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Parties Strategise for 2019

Not long ago, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced the approval of the applications of five new associations as  registered Political Parties in Nigeria.

They include the Young Progressive Party (YPP); the Advanced Peoples’ Democratic Alliance (APDA); New Generation Party of Nigeria (NGP); All Democratic Peoples Movement (ADPM), and Action Democratic Party (ADP).

The new five parties now take the number of registered political parties in Nigeria to 45, with more applications expected to come under review for approval as the electoral season for 2019 draws increasingly closer. Below is the profile of the various political parties:-

Young Progressive Party (YPP)

Chairman – Comrade Bishop Amakiri

The Young Progressive Party is the second party to be going with the title that focuses on embracing the youth.

Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA)

Chairman- Shittu Mohammed

The ‘biggest’ of the newly- registered parties, APDA, has known players from the mainstream parties. It is being speculated that the internal frictions in the PDP led to widespread disillusionment amongst many members, especially from the faction led by Ahmed Makarfi. APDA becomes the second party named ‘Advanced’ in Nigeria.

New Generation Party of Nigeria

Chairman – Dr Yakubu Shendam 

From the name “New Generation” it is obvious the party is focused on the young ones. If one may ask, is this focused on the break of the old generations ruling the country? Bringing up new people to the lime light?  New ideas?  Or will the party to introduce new ways of adapting stomach infrastructure campaigns for the New Generation?

All Democratic Peoples Movement (ADPM)

Chairman – Engr Okey Chikwendu

Using one of the most popular words in politics, will this be a different from other political parties having ‘Democratic’ in their initials?

Action Democratic Party (ADP)

Chairman – Yagbaji Sani

In preparations for the coming 2019 Elections, the newly registered Political Parties, are gearing up to dislodge the ruling Political Parties such as the All Progressives Congress, APC, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, which have been ruling at various levels of administration in the country.

APDA announced their preparations  to the public, stating how APC, had betrayed Nigerians, and at the same time  telling APC to prepare to face  them against in  the 2019  elections.

This signal was given by the youths of the opposition party under the aegis of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance Youth Frontier (APDAYF).

According to the youths in a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator of the youth group, Comrade Inioribo Tamunotonye and the National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Sam-Najoma Awudu,they  boasted that with the wide acceptance of APDA, the ruling party should not bother to  waste  scarce resources to field any candidate during the 2019 general elections.

“APDA was unveiled on June 5, on June 7. We received formal recognition from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and we got our certificate on June 16,” the statement reads.

It continued: “But if you enter the remotest part of Nigeria, you will hear and see people talking about the party, you will see people freely aligning with APDA as if we have been in existence since the beginning of this present democratic dispensation in 1999.

“Before the coming of APDA, opposition in Nigeria was practically dead after the APC took power from the former ruling party, but today, Nigerians can boast of a viable opposition in APDA, a worthy alternative to the failed APC administration. In APDA Nigerians see a party they trust with their mandate to form government in 2019,” It noted.

For APC, it said: “Having betrayed the trust of Nigerians, the only favour the ruling APC will offer the populace is to prepare their handover notes ahead of the 2019 general election so as to ease transfer of power to the APDA incoming government.

“APDA is the only political party that has truly surrendered power in the hands of the people. APDA is the only political party in Nigeria that recognize that everyone irrespective of tribe, age, societal status or creed, is important in the Nigeria project.”

The National Chairman of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), Shittu Mohammed, revealed how the Party’s Flag-bearer in the 2019 Presidential election will emerge.

According to him, APDA’s presidential candidate will emerge through Electoral College.

Mohammed, while addressing journalists at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of APDA which was  held at its National Secretariat in Abuja, said the Party’s  NEC will  use  Electoral College as against the common practice where presidential candidates emerged through delegates’ election, to allow for even participation of all party members in choosing their presidential candidate.

He stated that there was the need to depart from a tradition that does not serve the interest of the masses.

He said, “Apart from the fact that it reduces waste, because delegates will not need to travel to Abuja from their various states to elect their candidate; the process will also ensure that the presidential aspirants traverse the length and breadth of the country to get votes

“When they move across the country, they will be able to understand the plights and needs of the people better, and they will therefore be better prepared to serve their interest”.

On the same note, a communique issued at the end of the meeting and signed by its national secretary, Emeka Okengwe, noted: “APDA is changing the old order that did not add value to the masses. APDA will ensure that masses are well represented and it is only their wish that will be considered uppermost at all times.

“The NEC also resolved that APDA will build and sell its ideology of social democracy based on 60 percent of appointive and elective positions. Women will have 30 percent, youths will have 25 percent, and people living with disability will have five percent. “The NEC also reaffirms its belief in the indivisibility of this country. APDA believes in one Nigeria where each state is able to take comparative advantage of the natural resources in its domain, for the good of all”.

The Young Progressive Party (YPP), also said that it will provide vibrant leadership to harness the vast human and natural resources of the nation for the benefit of every Nigerian.

While acknowledging the efforts of past leaders, the party insisted that there was need for a more dynamic leadership in a digital age to drive the Nation’s economy and political systems to measure up in the committee of nation. The National Chairman of the Party, Comrade Bishop Amakiri noted that the party is determined to mobilize the youth population to take back the nations from the hands of the Bourgeois who have continued to misuse the country’s wealth.

“One of the major obstacles to the achievement of our full potentials as a nation is the failure of the successive regimes to utilise the abundant human resources that we have and also failed to galvanise the energy, strength, knowledge and skill of the majority of the country’s population (the Youths) to drive the economy and political system.

“The party has come to provide the platform for the recruitment and enrollment of new generation leaders; of positive influence, who are energetic, resourceful, skillful, smart and intelligent to respond to the need and aspirations of Nigerians”.

Amakiri noted that what the political system of the country over the years lacked was service- based leadership, stressed that the YPP has come to provide that aspect to Nigerians.

“Most of the political parties that operated before us operated in deceit. What the people are looking for is for service not power. Power already belongs to the people. But the problem is that when the people give these politicians the power through their votes, they don’t give them in return the service they require. That is why we have decided to give the people the service that they have longed for. With service comes accountability and that is what we are bringing on board” he said.

Meanwhile the New Generation Party (NGP), has called for mental restructuring by Nigerians. The National chairman of the party, Yakubu Shendam said that instead of joining different groups in Nigeria for national restructuring, what the country actually needed  was  “mental restructuring to have a total reorientation of the people.”

Shendam told journalists in Abuja that for the country to move forward and yield the needed developmental structures in line with the yearnings of the people, the mindset of the people has to be completely reformed.

He also stated how blessed Nigeria is with a lot of mineral and human resources, but corruption, greed, religious bigotry and ethnic division had been the major factors crippling the nation from growing.

He stated that “If Nigeria is divided into segments and you didn’t develop the mentality of Nigerians, restructuring will become a generational statement”, adding that “We in the New Generation Party (NGP) are of the opinion that what we, need in Nigeria is mental restructuring because; when you talk about restructuring of Nigeria, which means, people should be given fair share of resources and treated equal. But you will end up restructuring peoples’ pocket.

He said: “Some persons have come with the slogan of “restructuring”, even when we have not accepted that we are an indivisible nation. Nigeria to me is just a geographical location. We don’t have a national identity that is why you see people calling for secession, declaring that some ethnic group should leave a particular zone.”

He highlighted hat until Nigerians come together and unite as citizens of an indivisible nation, the country cannot achieve its dream of becoming one of the top advanced economies in the world.

According to him, “the New Generation Party is offering that solution and that is why the party came onboard. We are tired of continuous listening to our so called leaders with their divisive stories.”

While many see APDA as a reincarnation of the PDP whose application was earlier rejected due to semblance of identity with the former ruling party, watchers of political events believe that the new party, if well nurtured, would take over the position of the main opposition party and become a force to reckon with in 2019.

The registration of APDA has no doubt marked another breakthrough at the possibility of a highly and strongly contested poll in 2019.

The Action Democratic Party (ADP), one of the newly- registered political parties, maintains that  the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will be shocked in the 2019 general elections.

The National Chairman, Engr. Yusuf Yabagi Sani, spoke with newsmen during the NEC meeting.  According to him: “We are prepared for the coming elections. Even before the INEC Chairman said the commission was prepared for the election, we were prepared; our members in various states are just waiting patiently for this day, registration and collection of our certificate of registration, which has come’’.

He added: “Believe you me we are ready because Nigerians are ready for the real change and not the cosmetic change that you have been seeing that have plunged us into what we are seeing today.

“We believe that all Nigerians have been waiting for us and this is the beginning the journey to greatness, a great nation, a safe place where you can live anywhere and do business anywhere. In Anambra State governorship election and other elections that are coming, you will see wonders”, he added.

Sani said the party would not allow liberty to grow and destroy it like it, as it did to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as impunity, he said,  is also destroying APC.

According to Sani, “Political parties as institutions have been taken for granted. Before we thought it was just a platform that people can use to run for an election but parties like APC and PDP are destroying the principles of political parties.

“We have realized that it is unthinkable to talk about democracy without talking of political parties. Which means that political parties have the responsibility to make sure that democracy is entrenched and managed professionally.

“You don’t leave political parties in the hands of lame men or dropouts. Educated and enlightened people should manage political parties because whatever they do affects everybody. Let all Nigerians come together to rescue Nigeria”.

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