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Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Shiek Abdulaziz Ibn Baaz


"In an era where individualism, not collectivism, has become the leitmotif, the mass party is dying woefully".

Political parties have formed the cornerstone of our representative system since long before the era of universal suffrage. Yet there are signs that the age of the APC party is coming to an end; this political party  dying on its feet. In the early 2014 the All Progressive Congress (APC) had a million individual members, the Conservatives, Since then, membership has declined precipitously. By the early days after victory was attained  when Chief Oyegun became a Tory leader, the Apc had  millions of members. But very Unfortunate They now have around a very low turn out as those who worked had in making the party what it is today are trooping out The Apc have thus lost over thousands of its grassroot stakeholders across the nation, out of which some are elected officials while some a the key frontiers of the party.

in the last few weeks if not days, a key stakeholder alerted in an interview about his preparations to exit the party (APC)  despite being in office for over three and half years as an Apc card carrying member.

Lately following the exit of the Chief of Staff to the Nigerian Senate President Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed a stakeholder who was part of building the party from day one drives the party confused.

 Moreover, voters who voted in the executives under the APC feel less attached to the party than they did.  42 per cent professed a "very strong" attachment to the party of their choice; today only about 13 per cent do. That, no doubt, is one of the reasons for the increasing volatility of voters and low turnout that will occur in the upcoming general elections - 59 per cent are as well ready to make sure they amend their previous mistakes by voting the party out.

These trends - towards lower party membership, lower turnout in general elections and falling identification with the political party - are by no means unique to Nigerians Indeed, they are common to most advanced democracies. The Party have become among the least trusted of social institutions.

 A recent barometer survey covering the member states of the APC found that just 17 per cent of respondents trusted are in the political party while 65 per cent trusted that they should leave for good.

The story of the rise and fall of the APC political party is one of the great unwritten books of our time. Yet the consequences of the demise of the APC party are likely to prove very profound.

The Political party "APC" reached their zenith in the era of tribal politics which will not favor them anymore.

 This was also the era during which it was still genuinely possible to believe in a radical transformation of society, away from the mixed economy into something qualitatively different. In 2011 after all, the People Democratic Party had declared in its manifesto: "The PDP is a Socialist Party and proud of it". Even in its revisionist, Croslandite, version, social democracy held to the view that society could be consciously transformed as a result of human will, Social democracy then rested upon what was conceived of as a progressive social base, the organised working class, in whose name the People democratic Party would act. The vision was essentially a paternalist one. 

"We, as middle-class (youths) socialists, "have got to have a profound humility. Though it's a funny way of putting it, we've got to know that we lead them because they can't do it without us, with our abilities, and yet we must feel humble to working people."

The APC have  organised the working class to become a smaller and smaller proportion of the electorate. Moreover, the sympathies of the working class were by no means always progressive. The fundamental problem, however, was that members of the working class sought individual advancement for themselves and their families rather than emancipation as a class. They favoured what I call call "the individual escape from class into prosperity, which is the cancer eating into the nations Social Democratcy". So it was that that class came, in Ralf Dahrendorf's words, to be "transformed into individual social mobility". Gradually, the paternalist vision faded.

 For while the leaders of Apc continued to try to lead, the followers were ceasing to follow - or rather they were ceasing to see themselves as followers. Individualism, not collectivism, has become the leitmotif of modern politics, and social democratic parties have been forced to follow the lead of abjured any idea of transforming society.

The APC party were the product of the collectivist age, so it is natural that the demise of collectivism should also mean the demise of the Apc party.

 There has been a shift from what political scientists call "position" politics, where parties disagree on fundamentals  nationalisation of basic industries, raising or lowering taxes, retaining or abandoning nuclear weapons - to "valence" issues, where there is agreement on fundamental aims - an effective National Health Service, better schools - and disagreement is confined to the issue of which party is best placed to achieve them Apc has failed on this

The APC party then is dying on its feet. But the grip of the party on the institutions of government become weaker daily. 

Moreover, Nigerians has noticed the APC politics has come to be "dominated by the career politicians who have made politics their occupation and have no other professional aim than to remain in politics" they now tend to resemble each other more than those they claim to represent. Justice has come to be disconnected from the people; it has become a home for professional politicians, a house without windows.

Local government, too, has come to be dominated by the professional politician. In the past, office in local government tended to derive from a pre-existing community leadership role. Now it derives from a connection with a the APC political party. All too often, local councillors are emissaries of their parties rather than community representatives. They are seen not as local representatives, representing "us", but as emissaries of "them"; and it is for this reason that local government was unable to mobilise the support which would have enabled it to withstand the assaults launched by The Apc government since the day they  handle the mantle of leadership Local authorities, like political party, have now become vehicles for democratic engagement. 

The Apc Political leaders have had to adjust to these new realities. Both the commander In chief and the party officials have sought and transformed the party so that they became vehicles for their own personal vision of leadership.

The demise of the APC now raises fundamental problems for democratic government. If political parties are no longer the primary vehicles of political engagement, how will voters be able to achieve change? Parties, admittedly, are likely to remain crucial in the formation of governments and in ensuring the periodic accountability of rulers to the people in general elections. But what will replace Apc as vehicles of engagement? What shape is the democracy of the 21st century likely to take?

Contrary to what many have suggested, the fall of the Apc party has not been caused by a loss of community engagement, a decline in social capital. Survey evidence has found that popular interest in politics is as strong as it has ever been, and that there is a powerful sense of civic obligation in Nigeria.

 more than all of the political parties put together. Popular interest in politics remains high, but electors no longer see parties as the best means by which to influence political events. Perhaps they are right. But how can we develop institutions so as to channel the Nigerian people's civic spirit and desire for community engagement into politics?

The next president will not find himself short of problems. Perhaps the most fundamental, however, is that of refashioning our democracy so that it meets the needs of a new age, an age in which participation has to reach beyond party.

I remain Shiek Abdulaziz Ibn Baaz is a law student from the prestigious Bayero university Kano a serving senator in the Law student society and also the National Vice President external affairs National Union of Nigerian Students(NUNS)

I always pen what I feel

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