I know APC is an abbreviation for All Progressive Congress but that is not what this article is about.
If you have never visited the APC website before you may not even know what the acronym, ‘APC’ stands for.
There were no websites in 1979 and 1983 when the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was the leader of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) but everyone knew UPN was synonymous with free education. The slogan in those days was, “Free education, Awolowo lo le se” (Free Education only Awolowo can do it).
I completely agree with Odia Ofeimun who said, “Mandela was good for the liberation of his people, Awolowo made more impact in the lives of many Nigerians”. He absolutely did. This writer is one of the beneficiaries of his free education scheme.
This article is not to be seen as a criticism of APC but to wish them well in their political endeavours. However, in an earlier article I have identified the problem with Nigeria’s politics as being centred around personalities and not ideology. APC seems to be going down the same route.
We know the key players in APC but don’t know exactly what they believe in apart from the fact that they have sworn themselves into enmity with PDP.
Nigerians deserve more than sworn enmity with PDP. Every reasonable Nigerian is a sworn enemy of PDP.
I wouldn’t be qualified to write this article without having studied the manifesto written on the APC website. First remark, it was well written and certain important issues were addressed in it but we all know actions speak louder than words.
I am particularly impressed that they have made provisions for the environment, persons living with disabilities, women and gender issues and Senior citizen, Youth, sports and culture. Senior citizens in particular. They plan to ensure timely payment of retirement benefits for all pensioned senior citizens and create poverty safety net for all aged citizens above the age of 65. That is good.
Also, their plans to assist Nollywood to fully develop into a world class industry that can compete effectively with Hollywood and Bollywood in due course sounds very promising.
Their manifesto is silent on some very important issues, however. Issues like the economy! Unless I’m missing something, I couldn’t find the Economy as a sub-topic on the APC’s manifesto page. It talked about Mineral & steel development, oil & gas and agriculture but the writers of the manifesto didn’t deem it fit to talk about Nigeria’s economy. Unless APC politicians think every Nigerian is a fool there should be some number crunching on that manifesto. Have they not heard the phrase, ‘it’s the economy, stupid!’ No wonder one of the comments on the website says, ‘APC is dead on arrival’.
There was also no mention of how they intend to create jobs or stop the downward slide of the value of the Naira.
On Women and gender issues, I’m also surprised that APC has no plans to address sexual harassment and molestation with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice or protect the rights of women in marriage and widows from greedy in-laws.
On political violence here is what the APC manifesto says, ‘the inability to conduct free, fair, credible and peaceful elections has been the major cause of political violence in the country. When the people are unable to change Government, they know has not performed well, through the ballot box, they become helpless and resort to self-help. This situation, if not properly handled, can lead to violence’.
I completely disagree with the inference above that Nigerians resort to political violence as a result of an inability to change a government through the ballot box.
Political violence is caused (always) when an unpopular government resorts to intimidation of voters to perpetuate itself in power. The politicians hire thugs to beat up supporters of the opponents and disrupt peaceful elections in areas where their opponents are popular. A lot of APC politicians would know what I’m talking about.
Their theory on political violence is insulting to Nigerians and dishonest, to say the least.
If APC wants to convince Nigerians that they are a serious party who intend to win the hearts and minds of Nigerians they need to start talking more about policies and less about who is defecting to their party. Unless, of course, they have no intention of winning via the ballot box but simply rig the elections like every victorious political party has been doing since independence.