…Stresses opposition is the soul of democracy

By Abiodun OBA

 

Comrade Julius Abure, the National Chairman of the Labour Party, has emphasized the need for a holistic electoral reform to restore public confidence in democracy.

Abure submitted while receiving a delegation of elected members of the Labour Party, in the House of Representatives, who paid him a courtesy visit at the party’s National Secretariat, in Abuja, on Monday.

According to him, public confidence in Nigeria’s democracy was waning because of the huge disappointment witnessed during the 2023 elections when the people’s mandate was brazenly snatched.

He said, “This visit is to show that we are one, formidable opposition party. We thank God that we retained our strength in the House. I’m also facing the same challenge.

“You have been the symbol of the people; you will not abandon them. Many have been killed and maimed, you have become the voice of the voiceless. I hope that you will continue to keep faith.

“Opposition is the soul of democracy. It is only in this part of the world that we see opposition as an anthem. There must be a strong opposition for the survival of democracy.

“You are the symbol of a new beginning. Moving forward as a party, we think that a reform of the electoral system is necessary.

“We need a holistic electoral reform. I will say that LP with your support we will begin with mobilisation, political education is important. Leadership is not only the problem, but followership is also the problem. The party will be with you in all your struggles and challenges.”

In his remarks, the leader of the visiting delegation, Hon. Ozodinobi Victor, who is also the Deputy House Minority Whip of the House of Representatives said, “This visit is a courtesy visit in the sense that within 8 or 9 months, the leadership of the party led by Peter Obi, did the miracle of the century.

“A party without structure was able the shake the country. This visit was delayed because of court cases. It is to thank Obi, and the National Working Committee and to appreciate the party for giving us the platform.

“We got 35 seats within 8 months, and we are looking forward to more. Most of us have settled in. We are working very well. Our colleagues have been supportive. Be rest assured that we will not disappoint this party. None of us will leave this party.”

He further said, “All of us owe our victory to Obi’s goodwill and the NWC. I will remain in opposition until Obi becomes president and I pray it will come to pass.”

Also, Afam Ogene, Leader of the LP caucus in the House of Reps. said, “The Presidential petitions are over. We lost three seats but gained two, which puts us at 34, in the House.

“We know our expectations. Opposition doesn’t mean fight but alternate viewpoints. We are ready to put forward these viewpoints. Members were busy attending petitions. We can assure you that upon resumption in January, we will roll out programmes on how to engage in opposition.

“We will not be audio opposition but in truth and spirit.”

He on behalf of his colleagues appealed to the party’s NWC to carry out a postmortem on presidential and National and State Assembly petitions in order to prepare for the future.

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