By Chidi O. Uwabuofu
Without the fear of contradiction, the PDP dashed the hopes of Nigerians during their reign, using the powers freely given by Nigerians to perpetuate series of electoral frauds, which paved the way for a lot of corrupt politicians who held our nation to ransom for their selfish gains. Indeed, most of them could have succeeded in other endeavours rather than being politicians, because they hitherto do not have a clear idea nor understand what politics entails, especially when it has to do with leadership.
I vividly remember that during PDP’s reign, Nigerians lost confidence in our electoral system or have you forgotten Prof. Maurice Iwu who was so inept in his duties and even when the opposition protested, the PDP saw nothing wrong in Iwu brazenly raping our democracy?
I also remember that in the days of PDP, their supporters would usually give the impression to the electorate that the results had been premeditated and there was no point in wasting their votes. In fact, election results were like BetNaija results as it often comes out as the PDP leaders predicted before the elections.
Because they have lost their federal firepower, no thanks to their leaders who were so sure of holding powers for 60 years that they took Nigerians for granted, and with the upcoming elections, there are people who feel that the PDP is going to get visited with retribution. For me, it is natural for people to expect a doomsday for the PDP. However, I believe it is going to be a different story because Nigeria is moving forward under the watch of President Buhari who is a beneficiary of a credible electoral process in 2015 and who often reiterated his commitment to ensure that Nigerians witness one of the finest and fairest elections in the history of Nigeria this year, 2019.
Ironically today, the PDP stalwarts are the ones championing the advocacy for credible elections. Is it not laughable and quite shameful that the same sets of people who bastardized our electoral system are the ones championing the call for a credible electoral process ahead of February 2019 elections? Their call for credible elections can be likened to a case of a successfully retired armed robber calling on security authorities to protect his household against attacks from his former professional colleagues. After all they have done, I think the PDP do not have the moral justification to demand for credible elections since it never considered it as important to Nigeria’s political development.
It is also important that the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) have committed to setting the credible electoral standards which the former ruling party failed to institute, but the PDP keeps crying wolf because they will never want to test their real popularity amongst the electorates on Election Day. This has been echoed in their various demands for the removal of different officers of INEC in other to pave way for their back door victory.
Now that the campaigns has picked up pace and opinion polls suggest APC on course to winning, we (APC) must campaign more than we did in the 2015 general elections to nail our victory. We must not rely on the federal might like the PDP did when they were in power, as doing that will be counterproductive. We must remember that he electorates are wiser and more sophisticated and will not take any excuse from us.
APC’s biggest asset, of course, is a mass membership and we have to get out there and work very hard for the success of our party. We must embark on a heart-stopping and issues based campaign — reach out to the grassroots, campaigning with the good works that President Buhari is doing. APC will undoubtedly triumph but not without a determined push against complacency.
Our people recognises the power of electing good leaders, so we must let them know that their votes will be counting this time around and they must not relax as they’ve done before while politicians fabricate figures for them. But if they are discouraged not to go out to cast their valuable votes believing elections is going to be business as usual, then they have successfully given the riggers their valuable ballot papers to be used for rigging.
As campaigners for credible and fair elections, we must encourage the electorates to come out en mass next February to elect their leaders as doing so will ensure that electoral thieves will have no or little chance of stealing their future from them on Election Day.