The engagement for Nigeria 2019 surely get stronger by the day; from social media to offline show of frustration, to the registration of new political parties, to the declaration by new candidates and political pioneers; it is clear that Nigerians are beginning to be aware and informed on politics. More people are beginning to appreciate the world politics has over their personal lives like no other time in our national history. Young people are angry seeing that they bear the brunt of every mistake made by our leaders.
The anger you can say is justified.
It is on this premise and anger that many groups, names and terminologies are beginning to spring up including the Third Force and more recently A Red card Movement which targets rejecting the All Progressives Congress and the People’s Democratic Party. They both make up the first and second forces which is why people are clamouring for an alternative in the name of a Third Force.,
This piece seeks to get answers and question the motive behind this Red Card Movement which was initiated by a former federal Minister and Director at the World, Oby Ezekwesili. She no doubt has a lot of respect in Nigeria, Africa and the world. She also the co-founder of the Transparency International.
While people are angry with the present government and the past before it; she has made it clear that her agenda for next elections in 2019 will be to reject the APC and PDP until another credible alternative emerges. She has a right to that agenda whether personal or for the people she leads either on social media or in her organization. She is a citizen and desires good for Nigeria. However, the real question is; if the APC and PDP are rejected as she is advising her followers and those who care to listen and follow her lead what other option would we have? This question deserves a satisfactory answer because whether the APC or the PDP and other political parties are rejected it will not stop the elections (except by a divine intervention). It will not stop the rigging that the two parties have perfected by association with one another.
I use to think sometime in 2017 that there will be a boycott of the elections in 2017 but someone corrected me in that direction because elections will happen and votes will be counted. Could this be a move to boycott the elections or what? What options do we have moving forward as a country? What is the direction of this revolution?
A former US President, Harry Truman said, “In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skilful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” There is this story of Nepal that had an issue of a monoethnic political system that was not sustainable but the saving grace for them was when Upendra Yadav took the centre stage to introduce identity politics to take care of the diversity of their country. He was not the first leader to experiment with identity politics and he is not the first to rally different audience and groups together for a common purpose.
Nigeria has always had a leadership problem. The case of Nepal was seen more as a power vacuum where the nation needed someone to take charge of giving direction and vision to the nation. If the Red Card Movement succeeds in rejecting the APC and the PDP will it only succeed in creating a power vacuum or would it ensure the emergence of identity leaders who will bridge every gap of division that has marred our national politics?
I need not say that a power vacuum will mean anarchy in disguise, lawlessness, chaos, disarray and a breakdown of every law that these former leaders are holding forte with impunity and selfishness. We might degenerate into another war and with the recent rampaging by the Fulani herdsmen, you can agree that the war and violence will widespread and rapid.
Without questioning the love of Aunty Oby Ezekwesili for Nigeria, her patriotism, service and selflessness to our country, we really need to check what we are doing at this time. Is it going to be another hashtag or will it be another protest with the Nigeria police stopping you from passing through their blockades, or would it be that the APC/PDP will still have their way because there was not a good fight or we would reject them and eventually not have people to fill the gap and power vacuum that will be created?
What is the strategy of the Red Card Movement beyond rejecting the status quo, giving us something better in 2019 and putting us a path to growth and prosperity post-2019?