By Evulocha Kemdi
There is no doubt that a new political paradigm is shaping the world of politics globally. Conventional or political establishments are fast losing their firm grip on power because of the re-awakened political consciousness among the electorates.
As a result, it has become a common believe among the electorates that members of the political establishments say one thing and often do another thing. This contradictory pattern of politics has become synonymous with members of the ruling class especially when they are running for political offices. Because they make promises they do not intend to keep, voters have become disillusioned with them because of the backlog of failed promises. As a remedy, the electors are now looking up to the ”political outsiders” as better alternatives.
The electorates tilt towards the political outsiders because they believe they are more sincere and genuinely sympathetic to their plights than members of the establishments.
For Instance, in the run-up to the Republican primaries in the United States, despite the fact that Republicans or the GOPs are conservatives by ideology, members of the party embraced the message and personality of Donald Trump, an accomplished business man and political outsider over the choice Jebb Bush, a former governor of Florida and member of the political establishment.
Also, despite the fact that Jebb Bush, a son of a former President and a brother of a former President had more members of the political-action committee otherwise known as Super-PAC and donors than Mr Trump, the GOPs still went for Mr Trump despite being a political outsider.
One remarkable feature that was less pronounced during the GOP primaries was the fact that Mr Trump spent lesser to win each primary conducted compared to Mr Bush. In other words; where Donald Trump spent $40 per delegate to win the primary, Jebb Bush spent $1200 per delegate, yet Mr Trump got the nomination of the Republicans before going to win the general election against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
The same scenario of rejecting political establishments and embracing political outsiders repeated itself in the last French Presidential election where Emmanuel Macron, an investment banker and another political outsider defeated his opponent, Marine Le Pen.
Hence, as Nigeria gears towards the 2019 general elections, political parties who are smart enough must key in to the wind of change blowing across the globe. This is because when change is on the move, it is better to align with it rather than try to resist it. Also, history has shown that those who tried to resist change only ended up becoming victims of change while those who aligned with it ended up becoming masters of change thereby moving them from the position of ordinary people to extraordinary persons.
In lieu of this, some political parties who really understands the melody of change have started reaching out to political outsiders to run for elective positions on their platforms.
For some months now, several parties have been reaching out to Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah (OON), President, Masters Energy Group to run for governorship election in Abia State on their platform since what can be called as Nigerian factor denied him victory in his first attempt, but the young oil magnate and industrialist with enormous goodwill have kept such rapprochement in abeyance because according to sources close him; the Abia-born billionaire is presently obsessed with thoughts of building solid political structures for the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the southeast region.
For example, Mr Ogah confirmed this when he said: ”You know after the Supreme Court decision on the 2015 Abia Governorship election, I took time to rest and after careful consultations, I decided to finally join APC even though many political parties had approached me to join them.”
”I believe in change. As long as Abia State is concerned, the state needs a change for better governance and to achieve this, Abians voting for APC in 2019 is the answer.
Similarly, of the three governorship elections conducted since 2015 general elections, results have shown that Nigerians are tilting towards the political outsiders as against the mainstream politicians or the political establishments.
For Example, the Edo State governorship election where Godwin Obaseki, an investment banker and political outsider emerged victorious at the polls over a candidate of the political establishment is a classical case in point of outright embracing of political outsiders over mainstream politicians. This was because the people were fed-up with the politics of status quo.
The same political trajectory was applied in the Ondo State governorship election where Rotimi Akeredolu, a lawyer and political outsider emerged victorious over his main challenger who is a product of the mainstream politics or political establishment. The exact political paradigm that played out in Edo State repeated itself in Ondo State.
However, the Anambra State experiment was different for APC because it fielded Comrade Tony Nwoye who is a bonafide product and member of the political establishment in Anambra State. In fact, since he left school, there had never been dull moments in Nwoye’s political career as he has been moving from one position to another. Even after losing the Anambra election, Mr Nwoye is still a member of the House of Representatives and has nothing to lose. That was why Anambrarians went for Chief Willie Obiano, a political outsider before becoming governor in 2013.
Perhaps, in about six months’ time, active political activities heralding the 2019 general elections will start in earnest, but APC as the party of progressives should avoid the type of mistake it made in Anambra State. Political outsiders like Dr. Uche Ogah OON should be fielded as candidates in other to win election for the party in the Southeast region. Apart from the fact that Dr. Ogah has the financial muscle to win election for APC in Abia State, his goodwill which is an intangible asset for APC will make the party to sweep the entire southeast region just like what the Trump and Macron effects are doing across the Atlantic, Ogah’s effect will give leading advantage to APC in the Southeast thereby giving President Buhari full assurance of victory in the region come 2019.
Evulocha Kemdi writes from Aba, Abia State
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