Nigeria: Can APC Halt Our Voyage To Damned Destination?
By Kelechi Jeff Eme
My initial temptation was to conclude that our leaders are solo in undertaking the ignoble journey to eternal damnation until senior members of the “oppressive gang” effused in their usual self while clobbering together a supposedly mega opposition party. The subsequent reactions depicted the true revelation of the Nigerian
situation. I was in fact rescued by the recent development from possible accusation of myopic analysis of public affairs. I have always been averse to the saying that the people deserve the government they get. My argument is that the people are liable to the extent that their group endurance limit as a linear function of their effort in demanding for social justice is not exceeded. The truth of the matter is that I am conclusively inclined to believe that we gave our leaders the ammunition to decimate us.
The recent merging of the three biggest opposition parties and a fraction of the fourth is a huge lesson in not to overestimate the political sagacity of the average Nigerian. Doing the contrary could amount to attempting to establish a “firm” grip on sand in a moving truck. A good political analyst in Nigeria must include ethnicity, religion and hunger in order to arrive at a fair view of trending orientations. The Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigerian Peoples’ Party (ANPP) merged with the Rochas Okorocha’s wing of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in a landmark political unification never witnessed in Nigeria. The big question however is how strong rooted is the new political party?
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has supposedly swallowed the merged parties but it is debatable whether the subsumed parties have weaned themselves of their old names, tags and characteristics. Coining a name is the easiest of the tasks facing the new party. Nigerians are adept at churning out eye catching names. Any doubter should visit a movie shop to feast his eyes on Nollywood titles. A big challenge facing the party is how it can overcome the burden of the peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). The PDP has established itself as a party of anything goes which thrives on feudalistic definition of democratic ethos. This tendency has been the breeder of the opaque internal democracy prevailing in the party. This has manifested in the party’s preference for ‘Babacracy, Ogacracy and fixercracy’ at all levels to the well established politics of ideology and merit. Unfortunately, the merged parties trailed the PDP in the institutionalization of internal democratic principles. Will the APC with no personalized ownership of the party chart a new way forward?
The promoters of APC committed one fundamental error in their haste to announce the birth of the new party. Its inability to categorically differentiate the Rochas arm of APGA from the established structure of the party portrayed it as being in a hurry to outdoor a national party and in process presented itself as a non-believer in due process. The leaders should have known that the process must be as good as the final product to be politically acceptable. There was no basis immersing itself in unnecessary controversy at birth.
Now that APGA has made its point on non-participation in the merger, the onus is on it to restructure itself and rebuild a party that will contribute meaningfully to the economic and political development of the nation. Wasting useful time attacking the APC will amount to a huge distraction on whatever goals the party has set for itself. On Rochas participation in the merger without the express approval of his party, only posterity will determine whether he made a wise political decision or not.
One troubling aspect of the merger is the unraveling of a section of Nigerians who are desirous for change but unable to participate in any way towards engendering that change. They either out of bigotry or hunger are expressing selfish pessimism on the viability of the new party. Some ridiculously described it as a congregation of strange bedfellows who are power hungry and willing to snatch power from the incumbent for the sole purpose of dipping their fingers into our coffers. I am genuinely perplexed by this mindset. Is the ruling PDP peopled by familiar bedmates?
If majority of Nigerians are in agreement that the fourteen years administration of PDP at national level has been a colossal failure, will supporting the emergence of a mega opposition party not be the politically wise thing to do? A mega opposition party has the capacity to put the government on its toes and in the process force it to deliver the elusive dividends of democracy to the people. In fact the birth of APC has forced the warring parties in PDP to close ranks and focus on governance. It is a good development that it fully appreciates the emerging dangers irrespective of their officials mouthing to the contrary.
The political terrain is littered with men and women of deficient character who exhibit their moral bankruptcy without qualms. The APC must ensure that individuals suffering from acute logorrhea are prevented from speaking for the party on policy and strategy. The merging members of the merged party should do away with their undemocratic and corrupt appreciation of politics prior to the present development. They will gain the confidence of Nigerians if they practice true democracy in the election of their officials. Nigerians are tired of imposition of candidates who owe no allegiance to the masses.
Finally, I wish to ask again: have the parties really merged? It is surprising that senior members of the party still speak on behalf of the supposedly defunct parties. This is nothing but portrayal of the inherent unbelief in the new party by members of the subsumed parties. One thing the people of Nigeria will not do in 2015 is to exchange a PDP dog for an APC monkey. Taking the unpopularity of the PDP as the sole winning magic will be the killer of the APC. Presentation of good manifesto and candidates imbued with vision and integrity is essential in thumping PDP in a presidential pool. We are already on a collective voyage to damned destination. Can APC put a halt to it?