APC, A Pill Nigerians Must Swallow - By Lauretta Onochie

Many years ago, before the advent of Paracetamol, APC was the medicine for headache, stomachache and indeed, all aches and pains. Today Nigeria has a headache, a bellyache and all known and unknown aches and pains. The good news is that we know the cause of most of these aches. Diagnosis? Corruption and the poor leadership of the PDP! But it looks like the good old tablet,  APC is back in Nigeria; not in chemists and pharmacies, but as a political conglomeration that promises to heal Nigeria of many of her aches and pains, commonly known as PDP wahala. It is the ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC).

Hear them, "We resolve to form a political party committed to the principles of internal democracy, focused on serious issues of concern to OUR PEOPLE, determined to bring corruption and insecurity to an end, determined to grow our economy and create jobs in their millions through education, housing, agriculture, industrial growth etc, and stop the increasing mood of despair and hopelessness among OUR PEOPLE.” In one short sentence, they used 'Our people' twice... Yet, Nigerians are sceptical about APC and their real intentions.

Nigeria is a nation where different groups of people in leadership have come to promise us heaven on earth, only to turn around to confine us to hell by impoverishing us the more. The present reality is the Peoples Democratic Party PDP. These people, since 1999, have made millionaires out of their immediate families and friends. That has also changed. They began to make billionaires out of their cronies and now, we are at a stage where many suspect that there might be more Dollars in Nigeria than in America as they continue to make 'Dollarnaires' out of their close associates.

Nigerians have met disappointments at every turn of their recent political history. Where we have been promised bread, we got stones and where we were promised soup, sludge was forced down our throats. Its all too recent and still raw as we all are now choking from air pollution, not only from the fumes from our electric-generating sets but from the corrosive materials in the breathe of fresh air we were promised by the current ruling party and its arrowhead of corruption, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

We, as a people have come to the stage where we lost all hopes in our leaders and consequently, in our nation. They have cheated us out of our national inheritance. They have run down our national infrastructures and left them in their dilapidated states. Examples are our roads and hospitals. They have, through their greed reduced our life expectancies to 47 and 45 respectively for men and women. They have made us look small among the comity  of nations. We have become a people who are no longer warmly welcomed to other nations. Close to home, some African nations have been brave to voice the fact that we are bad news. Our leaders have become the butt of jokes as they go around the globe parading ignorance.

The Nigerian print and electronic media mostly became instruments of misinformation for peddling lies, innuendoes, gossips and propaganda in favour of those who use our collective wealth to suppress the truth. And then the Social Media emerged! Subdued Nigerians found a live wire. Many began joining the social network such as Twitter and Facebook. Some went in with their body, soul and spirit. Others went in slowly and cautiously.  And then, it exploded! Nigerians threw caution to the wind, taking the bull by the horn. They went for the jugular, chocking the day light out of the present inept, corrupt and clueless government of President Jonathan. Nigerians on the Social media used it to their maximum benefit, exposing the corruption, ineptitude, incompetence and the waste that were and are still the hallmark of this sick government.

But this government, this sick government of President Jonathan still refuses medication. It struggles on, refusing to see that the people they asked to serve needed to be served. This sick government that refused to take all prescribed medications devised means of avoiding contact with Nigerians for fear of being lynched by angry Nigerians. Private jets became the new means of mass transit  for our corrupt leaders and their friends, along with their religious associates. Nigeria's Independent celebration events which we looked forward to as children in Nigeria, became a private affair. Children in our nation have not been given the opportunity, even on children's day to interact with the man who decides on their behalf.

The new found confidence of Nigerians, armed with the deluge of authenticated data on the corrupt activities of the present administration of President Jonathan, gave wings to the courageous showings of the #OccupyNigeria Movement a year ago. That became the first arrow shot in recent times by the Nigerian people at their ignoble leaders to put them on notice that it would no longer be business as usual. A lot more corruption has been unearthed and exposed since then and all we hear from them are denials, denials and more denials. The complicity of our National assembly is not in doubt neither is the collusion of our judiciary. It is common knowledge that people, (yes they are Nigerians), are eager to keep the Boko Haram crises going because of the huge gains from the unaccountable security votes for that region. "Vampires" I call them. Those who flourish and bask in the blood of others are called vampires.

Nigerians, ordinary Nigerians are therefore left to their own devices as unemployment soars. Lynching popularly known as jungle-justice and mass raping have become popular in a nation that has lost her morals and community spirit. Campus prostitution, armed robbery, kidnapping, human-trafficking fraud and scamming etc are now ways of earning a living in a nation blessed with huge natural and human resources.

Therefore,  I must say that I clearly understand the apathy, suspicion, scepticism and distrust with which some of us view APC, the soup-pot or what some of us call a collection of strange bed-fellows. After all, some of these apothecaries who prepared this APC, have been in the forefront of the Nigerian politics for decades and have not been part of the solution, to say the least. However, we must look beyond the people who are the principal players in APC now. If one was drowning, and someone threw him a life line, he would grab it and ask questions later about the identity of the life saver. Our nation is sinking. We have no time to dilly-dally. Our problem had been that we did not have a united opposition in our nation that was proactive. Now we do. One has presented itself.

A party like this APC is what many of us have been campaigning for. There is no way we are going to have an opposition that is led by people we do not know. Nigerians and indeed the world, are predisposed to starting from the known to the unknown.  Many people may not know how tediously many of our well meaning youth have worked to build a solid opposition, but were not taken seriously because they are not known. This is a chance Nigerians must take with both hands and firmly plant their feet on. APC is made up of the known at the present but unless we all join at this its inception, the unknown would remain in the background.

I therefore, appeal to Nigerians, especially our youth population, to join, no, to invade this APC. Its only when we are in that we can have a say from the beginning and make the necessary changes like standing against god-fatherism, mediocrity, tribalism, nepotism and other vices. Once we allow them become a cabal, we would have ourselves to blame.

Nigeria was standing between the devil and the deep blue sea and suddenly, a ship appears out of the deep blue sea.  This may be our last chance to recover our nation by ourselves through democratic means. It is not going to be easy-sailing but we are the ones that must make the difference. When the known leaders begin to show self interests, we the unknown Nigerians in APC would be the ones to keep them in check and insist on what we want for our nation or push then aside. Nigerians must arise and hijack this party for their benefit. With PDP, we are outsiders. We don't want to be outsiders with APC too.
Suddenly, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
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