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18 December 2006

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National Conscience Party (NCP)
Lagos State Chapter

Lagos State NCP Elects Lanre Arogundade as Guber Candidate

The Lagos State Chapter of the National Conscience Party (NCP) has elected Lanre Arogundade as its gubernatorial candidate for 2007 election. The Lagos State NCP held a special Congress on Saturday December 16 where the governorship and state and federal legislative candidates were democratically elected. The Congress, witnessed by a representative of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was attended by 137 members representing 18 local governments. Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the founding National Chairman of the party was also present.

The election of Lanre Arogundade, a socialist and anti-neo-liberal element confirms the resolve of the leadership and members of party in the state to uphold the NCP as a party of struggle in defence of interests of the poor masses by unequivocally refusing to submit the party to money bag politicians.

A few days before the Congress, the Lagos party leadership was bombarded with separate requests from some pro-capitalist, money bag politicians who had lost the tickets of the pro-business Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Action Congress (AC) to become the candidate of the party. Considering the serious financial strait of the party, adoption of any of these pro-establishment politicians with big and deep pockets would have been a great relief to the party on the financing of the electoral campaigns. But that would have meant unashamedly mortgaging the pro-poor masses' principles and programme of the party. The Segun Sango led Lagos NCP opted for a path of honour and principle, stating that our conscience could not be bought at any price.

Lanre Arogundade, a former President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and former Chairman, the Lagos State Chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), contested Lagos West Senatorial election in 2003 and came third out of about 20 contestants in an election massively rigged by the PDP and AD. This feat achieved by the party has shown that save for rigging and heavy monetisation of electoral contest it is possible to campaign on the basis of anti neo-liberal programme and win the election.

With our governorship and other candidates who will live on the average salary of skilled worker if elected, the Lagos NCP shall campaign against neo-liberal programme of privatisation and other anti-poor policies. As opposed to the prevailing situation in which public resources are looted by those in government at all levels, if elected, the Lagos NCP government shall commit the huge public resources to adequate provision of basic needs like education, health care, water, electricity, decent jobs, living wage, good roads, etc for the poor masses and workers. We shall ensure that those resources are democratically managed and controlled in order to prevent them from being looted by public officers and contractors. More importantly, in and out of power, the Lagos NCP shall identify with the poor masses and workers in their daily struggles against neo-liberal capitalist onslaught on their living and working conditions.

We shall soon publicly present our candidates and programmes for the 2007 general elections.