Towards 2015: The Danger of Nation-Building without Ideological Correctness
Following the registration of APC by INEC, so many reactions have trailed the announcement. While some feel that the merger of the three political parties into one is good for an atmosphere of healthy rivalry in the nation’s politics, others feel that some questions need to be raised before we even talk about successful nation-building. I belong to the latter group.
Professor Pius Adesanmi, in his article titled, “APC: The Cradle Memos” raised perhaps the most important of questions; the question of ideology behind party formation. A party that wants to take power from the ruling party must have clearly defined goals. A party that has raised the hope of Nigerians as regards poverty alleviation, job creation, and policy changes must have clear cut goals and plan of action to effect it. Such party must be miles apart from the operational ideology of the ruling party.
Other questions must be raised: How do they hope to tackle the problem of subservience to other nations at the cost of Nigerians? Will they still pander to the threats of severing of diplomatic ties? Will the nation still be run in submission to the dictates of the IMF? Will agreements with Labour and trade unions continue to be ‘un-honoured’? Will the percentage of funding that goes to education remain at the dismal percent? Will attempts be made to reduce poverty rate from the astonishing 70%? Will the minimum wage remain at the pitiful N18,000? Will we continue to buy fuel at the same price or will it even be jerked up further? Will we spend more time on the streets in protest? Will our refineries become functional? Will the monopolitic way of doing business be stopped? Will they stop selling off public properties? We must ask questions on the ideological foundation on which their party is built.
We must ask that if truly the APC is so different from the ruling party, how can defectors from the ruling party join the party and there’s no ideological inconvenience? If their ways are so different, how can a Ribadu that has called Tinubu names and has his record of corruption feel comfortable sitting at the same table with the same man without a twinge of guilt? If there’s so much difference between them like their members claim, how can an El-Rufai who served under Obasanjo without raising eyebrows as to his actions then now join up with APC and there’s no ideological battle between them? We must ask them, what is their operational ideological direction? How can a party that lays claim to true democracy and progressiveness make enemies of democracy their friends? How can a party that preaches democracy throw its party open to those who fought tooth and nail to make sure that democracy never thrives?
As 2015 approaches, Nigerians must realise that no leader, no matter how highly placed he/she is deserves their automatic support; he/she must have a past that isn’t tainted with corruption, he/she must be seen to have identified with the plight of the common man prior to electioneering period, he/she must be one who cannot be faulted with trampling on the rights of the common man in the past, he/she must not just be a lover of democracy and freedom, he/she must have played an active role in enthroning democracy, he/she must be willing to do a lot of explanation on proposed actions and highlight workable plans to put them in place. If Nigerians decide to tow the path of selling their votes or voting ‘sweet-tongued’ people with cock-and-bull stories into power, we’ll have no one but ourselves to blame.
On a final note, the onus lies on every Nigerian youth with genuine love for the nation and an unquenchable desire to see true democracy enthroned to make the work of sensitization a real work. We must sensitize people in our neighbourhood religiously; we must do it zealously. If we make a mistake now; we may pay for it for the rest of our lives.
God bless Nigerians!
Ogunjimi James Taiwo
Ogun State, Nigeria
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