Governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Oyo state, Chief Niyi Akintola SAN, on Tuesday said the progressive in the state failed in the last election because they took the electorate for granted.
The legal luminary lamented that many people claiming to be progressives today lacked discipline, honour, and integrity.
Apart from Akintola, a member of the editorial board Tribune titles, Dr Festus Adedayo, also said the raging poverty in the country had gradually eroded the Creed of progressivism in Nigeria.
The duo spoke at the first independence day conference organized by the Progressive Network (PRONET) with the theme “Pseudo progressivism: Contemporary political malady in Nigeria”, held at the international conference centre, University of Ibadan.
According to Akintola, many of the people professing to be progressive in Nigeria today are people with intelligence without integrity.
He said the people, who are pseudo progressives had completely deviated from the principles laid by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was the founder of progressive politics in the country.
Akintola said the last eight years of progressive government in Oyo state failed to exhibit the principles and rule in line with the ideologies that are associated with progressive from the first republic.
He said, “But what have the pseudo progressives done today? They have stolen from the people and used the people’s money to make the people indebted to them and at the mercy of their whims and caprices.
“Instead of our state governors to indeed ensure free education and, their wives will set up foundations or NGOs distributing books and medical kits. They will visit hospitals and settle medical bills of patients while ensuring the press are there to capture the moment
“In the progressive, we don’t buy honour, you work for it you earn it but in the situation, we are now somebody will join a party in June and become a candidate or aspirants in September, it is quite unprogressive. Why do you leave those who have been working and toiling for the party, the progressives of today, especially in Oyo state, has gone merchandise, it has become a product, it has become a commodity.
“We now have all sorts of characters; these are things that are alien to us and for us to be able to regain our groove we need to talk to ourselves and know when the rain start beating us. It was when we jettisoned party discipline and principle for a temporary advantage, when you see leaders collecting money from aspirants that is why you now have all sorts of characters as candidates, fraudsters, ex-convicts drug pushers and so on, people who ordinarily cannot enter the house of Awolowo or Bola Ige, so we are not better than the party we are criticising.
“Take it or leave it, the people in government in Oyo state have good a hole around us because they are embarking on populist programmes, all those areas we left untouched are being addressed, people get their salaries when due, the people in government now are executing those programmes to our disadvantage”.
Adedayo in his presentation lamented that the quality, not governance had gone so low since the coming on board of the present crop of people who claimed to be progressive by mouth.
He, however, said there was the need for the country to get its economy right before the country could have ideal progressivism.
The media practitioner, however, noted that like minds that are interested in entrenching the progressive ideology should come together and start afresh.
The general coordinator of PRONET, Alhaji Rasak Folorunsho, said the group was conceptualised by people that felt dissatisfied with the recent socio-political and economic disorientation in Nigeria, particularly as they affect the Yoruba nation.
He said the objectives of the group include the promotion of genuine progressive ideology for the upliftment of the standard of living of the masses and overall development of the southwest region in particular and Nigeria in general.
He added that the group wanted to collaborate with other progressive individuals, groups and institutions to re-introduce the spirit of progressivism and selfless service in the contemporary youth towards leadership attainment.