…Nigeria can’t go far if we remain selfish
By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Former National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has again dismissed speculations that he is nursing an ambition to return to the office, saying he has decided to sleep on his rights.
Oshiomhole spoke on Saturday when he chaired a fundraising ceremony and the investiture of Mrs Victoria Unoarumi as 10th President of the Rotary Club of Abuja Maitama.
The event was also the 10th anniversary of the club.
He also challenged Rotarians in the country to go out and get more politicians to join them and subscribe to the club’s four-way test.
Sleeping on rights
Oshiomhole said; “The judgment quashing my removal was not actually delivered last week. It was on July 2, 2020, about two weeks after I was removed from office. The only reason I decided to publish it was because I saw comments suggesting that people were not aware that the case was dismissed.
“I had addressed newsmen shortly after my removal and said that regardless of the legality or illegality of my removal, I accepted what happened in good faith and resolved I will not contest it. I promised to remain committed, do what I can as a party member to support the party.
“You know in law, you can decide as I have done to sleep on my rights. And as I took that decision to sleep on my rights, it has remained sleeping. I have decided for the purpose of party chairmanship to sleep on my rights and it remains happily so.
You can see that I have been active since I left office because I don’t think I need to be a chairman to remain relevant.
I didn’t join the party to become chairman but because we wanted to form an alternate platform capable of taking PDP out of power and that objective was achieved.
It does not matter it all went, but the important thing is that the primary purpose was not for me to be chairman”.
While he said he does not regret anything he has done, Oshiomhole also expressed optimism about the chances of Nigeria’s Democracy surviving after the 2023 elections.
“I have hopes not fears for 2023. People like to talk about their fears but for me, my life is about hopes. I think that by 2023 God will not forsake a nation of 200 million people.
“Our democracy has come to stay, it is not perfect, a couple of things could be done to strengthen it but we could move on and get on with the job, I strongly believe that God in his infinite power will help Nigeria to sustain democracy as we move through 2023.
“As an optimist, I always say that with all the problems that Nigeria have, soft Nigeria is still much more than the sum total of all these problems.
Regret about his action that led to his ouster
“Life is not all about regrets. I am a very happy man or do you see me looking sad? I might look small but not sad”.
Oshiomhole also spoke on the four-way test of rotary, urging the club to get more politicians into its fold.
He said; “For reflections now, if I am asked to compare the Rotarians, your principles and objectives to the objectives of the trade unions and labour movement, I would say they have a lot in common. As President of the NLC, we were concerned with, is it the truth?
That is why we never like to go to court because the court is not about the truth. It is about the law and the law is about the values of those in parliament, not necessarily the values of the larger society.
So, it needs not to coincide with what is fair and just. But that is the law and society will be administered or misadministered according to those laws. So, rule of law is not necessarily whether it is fair or just.
“Is it fair to all concerned? When I was at the trade unions, that question was at the heart of our struggle. Should people work so hard and end up being paid so little or as it is currently is in many states, people work so hard and in the end, they are not even paid for months.
Every other price is going up, only the poor price is going down. Governors, past and present can afford current prices of cement, current prices for official vehicles, but they cannot afford current prices minimum wage and when it comes to wages, it is about having the ability to pay, I should pay according to my resources. But when you are buying a vehicle, you pay according to the market value of the vehicle.
“As a labour man, I was familiar with the first two questions. The truth and what is fair. But when the Rotarians say is that the truth, the politician is likely to say, how does that affect me? Is it beneficial to all, the politician is likely to say whose turn is it? So, I think you should go out and get more politicians to join the Rotary Club and instil these core four-way tests as part of the core values that should guide us in office.
“I am impressed by the fact that Rotary club is generally committed to supporting all kinds of courses particularly those who need support.
“Every day you hear that someone was taken to IDP camp, he has huge challenges. The government will never be able to solve those problems and if people imbibe the values of Rotary of giving, mobilising funds.
I wish that more and more Nigerians recognize that a society whose values is about everybody to himself and His for us all cannot go too far.
We must be able to contribute our own quota because the way the world is, even before COVID 19, everybody appeared to be daily economically victimized and they will need good and kind-hearted people to support them”.