APC, PDP pre-election blues: Matters arising | Dailytrust

APC, PDP pre-election blues: Matters arising

At last the political season preceding the 2023 general polls has kicked off in full steam courtesy of the advent of the Electoral Act Amendment Act 2023, even with spectacles of high drama cascading into each other as the political parties prepare for electoral battle.  By far the most topical of these has been the conduct of National Conventions by the parties with those of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thereby attracting significant interests from not a few Nigerians, due to the twists associated with them. According to the timetable set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) all processes leading to fielding of candidates for the various national and state offices should be conducted between February and July 2022. 

Starting with the APC, the past week has featured a most disruptive, sudden regime change with all the features of a military style coup detat. While the Chairman of its most unconventional Caretaker/Extra ordinary Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State Mai Mala Buni was away on a rumoured medical vacation, a group of state governors simply announced his ouster and replacement with the governor of Niger State, Mohamed Sani Bello. as if the matter on ground was a village meeting. The aftermath of the sudden regime change is expected to blow for some time with ripple effects. With such a torrid start overshadowing its National Convention which is tentatively billed for March 26 2022, it is left for the imagination to appreciate what the attendant political permutations will offer the country.

The APC’s case is understandably worrisome. With deep seated crises in most of its state chapters, its forthcoming National Convention shall offer interesting twists. Of concern is the calibre of candidates to be expected from the ruling party as it may tend to fight for retention of its hold on power by all means. This expectation fits into its desire to continue to dominate the political terrain. The question of whether such a tendency reconciles with the country’s daunting challenges is a cause for bother. As the ruling party can it overcome its present problems soon enough to avert a further problems for the country?

Of further interest is whether the latest twist in its leadership is driven by an altruistic cause or a hatchet job to consolidate a parochial interest? As a party which is expected to dominate the political terrain with its candidates and eventual occupants of available public offices, is its present game plan with a surfeit of incongruities offer the country the intended outcome of moving to the next level? What does the country stand to gain from such machinations? The answers to these questions may hang in the air for some time, and feature different inclinations. 

Talking about the APC and its shenanigans is not to ignore the antics of its leading Presidential aspirant Bola Tinubu whose campaign has been driven with such intense missionary zeal and impunity as if he remains an untouchable. Nigerians seem to be forgetting easily that he is beating the gun in his campaign for the Presidency as it is being prosecuted outside the legal time frame which starts from September 28 2022.

Over to the PDP. At least it has overcome the challenge of having an elected National Executive Committee last year, leaving it with the only task of fielding candidates who can win elections especially the Presidency, and return it to power in 2023. Hence the PDP offers a clearer picture of the road ahead.

Against the backdrop of the foregoing, is the expectation of the country that 2023 polls will bring about significant progress for the citizens. Can the forthcoming crop of elected leaders provide the country the anticipated transformation by resolving the myriad issues on ground? That is the burning question for the present. 

So far the consensus has tended towards a sense of disappointment across the country with respect to the much that has been seen around the aspirants across the country. As the political parties are fielding aspirants that do not even demonstrate any appreciation of the manifestoes of their respective parties, the nation stands challenged to accept the sad situation or do something about it. This is the challenge that has to be addressed by the citizenry as without adequate response,  the incoming crop of leaders may be worse than ever.

The way forward features the promotion of mass action directed towards attempts at taking back the politics from the various cabals that dominate the turf. It is significant that the new electoral law has come and needs to be implemented. It is incumbent on all Nigerians to capitalise on its provisions to cleanse the Augean stable of the country’s politics.

It is no mystery that political parties in Nigeria and most of the developing world constitute a far cry from the principles that justify their existence. That is why the new law should be exploited to ensure that the next crop of political office holders offer the country some promise of better life.

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