By Matthew Otabe
A renowned Professor at the University of Ilorin and President Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA), Professor Hassan Saliu, says the presidential candidate for the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, is yet to understand the philosophy of leftist tradition in the party.
He argues that left-wing politics typically involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished.
Its politics are also associated with popular control or the democratization of major political and economic institutions.
According to him, there are two levels of looking at the issue of the Labour candidate, stressing that Obi, no doubt is talking about the plain and easy meaning of it and that is the dilemma of his candidature.
The University don stresses that Obi has joined the Labour Party but he is yet to understand the philosophy of the leftist tradition.
He says “a more realistic assessment of Nigeria’s situation would convince one that the production level is going down in the midst of rising population, which means more mouths to cater for. This is what is being referred to in the short run as revenue shortages.
“This is not however the correct reading; the economy is contracting due to low production levels hence the low revenues, among other consequences. For the liberal, low production= low revenues with consequences on other sectors. Obi is simply talking about raising the production level in the liberal sense which is very correct.
“However, the party he has joined is much more concerned beyond the superficial level. That is the dilemma for him. A seeming liberal in a somewhat ideological party. He is not simply speaking the language of the leftish traditions.”
Professor Saliu noted that the definition of production is more elastic and encompassing in the Marxist traditions. Questions such as what happens at the level of social relations? Who controls the production chains? Of what benefit is the production going on in the society? etc.