Given that politics in Nigeria is based on and practised with no
reference to ideology, very strange things can easily happen in
Nigerian politics. Its actors are prone to improvising and changing
their plots and paths when least a rational thinker expects it. It has
happened time and time again; for a recent episode, ask Aliko
Mohammed, chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) who found out
with surprise and dismay that some of his members had gone with some
politicians from the Niger Delta to declare their support for
Jonathan, inviting him to contest in 2015, after they all had just
decided the contrary in Maiduguri.
The effects of power cannot be overstated. It helps those that wield
it make their friends and foes see reason where there is little or
none. Those in the PDP have tasted power and they know what access to
power and maintaining the status quo can mean for individuals. Or as
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur puts it, “the party has given fame and fortune to
many of its members”. It takes a lot of courage, discipline and
generosity to walk out of and go against power just on principles.
A mini mental test will be appropriate here: Mentally parade all those
fighting amongst themselves in the PDP today and ask yourself how many
of them will just for policy, ideology or for the sake of their people
or country leave the party and political position without being forced
to do so.
Nothing is new. We have seen the PDP in all its shapes and forms, and
anything that comes from it henceforth is a recreation or at best a
variation of what it has offered us in the past. Those of us voting
and supporting the party or planning to do so, will do so based on
what we have seen and already known about the party. Acting surprised
later is mere noise and an underserved privilege.
More interesting is the opposition in the form of the newly formed
association called All Peoples Congress (APC). As citizens and
students, this thing called APC is more interesting to us because it
is still an unknown entity in embryo; we shall have to call it
“association” and “thing” because technically APC is still not a
registered political party and at that, some of us are shaking our
heads for reasons we are reading around.
It is important to note here that one of the reasons many of us
greeted the amalgamation of opposition parties into one big national
force is because we feel it is good for Nigeria as a whole to have an
alternative party capable of truly competing with the ruling party,
and by so doing forcing both sides to give their best. This desire for
a truly national opposition party is not new; many of us consider it
an asset for our democracy hence the support for the project from many
quarters even before they have achieved or promised anything.
To whom much is given, much is expected. As a new formation a lot of
people are looking to as an alternative to the ruling party, the APC
owes the citizens of this country a lot more than they seem to
realise. It is not enough for them to play politics as usual. Judging
by the way they have gone about their business so far, those managing
the affairs of the APC do not seem to realise that they owe Nigerians
not just politicking for power, but a real and proper display of how
things can be done differently from how it has been done so far.
To those planning to contest for offices through the platform of the
APC when it becomes a party, we wish all the best in their quest.
Their ambitions are legitimate, but they need to know that the
citizens of this country are not expecting a replica of the PDP from
them; we already have a thriving original PDP thank you very much and
we can’t use two at a time, moreover replicas tend to be worse than
To live up to expectations and to prove it is worthy of existing, the
APC should rather than limit itself to courting this or that future ex
PDP member tell us first what it stands for and why anyone, politician
or voter, should join and support it rather than stay with their
Whilst they get on with their registrations and nominations, we the
citizens must start posing some questions to which the APC owes us
some clear and credible answers. We shall start examining them next
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