Candidates of the Major Political Parties in Nigeria Must be Made to Have a head on Debate- Chuka Udom
By: Theresa Igata
Being abysmally betrayed now by the ruling APC party, Nigerians just as it was during the 2015 general elections wanted at all cost to have the then ruling PDP out of power majorly; on the basis of corruption. But the table began to turn for the present administration when after 6 months in office ministers were yet to be appointed, the country going into recession and the economy nose diving.
Will Atiku Abubakar salvage the situation; can Nigerians bank on his many promises?
Speaking to Arise TV’s Nigeria the road to 2019, on the prospects and possibilities of PDP clinching to power again come 2019 and sundry issues in Nigeria politics, the former Minister of State, FCT, Chuka Udom who is a senior member of the opposition, PDP, is of the opinion that emerging as a candidate is not all there is to winning the election, but being able to make intelligent Civil conversations to Nigerians, as to why we’re where we are after 58 years.
According to him,”I believe that this election year will be different from the rest because Nigerians are really keen on starting a conversation on issues that affect them (huge unemployment, poverty insecurity etc.). This is where the media comes in, because politicians will not want to engage in dialogue especially in Africa, so dialogue must be forced out of the process. The candidates of the major political parties in Nigeria must be made to have a head on debate.”
Although the PDP may be suffering some form of identity crisis, he said it is normal, “anywhere in the world a party that loses power usually goes away disarrayed and there’s always that period of conditions soul searching.”
“The PDP is now a rebound party. Each time a party loses power there are always some factors at play and it is the ability of the political platform to identify those problems and fix them that will give it a head start to contest for power again, “Chuka said.
PDP winning the 2019 election
The road to winning the 2019 presidential election may be herculean even as the PDP had claimed to be a credible opposition. Will this strategy work for the party?
According to Chuka, it is the beginning of the process. “The good thing about what is going on is that Nigeria cannot today boast of a credible participatory democracy and credible opposition party and Nigeria needs that perception.”
“In Cameroon it played out that the President is standing out for a record 7th term. These are the kind of things that make mockery of African countries and our democracy”.
Defections brings lack of ideological colouration
He said, “I believe that the issue of political platforms in Nigeria has been overstretched, because most of the people in APC today are ‘tourists’ from the PDP and vice versa. We have made ‘political tourism’ a way of life and that makes it difficult to identify any political foe any ideological colouration. ”
“At this point, since we don’t have that kind of colouration, where we know what a party represents, we now have to begin to hold individuals accountable for their values, he said.”