We have seen images like the Olu of Oyo registering as a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) no matter how partisan that is for a sitting king or chief. We also witnessed images of long queues of supporters of the opposition party, registering en masse in Bayelsa state, presumably a stronghold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). My poser is, how phantom are these images?
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, claims that there exists a phantom 28 million registering supporters of the APC and that the chest thumping by the large opposition party is a hoax and fraud. The traditionally viral statements issued by PDP and its officials are increasingly becoming less poignant, as the PDP continues to lose its clout, size and confidence, shrinking to a smaller ruling party, resulting from a sandwich of internal crises and dismal public outings of its governments.
Understandably, PDP will lash out, wail and protest, befittingly taking up its place as the number 2 party in Nigeria, incessantly and serially decrying one thing after the other, in the process updating us of its travails, piling up in the wake of the stronger opposition party’s exploits. From the drama over the APC acronym, to the recent spurious allegations of connivance with INEC in using INEC structures for the APC membership registration, PDP has learnt to busily bark at everything that the opposition party does or achieves, be it legal or not, prudent or otherwise.
Metuh says that APC is using INEC structures simply because it has used the location of polling units as registration centres. Would it still amount to connivance if APC decided to use Primary Healthcare Centres as designation for its registration exercise? What if APC decided to use traffic lights as designated landmarks or locations to conduct the registration exercise? Because thank goodness, had the APC decided to use mosques or churches as designated registration centres, then the ruling party’s fears that APC is fast becoming a religious party will no longer be unfounded.
PDP has failed to mind its own business and mind its language, in a desperado attempt to truncate our democratisation process by refusing to recognise our constitutionally given right to associate and fraternise with whomever we deem most fit. Thoughts come to mind as we ponder how we can invoke the wrath of the state department upon the PDP, so that the PDP will be arrested and cautioned over its plethora of inciting and inflammatory statements.
The registration of 100 members in every polling unit of every ward for each local government is a statement of sheer ambition and commitment. If you multiply 100 members by say 30 polling units in a ward, you get 3,000 members in each ward. If that local government has 20 wards, then you have 60,000 members per local government. Nigeria has approximately 600 local governments? We will by all conventional mathematics arrive at a whopping 36 million members! Except if we are considering the messy’ mathematics of 16 greater than 19, then by all means APC will have nothing less than the 28 – 30 million registered members which is evidently cheating Metuh of decent sleep; hence his balderdash.
In realisation of the massive support that APC is harnessing via this revolutionary registration exercise, the only available filter for PDP to follow through and escape the highway that leads to its downfall, is to insinuate that INEC is colluding with APC and giving it polling units to run its registration exercise.
When I registered, I did not see any green white green stripped ballot box, ballot room or polling unit curtains. The presence of INEC officials and heavily armed security personnel that usually give cover to the INEC teams did not register on my radar. Perhaps that controversy laden bill, raging to curtail our freedom of expression should empower the state to have all public commentary sent to it for vetting, before statements like Metuh’s are released for public consumption.
INEC changes the election timetable order and all is well as far as Metuh and the PDP are concerned, so how has darling INEC turned devil in a blue dress overnight? If 28 million is phantom and fictitious as he says, could he come up with a convenient or more accurate number for us to work with? Is it in the millions or in just thousands? Whichever way they choose, change is a build-up and if he doubts that, he could simply refer to his board of trustee members who will remind him that a G9 became a G34 and eventually the biggest party in Africa. Therefore, no one party has the monopoly of growth and as such, we must all learn to and embrace the new world order of free enterprise, free market economy, and freedom of association.No tags for this post.