A couple of years ago, the PDP through the then minister of information Prof Dora Akinyuli began what they called the rebranding of Nigeria. Like everything else PDP it was all motion and no movement and it came to naught.
On July 30, 2013, the process of the rebranding of our great country was consummated. Not by the PDP but by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC when it registered the ALL PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS, APC as a political party. On t hat day, the broom became the registered symbol that would be used to bring about a sweeping (no pun intended) change to the Nigerian political, economic and social landscape.
As a party, we do not have 2 3 4 or 7point agendas. We only have 1. An agenda to save Nigeria and usher in CHANGE as our slogan suggests. It is under that one item agenda that we find many agendas. The agenda that brings change to a rotten education system, the agenda that reduces if not eliminate the scourge of poverty, the agenda that provides stable electricity as a right of every Nigerian, the agenda that would pursue the establishment of world class hospitals, an agenda that would develop our infrastructure, that would make corruption which has become cultural under a rudderless government a thing of shame .an agenda that would make us a federal republic and not a unitary government. Indeed an agenda that would make Nigeria earn the title GIANT OF AFRICA.
We seek a partnership and a rainbow coalition with all Nigerians, young, old, men, women, Christian, Moslem, from the east, west, north or south for we believe that though tribe or tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand. The name of our party was chosen consciously and to reflect our ideological make up, and the first two words tell what we are about, ALL PROGRESSIVE.
To this end we want to invite our colleagues in the House who found their way into the PDP through craft or deception but who in their hearts are progressive in inclination and bent, and there are many of them, to join hands with us in pursuing our agenda of change and hope of saving Nigeria. This is our time, this is our moment. Let us seize it. There is much work to be done but the labourers are few. All hands must be on deck at this critical moment in our nation’s history. We must be watchful and vigilant. We must pray. We must fight a good fight believing that the end of this dark tunnel we have been plunged into is luminous. This is the real transition agenda, from darkness into light. We must understand that the only thing that’s constant in life is CHANGE and CHANGE is what APC represents.
We are undoubtedly as are most Nigerians pleased with what is unfolding in the PDP. We are pleased not just for us but for the vast majority of the suffering Nigerian masses. In all of these happenings we see the hand of God.
We believe the legislature is designed politically to be an agent of change and so therefore we intend to begin the change in our political landscape from within the House of Representatives. To this end our Party will from this quarter begin to publish on a monthly basis, Motions, Bills and other lawmaking initiatives authored and initiated by its members. We find this necessary not for the purpose of self aggrandisement but because we feel there is a need to both educate a very weary and disenchanted public about the workings and work of the legislature and at the same time begin to distinguish our Party ideology, beliefs and mindset from that of the PDP through our legislative initiatives. It is time for Nigerians when they do go to the polls to begin to take issues that affect their lives seriously.
Furthermore, we intend on a quarterly basis to also give our own State of the Nation address from the legislative monocle. We believe that the people who voted us into office are entitled and have a right as opposed to a privilege to be carried along in all affairs of the state. It is one thing to mouth transparency it is quite another to act transparently. It is pertinent to note that the legislature has since passed a State of the Nation Address Bill enjoining Mr President to speak to the Nigerian people on the state of our nation. However Mr President continues to resist to append his signature to this Bill of accountability and transparency. As a Party whether or not Mr President eventually sees the wisdom of this legislative initiative, we will always keep the people abreast and informed of the true state of our nation.
We note with concern various issues that presently have the potential of further sending our country into a downward spiral. These include the notorious and complicit oil theft which the government so far seems to have neglected or address and which is fast depleting the nations revenue, the implementation or non implementation of the 2013 budget which has the effect of stunting our development and growth as a nation, the ASUU strike which seems not to abate and which government seems lost as to what to do even though the answers are very clear and obvious and the general malaise and despondency pervading our country, not to talk of the culture of impunity exhibited by government at its highest levels. We as a newly registered Party and hopefully with the current schism in the PDP, hope to address these and many other issues together with our progressive colleagues from the New PDP.
Let us say at this point that the breakup of the PDP was imminent and one need not be a rocket scientist to have seen it coming. It is impossible to build something on nothing or on a weak foundation where the reason for your existence in the first place was not to govern but to milk the collective patrimony of over 160million people. Such a mission cannot stand even where you conjecture and your plan or dream is to continue to pillage what God has given to a nation for the next 60 years as once claimed by an excited but hallucinating PDP leader.
Talking about our collective wealth, we intend to look into the legality and morality of farming out the management of the Sovereign Wealth of a nation to foreign firms. This purportedly happened whilst we were on recess. The government it appears has stealthily and surreptitiously given the management of our sovereign wealth, particularly the future generations component to 3 foreign firms. The ironic and oxymoronic nature of such a deal is not lost on the members of APC and we will be asking questions. The name Sovereign has its connotations even in economic matters. Just as you cannot contract out for instance the security of a country’s airport etc, we believe you also cannot contract out its economic security .We also note that the MD of the Sovereign Wealth Fund or Investment Authority, from all indications a very competent and capable hand, was a top manager with UBS securities, one of the foreign firms appointed to manage our sovereign wealth. This for us presents a very dangerous conflict of interest the end result of which may not be in the overall interest of our country. This apart from the fact that it contravenes Section 1, Part I of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution as amended.