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Thursday, 1 August 2013

APC Against PDP: A Populace Clamouring Against Peoples Democratic Perdition By M.B.O Owolowo

Within every social stratum in society there are lamentations about the political spectrum, leadership ineptitude and challenges we collectively face as a nation. The battle for 2015 has heated up the polity, and the political juggernauts and serial electoral marauders are gearing up for what seems to be the most contentious battle in not only the history of our nation, but a battle for its subsistence.

Unfortunately, what is at stake transgresses not just the socio-political but the ethno-religious, as most of the populace are clamouring in unison on one mater- the urgent need for change. Between now and 2015 we are going to witness deft political manoeuvrings and gerrymandering, as some of us pray the diabolical game of innocent bloodshed would cease.

Sentiments aside, if elections were held at this very moment, the PDP would win based on its national spread and ‘covert’ electoral tendencies, but the emergence of APC- a worthy opposition with a substantial national outreach, changes the political dynamics. These calculated political machinations have gradually metamorphosed into a political duopoly that will definitely challenge the electoral monopoly of the incumbent PDP.

In all honesty, I resented the PDP based on antecedents, but later I realised it wasn’t about the party itself but its composition. But, as long as the nation remains in a state of torpidity under its stewardship, majority of the citizenry would remain critical of the PDP.

The PDP has been ruling since 1999, a period long enough to initiate the foundation of solid economic policies that ideally should have propelled Nigeria into the league of developed nations. But, what the ruling party has had as its major priority is power elongation and resource squandering, rather than facing the real task of governance.

This power thirst and drunkenness can be traced back to Obasanjo- a figure loathed more than loved, especially by his own ethnic folk, as the South West refused to vote for him in the 1999 elections. Obasanjo is also seen as an ingrate in certain quarters, considering he didn’t duly acknowledge the main political figure, M.K.O Abiola, who paid the ultimate price for him to be considered and eventually emerge as the ‘selected’ candidate by his political benefactors. These same benefactors were oblivious of his yearning quest for political relevance and prominence and misconstrued his supposed loyalty- because he dramatically refused to reciprocate political gestures and overtures on tasting the realms of power again.

Obasanjo still has his loyalists, but is considered a failure in some quarters; the unsavory circumstances of his failed third term bid and the privileged opportunity to serve as president thrice, without the envisaged impact aren’t exactly positives.

He has succeeded in imposing himself a supposed kingmaker and foisted an incompetent leadership on the nation, a ‘selection’ feat he is determined to repeat for the 2015 elections.

As you rummage through the PDP ranks for positives, a depressing culmination ensues in Goodluck Jonathan's string of executive gaffes, and the need to define the constitutional role of the 'First Lady'.

I wouldn’t overstate the obvious, but would warn of the imminent dangers of this regime continuing governance in such a manner - those that would suffer the consequences aren't even born yet, but those of us still around in future may regret being in existence- as our patriotism in the midst of perpetuated squalor would definitely be questioned.

Hitherto, some PDP apologists touted the political potentials of Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi. However, the battle between Amaechi and the incumbent has taken a Nollywood dimension. The latest being the Rivers State impeachment fiasco: deadly fight scenes including the 'mace' armament crescendo, fast moving vehicles and gun trotting operatives, all that was missing were the film production credits. We mustn’t forget the discontented Northern Governors and the Port Harcourt airport ambush.

On a lighter note, the saga of NGF election even added a new word to our socio-political lexicon: 'Janging'.

Evidently, the on-going power tussles and imbroglios within the PDP may eventually be its Achilles heel.

As for the APC, congratulations on scaling through the obstacles supposedly laid by obvious detractors; from the faction saga of one of the parties involved, to the acronym fiasco at INEC, from the challenges of the respective party conventions, to the manifesto alignment and eventual birth, you have overcome.

Please do not celebrate yet, because the arduous journey of saving the nation from the clutches of its desperate stranglers has officially begun.

It would be wise to be aware of certain shadowy characters ready to align or dine with any political association for the purposes of prolonging their looting culture. They will infiltrate your ranks in an attempt to scuttle your success- remaining within your fold to spread their cancer.

APC critics say they are dead on arrival and have been accused of being a congregation of strange bedfellows or disgruntled elements, whatever they are, I believe they are aware of the enormity of the task ahead of not just them but the nation.

The general public sentiment is to make do with APC as an alternative and be relieved there is going to be a semblance of a real and hopefully formidable opposition, one capable of giving the PDP a good democratic fight at the polls.

Honestly, there are certain elements within APC I can’t stand, as there are characters of questionable morals within the fold. I am however consoled by the performances of a few within the party, Governor of Lagos State; Babatunde Fashola is a good example.

At this juncture, one cannot but reminisce on the intrigues of the proposed 2011 merger and if it had succeeded. When discussions were initiated on the ACN -CPC merger, many termed it a “slam dunk”. The merger was meant to capitalise on the growing discontent within and without the PDP, take advantage of the popularity of the incorruptible Muhammadu Buhari amongst the masses, and secure the automatic block vote of the ACN dominated states. Mathematically it seemed possible and people actually conceptualized possibilities of an actual ‘breath of fresh air’.

On that note, I seriously hope the protagonists of that failed merger have learnt from their previous mistakes, as they have another opportunity with APC. However, they should not make the mistake of believing they can take over the helm of affairs to perpetuate the impunity and impudence characteristic of those running the show at the moment.

I hope the APC leadership take heed to the warning from the Nigerian masses, youth especially- if for any reason whatsoever the lot of you don’t swallow your pride, pocket your egos and put national interest over personal interests or ambitions for this merger to succeed - posterity will judge you all and will not forgive you for not halting the protracted inertia initiated by the PDP in modern times.

The birth of APC is healthy for our political landscape and democratic process, but those involved must realise this is bigger than their concerted apparatchiks- it is the battle for not just the soul, but the future and ultimate salvation of a nation in declivity.
-M.B.O 2013©

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