By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – The Advanced Peoples’ Democratic Alliance (APDA) has said the Party will not enter into any pact with other political parties or groups ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The Party’s National Chairman, Shittu Mohammed Kabir, made this known yesterday when he received a delegation of political youth groups from Imo state led by Chief Iheanacho Ezeakor, at the Party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
Kabir, who maintained that the Party’s nationalistic ideologies would never be compromised for selfish benefits, said blamed the economic hardships experienced in the country on the errors of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the champions of the ‘third force’ movement.
His words: “APDA is not going into any coalition ahead of the 2019 general elections. We cannot be seen compromising our nationalistic ideology.
“We see Nigeria as one big family where the welfare of all citizens remains paramount. It is against that background that we cannot queue behind the PDP, the APC, or those promoting the ‘Third Force’ movement.
“These people brought the hardship in the country. Olu Falae as far back as the 1980’s was part of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) that ruined our agricultural sector.
“I am a farmer. I grow beans but I cannot export to Europe because Nigerian beans are banned abroad. But, today, beans are brought into this country from Europe. Then, tell me, why did they sign us up to the World Trade Organisation in the first place?
“Look at the oil from the South-South and South-East. How has these politicians advocating for coalitions and mergers used that crude oil to better the lives of the people in those areas?
“So, our position is clear. We are not going into any alliance. However, we are open to all Nigerians who want to join us in the pursuit of our people-oriented ideology.
He further urged the youths to resist politicians who attempt to polarize the nation and heat-up the polity needlessly.
“You should never allow our political leaders to continue in power by means of ‘divide and rule’ antics. Rather, develop passion for people and work to achieve a better life for them. That way, you can successful take over helm of affairs of the nation from these old politicians,” he said.
Earlier, leader of the delegation, Chief Iheanacho Ezeakor, said that the group had been mobilizing the youths across the country to awaken their political consciousness and make contributions towards nation-building.
Ezeakor said that one of the reasons for the visit was to spread the message of youth inclusion in governance; stressing that democracy without youth-participation loses its vibrancy.
He also said that there was also need for youths to build inter-ethnic bridges and cross-fertilise ideas on ameliorating the sufferings in the land and avoiding the mistakes of the past.
“Today, we have been able to mobilise and motivate some young people across the country for a political renaissance because we realize that the reason older politicians looked down on the youths in political appointments and elective positions had to do with how the youths conducted themselves.
“However, we are poised to changing that story. We will continue to be a voice for the youths and set laudable examples in our states,” he said.