Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Strategizing Politics: The PDP And The New APCs By Ola Onikoyi, Jr.
To achieve political objectives, strategies are part of the game. Like in the game of chess, you advance different gambits and tactics to win against your opposition in different permutations. You take a different path from the mainstream, you profit from the weaknesses of your opposition and in every conceivable way - you tap into the consciousness of people to win their heart. But strategies also go bad when wrongly planned and advanced through aggressive desperation. Strategies go bad when you have no cohesive team to put it forward and when your plan is empty and lack reality.
Welcome to PDP! A party of empty political ideals and desperate tactical manoeuvres, the people’s destruction party is in its composition a mess of modern politics and one on the path to self destruction. To make a rehash of George Orwell, it is a party designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and one which aims to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Empty on principle and values fit for modern society, the PDP is one at whose heart our nation has denigrated into a vast abyss of blood shedding and an endless stroke of calamity. If you’re looking for what is wrong with modern Nigeria, the PDP is the devil.
In the words of the General, Ibrahim Babangida himself an erstwhile financier and godfather of the PDP; “the ruling party is at the root of all the problems in the polity today because of the absence of discipline, good orientation and democratic ideals”.
In one of its recent manoeuvres, the people’s destruction party advanced its own brand called the APC (African people’s congress) in a bid to thwart its opposition. Tactically, this is called a disruptive strategy and as far as strategy is concerned, it is a smart move especially when you have a sleeping opposition, what irks is that the PDP did a shoddy job and shot itself in the foot and that is a failure of strategy.
In a self destructive error, the African people’s congress in the name of its acting publicity secretary, Barrister Sa’id Balogun issued a statement mailed to media houses through the party’s e-mail address, email@example.com, the party shot itself in the foot as copies of the email were sent to several of top PDP leaders – some of who include the immediate past National Chairman of the PDP, Kawu Baraje (firstname.lastname@example.org), former information minister, John Odey (email@example.com), PDP’s national publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh (firstname.lastname@example.org), and more officials of PDP and its chapters in the Diaspora.
What a mess!
As if the new APC still has any worth, the party continues to maintain its innocence inspite of its costly mistake. It maintains that it has applied to register its name at INEC and has opened a head office with plans to open many offices across different states in coming months. If the newly formed APC is indeed a genuine party which it claims to be it has failed from day one and needs to reboot.
Its acting publicity secretary Barrister Sa’id Balogun has to explain to the public why he copied PDP stalwarts in his email to the media. He has to explain where he got the individual contacts of the PDP stalwarts. He must swear before the law that he has no link whatsoever with official PDP members and the case must be subjected to criminal investigation.
Anyone adept at recognising consistencies and inconsistencies can see the apparent similarities. If the new APC claims to be real, let its sponsors come forward and explain the source of their funds. Let’s subject all the public communication and email correspondences of the two parties to the scrutiny of thematic analysis and technological inspection. Let’s determine IP addresses and other patterns of consistencies and inconsistencies.
The deceitful case of the African congress party is just a pinch of the desperate and corrupt strategies of the PDP, a party that continues to sponsor the politics of manoeuvre, desperation and corruption. Through all these desperate acts, the PDP continues to subvert the destiny of a nation that is ordained for greatness and yet is not done with its acts of destruction. The terrible part of the narrative is that the PDP in its quest for continuous hold to power is a threat to our collective future as a whole and must be stopped at all cost.
Another sad part of the story is that we have an opposition that is lacking in competence and strategy. It is pathetic that the newly merged party (All progressive congress) has not for- seen any disruptive ploy by the PDP and as such prepare itself in every possible way. Indeed, if the party is well prepared for the task ahead, it is implausible that the PDP and its rogue instruments would succeed at any cheap attempt.
It is apparent that the merged APC has also done a shoddy job so far and what we have just seen in the emerging problem is just one of many failures that lie ahead. Like the African people’s congress, the merged APC also appears to be a rushed idea built on the desperation to confront the PDP.
As it is, the party has not been sold on the strength of its manifesto and its show of determination to confront the problems of the country. The people of Nigeria have rather been sold with pictures of governors’ meetings, launching of party logo and party rhetoric as well as political promises of heaven and earth. For example, Mrs Oluremi Tinubu was quoted to have said that the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is a divine opportunity to save the country.
It is 21st century and Nigerians do not want promises of political divineness but political ideals with robust economic master plan that will be implemented at all cost. For any sensible political party that has to be taken serious, the very first thing must be the selling of its programs and values to people in the public domain and it is up to people to buy into it or leave it.
The party must have a clear articulation of its plans and a manifesto that sets it apart from others. The merged APC has no website where prospective members, researchers or the press can read about what it stands for and who its team members are. It has no contact details in the public domain and who cares if it is a newly formed party. The party has to get it right from day one and stop acting like a faceless organisation serving only its masters.
A political party is an organisation and any organisation that must be taken serious must have functional administrative competency that puts it at the heart of the people whom it seeks to serve. That is not strategy, but simple administration which is the bedrock of any political tactic.
Nigerians are sick of the PDP but the APC must prove itself to deserve any chance come 2015 and beyond. The APC and indeed every other party willing to succeed must devise tactical ploy and techniques to win the PDP based on its clear manifesto articulating every detail of its program. The APC in particular must be aware of selling itself on the name of some of its god fathers. Many people do not trust Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and people have their genuine reasons. Some do not like General Buhari and have their reasons too. Both stalwarts must put their individual interests aside for the sake of progress. The party must organise itself like a modern organisation of world class. Set up effective administrative functions that work smoothly, gather thinkers and strategists to put the best ideas together and get working on its master plan for the future.
The party must penetrate the grassroots by selling its sound ideals and it must not force the ideals of its individual party system into the new structure. The APC must only allow credible people to be its members and must have sound principles that guide its actions. It must be a party that promotes openness, internal democracy, discipline and ambition to make the country a better place and it must never wait until it is threatened before it makes tactical moves that will frustrate it aggressors.
Now, that is how to build a political strategy that works!
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The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters