The ideologies of political parties in Nigeria are not well grounded or available for party members to behave a certain way. Abroad, the models show strong ideological differences that moderate the behaviour and expectations of party representatives in positions of power. Black or African Americans (the majority) have always leaned towards the Democratic Party while the Republican Party is seen as pro white. The ideologies of these two parties may not have had real impart on the life of the people of these races, but by sticking with them, some common ground and expectations are satisfied. A poor racist white man could be satisfied with the profound racism of the people he voted in power while another black man suffering police harassment and brutality is content with the illusion of the pro human America his vote enabled. The Democrats behave in a way usually contrary to that of the Republicans.
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On another scale, electorates are split into conservatives and liberals, both hating the plans of one another irrespective of correctness of their respective positions. In Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, and all other parties around seem to be leaning on the American Conservatives and Liberal plane. The contempt shared among them is not based on the logic of their ideologies but on a fixed idea in all of them that none, except their party, can handle governance. The political parties in Nigeria have no ideology except the ideology to hold unto power for a long time. The PDP once boasted their goal is to rule Nigeria for 60 years. That is the only consistent ideology in all political parties in Nigeria.
So, they all plan for victory at the polls but how to manage the outcome of victory at the polls is not made political ideology. How to lead or offer something that will liberate the people they lead is not thought of or made priority and in their opportunity cost, people suffer. A party could reel out lists of goals it seeks to achieve but these goals, as we have come to witness, are the words of demagogues. Anything can be said to gain the electorate’s vote. Meek acts can be engaged to establish a common ground with the electorate. We have seen an aspirant fry Akara with the women who sell Akara by the roadside. We have seen an aspirant lick the same spoon he used in feeding a dying sick child. We have seen aspirants talk about stabilizing world oil price. We have seen one eating roasted corn on the streets. No ideology is put forth and their statements, speeches and desperate ideas are the works of a well paid speech writer.
The implications of these nonexistent ideologies in the political parties in Nigeria is that ideologies now rest solely on the individuals using the party as their route to public service. Because the political parties in Nigeria are bereft of ideologies, voting for any of the political parties becomes a poor decision. There is no consensus in PDP, APC, Kowa Party, Labour Party, etc., on actions or ideologies, hence ecpecting candidates to behave a certain way, to pass certain laws, just because they are in a party is antithetic to progress. It is retrogressive voting for candidates because of the political parties they find themselves in. The smart thing then becomes making their respective candidates subjects of our analyses.
We must examine them, weigh them, rinse them, sieve them to see all hidden and exposed components of their being. If Mr Bawa is the candidate of the APC for the gubernatorial election in Kebbi State and Mr Stephen is the candidate for the PDP gunning for the same position, rather than examine both parties alone, an examination of Mr Bawa and Mr Stephen is what is expected. In addition to asking why he choose APC, ask why Mr Bawa wants to lead. In addition to asking why Mr Stephen is running under PDP, ask if Mr Stephen has got the intelligence to rule himself or handle anything around him and why we need give him a state. That’s because the political parties in Nigeria don’t make the people in the parties, they don’t shape the people in the parties, but the people shape the parties.
If a man with poor intellect is in charge of the party, the updates of the party will be of poor intellect. If the party is run by a man with a degree of competence, the party will exude that degree of competence. Political parties in Nigeria are simply vessels for achieving an aim. They only exist because the type of Independent Candidates that made people like Macron win an election in France is not recognized here. They are simply one inevitable arena anyone seeking public office will pass through. That’s why it is easy to defect. Defections happen because the personal ideologies of men clash and in our case, the man in power is usually the determinant of ideology.
Political parties in Nigeria cannot be blamed for the state of Nigeria, with that in mind. We can’t really say that APC is ruining Nigeria when more than half of those in APC are simply obeying the submissions of one clueless man. The party has no ideology and plans are the making of the members at the top echelon. In fact, our parties didn’t fail our people, our people failed our people. How do we respond to a person who defected and constantly blames his former party, where he spent over ten years, for failing the people? Is a party a human being? A man was in the Peoples Democratic Party for over ten years and in these ten years he plotted with looters of the treasury, he subjected people to dehumanizing and gory conditions but of a sudden, this same man leaves this party for a new party and blames his old party for the state of Nigeria.
The APC made over 80 promises they will deliver to Nigerians but today their candidate who became President has failed to achieve one out of the many he denied was made. The Nigerian people are angry, some are blaming his party while others are comparing between rotten bodies the stink that was palatable. Some have sworn to vote for neither PDP or APC and there are also those who have been too broken that they have given up hope on voting anyone at all. You often see them on queue for voter registration telling stories of how the results are written. The only reason they need it so badly is to enjoy the other benefits of the Voter’s Card. Most people who fell for party ideologues have given up hope these parties can present sound candidates. Their approach to voting has cost them and they still want to elongate their punishment.
People like the rudderless Governor Samuel Ortom have shown people can be voted and not parties. He left PDP for APC at the eve of election and his people followed him. Just that proper discernment wasn’t followed. People need brains too to know how to stay away from cancer. The current President has tried three times with one party, CPC, and not once was he voted for but the moment his party merged with the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, the orientation of the electorates changed. What it showed is that the majority who didn’t vote him all these time didn’t do it because they thought or knew he was incompetent but because he was in a party that had nothing going for its members. They didn’t vote him because he was competent but because he was the candidate of a Big Party. The masses too have their problems.
Don’t vote for the political parties in Nigeria but vote for the candidates of the political parties in Nigeria. Our candidates carry the ideology here and not the party and hence voting anyone for the party he belongs to is fruitless. Supporting people who are in your party because they are in your party is what zombies do. A party member can criticise the men at the top of the party he belongs to and still be a member. Here we have seen people supporting the wrong acts of the President because he is from their party and that’s appalling. You can love your party and still disagree with poor decisions from your governor. For these political parties in Nigeria to have ideologies, their members must begin to stand for party codes and not Presidential or the Governors’ codes.
A patriot stands with his country and not with his President and a party loyalist should stand for the good of his party and not the good of a member of his party and if this party and members don’t stand for the good of the nation, he is free to leave. In voting, the best way of helping your country is by voting a candidate who has shown the intelligence to lead a country. Don’t let the parties piss you off. The political parties in Nigeria are not in a battle of Angels and Demons. They all have Good and Bad people in them. When you see a good man in any of them, look for intelligence, and if he or she has it, go ahead and vote them.