The Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate for next year’s election in Kwara State, Issa Aremu, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to accord posthumous honour to Bello Baba-Ari.
Baba-Ari, a Squadron Leader of the Nigerian Air Force, died on Friday in the collision of two jets belonging to the force as part of the activities towards Independence Day.
The two jets suffered a midair collision at the Katampe area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Two co-pilots were injured and are currently receiving treatment.
The aircraft were said to be taking part in the rehearsals for the 58th Independence Day celebration when the collision occurred.
According to a statement sent to Premium Times, Mr Aremu made this demand at the 58th anniversary activities held by his party in Ilorin on Monday
He said the late pilot and injured ones symbolise patriotism worthy of emulation by all Nigerians.
“There is the need to celebrate nationhood with high spirit as the air force men gallantly did,” Aremu said.
He condemned some governors who according to him had stepped down celebration of independence day “even as they indulged in marking their birthdays and weddings of their children with fanfare with scarce state resources.
“Liberation and independence from unfreedom certainly calls for annual celebration,” he said.
“Celebrating Nigerian sovereignty and showcasing its strengths and achievements with mass participation of all Nigerians in their robust diversity must be an annual event. Nigeria and Nigerians must be encouraged to keep date with October 1st every year to keep our history and nationhood alive.”
Aremu said it was time for leaders with appreciation of the nation’s sense of history to be elected into office.
He also promised to revive the old traditions of celebration of important landmark dates in nation-building in Kwara State.
Aremu said the state needs a “second liberation and independence” from what he called “internal colonialists and oppressors” who he accused of running non-inclusive government that has impoverished mass of people in the state.
He called for coalition of progressive forces of change with unity of purpose, adding that 2019 elections offer opportunities for a new qualitative change in Kwara.