BIOREPORTS EDITORIAL: AFTER OSUN VICTORY APC NEEDS TRANSPARENT PRIMARIES FOR 2015

With the successful conclusion of the Osun governorship election and the well deserved victory of incumbent Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the APC, all focus is now on the coming 2015 general election. Special focus is on the 2015 presidential election where the APC has staked a historical challenge to rescue Nigeria from the obvious disaster, which the PDP handling of Nigeria has turned out to be in the last fifteen years. At no time is the rescue of Nigeria so ripe than now when the country has been crumbled by the sheer incompetence and the wholesome laundering of corruption by the PDP government.

Whereas we must acknowledge that APC is not the totality of the ideal party we envisage in an ideal Nigeria, yet we hold APC as the very best available option in the current Nigerian reality. APC presents better hope for some positive change in Nigeria.

To say that Nigeria is in dire straights with the PDP misgovernance is to state the obvious. Infrastructures have almost completely broken down; poverty is so endemic that a respected international economic agency has stated that Nigeria would be the country with the largest number of poor people in the world by 2015.

Unemployment is so rife that the advertisement of 3,000 vacancies at the Nigerian Immigration Services recently turned deadly as more than one million eager unemployed youths turned up nationwide. Stadia and all public places were filled to the brim and more than twenty youths were trampled to death in the ensuing struggle.

Corruption is so pervasive that stories of trillions of Naira disappearing from the national treasury are no longer news today. Impunity is so rife and the use of soldiers as enforcers of PDP’s electoral interests seems to be the ace the PDP has discovered for its impending electoral woes. We are now in a situation where all manners of PDP thugs, enforcers and scum bergs are armed with limitless state funds to unleash mayhem and brigandage in any state they are not controlling for the purposes of annexation.

Do we talk of the general state of insecurity where militants and Boko Haram insurgents have taken over some parts of the country while a sitting government busies itself with finding scapegoats on those that challenge its tenuous hold on power? A general state of insecurity has made Nigeria so unsafe that life has become so cheap and worthless.

These are legacies of PDP’s woeful governance for the past fifteen years and Nigeria is practically down in its knees as the party uses every foul means to cling to power.

It is pictures like the above and many other rots in the polity that necessitated the amalgamation of political forces in the opposition and disenchanted forces in the PDP to pull together and form the All Progressives Congress (APC). It is apt to state that since the APC came on stream, the PDP has not enjoyed a good sleep because it sees the danger the APC poses to its inordinate desire to hold irresponsible power till eternity. It tried first to register a fake APC to block the APC acronym but failed woefully and as the APC was registered, the PDP dug deep into its bag of tricks to contain the APC threat. On a single day, five sitting PDP governors decamped to the new APC and this was enough to warn the PDP, which had grown so arrogant with power, that there was indeed fire on the mountain.

As the 2015 general election approaches, PDP’s knee-jerk response to the APC challenge is getting more desperate. It is today seeking to make the APC the issue rather the quality of governance it had rendered in fifteen years. Its evil propaganda is on full course and its intent is to blame the APC for its failings, its incompetence and its intentional plots. In doing this, PDP takes Nigerians as fools who cannot discern and who are barely aware of its well known shortfalls. It is deploying rice and salt, amala and gbegiri to do the rest among a malnourished, hungry and poor people it had devalued their humanity through fifteen years of relentless negative leadership. These have been its response to the APC challenge and the results of the Osun election shows that Nigerians are not the fools the PDP takes them to be. They indeed know the truth of where the rain starts beating them. They know, despite the rice and stew politics of the PDP that the party has squandered and looted over N100 trillion since 1999 growing a fat coterie of fat cats who are at the front row of PDP’s desire for eternal power. They are determined to use their votes to enforce a change in their fates. That was the central lesson of Osun election and the expectation is that the APC will utilize this rich harvest to bring the desired change Nigeria needs.

Baring any unforeseen circumstances, the primaries for the selection of candidates that will fly the APC fly in the coming presidential, governorship, senate, house of Representatives and state assembly elections will commence. The party leadership has come out to say to Nigerians that it hopes to adopt an open, transparent and credible process in selecting candidates to fly its flag in the various elections. This is a cheery departure from the PDP process of godfathers, godsons politics of anointing and imposition. This is a good start the APC needs to promote enroute the coming general election.

It is our desired wish, here at bioreports, that the APC primaries should be transparent, free and fair to select the best candidates to dislodge the failed PDP from power, especially at the center. The party must work harder to ensure that a process that not only leads to the selection of a candidate competent to lead Nigeria to the desired promised land emerges from the APC primaries but also that the process should be free from the rancor usually associated with primaries in Nigeria where only one person is expected to emerge among various other processes. We believe that the leadership and members of APC know that it is on the great party that Nigerians now anchor their expectations of a walk away from the failed present. It is therefore germane to remind them that they want the candidates of the party to emerge through a very transparent process all Nigerians should be proud of.

It is good that the party leadership has announced that the party will adopt a modified open ballot process whereby the candidates of the party, especially the president candidate, would be elected freely by party members all over the federation. This is a heart lifting development that stands to flag off the real process of effecting change from the decadent order the PDP has been superintending for the past fifteen years. This is a needed elixir to the search for a credible change agent that will rescue Nigeria from the clutches of desperadoes masquerading as leaders.

This is a needed impetus for positive political change which Nigeria badly needs today. The essence of this bottom-up process is to ensure that whoever emerges at every level to fly the flag of APC emerges from the people and has the universal mandate of the members to represent the party in elections. This is commendable and a right step in the right direction.

We charge APC leaders, nationally and at the state level, to ingrain the process of the primaries in members all over the country.

We want them to simplify the process to make for easier understanding and grasping. We want the machineries for smooth delivery to be put in place and we want all hands to be on deck to ensure that the most popular and most credible and competent candidate emerge to challenge the decadent PDP order in place.

We want the rules to be well defined and the enlightenment to be well carried out so that at the end of the day, the primaries will not only meet the expectations of Nigerians, the teeming members and supporters of the party but will signal the long awaited demise of PDP and its debilitating process.

There is not much time left. All hands should be on deck and the focus should be the change that is promised and long overdue in 2015.

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