Senior Pastor of the Citadel Global Community Church, formerly known as the Latter Rain Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare, says Nigerians are fed up with the All Progressives Congress.
Speaking on State of the Nation broadcast, theme ‘’Vice, virtue and time: The three things that shall never stand still’’, held at the church auditorium, at Ikeja in Lagos, Bakare said APC was drifting away from the core values and objectives of its founding fathers, urging the party to return to its root if it wanted to remain relevant politically.
He said the outcome of the 2023 general elections, was an indication that Nigerians were fed up with the APC.
He said: “At this juncture, I must also sound a warning to the ruling party, the APC. I was there when the APC was formed and the extent of my involvement is well-documented. As a stakeholder and, more importantly, as a nation-builder, I am obligated to state without equivocation that this is not the APC we envisaged.
“The results of the last elections were a clear indication that Nigerians are fed up with what the APC has become. According to the results released by INEC, in the presidential elections, the APC had 15.4 million votes in 2015 and 15.2 million votes in 2019, but by the 2023 elections, the APC’s support base had declined significantly to 8.8 million, with a loss of almost half of the traditional support base.
‘’If it were not for the divisions within the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the emergence of the Obidient movement of the Labour Party, LP, that split the traditional support base of the PDP, the APC would have convincingly lost the 2023 elections.
“Even now, the party’s victory as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is being challenged in court. When I consider the vision and founding spirit that birthed the APC, I cannot but conclude that the APC is losing the plot.
‘’The APC was established as a progressive party with clear motivations to establish true nationhood, eliminate corruption, oversee governance structure reforms, eradicate poverty, and facilitate economic growth.
‘’However, like its predecessor, the PDP, the APC has now become a platform for politicians who have neither conviction nor ideology and who hop from party to party seeking power at all costs. The suffering meted out to the Nigerian people as a result of anti-people policies are not what the APC once stood for.
“The APC stood for progressivism. Progressivism is characterised by substantial public investments in social sectors such as education and healthcare, and it achieves inclusiveness and social mobility by deploying political power to provide a minimum standard of living for citizens; progressivism prioritises equity, justice and inclusiveness in access to opportunities.
‘’While it facilitates a private sector-led economy, its economic growth policies are hinged on empowering the people by redistributing opportunities on the bases of fairness and equity. Progressivism is not built on trickle-down economics; instead, it is grassroots-oriented, invests in local opportunities, and builds the economy from the bottom up.
“As progressivism eradicates currency arbitrage, it would not leave the currency to float without a guarantee of domestic production, the cushioning effect of social investments, and a readiness to intervene where necessary to strengthen the local currency.
‘’As progressivism eliminates a corruption-ridden subsidy regime, it would not hesitate to boost or underwrite access to factors of production such as energy, infrastructure, and human resource in an atmosphere of transparency and accountability.
‘’A progressive approach to the subsidy conundrum would have been characterised by a phased removal of subsidy, buffered by transparent investments in local refining capacity and social welfare, while the corrupt individuals and corporations that have bled the nation are compelled to return their loots.
‘’Whereas progressivism cooperates with the international community in compliance with international economic and trade law, it would not allow the economy to drift in the ocean of one-size-fits-all recommendations by neoliberal foreign interests.
“If the APC hopes to survive as a political party in a political landscape that is becoming highly competitive, it must revisit its foundations and reinvent itself into a new party that is an Alternative, Parallel, and Contrast, APC, to what the current party has become.
‘’While the president has tried to stabilise a rocking boat by announcing some interventions, let it be known that we cannot build a strong economy on reactionary and shifting policies. The president and his team must return to the drawing board to drive a coordinated economic programme based on the original progressive ideology of the APC”