A social critic in Akwa Ibom State has advised the late MKO Abiola’s son, Kola, who is seeking to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 on the platform of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) to adopt social democracy as his political war cry.
Effiong Etuk, a social scientist, told this reporter in Uyo, the state capital that social democracy will help Abiola to ward off the deepening extremism in the country if he becomes Nigeria’s president in 2023.
Kola Abiola has declared his intention to contest the presidency on the platform of PRP, a pro-left wing party.
According to Etuk, ‘’the deregulation policies of the capitalist regimes of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and All Progressives Congress (APC) since 1999 have thrown up unbearable negative consequences on the popular masses.
‘’The so-called economic growth of the free market system has slowing over the past decades, and its gains have become more unevenly distributed: Income inequality in Nigeria today between labour and the political class is scandalous.
‘’An insignificant few in a country of around 230 million people controls almost much of the country’s wealth. And sadly, rising inequality has been accompanied by escalating insecurity.
‘’In the rustic communities of the Niger Delta, like those of the far north, globalisation and technological change have made our neglected rural citizens more uncertain about their and their children’s futures. Also, social mobility under the unacceptable governance system has drastically declined, thus turning the have and the have-not into hereditary categories.’’
Continuing, the fire-spitting social critic says except the MKO Abiola son braces to rescue the Nigerian people, ‘’the have-nots of today are not only more economically distant from the haves, they are likely to lead shorter lives, have physical and mental health problems, fall prey to alcoholism and addiction, and live in broken communities in a post-Buhari era if the uncaring system continue to fester.
‘’These nasty oppressive developments have created deep divisions and growing frustration across Nigeria, and provide fertile ground for nativism, polarisation, and ethno-religious irredentism.
‘’Contemporary capitalism’s negative consequences in Nigeria since the exit of military dictatorship, are extensive and disturbing. It is unfortunate that after the expiration of military rule in 1999, the human rights and pro-democracy went to sleep, forgetting how disruptive capitalism can be.’’
However, Abiola received PRP’s expression of interest and nomination forms on Thursday from the party Secretary, Babatunde Alli, in Abuja, harping that his focus will be on promoting national unity.
“What I know for sure is that I have the interest of Nigerians at heart. I’m sentimentally, emotionally charged by Nigeria. The way and method in which things are going in Nigeria, I’m afraid that if somebody who is not symbolic enough cannot hold it together, we’ll have a problem if we don’t start making that difference”, Kola Abiola said.
He also said the party will not adopt consensus method for selecting its presidential candidate. “We have two other candidates. We believe in internal party democracy; we are not doing consensus. It is a transparent party. The more candidates we have the better.
“Whoever wins, we will all come together and work for the party — not somebody calling for consensus where someone will step down for another. Let’s go and have a competitive environment. It will be transparent and we will uphold internal democracy and be able to have proper democracy”, he said.
PRP’s presidential nomination and expression of interest forms cost N10 million. It has extended the deadline for the sale of forms till May 18, 2022.