2019 Elections: Merging – only option for youths to win presidency

It is unusual, anywhere in the world, that when General Elections are approaching – there should be calm and consideration for oppositions (by all parties, candidates and party members).

In other words, the prevailing circumstances (tensed political atmosphere in Nigeria) is a normal thing for few reasons. The incumbent governments (at the presidency and across the states of the federation) will not want oppositions to emerge winners of their various coveted seats – ‘no matter how poorly performed they are’: they will give thousands of reasons for their re-election or for candidates of their respective parties to be voted in.

However, while the law may not forbid a poor government in any states or at the federal level from contesting for a 2nd Term, the people have the power to reshape governance. In this light, the people are the ones who can dictate how governance is done in Nigeria and not government representatives. Howbeit, it is appalling that the masses (once given N5,000 and menial food items) quickly forget how bad a particular government performed before election period, only to vote in inept representatives on the day of election and begin to complain afterward.

It is in the light of the aforementioned that we want to address the struggle for the presidency by youths and other aspirants against the Muhammad Buhari led federal administration.

Earlier this year, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, released a data that analysed the spate of PVC collection in Nigeria, but this cannot be interpreted to mean that the larger number of people who collected PVCs are oppositions or disgruntled individuals against the federal government; in fact, it should be assumed that the surge in PVC collections is due to the efforts of party faithful or people with vested interests to return the current government the second time (against all odds). While we will not campaign for or against any candidates or party, we can say that the current federal administration has not lived up to the expectations of many citizens who look up to it (across the 36 states of the federation) for the deliverance of Nigeria from her many problems.

Without mincing words, Nigeria’s problems are enormous but the APC-led government goofed in 2015 by making presumptuous ‘campaign promises’ that are now ghosting it ahead of 2019 General Elections, but who wishes that a golden opportunity be lost or snatched away from him?

Thus, it can be said that having tasted the goodies of the office, the APC government is now trying (assiduously) to retain the power beyond 2019 which the major opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is ready to fight to a halt. More so, other candidates, especially, young Nigerians are emerging to contest against the President, Mr. Buhari – even, the former Head of State, President Olusegun Obasanjo (who followed the masses into the APC during the 2015 General Elections) have now formed a third force, Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) which has, now, collapsed into the African Democratic Congress (ADC) – forcing the Buhari-led administration to tighten its belt.

This will make us to ask and answer the question of ‘why was the APC formed initially?’

It should be recalled that before the 2015 General Elections, the ruling PDP had been in power for 16 unbroken years without any concrete development added to Nigeria: irritated by the spate of corruption and ineptitude that characterised governance under the PDP (all over the country) the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN); Congress for Progressive Change (CPC); All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP); and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA)[1] joined forces together against the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2013.

It should be recalled, also, that the APC had a massive win over Jonathan in 2015 elections – probably due to two things: merged resources (to create better awareness), and merged membership (that outnumbered the PDP membership). With those two things, the APC brought in President Buhari with a 2.57 million votes ahead of Jonathan.[2]

While the interests and courage of the likes of Fela Durotoye (a presidential aspirant under the Alliance for a New Nigeria, ANN, who will be revealing his plans for a new Nigeria on May 29 – the Democracy Day) and Omoleye Sowore (publisher of the popular anticorruption online news media, Sahara Reporter, who is yet to reveal the platform of the political party on which he will be contesting, yet – the most seemingly vibrant of all oppositions against the ruling party) are commendable, they both need to know that defeating Mr. Buhari in the 2019 General Elections will be far from possible unless they team together with other interested candidates.

This is because, at the present, the membership of APC is vast and to defeat an incumbent government with such number of followership (although, perceived to have failed on many promises) will be a daunting task. However, when all the young Nigerians who are interested to contest for the presidency (in 2019) team together – placing the interests of Nigeria ahead of their individuals’ interests, then they will be able to pull off a good show (with support from other parties) who will buy into the plans of the emerged candidate and his running mate – among the many young people.

In our opinion, if other candidates could allow Omoleye and Fela to emerge as candidates against the Buhari/Osibanjo candidacy – there could, even, be more chances of defeating the incumbent presidency at a trial, because as Omoleye noted, “there is an abject absence of a clear vision as to where the country should be headed. Where should Nigeria be in the next five, 10 or even 50 years? Where are the national plans that map out the country’s vision and the paths to their actualization aside from the propaganda we see on NTA? Today, we are impressed by China’s sustained growth, but since 1953 China has produced a series of 5-year plans that has guided their growth. Now they are on their 13th five-year plan (2016-2020).”[3]

Interestingly, that the youths are gearing up to take office from recycled, old and incapable politicians is a good omen for Nigeria’s democracy and development. Perhaps, the generality of Nigerians (home and abroad) should let us allow this to happen in 2019 and see how we can become better ‘as a people’.

As we approach the polls in 2019, we want to call on all actors to put the interests of Nigeria before self interest – for an enduring legacy of peace, quick and lasting development (that will resound across generations to come).

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

[1] BBC, Nigeria opposition merges to form APC and challenge PDP.

[2] Vanguard, Buhari wins by 2.57 million votes – official results.

[3] Musikilu Mojeed, How I will defeat Buhari in 2019 – Omoleye Sowore.

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