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At debate, PDP, AAC, ACPN, YDP back restructuring, wage increase

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Spokesman of the PDP Campaign Organisation, Kassim Afegbua

Four opposition political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Young Progressives Party (YPP), African Action Congress (AAC) and the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) have thrown their weight behind the clamour for the restructuring of the country.

The parties, who unveiled their agenda aimed at tackling corrupt practices during the #BigDebate series organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja, also promised to increase the salaries of workers in the country.

A spokesman of the PDP Campaign Organisation, Kassim Afegbua, who represented the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, pushed for the restructuring of the country, arguing that such reform would, among others, pave the way for improvement in the provision of healthcare and education amenities. He said his party would increase workers’ salaries.

On corruption, Afegbua said: “The global definition of corruption is monopoly plus discretion minus accountability. It’s the monopoly power of an individual that makes him abuse his discretionary power.

“What we will do as a government is to ensure that we deny the institutions and agencies fighting corruption of that monopoly power, rather than have a chairman taken from the Nigerian police to head the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).

“As a government, once you are able to deal with the issue of abuse of monopoly of power, you will now have to ensure that there are special courts to handle corruption cases, giving the judiciary full independence to be able to take action and conclusively deal with incidences of prosecution and adjudication of corruption cases. We will also promote the culture of protecting whistleblowers and witnesses.”

The AAC presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, who aligned himself with the need to restructure the country, promised to pay N100,000 as minimum wage to workers as a means of curbing corrupt practices in the public service.

YPP spokesman, Mr. Olawale Martins, who expressed concern over the fate of 13.5 million out of school children in the country, promised to ensure judicious usage of public funds and to review the national minimum wage as well as force those voted into the National Assembly to operate on part-time basis.

ACPN promised to take the battle against corrupt practices to places of worship and the traditional institutions, some of whom have formed the habit of rewarding corrupt persons with traditional titles and accolades.

Throwing his weight behind the restructuring of the country, the party’s presidential candidate, Oby Ezekwesili, said she would reposition the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to enlightened Nigerians against indulging in corrupt practices.

ANRP Presidential candidate, Tope Fasua promised to increase the minimum wage to N45,000 and to ensure increase in budgetary provision to cater for the needs of the citizenry in health and education.

At the event anchored by Mrs. Eugenia Abu, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) failed to send representative to present the party’s position on the issues.


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