If a taste of the pudding is in the eating, in actuality, then we can say Nigerians have just tasted what is on the menu for the 2019, with the party primaries held by the ALL Progressive Congress (APC). What the people now have to ask is who planned the menu? Is it all there is or more should be expected?
A better outing was expected from the ruling APC party, but what took place in the name of party primaries in the majority of states, is to say the least, disappointing.
Looking at what transpired, it goes without saying that all is not well with our Democracy. We are far from what is called Democracy in the developed and developing world. Violence and fraud have, unashamedly, formed part of our own democratic process, so much that one wonders where we are going.
What we just witnessed in the APC congresses explains the lack of internal democracy in our political parties, despite all the hue and cry about change and fighting corruption. We most certainly have not changed, and if we have, it is only a change from bad to worse and frightfully so.
We had hoped that lessons would have been learnt from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and what led to their huge loss in the 2015 election. But from all indications, nothing seems to have been learnt because it was the PDP that transmuted to APC. As such, it is business as usual. As one Analyst rightly put it, APC and PDP are birds of the same feather; they flock together. The only change there is, is a change of name.
We have witnessed a huge lack in internal democracy in the ward primaries and, regrettably, this is the hub on which the wheel of any viable party or true democracy revolves. Internal Democracy means transparency, fairness, openness, justice, fair-play and related things, which are still grossly lacking in our party politics and in our nation.
It is difficult to pick and choose or to say that this party, this faction, is better than the other. All are one and the same. What we see are people scheming, everyone planning to outdo the other in performing anti-democratic and despicable acts. What we see is this faction crying out like a spoilt child when it has been outdone or “outwitted”, by the other. Whoever accumulates more tricks and has the upper-hand outwits the other, by any means possible, including violence and anarchy. Coming to justice with clean hands is certainly not a Nigerian thing. In the midst of fraud and looting, politicians are still shouting at the top of their lungs.
The truth is, we are heading no- where in a hurry with this type of behaviour. We need to clean up the system if we are serious about democracy. There is no point passing the buck and blaming any one party. What happened in APC will repeat itself in PDP or any other because there is a gross abuse of internal democracy. Instead of matching forward, we are retrogressing to the era of politics of figure falsification. In fact, many of our so-called leaders prefer to write the results of an election in Government House and impose it on the people.
But let no one fool you. It is true that the people are impoverished and hungry, but there is a limit to what they will bear. The people know that election time is the only opportunity they have to hold their so-called leaders accountable. Do not think they will sit idly back and let opportunities continue to pass them bye.
The people must rise up and defend the land, and defend democracy. Now is the time to do it.