To be clear, I do not like PDP. I believe that the party (PDP) is hopelessly and irredeemably corrupt. I had never voted PDP in any election and that record may not be altered at least not anytime soon. My hope for a prosperous nation when Nigeria returned to civilian rule was dashed by successive PDP government and when I came of voting age, my hatred for PDP had become full-fledged. So, when the defunct political parties merged into APC, I was like a dog with two tails, my happiness was palpable and I penned an article title; ‘APC: Hope in troubled time’. That was before the influx of the disgruntled PDP Governors and their foot soldiers. Today, the water has become so muddled that both parties are like two peas in a pod, it is difficult telling the difference between the pack. The APC can best be described as a party of ‘conservative progressives’. They lost their identity when they embarked on a shameless membership drive, wooing members of the very party they hypocritically disparaged.
PDP for sure is ugly as sin but the APC is not as white as snow, especially not with the new conservative converts in their fold who until recently were part of the league of elite looters. So any attempt by the APC to play saint will be an effort in futility. The PDP has nothing more to prove, they had fifteen years to do that and the state of the nation is a proof of their woeful stewardship. But as eager as Nigerians are to rid themselves of PDP, they are also wary of playing into the hands of another good for nothing party. There is no need divorcing your husband if the next man you intend to marry is cut from the same cloth. APC must show sufficient proof that it has what it takes and is willing to do whatever it takes to make our dear country work. This cannot be done by pointing out all that is wrong in the PDP and the GEJ administration without telling us how it can be done right. The fixation with shooting down the GEJ administration and criticizing even the most trivial of GEJ’s misstep casts the APC, as a party desperate to grab power at all costs and that is not good for their reputation. Instead of busying itself with painting a pig with dirt, it should rather concern itself with selling its progressive agenda (if they have any) to Nigerians.
For instance, how are the APC Governors faring compared to their PDP counterparts. A progressive party should support the domestication of the FOI act which engenders transparency in governance. The APC states can prove that they are a serious party by domesticating this very important bill. What about affirmative action and funding of education? How many APC states have allowed their local government councils unfettered access to their monthly allocation without living at the mercy of handouts from the Governors? How many of their states, have elected council chairmen and not foisted stooges (transition chairmen) who are only answerable to the Chief executives and not the people.
More importantly, how is the political environment in these states. It is sheer hypocrisy to accuse the federal government of impunity and stifling opposition when some of the APC Governors have no tolerance whatsoever for any form of opposition in their states. At the national assembly level, the APC lawmakers should use their numeric strength to push for a drastic reduction in the outrageous sums they collect as allowances to demonstrate that truly; it is a pro-masses party. There are other important bills like the PIB that the APC can champion its passage to prove that it is a worthy alternative to the idea starved PDP. The APC will be shooting itself on the foot if it continues with the nauseating brand of politics that ends up only raising dust and overheating the polity without presenting viable alternative policies that is markedly different from the fruitless ones PDP is implementing. The cerebral prowess of El rufai, Fani kayode, Nuhu Ribadu et al should be deployed into leading the intellectual wing of the APC instead of joining children of anger like me in throwing tantrum on Twitter . This will be a clean break from the usual way politics is played in Nigeria and will prove that APC can be really called a progressive party.
Is APC different from PDP? Only APC can anwser this question. Time is ticking and judgement day beckons.