Are you passionate about politics? Are you progressive minded? Are you interested in governance and the general state of the nation? What genuine reason do you have for not being a member of All Progressives Congress already?
I first actively participated in politics and grassroots mobilization for the first time in the run up to the 2011 general elections. It was at Mapo Hall, Ibadan Oyo state where the Presidential Candidate of the CPC and now current President Muhammadu Buhari was billed to campaign with his running mate then, Pastor Tunde Bakare. The crowd was massive and the enthusiasm was magnificent. The ruling party in Oyo state then, the PDP decided to lock up Mapo Hall (even after it has been paid for months ahead of the event) on that fateful day in a bid to frustrate the campaign trail of the then opposition candidate and his running mate. Rather than protest the obviously vile treatment, Supporters of the President in Ibadan found another venue almost immediately, and we all found our way there. The passion made me proud and I knew one day that that man will inadvertently become president because he had the most resilient of supporters who whilst at the time not very organized but was passionate about the man and the ideals he stands for.
In 2012-2013, when the merger talks between the legacy parties resumed, the atmosphere was tense, members of the legacy parties waited with baited breath and fingers crossed that it will succeed. Young people in those legacy parties started meeting and discussing how to supplement the efforts of the elders. And to the glory of God, that merger eventually came to fruition and then came the primaries. Which was won majorly because a lot of president Buhari’s supporters decided to pick membership forms and join the party. He has no financial edge over any of the other contestants and yet, because he had the mandate of the people, they joined the APC and helped him win the primaries. All of this happened because people participated. They became full fledged members of the party which helped their ideological candidates get to the finish line. And those whose candidate didn’t win ended up working for the candidate that won. 2023 is the year of the youth and of the women
Will you join me?
It is commonly understood that democracy rests on the idea of representation.
Every Nigerian, young or old, man or woman, able and disabled should join a political party in order to have a say in the formulation of political ideology, development of policies and programs and selection of candidates that emerge from the various political parties. It is not enough to simply show up to vote on Election Day because if you do, you are already too late.
If you’re not involved in the activities of political parties, then you’ll be forced to choose between the buffet of candidates you had no say in choosing at the primaries on election day.
Make no mistake about it. The importance of being active in political parties cannot be overemphasized. Yet a good number of the progressive minded have left politics to only the politicians because they would rather remain on the fence because of a fear of tarnishing their ‘good’ name. While it is a free country and everyone has freedom of choice, I consider this sort of thinking to a short sighted and defeatist viewpoint because ultimately your ‘good’ name will be spoilt anyway when the society degenerates because of a scarcity of good men and women in the corridors of power. The generation after us deserve a better answer to the question; ‘’where you were when the society was going to hell in a hand basket, without a compass or a whistle to raise the alarm’.
Here’s a summary of reasons why you should join a political party.
Major Reasons Why You Should Join the APC
- If you believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction, the first place to begin to change this is through the political party, whose platform formulates the ideology, policies and programs that their members will execute if and when they are elected or appointed into public office. Without the proper check and balance from the congress of progressive minded party members, these individuals will not be held accountable
- To run for elected office, you must be a member of a political party as clearly stated in the 1999 constitution. And Even if your interest isn’t to run for office or be appointed to one, if you are passionate about politics, you should want a seat at the table when decisions are made about who gets to run for office. These decisions are generally made during party primary elections and only party members can vote in such primaries.
- Political Parties while being open and welcome to all are run with a relatively high level of secrecy. You will always be an outsider if you don’t join a political party. Of course, not everyone is built to be a member of a disciplined and hierarchical organization like a party. But when you’re young, politically aware and passionate about your country, there’s no better place to make your presence felt.
To summarize, young, politically aware Nigerians must understand, ANGER AND RAGE IS NOT A STRATEGY. ARMCHAIR CRITISCM IS NOT A STRATEGY. YOU KNOW WHAT IS A STRATEGY THOUGH? REFOCUSING OUR ENERGY ON PARTICIPATION NOT JUST IN THE ELECTIONS BUT THE ENTIRE PROCESS THAT LEADS UP TO THE ELECTION
This is how we can make a stronger impact on politics, policy and governance if we join in our numbers and become active members of the party, which form the bedrock of our political system.
Do you want to join the APC today? Here are the steps you should take.
- Find the Party Ward closest to you
- Identify where you want to be active within your ward, LGA or state.
- Research: go online to www.officialapc.ng and research our history, constitution, manifestos and performance
- Network: Talk and relate with members. Everyone’s opinion is important.
- Register in your ward and begin to attend meetings. And remember… All politics is local.
Dada Olusegun is Head of Digital Communications unit of the APC