By Edwin Emeka
The socio-economic and political realities in Nigeria today are telling on everyone. While some are bold enough to admit it or express their disappointments with the situation, others are still pretending that all is well or that things will soon get better. But these are hopes and expectations devoid of clear and intelligible explanations.
Governance is a process and whereby the process lacks coherent strategy, the entire process becomes susceptible to uncertainties. Whereas uncertainty is a mortal enemy to investors because investors only invest their money in economies where policies are stable, where rule of law is supreme and where catastrophic risks can be minimized and possibly foreclosed for greater productivity. So, uncertainty does not inspire confidence and does not influence positive decisions.
In the prelude to the 2015 general elections, many investors; foreign and domestic alike pulled out their investments from Nigeria. While some went to neighbouring countries where policies are more stable, others waited patiently to see what the outcome of the election would be because the pre-election rhetoric is too strong and nerve-racking.
After the elections, it happened that the candidate of the main opposition party, retired General Muhammadu Buhari won the election with a congratulatory call coming from his main challenger, Dr Goodluck Jonathan who at the time was Nigeria’s president.
After all said and done, Nigerians and investors alike waited patiently to see what policy the new government will articulate and pursue.
Six months after inauguration, there were no cabinet ministers to articulate and implement new government policies. So, investors have to wait till November to have Ministers with portfolios.
Two years after inauguration, the country still does not have clear policy that will boost investors’ confidence in the system and make them to commit their resources in to the economy which will create loss of jobs.
Because of the initial unguarded utterances of the current regime which made many to believe that it was going to pursue and implement socialist economic principles as against the known mixed economic practices, some investors who strongly believed in Nigeria and do not want to leave resorted to liquid investments as against fundamental investments.
One of the surest ways of pulling economies out of recession is by implementing the ‘Keynesian Economic Theory.’ This economic theory was developed by a ‘British Economist,’ John Maynard Keynes during the ‘Great Depression’ of the 1930’s.
Keynes, in his theory, advocated for increased government expenditures and lowering of taxes to stimulate demand and pull the global economy out of depression.
Subsequently, Keynesian economics became the economic model that could prevent economic slumps by influencing aggregate demand through activist stabilization and economic intervention policies by governments.
But instead of pursuing these economic principles to the later so as to pull the country out of recession, the current government did otherwise by saving government money and increasing taxes in the midst of great recession. The government action is a household economic principles recommended for individuals and families and not for a nation.
While the government was faltering in its economic operations, the main opposition party was embroiled in a 14-month leadership crisis which gave no hope of alternative or shadow government to the people until the landmark Supreme Court ruling which ended the 14 months leadership tussles and bestowed legitimacy on the Ahmed Makarfi led faction of the PDP.
While the two elephants of the party were fighting, ordinary Nigerians and investors bear the brunt as there were no robust and vibrant opposition party that will checkmate the activities of the ruling party. As a result, so many waters passed through the bridge unchecked and unnoticed.
Months after the Supreme Court ended the leadership tussle in the party, vibrant opposition activity is still lacking in the party as what we have is a quasi-opposition PDP. This was why the former Military Head of States, General Abdulsalami Abubakar recently tongue-lashed the party when he said: ”I must say it is very sad that you (PDP) have not played your role properly in opposition. May be you (PDP) is still suffering from the shock of defeat, but I thought at least six months down the line, it would have been enough to come out of the shock to really face the governance.”
Having conquered the shadowy phase, the next phase that will send strong message to Nigerians and at the same time rekindle hope and confidence in the economy is the viability of Nigeria’s main opposition party and this has to do with the choice of who becomes the national chairman of the party at the December convention.
Already, the party in their wisdom have zoned the two vital positions in the party to the North and the South respectively. The choice of who becomes the Presidential candidate has been zoned to the north while the chairmanship position has been zoned to the south ahead of the December convention.
However, the choice of who becomes the national chairman of the PDP matters because it is a call to national sacrifice and not a call for tea party. Also, the party need tested, trusted and verified war-horse for the epic battle that is coming in 2019. Epic battle in the sense that the PDP and the APC will be making another history; because if the PDP wins the race in 2019, it will be the first former ruling party in Nigeria reclaiming its ruling status and vice versa.
Among the individuals who have indicated interest to vie for the post of the national chairman, it is only High Chief Raymond Dokpesi that has what it takes to lead the PDP to victory in 2019. This is because, any other person will over disturb party elders, leaders and governors for fund for publicity because publicity is very expensive as it is the life blood of opposition politics in any democracy.
In fact, one of the reasons the PDP as presently constituted have not played active and vibrant opposition politics is because it lacks enough money for publicity. The PDP governors who would have funded it are having problems with the payment of workers salary and wages as well as other infrastructural challenges confronting them. But, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi already have the connection, mobilization, clout and other relevant paraphernalia as a media guru which he will deploy to the party’s advantage without putting the financial burden on party members.
Hence, whether anybody likes it or not, the APC propaganda machinery is heavily funded for any task as the case may be.
Therefore, it is only High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, a tested, trusted and seasoned media guru that even the APC with all of its propaganda machinery will still catch cold when he Sneezes that can lead the PDP to victory in 2019.
Finally, the party elders, leaders and stakeholders who truly want the PDP to return to power in 2019 should not look beyond High Chief Raymond Dokpesi for national chairmanship position of the party in the December convention.
Edwin Emeka transiently writes from Kogi State.
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