An influential coalition of young Nigerians, the Young Professionals For Progress, has called on Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, a presidential candidate in the Labour Party and immediate past governor of Ondo State, to “step away from the on-going unproductive drama” in the Labour Party and lead the movement towards victory in the 2019 General elections.
In a statement published on its Facebook page on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, co-signed by Brian Dennis, the President of the young professionals, Ephraim Adiele, the National Spokesperson, and Boma Williams, the Director of Grassroots Mobilisation, the group said that it was forced to make this call because they have a strong belief that the strife between Ayuba Wabba, the president of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and Labour Party leaders is being fueled by a former national president of the NLC.
“We, the Young Professionals For Progress (YPP), a coalition of 23 groups of young Nigerian professionals hereby call on our mentor and leader, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko to step away from the on-going unproductive drama between president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba and the leadership of the Labour Party, LP, so we, can all focus on the task of ushering Nigeria into a new dawn,” the group said in the statement.
The coalition, which said it has a documented 50,000 grassroots membership, revealed that many of them were inspired to join active politics after they had witnessed the remarkable leadership and performance of Dr. Mimiko as Governor of Ondo State.
“Young Professionals for Progress, YPP, consists of zealous young Nigerians, hoping to actualize the dream of a peaceful, working Nigeria,” the group wrote.
“Many members of YPP had little or no interest and experience in active politics, but inspired by the exemplary performance of Dr. Mimiko during his two terms as governor of Ondo State, we have made the decision to become open and vocal vessels for the positive transformation of our dear country.
“With a track record of visible projects which have had lasting impact on the masses, with emphasis on universal healthcare, education, poverty alleviation and youth empowerment, most members of YPP were inspired to take a stand and come out publicly for the first time and lend our voices to issues concerning politics and governance.
“One thing we have valued over time is your ability to make the best of every situation, produce quality results without losing focus of the goal – which is service to the masses,” the group said.
The coalition condemned, in strong terms, the battle for the control of the Labour Party by Ayuba Wabba, the NLC president and called it is a distraction.
“It was then with dismay and disgust that we received reports of resistance against your candidacy from Ayuba Wabba, one of the most ineffectual labour leaders Nigeria has ever had, – an unnecessary distraction towards this march towards lasting peace and progress,” the statement said further.
“In our opinion, we feel the current bickering between the Labour Party and the NLC president, Wabba comes at an inopportune time and will only detract and distract us from the enormous job of edging out the old, ineffective guard of leaders who have done way more harm than good for the people of Nigeria.
“The resistance from the Wabba is not surprising as we have it on good grounds that a certain former NLC President who is at the helm of affairs at one of the country’s major political parties, is strongly championing the disruptive moves by his minion(s) to stop Dr Mimiko from his victorious march to Aso Rock. This is also not shocking as the said former labour leader sees you as a major threat to his party,” the open letter read.
Quoting from Dr. Mimiko’s presidential declaration speech of September 13, “There comes a moment in the life of a nation when every patriot must stand up to be counted. At such a moment, nobody who is worthy of a place in history should remain ensconced in their comfort zone”, the group said it believes that “we believe the time is NOW, and at this point we believe leaving the Labour Party – a party which you brought to national relevance in 2006 when you decided to use the platform to run for Ondo Governor – and actualize the dream of many teeming youths.”
“Our amiable leader, we use this medium to beseech you to leave the Labour Party as we believe the ramblings will only do more harm to your – and invariably our – cause, which we believe supersedes any personal gratification, which is the fuel driving your detractors within the compromised wing of the NLC led by Ayuba Wabba.
“In as much as we acknowledge your loyalty to a party you helped to launch into national prominence, we also implore you to seize the opportunity which the 2019 presents and continue on this victorious march.” the political movement for young professionals said.