It is no longer a secret, that Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), often trails behind the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the South-East region of Nigeria when it comes to governorship, and presidential elections. Despite being in control of the federal government for the past six years, the APC still struggles to establish itself as a dominant party in the South-East region.
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In recent times, we watched as Imo, and Ebonyi became APC states through a Supreme Court judgment, and defection of a Governor. Interestingly, this can be argued not to guarantee that the party would win the next governorship elections in these states, or outperform the PDP during the 2023 presidential election. Arguably, the recently-concluded 2021 Anambra state governorship election, is just the tip of the iceberg.
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Prior to the election, we saw several politicians in that state, including the incumbent Deputy Governor, a Senator, Federal House of Representatives, and State House of Assembly members, dumped their old parties, to join the APC, probably with the belief that the APC would win the election. However, this was never the case as the party finished in a distant 3rd position despite receiving large numbers of defectors ahead of the election.
Image Credit: Google
With this, it can be argued that the reasons for the party’s poor performances in the South-East region are numerous. There is no doubt that the people’s preference for the PDP, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the case of Anambra, is one of the major reasons for this. Some others have equally argued that the inability of political elites to influence the people’s choice of candidates is a key factor.
However, little attention has been paid to some salient factors which I believe, are another major reasons for the party’s poor outings in the South-East region during elections. For the purpose of this article, I have picked one of such reasons to discuss.
APC receiving defectors in Anambra ahead of the 2021 governorship election. (Image Credit: Google)
The contributing factor to APC’s Poor outings at elections in the South-East region
Arguably, the APC is fully aware that the people of South-East region, are mostly inclined towards the PDP. Yet, the party has been unable to use its control of the federal government, to win the hearts of the people. In my view, the inability of the APC to prove wrong, its doubters in the South-East, is the major reason behind its poor performances in the region during elections.
Arguably, the defection of some notable politicians in the region to the APC, cannot guarantee victory for the party. This has been proved in Anambra, where the party’s governorship candidate, Senator Andy Uba, still questions how he lost in his ward, where the APGA chairman defected to the APC, a week before the election (source: The Cable). This is due to the fact that many people in the region still do doubts the APC, and would prefer to stick to the PDP or APGA.
President Muhammadu Buhari, and Governor Hope Uzodinma, receiving Anambra Deputy Governor, Nkem Okeke, to the APC ahead of the governorship election. (Image Credit: Google)
In view of this, one may not be wrong to say that the solution to APC’s poor performances in the South-East region, lies in the ability of the party, to win the hearts of the masses rather than a few politicians that cannot guarantee the votes of others. This can be achieved, through the use of the party’s control of the federal government, to address some of the challenges confronting the people. Arguably, with the execution of projects targeted at improving the quality of life of the people, improved security, and welfare of the masses, the APC would turn out to become the people’s favourite.
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