Welcoming the APC By Sonala Olumhense

Columnist: 
Sonala Olumhense

I warmly welcome Nigeria’s newest political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

As constituted on February 6, 2013, the APC comprises the former All Progressive Grand Alliance, the Action Congress of Nigeria, the All

Nigeria Peoples Party, and the Congress for Progressive Change.

As I understand it, the merger is to advance the best interests of Nigeria through correcting the lapses in our polity identified since 1999.  

It is widely-known that those lapses are symbolized by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has wielded power at the centre since that time.

Now, the sins of the PDP are many.  So are its sinners.  

But Nigeria’s sinners are not only in the PDP.  The PDP has become the symbol of Nigeria’s decay only because of its carnage in the center, but none of the parties that have held power in the States in the past 14 years are innocent.  

In other words, the real issue is not the PDP; it is the Nigerian politician.  The question is whether the Nigerian politician of the APC is different, or will be.

It is known that the immediate objective of the APC is to unseat the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.  

Mr. Jonathan has not confirmed he will run.  If he does, that would indicate an unrepentant PDP.  

It will also be good news for the APC because Jonathan ought to be pretty easy to defeat.   In my view, Jonathan’s biggest opponent in 2015 will be Jonathan, not a party or a presidential candidate.  

In 2011, he never debated anyone but himself; in 2015, he will.  Since 2011, he has put in the most atrocious shift a Nigerian ruler ever has, and failed to honour his promises and pledges.  In Jonathan’s care, Nigeria is worse than an open sewage.

Jonathan is Jonathan’s biggest weakness because his presidency has been but a broadcast of his limitations.  The Jonathan that has emerged since 2010 is, even by PDP standards, not a marketable one.  Unless Nigerians are such fools that that they will again mistake “clueless” for “shoeless,” it is unlikely he will make it past his own party’s primaries.  

In other words, in the 2015 elections, the APC will have more than a fair chance to wipe the slate clean.

But the task is not just removing the PDP; it is putting in, and putting first, Nigeria.   To do that, the APC must demonstrate the capacity, not just the rhetoric, for democracy.  It is an age-old challenge: many proclaim it, but few are strong enough to understand its implications.    

The question is whether, in practice, the replacement party is cut from the same cloth as the PDP.  Since you cannot get yam from cocoyam, will the men and women offered by the APC be achiever and people of character?

The new party has outlined its priorities to include agricultural development, jobs, free education, affordable healthcare, infrastructural development, adequate power supply, eradication of poverty and corruption, and rapid technological advancement and industrialisation.

That is all very good, but it is also just an overloaded shopping basket.  Any political party, especially a new one, can tender such a shopping cart at the checkout counter.   Does the APC have the political and patriotic capital to pay for it?

I certainly hope so, but the new party may be looking at the microscope from the wrong end.  Regrettably, that is the same exhaust pipe from which the PDP has always looked at the country, and it is the end from which Nigeria has been sold the most rotten goods.   
The correct and sensible place to start is for the ACP to assume the character of a party that seeks power not for the sake of power, but for service.  

How is the APC to be seen to be programmed to serve, and not simply to serve its members?  

My answer is that the new party must set clear standards, and demonstrate that those standards are higher than partisan politics and the APC itself.  Before contesting for power, it should show that it is serious about things being done, and done right.   

In this regard, I challenge the APC to set such standards into a code of conduct and of obligations, and publish it.  This will demonstrate that the party understands the quality of the challenge that is before our nation, and that it intends to subordinate itself to it.

The APC must understand that it will be held to a higher standard than the PDP because, by its nature, it has proclaimed itself to be the superior of the two.  

Is it?

Beyond any doubt, Nigeria’s failures stem from a dearth of men and of institutions, and it will require the most courageous and patriotic of Nigerians to commence the rectification of this problem.  

Is the APC the right batch of men, or are they simply taking advantage of the moment?  Let the new party to define its character by publicly setting the lowest limits of its aspirations at the level of the most essential reforms that Nigeria needs.  

In this respect, the first, most desirable, and lowest-hanging fruit is our electoral system.  A system where the party in power, through the president, defines elections through the pivotal ability to appoint the electoral boss is a joke and cannot guarantee decent elections or attract decent candidates.  The ACP should therefore pick the Uwais Report, which contains all the answers, off the floor, and labour to make it the basis of true electoral reform.  There is no reason to start over.  

Think about it: so we have an “Independent” National Electoral Commission (INEC)?   If so, exactly what is INEC independent of?  It is certainly not independent of the ruling party or the president.  

Here is proof: In 2010, Attahiru Jega, the current INEC chairman, loudly announced that the new electoral register had captured many well-known multiple-registering politicians.  Jega was effusive that he would make an example of the offenders by prosecuting them.  Two and a half years later, he has done no such thing.  The reason is simple: most of them belong to his employers: the PDP.  If we implement the recommendations of the Justice Uwais panel, we will be spare these hypocrisies.

Second, the APC should put into play, without delay, a nationwide voter-education plan that will not only consolidate it as a political party, but will demonstrate a grassroots machinery of education and voter-registration.  That is how you broaden party membership and develop national presence.

Three: a true anti-corruption response.  If the APC considers itself to be ready for prime-time, it must tell Nigerians how it intends to combat corruption.  Without a dogged and determined anti-corruption plan, the APC will simply become the PDP in another name.  
Nigerians know that the current “anti-corruption” scheme is a ruse.  A true war will have many of the current anti-corruption leaders in jail within one month, and stripped of their loot.  

The same regime will also put proponents of the ACP on trial and separate them from both their loot and their hypocrisies.  The APC must demonstrate that it is willing, ready and capable of assuming this challenge.  Nigeria does not lack resources for development; what we lack are men who will retrieve the resources from our many thieves and plough them into development.
The PDP must go.  But the APC must prove that it is the answer.

•    sonala.olumhense@gmail.com
 

Comments
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Unreasonable Doubt

Slow your hussle, @Isreal. Thats the problem because they keep complaining about his Tribe, Relgion, and they refuse to look at the mirror.
Buhari whether you like him or not is the only person in this political zones of his calibre that is true to the word, even the con commentator "Deri" alias Akpos; knows that. He is the only person that the Devil's (made in Nigeria) "PDP", dont bribe. If he is not given the "situation" to revive then forget it, because who among the carved "APC" from evil PDP can we trust, please just point one for us..ehh. It seems we are not ready to see things turning around for change, if not then let him hold the steering and see. Forget about his age, his tribe, his relgion and focus the rising of this country. A lot of Northern Muslims did not vote for him, so is not about the North but the nation. Put your unreasonable bias and hatred aside and face reality.
This is 21 century and the clock is ticking. BEWARE!.
God Bless Naijar.

Buhari should be given a chance

Buhari should be given a chance if Jonathan whom we knew did nothing in his previous Administration, as Deputy and Governor, as vice, acting President. Buhari is known to be intolerant to corruption and that is what the nation needs right now. We should beware not to be used to go against him by those who fear him because they know he would come after them for the looting of yesteryears and of recent...a thing we should desire him for. Most of allegations against him are not founded. How can you say he killed corpses? And he hasn't been tried. How can you say he want to turn Nigeria to Islamic nation because he's not a nominal Muslim. Let's be objective. How can you say he's old? Doing good has nothing to do with age. Mandela, James Ibori, Bankole, Farouk, Femi Otedola, etc See how corrupt young people n politicians were. His driver is a Christian for years, he work well with people not his tribe but same upright mind...eg Tunde Idiagbon.

No SNC, no vote, period!

If the APC is serious about wining power, they need to put the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference a central theme of their manifesto. All the ills enumerated flow from the source of a coerced union that is not working because of diverse ethnic agenda. APC should honest where PDP has been dishonest, or let us be to figure out how to progress the country.

APGA, merger, Divide to extinction

The faction of the APGA that is opposed to merger with APC should realise that APGA as a whole is not even a half regional party let alone making inroad nationally. As it cannot openly join the discredited PDP, the better option is to openly join the so far untainted APC. APGA should learn from the self demised of the AD that once controlled the whole South West zone and made good inroad nationally.

AD fell apart because of factions. This was between those that were taking handout from the PDP in the dark and those that were genuinely progressive. The genuine progressive in the AD went to form a new progressive, the ACN. The faction of the AD that was left behind could not survive on the secret handout of the PDP that used them disorganisation purpose. Today AD is no more.

If APGA continue to factionalise, while the genuinely progressive among them join the APC as individuals, the left behind faction will go into oblivion within a year.

APC is not the answer or medicine to Nigeria's Sickness

I AM STILL FIGURING OUT A WAY TO BALANCE BUHARI AND TINUBU ON EACH SIDE OF THE LEVER. . .

TINUBU'S OVERBEARING PERSONALITY AND CORRUPT BAGGAGES OUTSHINES BUHARI EXTREMIST TENDENCIES IN A SECULAR COUNTRY. . .

I SEE THE SAME BUNCH OF RECYCLED CROOKS AND WASTED POLITICIANS WHO HAVE REFUSED TO RETIRE FROM ACTIVE POLITICS. . . HE IS NOT AS CORRUPT AS THE REST OF THEM, BUT PLEASE DON'T TELL ME BUHARI IS NOT CORRUPT... BUHARI IS A TRIBALIST TO THE CORE

Hw can u think in such a way.

Hw can u think in such a way. Do u like d way PDP has been ruining ds country, dnt u knw dey r reminant of d military, wat if neither buari nor tinubu become APC flag bearer?

WELCOMING APC TO

GOING BACK TO SLAVERY UNDER SPIRIN CODEIN AND PANADOL PARTY . WE MUST HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL CONFRENCE .NIGERIANS YOUTH IN THE SOUTH WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY CONNING PARTY THAT WANTS TO ISLAMISE US AFTER FRUSTRATING. AND KILLING XTIANS CAUSING INSECURITY COUPLED WITH NO LIGHT .APC IS A NO NO GO PARTY FOR SENSIBLE NIGERIANS .A PARTY WITH KILLER BUHARI SANUSI ELRUFAI AND TINUBU. .WE DO NOT MIND TO CONTINUE THIS WAY RATHER THAN AN ISLAMIC BOKO HARAM. PARTY .BUHARI HASA WICKED AGENDA TO DO ETHNIC CENSING .AFTER GEJ WE MUST a COMFRENCE after 100years WITH NO PROGRESS

WELCOMING APC TO

GOING BACK TO SLAVERY UNDER SPIRIN CODEIN AND PANADOL PARTY . WE MUST HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL CONFRENCE .NIGERIANS YOUTH IN THE SOUTH WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY CONNING PARTY THAT WANTS TO ISLAMISE US AFTER FRUSTRATING. AND KILLING XTIANS CAUSING INSECURITY COUPLED WITH NO LIGHT .APC IS A NO NO GO PARTY FOR SENSIBLE NIGERIANS .A PARTY WITH KILLER BUHARI SANUSI ELRUFAI AND TINUBU. .WE DO NOT MIND TO CONTINUE THIS WAY RATHER THAN AN ISLAMIC BOKO HARAM. PARTY .BUHARI HASA WICKED AGENDA TO DO ETHNIC CENSING .AFTER GEJ WE MUST a COMFRENCE after 100years WITH NO PROGRESS

TRUE TO TYPE........

AS ALWAYS,SONALA HAS BEEN CONSISTENT ABOUT THE TRUTH......WITHER NIGERIA!

ACCORDING TO HIM 'Nigeria drifts also because our leaders find us easy to manipulate........They prey on us while we pray. In effect, we drift not because they are strong, but because we permit them the knowledge we are weak.

Lets hope we get it right some day soon.

Food for thought. We pray

Food for thought. We pray that the effort will worth its while.

Another Intelligent Piece from Sonala

The APC should as a matter consider this submission very seriously and quickly put in place better strategy. I know Abati and brother attach dog Okupe will soon come with a response to this submission but sincerely is an intelligently articulated piece from our dear Sonala.The opposition must demostrate that the mistake which started with G34 which was only intended to remove Abacha from power does not repeat itself. That mistake is what we have in PDP now.

commentators where are you?

all the paid commentators from various parties have not written any comment since this beautiful article had been published. I take this conutry as a specimen which is still running one analysis and that is leadership analysis. Since the analysis ran on PDP is giving a negative result let us try any other strong party. And then if they fail we go to another till ww meet the God-sent leader. LONG LIVE THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AMEN.

BAD BELLE ANALYSIS

Mr Olumhense's blind hatred for Jonathan could not allow him make a fair and balanced assessment of the issues at hand. If corruption is our problem then a party that has Tinubu as a standard bearer does not need to prove to us who they are and what they are going to do in office. APC is telling us they will impose free education in Nigeria whereas they have not imposed it in their various states. Lagos State is charging N250,OOO as fees in LASU. Who is fooling who? Mr Olumhense also failed to see that most of the people in APC are graduates of PDP School of Looting. We need a clean break from PDP AND APC's in Nigeria

They Cannot Afford to Fail

They must know that PDP will not give up without a fight. They need to be very organised to take over

ACP, APC, APC! ACP! Sonala

ACP, APC, APC! ACP!
Sonala which one you dey?!

APC Government will deliver Nigeria from PDP bondage

Jonathan will be the PDP Presidential candidate in the 2015 election. But he or any other probable PDP candidate will be heavily deafeated by an APC candidate. This will be so if only the APC chooses its first Presidential candidate from the Greater South East (SS&SE).

The PDP with their incumbency and stolen billions of naira can not be able to rig the 2015 general election, which is only their winning strategy, against an APC Presidential candidate of Greater South East (SS&SE).

For the 2015 to 2023 first rotational leadership Government term of office, the APC is here well advised to narrow the selection of its Presidential candidate to the pool of aspirants from the Greater South East (SS&SE)

If APC wants to give the Federal Government once again to the PDP, it can select its Presidential candidate elsewhere in the country. As OBJ made Atku a political damaged goods, unelectable, IBB so jinxed Buhari. How many times have Buhari with his war chest contested and failed?

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