Ohimai Amaize: The APC, is it a merger or ‘maga’? (Y! Politico)

by Ohimai Amaize

 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.

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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.

Comments (7)

  1. Mr fix, majority of nigerians are tired of hearing rhetoric of what poverty development party or what will do for them. We want accelerated development and not excuses which leaders of your party are giving that the problems were not caused by jonatan. Tell us with verifiable facts how pdp has develop the youths in nigeria.

  2. This piece is riddled with so much logical incoherence that pointing them out would require a separate write up.

    Political parties, as we were taught in high school Government, are formed solely to acquire power. Nothing more, nothing less. Ideologies are formed and projected to appeal to voters in this quest.

    As far as modern Nigeria is concerned, I haven’t seen any party founded on any clear, developmental ideology. For instance, what’s PDP’s ideology? Or would its 60-years old “youth leader” tell us the party’s agenda for the Nigerian youth?

    Besides, isn’t it a bit hasty to expect a merger-in-progress to have it all figured out? We cannot deny that the move is essential for us to have a competitive democracy (pardon the tautology) in this country. And with the level of interest shown by the PDP so far, it definitely is worried.

    A party that is barely formed deserves, at least, our understanding. Whether or not it would get our votes should depend on the its candidates and their manifestos.

    Lastly, it needs to be emphasized that regardless of our disappointment with the current crop of leaders, this initiative can only be undertaken by Nigerians – saints and sinners. Their policy thrust should however be dictated by progressive ideals. We have a handful of politicians making some visible progress. It is hoped the others are forced by competition to evolve and for the old guards to reform or be politically deformed.

    Olugbemi

  3. Is it not funny that the same people who are celebrating the eagles victory are saying Ohimai is a part of the rotten system. Ohimai serves in the sports ministry which has produced many medal winners in the paralymics and now an AFCON cup after 19 yrs of barreness.

    1. Ohimai serves in the Sports Ministry as what BK? Why did it take him an appointment by then Youths Minister to believe in PDP? Do you have records of all that he said against the PDP while he was with Dele Momodu? If indeed there will be future for this country, the youths must stop allowing what they get to eat determine what they say and how they speak.

    2. Nigerians who really are nigerians none lip service every one….. Not my tribes man…… You ne er build a nation like… All I know is that for who ever lives without the spirit of the being nigerian we would go on without them cos events would pass them bye. Keshi has done his beat what's your contribution… Sick people

  4. However u view the opposition and whoever in the opposition u have issues against . PDP as a party has failed me as a youth and your party have produced some of the worst characters and the list of its failure as a party is endless

  5. My people will say “Ki ni jero o ba so tele” – “What else would jero have said?”

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