… Say, ‘There’s a lot Nigeria can learn from the Russian ex-leader’
A former presidential candidate and businessman, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has said that the life and achievements of the founding Socialist leader of Russia, Vladimir Lenin held a lot of lessons for Nigerian leaders.
Olawepo-Hashim made the observation
in Abuja Monday, when he and other “admirers of Lenin’s ideals” gathered to celebrate the 100 years of the passing of the socialist leader.
The event was coordinated by former Veteran Journalist and former Secretary General of the Organisation of African Trade Union, Owei Lakemfa.
At the occasion were many left wing academics, trade unionists, former students’ union leaders, journalists and diplomats, including Professor Warisu Ali, ambassadors of Cuba and Palestine to Nigeria, and other dignitaries.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Vladimir Lenin, was a Russian revolutionary, politician and political theorist.
He served as the first and founding head of the government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924.
Olawepo-Hashim, who was nicknamed “Lenin” in his student days because of his deep study, connection and admiration for the Russian ideological leader, joined other ideological leaders to celebrate a man who shaped their teenage understanding of global politics.
While explaining the personality of Lenin and the significance of his contribution to Russia’s emergence as a superpower, Olawepo-Hashim maintained that Lenin’s ideals transformed backward Russia into a technologically advanced society and a Super Power.
His internationalist perspective, he noted, laid the foundations of solidarity of USSR and its Successor State (Russia) with the people who lived in colonised territories of Africa and Asia.
He added that Russia’s policy supported freedom from colonial rule in Africa from colonisation from your capitalist friends and so the Russians are our friends and we shall continue to celebrate the legacy of their greatest leader.
Responding to a comment about the autocracy ad authoritarianism of Lenin and Communism, Olawepo-Hashim argued that “although not everything that happened under Lenin were good, but you cannot say someone who implemented electrification of all of Russia in five years under a New Economic Programme is not a champion.
“Imagine that Nigeria, a ‘Capitalist state’ with so much freedom is wallowing in darkness 100 years after electrification of Russia, you still think there is nothing to learn in Lenin’s legacy?”
According to him, “I am not a communist but there is something to learn from a man who gave free health to all his citizens compared to our ‘capitalist’ Nigeria where people are dying every day from treatable diseases.
“There is something to learn from a man that built an army that saved capitalist Europe from Hitler, especially from a people who are led by leaders that are finding it difficult to protect their citizens from kidnappers!”