Metropole Magazine

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02 Dec Written by  Japheth Omojuwa

APC and the Rest of Us

Politics in Nigeria is not your ideal playground of ideologies and principal beliefs. It is strictly about the annexation of power. Who is at fault for this? Long story. Let us just say it is what it is and we are who we are. The dynamics of political power in Nigeria has been swinging from end to end in the last few months but the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress can have little to complain about.

Any political party that gains five serving governors, a powerful ex-governor and senator and others along with their appurtenances from their main rival cannot be said to be disadvantaged. The APC has of course played its power game well, wooing these powerful forces to its side, but it has been a one-dimensional, largely ineffective opposition platform.

When Nigerians go to the polls in 2015, they will be seeking to vote for change. Change because very few Nigerians are satisfied with the current order. The only reason the APC is seemingly popular amongst the masses is because they both share the desire for at least one common end: a change of government.

While the people want that change because they are admittedly tired and frustrated with the unproductive style of leadership offered by the PDP, the APC wants power because it is the natural desire for the main opposition party.

The APC appears popular amongst a certain demography of the Nigerian population - young educated people - but that popularity is only because they share a common enemy not because these young people essentially share the beliefs of the APC.

Make no mistake, Nigerians expect a lot from the main opposition party but it appears the party itself cannot outgrow its understanding of how to play the opposition. The PDP-is-bad-and-evil style of opposition will not be enough to help the APC sell itself as the change Nigerians crave because it would never be about the PDP anymore, it would be about you. What can you offer? How are you different? Why should we trust you?

These realities become even more apparent as the APC only recently welcomed crucial members of the PDP. If the PDP is as bad as the APC has made it look, does it mean the seeming goodness of the APC has been greatly diluted or even corrupted by its new in-takes from the PDP?

You see, that is why the APC has to start showing us rather than telling us how it is different from the PDP because as we all can see, as far as the type of people in both entities are concerned, these parties are more alike than one of them would probably admit.

There is a way to stand out. The APC has to show its difference from inside. How democratic is its internal democracy? How equal are its equal members? How does it elect its delegates? A democratic way where all party members have a say or a PDP-esque way where a privileged few get paid by candidates and essentially decide the candidates for everyone? This difference must be there and it must be telling.

Pretense may sell before the elections but when the elections come, such gimmicks will not move voters. There is a reason some men leave their women for other women. The reason is not often because of what the other women share with the initial one, the reason lies in what the other women have that the primary women don’t.

The catch is the difference not the sameness. At the moment, there is no difference between our current woman and the woman who might upstage her. If there is, I’d really be willing to know. Can you share?