by Ohimai Godwin Amaize
Those who have sentiments for opposition parties should also feel free to join but desist from allowing themselves misled into believing that once the PDP is out, Nigeria will become a paradise overnight.
In 2015, Nigerians will elect new leaders. There has been so much noise about kicking out the PDP and the leading opposition parties; ACN, CPC and ANPP have been talking about a possible merger. Before one wishes them goodluck, everything sane tells one we have seen this “gra-gra” before.
Rewind back to 2011. Where was this opposition in 2011? Why was it so difficult for them to form this “Voltron Alliance” back then? The opposition has matured? Is this fabled maturation age-wise or commonsense-wise? Where are the indications? Are they now ready to sweep their king-size egos under the umbrella of true change? Is the old General now ready to jettison his endless ambition to become Nigeria’s President at any cost and endorse a much younger candidate? Is the ACN now discontented with just being a localized Eko champion? Is 2015 really going to be about what the PDP has not done well and what an alliance of opposition parties think they can do better? Or is this merely a craving for the acquisition of a new fancy title: “ruling party”?
There are many Nigerians who believe the ACN-CPC-ANPP gameplan – much more a ruse than one can unravel – for 2015 (and beyond) is not anchored on the politics of change, ideology or issues. It’s all about the naked and all-consuming greed for power: whose turn is it next? And this is why I pity the Nigerian youth, who though well armed with the strategic weapon of numbers, remains an abused pawn in the vicious dynamics of Nigeria’s politics.
Except us, the youth change strategy; this is what will happen in the build up to 2015. Young Nigerians will be thrown into the frenzy of registering to vote, voting and making their votes count. They will be told that this is the ultimate symbolic act of political participation. Politicians will encourage them to get busy on Twitter and Facebook with the noise about free and fair elections – exercising civic responsibility and having a voice! But nobody will tell them that having a voice is not enough. And at the end of the electoral exercise, only a few young Nigerians will discern how well they have just been used to rubber-stamp the options presented to them by political parties, however questionable those options.
A very influential Nigerian youth who was part of the voter mobilization campaigns in 2010 was recently asked which candidate he eventually voted for. He said he couldn’t find any credible one and I laughed in Spanish! 2015 will come and many young people may still be waiting for Godot.
It wasn’t surprising that last week, one’s article on YNaija titled, “Like it or not, we are all PDP” sparked so much controversy. Most readers agreed that it was a presentation of the blunt truth. But some still struggled to give a dog a bad name in other to hang it. I managed to read some poorly written “things” that looked like rejoinders and one could only pity the shallowness of thought. How could any intelligent person miss the metaphoric use of PDP in that piece and then politicize it as a merely pro-PDP article? Shame.
Without doubt, one desires to see more credible and competent young Nigerians playing a critical role in the political process as card-carrying members of PDP. Those who have sentiments for opposition parties should also feel free to join but desist from allowing themselves misled into believing that once the PDP is out, Nigeria will become a paradise overnight.
Hypothetically, in 2015, an opposition party becomes the ruling party, so what stops your ‘PDP devils’ from decamping to the new ruling ‘all saints’ party? Many politicians have decamped from PDP to ACN in ACN-controlled states because it no longer favoured them to remain in the PDP once the PDP lost power. We are expected to believe they became born-again the moment they decamped from PDP to ACN?
Don’t get it twisted. We are dealing with more fundamental issues here. Joining a political party is only where the game begins. How we become a distinct and indispensable part of the system is the crux. All our political parties are in dire need of internal reforms. All of them! But it is refreshing to know that the PDP is currently embracing self-reformation.
The PDP had never prior to this time registered and affiliated to itself an organized movement of young professionals, Persons Living With Disabilities and everyday Nigerians under one platform of a single organization as seen in the case of the PDP Youth Circuit of which I am a founding member. Are we there yet? Far from it. But it is little drops of water like these that will eventually do the magic.
Ohimai Godwin Amaize is popularly known as Mr. Fix Nigeria, Amaize was born on September 9, 1984. He is an alumnus of the premier University of Ibadan, Nigeria with a post-graduate certificate in “Managing for Integrity”, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. He is a registered member, People’s Democratic Party. He tweets @MrFixNigeria.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.