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2023: Fayemi, NLC President advocate for improved electoral process at Bjorn Beckman memorial
GOVERNOR Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Ayuba Wabba have stressed need for the Federal Government to improve on the nation’s electoral process to foster genuine development.
Fayemi and Wabba shared similar views on the electoral process when they spoke at a memorial colloquium held in honour of late Bjorn Beckman on Thursday in Abuja.
He was a former teacher at the Ahmadu Bello University who taught from 1978 to 1987 and a unionist.
“That what we have here is not a democracy is not untrue but we are in the process. What we have is democratisation. Our democracy is growing and we will reach a point of true direction of nation’s democracy project,” Fayemi said.
“Election is an integral part of our democracy and we must continue to improve the processes in deepening our democracy and it is improving.”
The governor, who applauded the late University teacher for his contributions to developing the nation’s education and textile industry said, Beckman was always interested in, “human-centred development.”
“We will forever be grateful to Bjon for his commitment for a world of decency and respect for one and other.”
On his part, Wabba urged Nigerians to stand upright and fight to ensure free, fair and credible elections are achieved in the country ahead of 2023.
He emphasised that considering the significant impact made by the deceased unionist, politicians should imbibe the right political ideology and philosophy for the greater good.
The NLC president said politics should be more of delivering dividends of democracy to the people while electorate also have rights to question the elected to ensure transparency and accountability in governance.
Citing Ghana as an instance, he noted that cross carpeting is unaccepted but Nigeria could improve on its political system through redefining the electoral processes.
“Our own politics, in the morning, someone can cross carpet to another party, thus, his identity cannot be linked to the philosophy that he believes in and I think it is time we look at some of those challenges and also try to address them,” Wabba said.
This, he noted would promote fairness and give credibility to the electoral system.
“…politics should not be just about aggrandizement because that is what politics in Nigeria has turned out to be. Clearly, that is the difference between politics in Nigeria and politics elsewhere.
“Politics should be about delivering the dividends of democracy to the people and the people should have rights to demand that because that is the essence of governance. I think that is the mismatch we have here,” he said.
The NLC president, however, applauded the deceased for his contributions to labour matters and empowering union members to be aware of their rights and privileges.
“Free, fair and credible elections are some of the things we must continue to fight for. And while fighting for it, we must continue to remember people like Beckman who have taught us to stand for our rights and speak for our rights.
“It is better you die fighting for your rights, speak for your rights than dying as a coward,” he added.
Jibrin Ibrahim, a professor and former Director at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), in his citation, eulogised Beckman for striving always to change western narrations against Africans.
Ibrahim, who spoke through his son, Alhassan expressed Beckman’s worry that too many writings on Africa nations were superficial and descriptive.
“There were too many tales of corruptions and mismanagement by the ruling classes and too little analysis of social forces and processes,” said Ibrahim.
“He always told his friends and student that it is not enough to dismiss the state for its inadequacies, what is important is to understand what is happening…
“The challenge, he always insisted, was to understand the evolution of alliances between domestic class forces with foreign capital and various forms of aid and foreign state support.”