Opinion: The opposition APC and its concept of change

by Raymond Inkabi


Thus, it appears the APC do not want to merely criticize the entire system, nor itself too, or the general political and social conditions under which this system functions. No! Its aim is one. Bring down the government.

It is pertinent that issues bordering the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) be seriously addressed and its intent given meaning. Especially at this time the nation is undergoing varying degrees of perceived politico-clinical surgery, no better time presents itself to make such an analysis than now. The APC, which merged hurriedly in early 2013 to dislodge Nigeria’s, ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming 2015 polls, is dead; yet it carries on. As most popular movements, the party started off as a perceived game changer wooing large support from the populace, and it made the PDP which has been at the centre of power since civilian rule returned to the country in May, 1999; to reconsider its strategy and whatever cards left of it to deal. But now, the APC only has succeeded in becoming an undiscerning opposition with no tenable understanding of the space it now orbits. The sole reason being that the party’s ship has been hijacked and taken over by ruthless greedy pirates who now charts whatever course it takes.

To revolutionise, one needs strategy, real wits and patience. The party’s leadership has none of these. All they clamour for, is change. No matter the consequence of trying to change too much at the same time, it doesn’t amount to anything if such vision of disrupted reality is not compromised. But yet, such national call for change can be attained with only the necessary rudiments of change itself party wise and otherwise. Concerns about the APC are very much centred on the question of its political activism—that is, on the ability of the party to function as a viable opposition and at the same time a socio-cultural, politico-economic vehicle for national development and integration. Will it continue to reel in its unending dystopia? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. It remains only but a Rubik’s cube at this time, if one is to judge based on the methods set in motion to achieving its 2015 goal.

It is unarguable that the concept of an opposition is yet to be understood fully because it is a relatively new phenomenon that is quite different from the military regime that became familiar during recent decades. Thus, it appears the APC do not want to merely criticize the entire system, nor itself too, or the general political and social conditions under which this system functions. No! Its aim is one. Bring down the government. And always it chooses to turn a blind eye or endorse whatever ill its party members and activists do or act, which most times are redolent of circus clowns acting out scripts. Rather, they want to change these conditions by means of intense criticism, protests, violence and rundown media campaigns— with not so much to tender Nigerians in the party, but somehow miraculously offers a promise outside it, in magnified uncooperative reality itself, through a modus operandi in which critics wind up as members of the criticised. This is no opposition where brooms give way to umbrellas overnight, and daily.

In other words, the typical APC activist is one who reacts to the increasing collapse of the current social situation in the country and tries to replace this social state through a handful of criticisms and for different reasons cannot or will not fulfil his own role. These activists are found everywhere – the micro blogging site Twitter.com serves as one of their online fronts. However, it is good to note that they do want to be useful, to help change our country, to make our country a safer place—but at the same time, they do not want to cease being party pawns. And this is the point where theoretical, political, and even purely practical problems arise.

 And this means that such “activists” cannot be used as a mediae of genuine political protest—because the use of such persons for political action necessarily estheticizes this action, turns this action into a spectacle and, thus, neutralizes the practical effect of this action. Hash tags are created, It trends and It becomes fashion. The aestheticization and spectacularization of politics, including political protests, are bad things because they divert attention away from the practical goals of political protests and towards its aesthetic form. Unity Fountain Abuja a coveted shrine of such intent apparently comes to mind.

Indeed, traditionally, we associate opposition with a movement towards perfection. The opposition is supposed to be creative. And to be creative means, of course, to bring into the world not only something new, but also something better—better functioning, better looking, more attractive. All these expectations make sense—but as I have already said, in today’s Nigeria, it is related to activism and not to politics. The APC wants to change reality, the status quo—it wants to improve reality, to make it more attractive – our reality. And it seems to accept reality as it is, to accept the status quo. But same party sees the status quo – the Nigerian state as dysfunctional, as already failed—that is, from its own revolutionary, or even post revolutionary, perspective.

 I do not want, of course, to say that there is no difference between the APC and the PDP – this difference is immense and decisive. I only want to say that the opposition between the two parties does not coincide with the difference between them in politics, ideology or design. And the just concluded gubernatorial elections in Ekiti State puts this into perspective, which made the populace to understand this failure as a failure of progress itself, leaving behind an opposition with only debris, ruins, and personal catastrophes for poor souls still disillusioned by her concoction.

Here we have the classical description of the APC’s philosophical metanoia, of the reversal of the gaze — turning their back towards Nigeria’s future and looking back on the past and present. Yes, the party still moves into the future—but backwards.



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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