worker alliances and similar popular alliances involving the lower wrung of the urban petty bourgeois classes as well as the traditional and modern literati, and (iii) rugged and unalloyed commitment to Nigeria’s national independence and national unity. With regard to the first principle, the NEPU went out of it way to ensure that the composition of its organs and branches was inclusive of all cultural and ethnic identities, to the extent of even encouraging the formation of affiliate tribal unions dedicated to fighting their own local despots. This is a far-cry from the present progressive retreat, particularly by the present crop of Nigerian elite, into exclusive primordial cocoons. In pursuance of the second principle, NEPU activists and organizers mobilized the urban wage earners, traders, craftsmen and other petty producers to identify with the struggles of the oppressed and exploited peasantry. As for the third principle, it is on record that NEPU entered into several alliances with other progressive political parties – the most famous being the historic NEPU/NCNC Alliance during the First Republic – in the pursuit of Nigeria’s national independence.
Our Party, the Peoples Redemption Party [PRP] is the direct heir of the NEPU and its legendary struggles for the emancipation of Nigeria’s downtrodden, exploited and oppressed working masses. The PRP continues to be inspired by the heroic sacrifices and commitment of the founding fathers of NEPU. We continue to be enamored and fired by the exemplary courage, vision and strategic objectives of our NEPU progenitors. And on this platinum anniversary of the founding of NEPU, the PRP pledges to remain steadfast and committed to keeping the torch which was ignited by the spark of 8th August, 1950 always aloft.
Alh. Falulu Bello, OFR
PEOPLES REDEMPTION PARTY [PRP]
PRP Board of Trustees Expresses Confidence In Falalu Bello-Led Exco
The Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) has passed a vote of confidence on the party’s National Executives led by Alhaji Falalu Bello, OFR.
The members of the board made this known in a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
The communiqué, which had the signatures of former Minister of Commerce, Engr. Mustapha Bello, Dr. Segun Falope, Engr. Chris Onyeodizuchu, Alhaji Aji Mala, among others, revealed that the meeting was specifically summoned to consider urgent current developments within the party.
Part of the communiqué further reads: “After exhaustive, frank and fruitful deliberations on all the issues tabled before the meeting, the members of the BOT have resolved as follows:
“To express and convey the PRP BOT’s absolute confidence in, and satisfaction with, the leadership of the Party’s National Executive Committee [NEC] under the Chairmanship of Alh. Falalu Bello and with its strenuous and focused efforts at repositioning the PRP for greater relevance and impact in the Nigerian political space.
“To unreservedly endorse the Programmes of Action approved and rolled out by both the National Executive Committee [NEC] and National Working Committee [NWC] of the PRP covering the period August 2020 August 2021 which will culminate with the holding of the Party’s National Convention.
“To condemn in clear and unmistaken terms attempts by a few misguided and errant elements within the Party to create dissent, misunderstandings and factions within the PRP, noting in particular that this is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Party’s extant constitutional provisions and Code of Conduct for members which explicitly frown at all anti-Party activities and conduct likely to embarrass the Party or bring the Party into hatred, contempt, ridicule or disrepute.”
FGN vs Children of the common man, not ASUU By Usman Suleiman Sarki
It has been almost 8 months that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is on strike due to the failure of the Federal Government to fulfil the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreements which are necessary for the sustenance of university system and its affordability to children of the common man and up till this time, government have not shown any commitment to end the ongoing strike by university lecturers.
The question is what is the position of government on the future of Nigerian university students? What kind of future is the government planning for the upcoming generation? A lot of people including the students are bitterly criticizing ASUU for the unending strike without making an objective investigation of the reasons behind the strike so as to balance their thoughts and make appropriate judgement over the issue. It is well known that strike is the only language that Nigerian Government understand but many people will not understand either because of the little knowledge on why university lecturers are on strike or because of their personal or political reasons. It is good to remember that no reasonable government want its workers to go on strike because it weakens the legitimacy of the government and tarnish its image in the eyes of responsible people in and outside the country. However, the side of the ineffectiveness of the strike as lamented by some people lies in the students and the general public because they do not support ASUU like the way they support the compromised NLC. Many people are thinking that ASUU always go on strike for the selfish interest of its members forgetting the fact that ASUU is not demanding for anything outside its legitimate rights and that of the students because one of the cardinal issue surrounding ASUU’s problem with the FGN is Revitalization of the universities without which the universities can no longer be sustained but unfortunately both the students and the general public blindly ignore that.
I am afraid of what will happen when ASUU change its current stand and decide to fight for its own entitlement and do away with Revitalization and university autonomy. It will get to a stage where students will be made to pay tuition fee and that will stop the children of the common man from studying in the university and this is the wish of many among those in power because they want their children who study abroad to succeed them and continue to exploit the masses.
On this note, I urge the Nigerian University students and the general public to recast their thoughts and take appropriate stand on the issue. I pray that the stakeholders involved in handling this issue will take the necessary measures in resolving this lingering issue in the best interest of the Staff and Students of Nigerian Universities in particular and the educational system in general.
Usman Suleiman Sarki,
Department of Sociology, Federal University Dutse.
Independence: After the celebration, some sober reflections by Aliyu Nuhu
Independence is good when the people are not emasculated by poverty, inequality, insecurity, broken infrastructures and despair.
I know this post will not go down well with some people, but the truth is the British left too early for us to learn anything that would prepare us for the life ahead.
I look at countries that stayed long under colonial rules like India, South Africa, Hong Kong, Macau, Namibia, etc and wonder how they are doing so well.
I thought that we would probably be doing better if the British had remained as our leaders to this day.
I know for a fact that colonialism does not operate under insecurity. The British ran their colonies with law and order par excellence. Today, Nigeria is anything but secured. It is suicidal to travel in the day along Kaduna-Abuja or Birnin Gwari road. Most people in Zamfara and Katsina have become refugees due to activities of bandits. People pass through Jos at personal risk. In Kaduna, kidnappers pick their victims on the streets.
I know colonialism did not allow corruption to fester. For every project budgeted, there must be something to show for the money. In our today Nigeria, most projects that started in 1983 are still going on with money stolen year in and year out. Over 2 trillion dollars had been stolen by our leaders. No colonial master was ever accused of stealing billions of pounds.
Colonialism did not operate with poor infrastructure. It is the pillar that was used by colonial masters to move cash crops from cities to coast for export to the home country. We had few roads that time, but reasonably good. Look at the infrastructures colonialism left behind in Hong Kong and South Africa and you will understand what I mean.
Colonialism might not have favoured education but l look at our leaders of the past that were products of colonial education and wonder what system of education we are operating today with our leaders struggling to read prepared speeches. No Nigerian leader today has the diction of Tafawa Balewa or Nnamdi Azikiwe.
I also know colonialism does not encourage waste, vanity and profligacy. The colonial masters moved in convoy of three vehicles and dressed mostly in simple suits and military fatigue. They did not buy planes and helicopters to intimidate us. Today our leaders dress like emperors. A governor’s convoy will shame that of the Queen. The tragedy is we don’t even build (manufacture) cars, not even tire!
I can go on and mention more examples.
The bitter truth is if the British had remained with us we would have been better than our present economic and social situation.They would have trained our leaders to become better managers of resources.
Nigeria had no oil when the colonial masters built all our seaports and vast network of rail lines and roads that we find impossible to maintain not to talk of building new ones.
By Aliyu Nuhu