The upcoming 2011 elections will only go down in history as a positive landmark in Nigeria’s history if Nigerians are able to end the 12-year reign of horror of the ruling party PDP by voting them out of presidential power massively.
With 12 years of leadership in Nigeria, the PDP has crassly failed to deliver a better life to Nigerians. The Niger Delta is as problematic as ever and coupled with it now is Boko Haram and the ever increasing Jos crisis. A communal fracas fought with guns and machetes has now evolved into a full scale war of terrorism perpetrated with high tech bombs. The economy is none the better, education is at its worst pedestal ever with another successive year of massive failures at WAEC, critical infrastructure offers no hope in sight, power, pipe borne water, road systems, railway systems and all what none. The list of PDP’s failures is endless and needless to recount. It is said that madness in China is defined as doing something repeatedly the same way and expecting a different result. If we must see a major change in Nigeria, PDP must be driven out of Aso rock and the majority seats of the National Assembly.
There are arguments that opposition parties in Nigeria are not any different or better than the ruling party. Well, I think it’s about time we find that out! At least let us exhaust our options before we settle for the lesser of the evils. By all legal means necessary, Nigerians must flush out PDP from power. We need an air of change in Nigeria, perhaps a new party will be eager to satisfy the people and do what is right. Perhaps the nation might stumble on a fluke like Lagosians stumbled on Fashola. We need something different to rekindle our hope in the future of our nation.
It might be easy to write, postulate or hypothesize, but getting rid of the PDP won’t be an easy task. For one, the span of the party is enormous, and the statistics are alarming. PDP has 27 state governors out of 36 with 4 different parties sharing the remaining states amongst themselves viz: ACN 4, ANPP 3, APGA 1, and LP 1. In the National Assembly, the upper legislative house which comprises of 109 senators has party distribution as follows PDP 86, ANPP 16, PPA 1, and ACN 6 members. The lower House of Representatives which has 360 members offers similar startling distribution viz: PDP 260, ANPP 62, ACN 32, LP 1 and PPA 3 members each. This means that amongst state governors, PDP controls 75%, in the Senate, PDP controls 78%, and in the House of Reps, PDP controls an overwhelming 72%. PDP is a monstrous behemoth, lacking in ideological followership though, but richly endowed with die-hard fanatics whose only language is money and power. It would take a strategically-planned and heaven-backed political hurricane to oust this monster from power. As I speak, there is no single political party in Nigeria that can unseat the PDP. Not the ACN, not the CPC, not the ANPP or the NTP to which I belong. To oust the PDP, it is time for all opposition parties who sincerely desire change for this nation to come together and speak with one voice. Any failure to do this, would pave a way for another stretch of PDP misrule, which would be absolutely disastrous for our nation! That is why I call 2011, the year for a unified opposition.
At this point in our political story in Nigeria, we need one strong opposition. Just one! Anything short of that would make a perpetuation of the ruling party very easy. Remember, in our political history, the opposition has never defeated the incumbent in a Presidential election. But never in our history has change been as needed as it is now, therefore, it is imperative for all opposition candidates to come together and put the interest of the nation before their own personal ambitions, else, those personal ambitions would ever remain a mirage at the nation’s expense!
We have never had it so good in the array of personalities vying for the Presidential seat in Nigeria’s recent history. With veteran contestants like General Mohammad Buhari and Professor Pat Utomi leading the opposition, the entrance of new and interesting personalities like John Dara, Nuhu Ribadu and Dele Momodu, the mass awareness campaigns by Pastor Bakare’s Save Nigeria Group, and the explosion of youthful interest in matters of the nation, the involvement and growing impatience of Nigerians in the Diaspora, expressed through the internet, the 2011 elections promises to be a colossal event, reminiscent of MKO Abiola’s Hope 93 elections. Awareness is at its highest pitch; expectations are shooting through the rooftops. The people are tired but hopeful, a wind of change is blowing across Africa, and change is imminent.
I therefore make a public appeal to the entire array of opposition candidates, for this once, for the sake of the dead little children in Jos, for the sake of our billions that have been raked and stacked abroad by the PDP and her chieftains, for the sake of the image of our nation which is gradually becoming a terrorist enclave, for the sake of those 89% of candidates who have failed SSCE again, for the sake of a nation harboring over 60 million generating sets in her bowels, for the sake of the nation that we love so much, for this once, please put the interest of Nigeria before your personal dreams. Call a meeting amongst yourselves and give a most supreme mandate to the most capable and most generally accepted candidate amongst you all taking into consideration the political dynamics of the hour. Wage this war as a personal battle in which victory is inevitable. Come together as one man, and inspire a nation to rise up and chase out the PDP for the people’s sake. We all need to shout with one voice to see the walls of Jericho fall down in Nigeria. Remember, if you do not do this, you all will meet after May 29 in court, you all will come with individual cases, but will be forced to unify your cases like it happened to Buhari and Atiku in 2007. Then you would all be forced to work together, but by that time, things might have been damaged beyond repair.
I am not in a position to recommend who is best to champion this cause among you all, for you are all capable men. General Buhari is a man who needs no introduction to every Nigerian who knows his left from his right, his love for the nation has never been an object of doubt, his methods however have been a subject of criticism from many quarters over the years; I have met Professor Pat Utomi in person time and again and have listened to him speak many times, the pain in his heart concerning the state of the nation is contagious, it is palpable, so is his yearning for an urgent value change that will precede developmental change in Nigeria. John Dara, my political leader, is a moving encyclopedia of Nigeria’s challenges and practical, tested panaceas. A single meeting with the maverick technocrat is all needed to prove the point. Bashorun Dele Momodu has pounding in his heart the drumbeats of revolution. His passion is absolutely genuine, he once told me, “I have no ambition, I have a vision”, I have discussed with him for hours on the phone on the best way forward for Nigeria as a nation and even though I do not belong to his party, I recognize he is a gift to this nation, this generation and a worthy man to lead Nigeria. I believe only those who do not know him too closely think otherwise, for if I had not met the man, and only judged him through the Prism of Ovation alone, I probably would not have realized the huge nationalistic and patriotic fire in him. Nuhu Ribadu is a personal hero to me and many of this generation and I silently pray that I will live to see him lead this nation as President someday in our lifetime. His anger at corruption is as real as the word. However, as capable as you all are, you all do not have the same level of national popularity and acceptance, this is key in the task at hand. The season is politically-dynamic and your anticipated consensus must hold that as a key factor.
It behoves the opposition to channel the path of change and deliverance for this beleaguered nation. Let no candidate go into this election, split worthy votes, unwittingly pave a way for a continuation of the PDP misrule and come back to tell we the people that he is a nationalist! We will not take it. For now is the time to demonstrate your nationalism. This call is a call for huge sacrifice, but if you all ponder it with a clear mind, you will see that the truth lies therein. We are tired of the PDP, e jowo e ba wa le won sonu! But please remember, with the facts at hand, no one, no single political party among you all, can do that alone, you all need each other.
God bless Nigeria.