In its preparations to clinch power from the feeble ruling party, as it has always assured Nigerians, the fledgling All Progressive Congress, APC, had recently turned out its ten-point stratagems that will add momentum to its drive for achieving lofty objectives. These points were part of other articles dished out from its manifesto which was presented to the electorates in Abuja. They dwelt on many and varied topics that touch the lives of the masses with a promise to end the country’s technological dependence on foreign countries; abolish the widespread and pervasive youth unemployment; tackle the scourge of poverty; a comprehensive welfare package for all citizens and taking the monstrous corruption head-on.
Certainly that was a pack of promises intended to whet the appetite of electorates and raise their expectations for better days, making them confident of good prospects for the future and deliver them from the prevailing adversities brought about by economic difficulties caused by inept and indecisive leadership. In that vein it can be said that the APC had unfurled a package that will surely assuage the difficulties experienced by the masses especially as it is conversant with their origin and is in a better stead to proffer appropriate solutions to them. However, when these laudable points are put side by side with the manifestoes of other parties to suggest a link or contrast between them no discernible difference could be found since they are not remarkably dissimilar but perfect replication of each other.
Usually the principles, policies and objectives of most political parties in this country are hollow and unimpressive, tending to emphasise more on activities that promote the exploitation of the nation’s economy by unscrupulous multinational companies and their dishonest local agents rather than those that encourage the springing up of various cottage industries through agricultural enterprises. As a result governors elected on the premise of such manifestos tempt the large, fluid force of unemployed youths out of their villages, and away from their farms, into urban centres where they are entrusted with motorcycles, simple machineries and rudimentary implements manufactured in foreign countries as poverty alleviation gimmick. That inevitably ends as dishonest trick intended to achieve the objectives of causing the economy to stagnate.
In that way they unwittingly promote economic growth of the exploitative foreign countries, thus sparing their youths from the hazards of unemployment and making it possible for their jobless to receive monthly stipend as social securities. Even as that unfortunate development constitutes great danger to our socio-economic wellbeing there are two other fearsome problems that portend bigger danger to the nation’s march to progress. These are ineffective and imprudent leadership that panders to the whims and caprices of the country’s foreign detractors who encourage wholesale plundering of the country’s immense resources, invariably stashed in foreign banks, thereby motivating and expanding the industrial bases of the receiving countries.
The second disastrous situation the political parties and their purportedly elected governments failed to redress is the issue of invasive corruption which has already eroded public confidence in the reliability of administrative process. Many attempts to ward off corruption from the national life have ended disastrously with anybody struggling to fight it becoming a hapless victim. It had been said times without number that past heads of state especially General Gowon and Shehu Shagari were thoroughly honest because they did not indulge in looting the treasury unlike their government’s thieving officials and kleptomaniac governors who became stinking rich at the expense of the masses. If these leaders had effectively overseen their subordinates such ugly situation couldn’t have arisen.
They should have dealt with corrupt officials no matter how influential or highly-placed they might have been. After all a Chinese proverb has it that a fish begins to rot from the head. Nigeria’s catalogue of predicaments are well know by those in authority, and if there had been a political will to eradicate them as and when they reared their ugly heads the country would have been a different clime by now. One can safely say that there isn’t substantial difference between the contents of the APC manifesto and that of the ruling PDP which had woefully failed to overcome the nation’s despair. The problem is not with the manifestoes but with the leaders that uphold them. Every society begets a leader with perceptual framework similar to that of the constituents.
Indeed the manifesto reeled off by the APC is remarkably inspiring and would certainly appeal to the miserable masses in need of a messiah, and if it could be faithfully and diligently prosecuted by its elected leaders the change it is hollering would certainly manifest. Besides, its hopes and aspirations will only come to fruition if its future governments are bold and resolute in fighting corruption in all its ramifications as well as its promoters, otherwise it will simply lie prostrate, like the moribund PDP which is being chased out of power by the same monster it fostered and pampered. The future in Nigeria belongs to the party whose leaders can convincingly prove to be capable of taming the corruption monster; period.