Oshiomhole chides Nigerians on use of ethnicity, religion as basis for political choice and national discourse

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ALL Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole yesterday faulted the use of ethnicity and religion as basis for friendship and political choices.

Oshiomhole, who spoke at a book presentation in honour of old Kaduna State Governor Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, said the former governor sacrificed his office for what he believe in because he was not prepared to negotiate away his belief.

The former Edo State governor, who was chairman of the book presentation, dismissed claims by several Nigerians that the country was not worth dying for.

He said Nigerians must understand that they have no other country and must strive to make it a better place.

Oshiomhole noted how Balarabe Musa, as governor, gave him his first political appointment by appointing him into the board of one of the state owned companies.

He added that the Second Republic politician was not bothered about his religion or where he came from.

He said: “Today in Nigeria, several years later when we are supposed to have known better, ethnicity and religion have become the basis for friendship, sometimes, the basis for political choice and national discourse. These are the type of things that Balarabe Musa will not be part of. For him, people should be defined in terms of who they are and who they believe in.

“The second thing Balarabe Musa taught us that we should try to internalise is that if you can’t beat them, kept fighting them because they can be defeated, and that even when they have beaten you, in the long run, your conscience will remain standing.

“Those of us who knew why Balarabe Musa was impeached and the forces that impeached him, will know that most governors today would want to negotiate.

“He was not impeached in any allegation of stealing, corruption or abuse of office, but that he refused to bend, open the state treasury for people to help themselves, to pursue policies that in his judgment would be inimical to the welfare and wellbeing of the masses of the people of Kaduna State.

“For that, the forces that wanted things to remain the way they are were predetermined to check him out. I am aware that there were all manner of forces to make him negotiate.

Also speaking, Senator representing Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani, lamented that present day political parties did not even know the direction they were heading, but were merely fighting to occupy political power without any form of ideology.

He said it was unfortunate that many members of the executive of political parties did not even know the manifesto or constitution of the parties they lead.

Eulogising the former Kaduna State governor for his leadership qualities, Sani said “What has been lacking in our politics is that conviction and principle. Take your time to check the manifestos and constitution of the political parties in Nigeria.

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