What is reverred party, APGA, doing as the other national political parties namely APC, PDP, SDP, ADC, PPA, Labour Party etc. are up and doing in political activities? What is APGA political leadership doing to get the party to forefront of political positioning of present-day Nigeria? APGA must not as rumored, create any misguided impression that the party has already committed itself in alliance to some other authority for the 2019 election other than APGA self-effort. Why is APGA so quiet? There are many issues that are on the political front burner today in Nigeria where other parties like APC, PDP, SDP, ADC, Labour Party etc. make their feelings known through vocal comments and suggestions for problems-solutions.
The people want to know what APGA is doing; but the APGA political leadership tends to regard silence over such issues as golden. There are burning national issues whereby parties are making their points to the public to convince people to be on their side on how they would positively-tackle the different problems facing the country. The problems include issues of Presidential Election of February 2019, the recent President’s visit to the US, the Fulani herdsmen-farmers killings countrywide, general insecurity malaise, massive unemployment of youths, ravaging poverty and hunger etc.
Situational conditions on issues-events seem to be on “stand to” everywhere. Parts of Southeast are ravaged by floods, soil/channel/gully erosion and landslides; the work on the 2nd Niger Bridge is at snail-speed; the States of Niger Delta are being destroyed by environmental pollution and contamination; the City of PortHarcourt and environs are being devastated by poisonous black/brown soot that comes down as cloud of smog or acid/alkaline rain on the people and infrastructure; popular consensus emerging on what to do about Restructuring of Nigeria now; definition of the roles APGA is to play regionally in Southeast and Southsouth vis-a-vis one Nigeria; general insecurity and killings of people nationwide, life seems to be worthless, nasty, brutish and short; the invasion, killings and occupation of virgin lands in Nigeria by Jihadists and ISIS members of West Africa from the Sahel countries; diversification of the Economy vis-a-vis Agriculture and Mining; rise and fall of the national currency vis-a-vis inflation, recession, depression and consequent shenanigans in Economy; cyclic repetitions of strikes by labour unions of NLC, ASUU, SSANU, NASU, NAAT, Doctors, JOHESU etc.
While the national parties are heard making statements over these issues, one expects APGA to make their contributions accordingly; but none anyway. The elections of 2019 will not be like the earlier ones where people and voters were nonchalant and laissez-faire over their fundamental rights of going to vote-in a candidate of their choice; when people then did not care to register; while those who registered were not eager to go out and vote. Today many people have already registered, have collected their PVCs and will go out to vote-in a candidate of their choice in 2019. People have become more politically-conscious and are quite aware of the pros and cons of voting-in right candidates. That is the picture of arising political issues for voting in/out people in the coming 2019 elections.
One is not aware of what APGA is planning or doing over these issues that confront/bedevil the country. APC is feverishly-working hard to continue to govern the country by winning the Presidential Election of February 2019. PMB and his APC team are seriously-demanding for second term in governance irrespective of whether they did well or not in their first tenure; they came with tempting promises of Change agenda and brought changes; whether they are of good or evil is for the people to judge at the polls. PDP is equally working as hard trying to convince Nigerians through apologies and reorganizations in attempts to win by votes and reoccupy Aso Rock.
But it may be a hard road to travel because of self-imposed damages the members perpetuated on PDP and the mudslinging from APC; PDP as the foremost opposition party is not attacking the APC strongly enough. SDP is moving about recreating itself, admitting cross-carpetters from the PDP and APC and basking on the name of their Chairman, Chief Olu Falaye while scouting for alliances. The ADC has just ballooned its numerical strength by swallowing OBJ’s political disciples. Out of the 67 Nigerian political parties, some have been negotiating to increase their influence across boundaries. One has been helplessly-listening eagerly on what APGA is doing; but silence. One hopes that APGA must be carrying out its own advance-actions underground, clandestinely and quietly.
The political leaders of APGA must realize that our people gave them a clear message and mandate to lead them as depicted from the magnificent results of last Gubernatorial Election in Anambra State. The People of Anambra State through APGA spoke loudly clear with one voice in their election of His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano, for a second term into the Government House. The people rightly-exclaimed that they must have their own voice in Nigeria using APGA as the window through which they would be looking out into the overall sociopolitical life in Nigeria; that voice was very firm, loud and clear. The Governor, His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano, and his officials received massive Congratulations over this victory even from opponents. The adage, to whom much is given, more is desired, rightly-comes to mind. He won by a landslide to show the level of confidence bestowed on him and the party by the people. Governance-responsibility then falls on his shoulders and APGA.
The people of Anambra State, the Igbo at home and in Diaspora, southeasterners, APGA and Nigerians expect the best performance from this government. HE Obiano and APGA must instantly put into motion machineries for unifying Igbo people and progressives at home and abroad for a national political course of actions; it is a holy Cross Anambra State has to bear. They must make APGA a more active national party that will play full national roles in the oncoming 2019 elections. Many Anambra State people and the Igbo would like Anambra State government and the people to play major roles in strengthening and empowering APGA to form coalitions with some other parties in order to participate in all elections in 2018 and 2019.
One has been hearing of rumours on possible alliance already made by people without proper consultations; this should not be. The leaders of the party should work in unity and not feel shy to shout over their opinions on national issues for people to know and appreciate where they stand. They ought to consult widely and try their best to form coalition channels in order to be more formidable and far-reaching in national spread. If what one is seeing now is going to endure on the long run, it is possible that after the present series of political Gerrymandering and horse-trading, three main political party groupings may eventually emerge to contest for the February 2019 Presidential Election.
APGA must work very hard and hustle to be, possibly, in one of those three groupings. Then, possibly, there may not be an outright winner in the votes cast at the first instance; that may result into a second vote count or runoff. If APGA does its political maneuvering and homework well with any of the progressive parties it might reasonably-align with, it may become one of the party-groupings for the potential Vote-Runoff. This would strengthen the hands of APGA to negotiate most effectively for power and all its positive outcomes.
These negotiations and maneuvers have already been started in earnest and are ongoing; there are hopes by participants to achieve successes. Recently PDP, ADC, SDP and 35 other parties were reported to be discussing on possible collaboration/alliances; that is the beauty of democracy and APGA ought to be seen to be active accordingly. There have been crossing of carpets, defections and escapes from one party to the other for purely-personal instead of for public interest thereby making the political scenario quite-unduly and negatively-fluid in nature in the Nigerian democracy. APGA should steer itself up and participate actively; it seems to be too quiet. If APGA does its homework well, it can win more Gubernatorial Elections in southeastern States, Deo volente.
By Boniface Egboka, UNIZIK, Awka, Anambra State; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org