by Aver Angweh
The APC therefore is the most promising political party in the world right now with its strong features of reconciliation of the good, the bad and the ugly to one common fight against the prevalent evil eating up the country at the speed of light.
The emergence of the People’s Democratic Party in 1998 was meant to be some sort of salvation for the people of Nigeria, or at least so it seemed. But deep inside, every well-informed Nigerian knew this proposed breath of fresh air was a double-edged sword that was either predicated towards making or marring our dear nation. With the exit of the military regimes and the much awaited return of civilian rule also came a whole new military arrangement masterminded by past military heads of states, governors, administrators and their civilian cronies whose paramount goal was to make a smooth transition from a military regime to a civilian dictatorship, thus maintaining the status quo in a different light. Apparently everything was pre-destined to remain the same except for the dress code and of course a constitution which they had already prepared as a prelude to the national face lift.
After this grand introduction, the rest is history as the events that followed are nothing short of a tragicomedy, even a madman on the streets can attest to the fact that we took a swift head-first dive into an abyss of deceit, lies, oppression, poverty and every other moral decay that the human mind can conceive. It turns out that after 15 wasted years of the then critically acclaimed PDP, Nigerians have finally realised that the PDP was not just a political assembly of like-minds but also a well-calculated plot aimed at self-destructing itself and holding the whole country hostage while at it. We can only be thankful to God we survived it for this long and this brings us to the story of the All Progressives Congress.
The All Progressives Congress on the other hand is a model political party founded on a rock-solid foundation of political change, ethic reconciliation, absolute meeting of the minds cutting across all geographical spheres , re-birth of political priorities and most importantly the self-discovery of many ‘once misguided’ potential agents of change. The Nigerian youths have seen this metamorphosis with no single detail withheld. The founding of the APC in February 2013 was no hidden agenda as it was publicly strategized and transparently conducted before the eyes of the general public unlike that of the PDP in 1998 which was founded on the personal plots of a few individuals christening themselves as the G3, the G7 then later G13 as the number of accomplices increased.
Thus any young and well meaning person in Nigeria has appreciated the birth of an ideal democratic and truly nationalist movement in the form of a political party, and should naturally feel safe associating with something like this which they have yearned for and scrutinized all through. This is evident due to the unprecedented massive turnout of the youths ranging from ages 18 to 45 in the last APC membership registration exercise, this sort of active participation has never been enjoyed by any other political party in times past and it is now convenient to say the Nigerian youths have finally pitched tent for the first time with a truly democratic movement without any promise of personal incentives to the utter dismay of the power hungry, bank-breaking ruling People’s Democratic Party. I think this revolution can be attributed to the plethora of strong points proffered below.
First on the list is the amalgamation of the major opposition parties. This move had long been suggested as the only solution to the growing influence of the dominant PDP for over a decade, these talks however seemed impossible due to negative forces such as variance in political ideologies, religious sentiments, ethic mistrust and so on. But finally in February 2013 it became a reality that shocked the PDP who’s only unifying ideology as a political party is “to rule Nigeria for 60 years”. With this consensus ad’idem between the CPC, ACN, ANPP and a huge faction of the APGA notice need not be given that there is an elephant in the room. The North-East, North-West, North-Central, South-West and some parts of the South-South and South-East have never before agreed to one political ideology ever in the history of Nigeria since the post-independence days of our democracy, therefore the formation of the APC implies that all barriers are broken and Nigeria as a country has decided to discard ethnic and religious sentiments for the benefit of a desired democracy and national development. Just like one young person told me “if Buhari can sit on the same table with Tinubu and listen to Okorocha speak then truly Nigeria has found democracy”. Every young person who has studied the history of Nigeria perusing all our tribal and religious travails would agree that God has presented us with this priceless opportunity to extinguish the burning fire of corruption and national decay been fuelled by the ruling PDP for a consistent 15 years. When a people come together to speak in one voice, even the devil stands no chance to subdue them any further, it is no wonder that the ruling party has totally lost every sense of composure as well as their usual bravado, things have fallen apart so much that the centre can no longer hold and therefore the centre has resorted to blackmail and other unorthodox ways (i.e bribery) to fight the inevitable positive change lurking in the shadows awaiting 2015. This time a viable panacea has been embraced for the deadly disease of religious and ethnic disagreement over political ideology; again the Nigerian youths watched it happen at every step and therefore they are fully involved and ready to grab the future of the country from its lunatic hijackers.
Another one of the most glaring factors why the APC is embraced by almost all is the despicable state of affairs in Nigeria. Since 1999 till the present day, the dominant PDP has only proved one thing to Nigerians, and that is their excellent transformation from a clueless and purposeless unholy political alliance to a deep dark criminal circle, with its object of association being to steal, kill and destroy both the Nigerian state and its people in general. All the hopes and aspirations of the average Nigerian in 1998 has been dashed into a horrible nightmare of corruption, national insecurity, selective nepotism, and deprivation of basic amenities to the people. This is far from what we bargained for but however this is what we got and it is what we might not survive for another couple of years, talks less of their proposed 45 more years of the 60 year theory.
However there is a popular African proverb that says “whoever the gods wish to kill, they first make mad”. The youths have witnessed by themselves the outcome of the cold war within the unholy alliance, another proof that a house built on quick sand will only last for so long. In this case we have personal greed and avarice to thank for presenting us a stepping stone to the solution of the deathly problem of our beloved country. After just 15 years, a good number of the truly good men who were formally aboard the bandwagon of bandits realized where the destination is and decided to jump ship for the right cause, as that is the most honourable thing to do being fully aware that evil prevails when good men fail to act. Many more of these good men are also bored at the devils party and are already asking their way back home to sanityville.
The APC therefore is the most promising political party in the world right now with its strong features of reconciliation of the good, the bad and the ugly to one common fight against the prevalent evil eating up the country at the speed of light. Those who were too young to comprehend the hypnosis of the PDP in 1999 are now old enough to understand the vision and mission of the all-embracing APC today and indeed the big nod has been given by the greater populace.
Thirdly, the government of the day has failed the entire people of Nigeria the same way its predecessors did under the same political platform, of all the victims of this colossal failure, the youths are the most injured and rightfully the most aggrieved. This is so because in the area of education, the government of the day has failed woefully to shoulder the plight of the younger citizens especially those in the tertiary institutions. A government that has proved to the populace that it would rather celebrate a strangled democracy with N700 million than use such funds to honour its agreement with the ASUU at the behest of its undergraduates; a government which keeps its students at home for 6 months without an iota of remorse; a government which turns a blind eye to the looting of 20 billion USD when university lectures and its staff unions are denied a mere N1 billion for the education of over 10million young people all across the country; a government that will rather reward pardoned rebel groups by placing its members on a N65,000 monthly ‘post-rebellion allowance’ while over 500,000 qualified youths are lured to their deaths in numbers by facades of job interviews organised in open stadiums with the inevitable danger of stampedes. In my view the average Nigerian youth is displeased with the ruling technique of the PDP, this is evident by the number of youth protests organised in Nigeria by both civil society groups and undergraduates within the last one and half decade of the PDP’s rule, these protests may have fallen on deaf ears in past times but the near future seems to hold more positive outcomes as there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Another medium used by the dominant PDP to hinder the development of the Nigerian youths is the maintenance of an alarming rate of unemployment in the country, in a country where the government deprives its youth of a means to earn a living for themselves there could be only one motive behind such an agenda and that is the suppression of the youth both in the economic and political set-up of the country. The essence is to starve the youths so badly that they either join in the wave of crime or become rubber stamps for the corrupt government in exchange for stipends. It takes the eyes of a sage to see through this grand design. Come 2015 the youths of Nigeria will rise up en-masse to facilitate the exit of the government of the day and stake their claim to their rightful position in the society and Nigeria at large.
Also, the blazing trail of technology in Nigeria within the past decade is absolutely God-sent, along with this whirl wind of technology came the social media. This is about the most embraced activity amongst the Nigerian youth since the inception of the country. Since the PDP government has failed to recognise the importance of the youth in the sustenance and development of the nation, the majority of the youths have found a sanctuary in the social media, as a means to stay away from the sorrows meted on them by those running the country. Here on the internet, thousands of them build and develop entrepreneurship skills of their own for independent economic empowerment. It was not too long before we realised the social media and internet as a whole is one of the most potent means of social engineering through the world over, it has become a platform where millions of young people meet to express their views on the state of the nation and also raise suggestions on how to protest against the ills of the corrupt practises of the government of the day in the most advanced and effective manner. Truly, knowledge is power and the social media is the perfect and most expedient means of passing information around the world or Nigeria as a case study.
A classic example of the power of the social media as a tool for the Nigerian youth was the #OccupyNigeria events of January 2012 when millions of youths invaded Facebook and Twitter to protest against the draconian policy of removal of government subsidy on petroleum products by President Jonathan even where such a policy was radically against the wishes of all Nigerians. Within a few hours, the internet was taken over by the youth and it was not long before the hash-tag #OccupyNigeria was set trending all over the world. For the first time the government felt the impact of the social media and was threatened at once. The outcome? A few months later the President of the Nigerian Senate, who is also a chieftain and juggernaut of the PDP, Senator David Mark suggested that the social media be banned in Nigeria for the mere reason that same is being used as a medium to insult the president and antagonise the government of the day. This proposition was however subdued by the greater force of the Nigerian youths and their protests in one voice. The PDP senator’s endeavour failed woefully and went away as fast as it came.
It is therefore evident that this singular act corroborates the facts to prove that the PDP maintains a strict anti-youth policy and one of its major aims is the suppression of the voices of the youths in Nigeria, thus making the country a sweet haven for gerontocrats, no wonder one of their past national youth leaders was 60 years old at the time of his appointment. The APC on the other hand has a huge mass appeal on social media especially on Facebook and Twitter where it has given millions of Nigerian youths a platform to understand its ideologies and play a reasonable role in bringing about the much desired positive change being yearned for in Nigeria. Some of the most respected names on Twitter and Facebook in recent times in Nigeria include Japheth Omojuwa, a prolific writer cum orator of impeccable standards and the Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Mallam Nasir eL-Rufai, a tested and trusted youth ambassador as well as a seasoned technocrat of the finest breed.
My prophesy reads thus; in 2015 the youths of Nigeria will fully play a significant role in the displacement of the PDP and restoration of sanity to our great country. GOD BLESS NIGERIA.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.