he prescription of 'APC' pills to treat the political migraine of Nigeria's democracy which has been troubling it since 1999, when codeine, panadol, phensic, even with their combinations has not worked for the country. The attempt to use APC could help with some serious efforts in clearing the wreckage in the system before usage. Meanwhile, Nigerians commend the wisdom of leaders of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), (still in doubt), to come together to form a new political party, All Progressive Congress, (APC), after clearing some housekeeping obstacles for its authenticity.
Definitely, before any single political party could puncture PDP, there must be some arrangements for such merger of some political parties. Consequently the union of ACN, CPC, ANPP, and APGA is politically welcomed, as ACN has made some in-roads in the South West; and CPC in the North West and NW. While SW would not win national election for Aso Rock, there is the need to capture some other mushroom political associations for APC full challenge to PDP in 2015. The merger would enhance the spread for its successes with the little in-roads each of them has made. Political etiquette is gradually infiltrating into the Nigeria democracy.
It is good to note that some Nigerian leaders are progressively shelving their egotistical ambitions to fuse their parties to face the almighty PDP in the 2015 for the control of the Nigeria resources at the Central. INEC only choice is to register APC once it meets the guidelines as stipulated in Section 84 of the Electoral Act as amended. Once APC is registered by INEC, all the former political parties would loose their identities, while the new party will take over their assets and liabilities. APC should shop for new generation of leaders to hold its banner.
However, APC still has to worry about some of its members' undiluted ambition to govern the country, regardless how many political parties they have attempted in their ambitions at the polls. While the union could be zoning the President to the north, it is a known fact that the three-time presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), still cling on his aspiration to be the President of Nigeria in 2015. As a matter of fact, he declared mid-February 2013 that only death will separate him from politics and 2015 presidential contest. Nonetheless, some of APC members have genuine skills and drive to keep hope alive for majority Nigerians.
Once again, Nigerians appreciate the courage of leaders of these political parties to come together divorcing themselves from regional and sectional political ideology, which up till today (2013), has been the bane of country's political process. At least this is one of the prescriptions given by some political analysts for ending Nigeria politics of tribalism and sectionalism and gives the country reliable tools to address the challenges facing its nascent democracy.
APC has to face the narrow-minded politicians that have turned Nigeria into an unproductive country; turn the beautiful game of politics into a battle field for ethnic warlords and religious bigotry, in the name of political power struggle. This is far away from merging the political parties to prevent PDP from controlling the Central Government.
Before popping Champagnes, we need to ask the driven force behind the merger. Is it to defeat PDP in 2015? Is it to allow the over ambitious leaders accomplish their objectives in life? Is the merger seriously driven by a clear cut ideology? Unfortunately, PDP has no genuine ideology. However, it has the infrastructure to continue leading Nigeria until a clear cut; down to earth grassroots principles are established before Nigeria would have an unwavering democracy. PDP stands to be a party to beat as it stands to be the strongest party in Nigeria today (2013).
It should not be surprising to find additional political parties or individuals looking for 'shelter' with APC or PDP as we get closer to the elections, for lack of political ideology or principles as a driving force for the Nigeria political parties. Nigeria Politicians are very well known for defections as the country gets closer to elections, moving to the direction or the mood of the people.
Definitely, the union is a way of sending some signals to PDP to strengthen its gadgets and redirect its policies toward making Nigeria a pride of Africa and the Black Race. PDP could appeal to other political parties that peeled off from its cover to return. The Accord Party, Obasanjo's baby, is still hanging in the space; the Labor Party of Mimiko, is still dancing on the ceiling; the PPN which spilled away from PDP as a result of the mix-up within the Ogun State PDP is strategizing; and PPP of Orji Kalu is at crossroads, not recognizing the right direction, unfortunately Chief Anenih has defused Orji Kalu's shadow ambition of being the PDP BOT Chairman.
What the APC leaders need to do is to conscientiously congeal the union with intelligibility. It should not be an ornamental union that would further destabilize the union. Nigerians are too dogmatic when it comes to sharing of power, while APC has to worry on how to handle national chairperson, the presidential office, vice-presidential office and the Senate presidency. Possibly its zoning method could be the first obstacle the union has to seriously consider. As Tinubu might want to be the Chairman of the Union, still clinching to his ambition of being a national leader, Okorocha is an overambitious fellow from APGA that an individual must be selected from the party for the ethnic intercession; while the ACN could be looking at the SW for the position of the Vice President based on the spread of ACN within the region.
Despite the jubilation across board, it seems that the APC still needs some housekeeping job to do by bringing all stakeholders aboard the merger. When you have a faction of any of the merging enterprises complaining of not part of the merger, it might mean lack of serious ideology to be a driving force for the union. Possibly focussing more on what each would gain from the union, against what they could collectively contribute to the progress of the failing nation under their watch as they are all responsible for the state of bleakness the country finds itself today (2013).
Possibly this merger or union could be termed ambitious driven. The Igbos might zero-in of getting the Igbo Presidency, while Buhari is still thinking that he is the most qualified or the only individual from that part of the country that could deliver Nigeria from the wolves' hands.
I hope the other members are not of the opinion that it is ONLY Buhari that is capable, most qualified Northerner, that could lead the country to the Promised Land. The good news for the union members is clear that Buhari is discipline, coming from his Military background, could backfire on APC. The fact that he is linked with Boko Haram could be another challenge that APC must face within Nigeria and at the International level.
Taking a critical look at Buhari imperious ambition, it is an insult on the North for Buhari to still think that he is very relevant in the northern political spectrum if at his age (70) and level he is not realizing that an average Nigerian does not belief in his leadership. He contested in 2003 and failed; in 2007, Nigerians and the Court rejected him. Moved to an ethnically polluted, religiously biased conjugal political party he was equally thrown out like jigger.
He turned 2011 failure into hostility which came out to be his nurtured baby, Boko Haram. He was not satisfied; he is now preparing to contest in 2015 by merging his cosmetic political party with other like birds.
Buhari is definitely playing on the intellectual of an average Northerner with his hope that there is no other better individual from the north that could lead the country. He is full of himself to even think that he is the ONLY individual from that part of the country that is capable of governing the country.
What else does he wants that he could not stay in Kaura Namoda to advise and encourage the younger ones to lead the country, even training or grooming them? Meaning that the merger theory, he would be the consensus, appointed, ordained, selected candidate to represent the merger political party, APC. In addition, he thinks that he would emerge the candidate which is going to be another insult to the Nigeria political migraine.
The Hypocritical statement coming from the Union is not a good report card of what the ANC and CPC are known for in the Nigeria political dispensation. The union "...resolve to form a political party committed to the principles of internal democracy..." whereas the ACN is bent in the method of imposing candidates on its members. It did not deny that in the 2011 election when Chief Akande stated that they have to select their candidates for the positions of the party's choice. Is the APC union getting hypocritical without being ideologically driven? Nigerians hope APC would focus on serious issues of concern to Nigerians, determined to bring corruption and insecurity to an end, determined to grow Nigerian economy and create jobs in their millions through education, housing, agriculture, industrial growth, among others. That pledge notwithstanding, APC has to give PDP the run for its money.
APC went further to state that "...the ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS and offer to our beleaguered people a recipe for peace and prosperity." Nigerians might ask the role CPC played in the aftermath of Presidential elections in the north killing innocent youths serving their nation under the National Youth Service Corps program, which later escalated to Boko Haram, allegedly linked to Buhari, despite his denial. How could peace return to the environment where Boko Haram focus is on the Christians in the community, discouraging the would-be investors, haven destroyed the meagre development in the North?
What hope would be coming from APC, if not to endorse the undemocratic approaches to the selection of candidates, or the menace of Boko Haram, where there is no freedom of worship known to members of the APC? Would APC stop the increasing mood of despair and hopelessness among Nigerians; realizing that Nigeria is currently in the verge of collapsing since its citizens are being placed in the hopeless situation.
In one statement the country is in crucial need of individuals with AMBITION, the desire to lead the people; FORESIGHT, that can predict and anticipate the future with very strong focus. It needs an individuals at all levels that could deal with the world as it is, not as they wish it would be, with good sense of REALISM; with EMPATHY who are sensitive to and aware of needs, feelings, and motivations of Nigerians; individuals that can lead the country out of its challenges realizing that "it's never a "one-man-show".
The country needs a leader who is EMOTIONALLY MATURED and balanced in the face of crises; someone with RESILIENCE who can bounce back from the inevitable setbacks, disappointments, and temporary failures in obtaining any worthwhile goal. The country needs someone with high INTEGRITY, who is honest, truthful, and straight, dealing with every person under all circumstances; with a convincing COURAGE to make decisions and act boldly in the face of setback and adversity, and assumes responsibility for those actions. A high OPTIMISTIC individual who radiate the confidence that all difficulties can be overcome and all goals can be attained, shown in many ways, is ideal for the country.
The country will progress with an individuals who recognize the POWER bestows on them by the Constitution and use such power effectively and positively toward peoples' needs. Strong INDEPENDENT people, who know whom they are, what they believe in, and think for themselves, whose "Core Values" are unshakable, is ideal for Nigeria. Finally, Nigeria needs leaders who have that quality of EXCELLENCE that can perform brilliantly in the business task with continuous improvement, realizing that incremental improvement in skills and efficiency could reap far greater reward than an occasional flash of brilliance.
If the leaders of these parties are serious about the merger and really want to liberate the country from the identified and mysterious wolves, Tinubu and Buhari must shelve their personal aspirations, pronounced or hiding. They should democratically, conscientiously allow the party members to choose whosoever they think fit. The country needs someone who has demonstrated or skilful in leadership with 'A FREE RICO PIE', capable of soaring the full responsibilities in managing the affairs of Nigeria with all its teething challenges. The country needs someone who is not religiously biased; who is ethnically blind; who sees Nigerians as a body of the same family that wants something progressively good for the country.
Would APC be better than PanaDolPill in treating the Nigeria political migraine? This is a huge question for Nigerians to answer not APC or PDP.
Femi Ajayi is a Professor of Policy, Management & Conflict Resolution; Head, Political Science and Public Administration Department, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State