By Ibrahim Sarafa
Almost every day, Nigerians cause stir on the internet space. Not that the exchanges concentrate on dying critical infrastructures, increasing unemployment and insecurity, among other failings that keep disrupting national progress. Rather, it’s either All Progressives Congress (APC) or Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); those have been the issues that keep conserving our outrage as citizens.
When citizens elsewhere keep leveraging the internet to pressure their leaderships for accountability and good governance, Nigerians rather choose to explore the same platform to queue behind their ‘oppressors’ to battle themselves. From Facebook to Twitter, lines of thoughts are clearly defined. It’s either you are APC or PDP or you are lost in the superfluous scuffle. But as the mudslinging recurs, Nigerians seem to be unaware of the salient truth. If they could understand that in the beginning, there wasn’t PDP or APC but a distraction to perpetuate the interests of the ruling elites. However unfortunate, Nigerians are holed up in the subterfuge that have continued to deride them of their deserved services.
Instead of questions on leaderships, Nigerians have been lured to question political identity. They thrust angers and misgivings at each other as they attempted to portray either of APC or PDP in bad or good light. But the ruling elites don’t share such sharp disagreements except their interests are threatened or that they have been outplayed in the spoils of the subjugation of Nigerians. Otherwise, it couldn’t have been so easy to crisscross between APC and PDP. If there was anything, it must have been that APC or PDP was a calculated attempt to feign participation for Nigerians in the country’s democratic process.
Since 1999 when Nigeria returned to democracy, the gale of cross carpeting among the ruling class answered doubts on their perceptions of political parties. Like a mirror, it clearly depicts that unlike Nigerians fixation to PDP or APC, the only political party that matters to the ruling elites is THEMSELVES.
Despite the hardened stance of senior Republican Party chiefs including former Presidents George W. Bush Snr and Jnr, to President Donald Trump, that never changed their membership.
Unlike in Nigeria where politicians find it convenient to switch parties and mix together easily, political parties in other climes are deep rooted in ideologies that transcend individuals. That is why you find politicians who are PDP today and APC tomorrow or APC today and PDP tomorrow.
When APC was formed in 2013, it brought together those who shared varying ideologies and perceptions on issues. While Muhammad Buhari is touted of being ‘incorruptible’, he conveniently mixed with those he had shaded in the past of corruption just to ensure he secure his long held ambition of becoming President of Nigeria. Even when he emerged as President, those who in twilight of the 16 years of ousted PDP changed their political trajectory hold sensitive positions and call shots in the supposed ‘anti-corruption’ regime.
The same is evident in the leadership structure of the Nigerian Senate, where it is convenient for Bukola Saraki to accept Ike Ekweremadu as his deputy, though, both men shared different political parties. It worked because it satisfied their political interest, not Nigerians.
Unless Nigerians come out of the schism of subterfuge that have pitched them against each other unnecessarily, the tale of woes that have characterised our social and economic advancements will persists. It is a circle that have only fueled the subjugation of the ruling elites an ugly trait that Nigerians needed to disrupt for national growth.
As exemplified by citizens elsewhere, Nigerians should focus on right issues. Touching issues such as epileptic power supply; poor basic health access; increasing downgrading of social and economical infrastructures; failing standards of education among other woes that stared us in the face as a nation, should attract the kind of exchange that taking sides between APC or PDP have consumed. Not that we can’t support either of the two major political parties but the interest of the nation should come first.
Just as the ruling elites are united in their clever attempt to continually harness our collective wealth, Nigerians should refuse the deceits and form a voice that asks the right questions. From united voices that query leadership standards, to voices that demand accountability and sought good governance from those who keep occupying seats of power every four years; Nigerians should come out of the deceits that keep fuelling their subjugation.
It’s time we understand that a nation becomes great not because of its political party (ies) but because of citizens who are united in demanding accountability and desired leadership. It is time for Nigerians to interrupt the adventurous scheme of the ruling elites to overstretch the gap between the VERY RICH and POOR.
Ibrahim Sarafa is a journalist with Sahel Standard Newspaper, Abuja.