Thursday, April 11, 2013
WELCOME ADDRESS BY DR. FREDERICK FASEHUN, CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE FOR THE RESUSCITATION OF THE UNITY PARTY OF NIGERIA (UPN) AT CENTURY HOTEL, LAGOS, ON APRIL 10, 2013
Distinguish Ladies and Gentlemen: We warmly welcome you to this maiden gathering of visionary Nigerians who are engineering the resuscitation of the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN. OUR DISILLUSION WITH NIGERIAN POLITICS Let me begin by finding out something here and now. Please, we shall like to recognize all Nigerians at this gathering who are completely happy with happenings in Nigerian politics and government – could you please indicate through raising your hand? Obviously, only a handful of Nigerians, those in power are pleased with the quality of leadership and service that political parties have been giving our countrymen and countrywomen. But why is the greater majority of Nigerians disillusioned about the way politics has turned? One reason for our collective disappointment is that unlike many democracies of the world, government in Nigeria has failed to make the citizen the centerpiece of governance. Worldwide, democracy is seen as the government of the people, by the people, for the people. But the Nigerian situation is rather very paradoxical. Various groupings have had to form political platforms, most of which are non-ideological, and this is why although Nigerians have aspired to democracy, they have today achieved a situation far from democracy. What we have today at best is self-government and certainly not democracy. And this is the tragedy of our situation because, worldwide, there is a consensus that the best form of government is popular government, self-government or democracy. And one key element in any democratic configuration is political parties. Political parties come across as a group of people who share the same ideas about the way they want their country governed. But the politics we see in Nigeria today is bereft of idea or ideology, both of which serve as a compass by which a political party charts the roadmap for individual aspirations and national development. For many of us gathered here today, we agreed that we do not like the way our country has been administered at the local government, state and national level since 1999. Politicians who occupy the political space and public office have continued to behave like soldiers of an invading army, whose primary aim is to kill, to loot and to destroy. Unscrupulous politicians continued to stack away their loots in foreign bank accounts. Last year, Nigeria was ranked 139th out of 176 countries in Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index. However, even without corruption, the cost of governance has become excessively prohibitive and unreasonable. So much that government is the most profitable industry in Nigeria today, with returns on investment well over 10,000 percent. There is real danger for the country and we cannot continue to fold our arms and watch politicians run the country aground through profligacy and corruption. From all indications, Nigeria will not survive beyond 2014 as a country, unless Nigerians rise up to evolve good political platforms and traditions. And UPN has come to provide such a credible platform. Those championing the resuscitation of UPN aim to bring sanity into Nigeria’s political space, beginning with the South-West. A credible political association such as UPN will serve as a reliable, focused, people-oriented political vehicle. UPN shall meet the true yearnings of Nigerians for quality education, for free health for all, for a functional transportation system, for rural-urban integration and for mass housing. Less that 30 percent of our yearly budget goes into the projects and purposes of which they are appropriated, while the bulk goes into the drainpipe of corruption, through vast cash holdings, Nigerian banks and foreign accounts. UPN AND AWO Going down memory lane, we all recollect that together with and his political associates from all across the country, UPN was founded in 1978 by the great Nigerian politician and ideologue, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The party carried on business until 1983 when it was swept out along with other parties in the coup led by General Muhammadu Buhari. Prior to the untimely resting of UPN, the pattern of election in the Second Republic showed that the party had a virtual monopoly of seats in the South-West and a sizable representation in the old Mid-West (that is Bendel State, now Edo and Delta states) and the North Central (especially in Kwara State, where it won the governorship seat). Concerning the genius of the UPN Founder, Former British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson acknowledged that: “Chief Awolowo would have been an excellent Prime Minister of the United Kingdom or the President of the United States.” The former British PM went on to say that Awo had “genius plans for a greater Nigeria.” Should the legacy of such a man be left to rot away? Should his ideals not become the pole on which the entire country should revolve? Those internationally acknowledged plans UPN in revival has come to resuscitate. Just as obtains in the United States whose Democratic Party, established by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the 1790s, rates as the oldest party in the world, we aim to revive and build UPN into the oldest party in Nigeria. But much more than that, we have the vision of making it the most productive and the most people-oriented political organization in Nigeria and ultimately in Black Africa. This was the vision of the founding fathers, including not just Chief Obafemi Awolowo but also the likes of: Chief M.C.K. Ajuluchukwu, Chief Philip Umeadi, Alhaji Muhammadu kura, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Abraham Adesanya, Chief Olabisi Onabanjo, Professor Ambrose Alli, Alhaji Kayode Jakande, Chief Mrs. Osomo, Pa Michael Imoudu, Chief Jonathan Odebiyi, Chief Joseph Olawoyin, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Bisi Onabanjo and Chief Alfred Rewane. And we are determined that the labours of these heroes, living and dead, shall never be in vain. The operating ideology of the UPN shall be the truest traditions of AWOISM, TALAKAWANISM, SOCIAL DEMOCRACY and SOCIAL JUSTICE. We must bring the greatest good to the greatest majority of Nigerians. So help us God. Now I ask you: Do you commit yourself to this vision? Nigeria can be great. Nigeria can become the Giant of Africa. This is our motivation, this is our goal. LAI MOHAMMED AND HIS MISCHIEFS My attention has once more been drawn to a statement made yesterday by the Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Lai is not only being clever by half, Alhaji Lai is a liar. He lied against me and the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC by misinforming the public that I had secured a N2.4 billion contract to guard pipelines. Trouble dey sleep, yanga go wake am. Let us reemphasize that we shall not go out of our way to look for trouble, but if trouble comes knocking, we shall return fire for fire. A word is enough for the wise. Ladies and Gentlemen: I wish you fruitful and inspiring deliberations.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Founder and President of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has alerted the nation to moves by Action Congress of Nigeria chieftains and the ACN Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to heat up the South-West. Saying Mohammed has won himself the reputation of Joseph Goebbel, the propaganda Minister of Adolf Hitler, Fasehun accused the ACN spokesman of unleashing a campaign of misinformation, disinformation, lies and propaganda, against plans to resuscitate the Unity Party of Nigeria, (UPN), founded by Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1978. Dr. Fasehun is the Chairman of the Committee for the Resuscitation of UPN. However, the OPC founder warned that he and his organisation would return fire-for-fire. “We know how far they can go and we are calling the nation to note that although Fasehun entertains no fear from them, should there be any danger lurking around him or his interests, we will not only attack the offending tree, we shall inflict collateral damage on its branches.” At a press briefing held in Lagos recently, Mohammed had openly accused the Federal Government of engineering confusion towards the 2015 polls through several means, including the resurrection of UPN. “Nigerians must note that Lai Mohammed and his cohorts are the ones introducing instability into the South-West through indulging in this sort of misinformation, disinformation, lies and propaganda,” Fasehun said in a statement circulated in Lagos yesterday. Reports said Mohammed at the media parley echoed recent internet postings that the Federal Government had awarded OPC and Fasehun a monthly N2.4 billion pipeline protection contract to bankroll a plan to use UPN to rattle ACN in its South-West stronghold. Debunking insinuations that OPC had bagged such a contract, Fasehun said they were lies and propaganda concocted by a warped mentality against him, OPC and the common people of Nigeria. He recalled that he had himself spoken to the Press on January 17, 2013 and in subsequent newspaper and television interviews about the OPC proposal to stem pipeline vandalisation, saying, the organisation was only toeing the line of private security agencies formed by militants in the Niger-Delta who secured pipeline-protection contracts in their area. “Equity and Federal Character dictate we should get a similar contract. And unlike billions of naira rampantly stolen from state allocations by politicians in authority in this part of the world, the pipeline contract will feed tens of thousands of families,” Fasehun said. “Unfortunately, the Federal Government is yet to reply to our proposal, although we have been to Abuja to defend our proposal at several interviews.” He continued: “But now, Lai Mohammed, either through false propaganda or pure lying to the world, quoting figures from a richly warped mentality, has shown that he and his cohorts have hijacked the contract letter addressed to the OPC.”
Monday, April 1, 2013
Our Mission In The UPN/Slogan: UPN- UP Nigeria; UP Nigeria - People First; UPN-Time For Change/Motto: Work and Enjoy Life more abundantly/Ideology: Egalitarianism is our national watchword./Equality of good fortune must be to each reward; Liberty and brotherhood are the goals for which we’ll strive ; plus plenty and the good things of life
Since the publication concerning the exploratory meeting for the formation of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) held on 17th March, 2013 at Dr. Fredrick Fasehun’s office, we have been inundated by inquiries from well wishers from home and abroad sending messages of solidarity and asking to know the mode of operation of the proposed party. The inquiries expressed reminiscence of the good old days of the sage Obafemi Awolowo’s UPN. We are encouraged by them and thereby obliged to respond to these inquiries in this advertorial hoping it will encourage the people to work with us. The proposed party is meant to fulfill Papa Obafemi Awolowo’s admonition to us that after he must have gone, it would be our duty to fight for ourselves .This is the time. We want to thank the members of the press for their co-operation and hope that they will continue their effective dissemination of news for which Nigeria press is famous worldwide. We are seizing this opportunity to appeal to the Security forces and the Civil defenders – The Nigerian Police, The Oodua Peoples’ Congress, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, Niger-Delta People’s Volunteers Force, Oodua Liberation Movement , EGHESU, United Middle-Belt Youth Congress , Agbekoya, Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Bakassi Boys, MEND etc. to continue to be vigilant in protecting the public and our members as they go from house to house ,hamlet to hamlet, town to town , city to city, disseminating information about our new party. Almost everybody, probably excepting those who are in government, would agree in the words of Awo at an inauspicious time when some strange forces broke into his house during General Mohammed Buhari’s regime that the omen is bad. The omen on our polity is bad craving for change. A real change, not a cosmetic change of name or color characteristic of re-branding of an unsellable product. Our polity needs a genuine transformation which can only be brought about by a political revolutionary evolution. A revolution in thought and deed that emanates from our cultural value of honesty and dedication. People are so frustrated that they do not know what to do about it. They almost give up. There is a widening gap between the ruled and the rulers. Whereas the rulers are getting fatter and fatter ,the ruled are getting thinner. That is an indication of a disconnect between the ruled and the rulers. An evidence of alienation of the people from the government that is supposed to serve them. A good number of people including those in government would agree that the answer to the frustration would have been to act like Awo as we agree that Awo laid down the foundation for good governance in his thoughts, policy and politics. But nobody wants to act like him despite the fact that he demonstrated his wizardry and left records in his various writings and speeches. Even though a lot of those who worked with him are old, some have even died while some are committed to the status quo in all the political parties; thank God there are still millions of the beneficiaries of and witnesses to his work alive who can recount what he did and who could emulate him given the right platform :this is the hope for Nigeria as we try to revive his program of emancipation. Nigeria today is bedeviled with bad governance, corruption, selfishness, and negligence of the people for which Awo labored . Today contracts are shared in the cool room of the hotels instead of the government offices where rules are supposed to be respected. Our present crop of politicians have turned government into private business. They have even commercialized education which Awo held dear to his heart to be given to every child free at all levels. It looks as if Nigeria has been captured by strange elements from different planet. All the political parties since 1999 have failed us. It is for this reason that we have resolved to create a platform for the platformless , create a voice for the generality of Nigerians. A platform of democracy where every member shall have right of expression, unlike the monopolization of power by some powerful cabals as it is today. A lot of well meaning people have expressed some pessimistic tune considering the level of decadence of our polity and grab of power by men and women that have lined their pocket with ill gotten wealth ; our money . But we have confidence in the generality of the people and patriotic business men who are yearning for change to pick up the gauntlet and struggle for their freedom and emancipation given a genuine political platform. It is this platform that we are offering our people to organize in the ward, local government, state and national level to demonstrate that we are capable of establishing a government of the people by the people for the people. A listening government, not a government that has been deafened by the lust of power. And this is why we are offering you what Awo had offered you before – Unity Party of Nigeria. A party that has character and record of success. A political party that would be organized by the people themselves in all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria to enable them establish democratic self fulfillment and actualization. It is a grass-root organization, a mass movement as we want you to organize yourselves in the hamlets, wards, villages and towns. For any setup to be recognized as a ward meeting it must have membership of at least 50 people to start with. And where a multiple of groups grow up in a ward , we shall constitute a group of professional political operatives to quickly pool the groups together in a democratic manner . While we welcome multiple ideas , we shall put our efforts into discouraging factionalization in the party. This new party is not a fait accompli as we need everyone including our leaders who had the opportunity to have worked with Awo in the past . We need your wealth of experience as we want you to be part of this genuine and progressive transformation . We would recollect that genuine attempt at building a nation wild progressive UPN started gaining steam when Dr. Datti Ahmed’s led Committee of Concerned Citizens from the North worked with Awo for the 1983 election which was ‘moon-slided’ leading to the collapse of the second republic. Another attempt to build a truly progressive party was seen in the determination of late Gen. Shehu Yar’Adua ‘s attempt ‘ to start where Awo stopped ‘ in his formation of the People’s Front which became a formidable front in the government formed Social Democratic Party , the progressive party of the second republic which included the best from Sir. Ahmadu Bello’s , Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe’s followership and the Awoists. The formation of this new UPN is an attempt to go to the base of this historical progressive movement and invoke the spirit of these past heroes of progressivism and to build on the tradition laid down by them for the liberation of our people. Do not be left behind. Do not be defeated by pessimistic despondency that could deter you from taking action . When Senator Barack Hussein Obama started his Presidential journey, most of the known leaders who worked all their life for the emancipation of the blacks did not believe in the possibility of his mission. Rev. Jesse Jackson was not enthusiastic but his son ,Congressman Jesse Jackson (Jr.) was supportive from the beginning. Ambassador Andrew Young did not believe in the mission. Congressman Elijah Eugene Cummings did not support the Obama project at first but when Obama won the first primary in Iowa, he quickly changed course because he felt the wind of change that was blowing and did not want to be left behind history. Many people who believe in the philosophy of Obafemi Awolowo from West to the East, South to the North are scattered in various political parties styling themselves Awoists in parties that are not Awoist. This is an opportunity for them to retract their footstep because if it has got to be UPN to be Awoist ; and if it is not UPN, it is can not be UPN . With all of us coming back into the UPN with its laudable program, we would be able to focus and serve our people throughout the federation to fulfill the dream of our founding fathers. To those Awoists who are unable to join us now because of their commitment elsewhere, we respect your opinion but we ask for your prayer from the corner of your room and encourage your children to be on board with us . We are not oblivious of the problem ahead of our struggle but we know by the grace of God ,victory will be ours, Insha Allah. Some people have expressed concern over the possibility of being registered. We harbor no such doubt because INEC has been true to the letters and spirit of the provisions for registration of political parties . We are encouraged to see that just days after the announcement of the proposed party , volunteers from all over the country and abroad have sprung up so much that we have offices in 24 states and the federal capital of Abuja . We have even got volunteers to open offices for us in Europe and America. And by the time we apply for registration very soon we would have covered all the states in the federation. We are already benefitting from the goodwill of the UPN which had offices all over the country with the control of Lagos,Ogun, Oyo,Ondo,Bendel and Kwara and large followership in the North East , NorthWest , North Central and South South region in the then 19 States Nigeria and the goodwill associated with Papa who has become larger than life in death as people realize his contribution to the nation as the best President Nigeria never had. With the registration of NCP, PRP and NAP , Courtesy of Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s cout action, the INEC has established that it has no prejudice or misgiving against any party as long as it meets the provisions for registration and we are prepared to do that with the UPN . It is a duty that we owe this generation and generations unborn to bequeath to them better days so that they do not see the present abnormality as the norm. The wind of change in the people is visible. The new UPN is in line with the old UPN with people oriented four cardinal programs 1. Free and qualitative education at all levels-Nursery to University. 2. Free health services with viable well equipped hospitals. 3. Integrated rural and community development including mechanized farming , rural electrification ,communication , digitalization, dam, channelization, transportation, adequate water supply , constructive road network , comfortable low cost housing , security and religious harmony. 4. Full and gainful employment. It is this precise party program which made the old UPN what that it was that is lacking in all the parties today . Papa Awolowo talked about a need for the government to be ambitious in satisfying the yearnings of the people. It is the duty of the government to determine the needs of the people and find ways and means of satisfying them, he said. And when a government is ambitious to satisfy the yearning of the people, it becomes frugal in spending with little left to fiddle with, he explained. We are not unmindful of the mischief makers’ propaganda of charging the new UPN as divisionist of a region. While we do not want to join issues with them, we want to assure them that we would not allow them to define us. Anyway , when does Awolowo’s name or party become divisionist of the West ? We do not see Awolowo in such a derogatory manner . It is blasphemous. Our target is to establish dedicated government for Nigeria not limited to a zone. Some people say Awolowo came before his time. We beg to disagree. All the prophets of God came to lay the foundation of their religions for us to follow. Awolowo came to lay the foundation of good governance and polity for Nigeria and he excelled. It is now left for us to choose to follow his footstep or not. We have decided to follow his footstep and there is no going back. There is no going back because our people deserves better than what we have now. We are not going back because Awo would not sit down seeing the decadence that is going in the name of politics now without putting in his effort at remedy. And we are not succumbing to the forces of intimidation by sitting aloof without making efforts to pool Nigeria out of brinkmanship of collapse. We are therefore inviting you all- teachers, students, artists, transporters, professionals in all fields, employed, unemployed , farmers, workers, activist members of civil societies, market men and women to be part of this new beginning. And if they ask you who are those behind this renewed UPN, reply with pride and a sense of belonging: We, the People . Oh yes ! WE CAN do it . Dr. Frederick Fasehun Hon. Bari Adedeji Salau Alhaji Tunji Olateju 08033159765 07053537227 08096688868 email@example.com Bariadedejisalau@gmail.com firstname.lastname@example.org Alhaji Abubakar Sokoto Dr. Tunji Almaroof Dr. Nneoma Nnamah 07035594493 00913475202194 07035253543