by Ohimai Amaize
PDP will do its homework well, campaigning and penetrating the grassroots. At the end of the day, someone will cry foul that PDP has cheated!
As I touched down in Lagos from Johannesburg last week, the trending news that hit me was the din on social media about the All Progressives Congress (APC). I understand the new party is the offspring of four political parties.
The parties being Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). A former Minister of Foreign Affairs under the Abacha regime, Chief Tom Ikimi announced the merger on behalf of the merging parties. Chief Ikimi is one of the chieftains of the ACN and headed the ACN’s merger committee. In 2003, the same Ikimi, then a member of the PDP, was the head counter of votes at the PDP presidential primaries.
For whatever it is worth, the sheer existence of a ‘strong’ opposition party is a welcome development and a healthy reflection of how far our democracy has matured.
I have heard many young people argue that the new party has the potential to keep the ruling PDP on its toes or even kick it out of power in 2015. Maybe.
Some, equally, asserted that the ‘Mega Party’ is a product of recycled politicians of the old order, some of them mini-gods within their respective political fiefdom and, many of them, originally members of the PDP. I am not aware that this is incorrect.
But let us take the discussion deeper.
What is the core ideology of this new contrivance? What is its blueprint for Nigeria’s regeneration? An existing manifesto or some consultants are still working on it? When will it be ready? Perhaps, a few months to the next general elections!
And this is part of the problem. Contrivances don’t work.
We will lose the opportunity to engage candidates on serious policy-focused debates before the elections while they get their acts together; PDP will do its homework well, campaigning and penetrating the grassroots. At the end of the day, someone will cry foul that PDP has cheated!
But I digress.
As it stands, the average Nigerian is more concerned about good governance and dividends of democracy than the politics of ruling party or opposition party. This should actually constitute the core of advocacy by socio-politically conscious youth who really love this country. And I have always maintained that such advocacy is best championed and executed only from within political parties.
The assumption by some of our youth that Nigeria will be transformed simply because some ‘big guns’ within the political class have assembled under the toga of a new opposition party remains nothing but an illusion. The notion that a group of recycled politicians uniting against the ruling PDP in the name of ‘opposition’ will present an already-made change, is at best, a hasty journey to a land of frustration.
It is not that simple. There is nothing like already-made change. Nirvana does not exist. We must humble ourselves, bury our pride and work under existing political platforms no matter how educated and enlightened we think we are.
Permit me a question: When this new opposition party was being formed, what was its agenda for the youth? Is there any or will it hurriedly cook up one within the next few days? Which of the pro-APC youth activists on Twitter can confidently tell us the youth agenda of their new party? How many of my fellow Twitter busybodies were consulted to share their ideas for this merger before it was hatched? None! Because as far as they are concerned, you are not important in the scheme of things and do not exist. So, is this a change-minded merger or a power hazard that will eventually leave many Nigerians the ‘maga’ of 2015? We have forgotten so quickly what some of these characters did to the presidential aspiration of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu in 2011? Shame.
But why do I go this route?
I am terribly saddened by our disposition as young people to politics.
Somewhere, some young Nigerians are hoping and waiting for some politicians to do the ‘hard’ work because politics is too rough and tough for us. Someone is waiting for the political class to arrange the system and structure and then invite us, the youth, to partake.
Those of us who hate PDP with a zealot’s passion will do a better job engaging the ‘new saints’ party on their plans for Nigeria and their agenda for the youth – if they have any. This is what brings out the true beauty of democracy. Jumping about on Twitter to proclaim the death of PDP via the mechanics of APC won’t get anyone anywhere.
The kind of things I have seen some of us say or tweet in the past few days betray a euphoric fantasy about how all our problems are about to be solved by the APC contrivance. Some of us abhor PDP so much that we are confident that change is suddenly about to berth simply because the ‘enemy’ of our ‘enemy’ has arrived. There is nothing productive about blind rage and the assertion: Anything but PDP!
The older generation can be pardoned for having a short-sighted vision of a future Nigeria they will not be part of. But posterity will not absolve the youth.
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.