‘Change’ is the slogan of Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), while the slogan for the main opposition party in Nigeria, the People Democratic Party (PDP) is ‘Power’.
During her just-concluded convention in Port Harcourt, the PDP adopted a new slogan, “change the change,” which invalidates the previous slogan under which they lost the 2015 election.
Although there was no explanation as to why the slogan was changed, leaving many to punctuate the air with speculations. A school of thought believes that the PDP’s former slogan may have contributed to their loss, hence the change of slogan. Another school differed and suggested that the new slogan is just an energizer and something just targeted at the APC.
Whatever may be the rationale for the change of slogan, it is not unconnected with PDP’s desire to take back power from the ruling APC. The PDP’s quest for return to power is understandable. They were in power for 16 years and have enjoyed the endless largesse that comes with the control of the central government. The loss of the 2015 Presidential election was the greatest tragedy that has ever happened to the PDP since its existence. It was a great loss, and devastating too. The PDP never thought it would happen, as they had boasted that they will be in power for 60 years. It was akin to abruptly removing a baby’s mouth from breastmilk. It can be painful, and very difficult to accept.
The impact of PDP’s loss is still fresh and felt even after a year out of government. The members of the PDP have continued to thread blames and counter-blames against each other for their electoral misfortune in 2015. Many have left the party and joined the APC. Many have resigned from the party and claim to have retired from politics, if there is anything like that. Many of the PDP members are facing corruption charges.
Ordinarily, it is expected that what would pre-occupy the minds of the PDP is to identify what led to their humiliating loss in 2015, so as to avert re-occurrence in 2019. However, it seems that they are lost on how to put themselves together and take off smoothly.
If the PDP do not take off smoothly, they might likely set up themselves for more failures. You cannot expect the same result in a process, if you use same approach. The PDP is repeating the same approach that worked against them. If you would recall, one of the things that earned sympathy vote for APC is the PDP’s vituperative attacks and hate speeches against the APC and her Presidential candidate. The PDP’s new slogan seems more like a direct personal attack on the APC’s slogan. If the PDP repeat same futile approach, then the possibility of another loss cannot be ruled out.
When the PDP say, “change the change,” what comes to mind is just change of government, which is basically not the priority of many Nigerians. So, the new slogan misses the point. It just sounds like a mere alliteration without giving any hope to Nigerians who are in dire need of hope. The PDP needs to communicate what they PDP really want to change in the change, especially now that nothing much has changed?
If the PDP loses the next election, will they change the slogan again? If they win the next election, will they change their slogan?
One would have thought that even if the PDP would change their slogan, it would be a slogan that will rebuild trust and confidence among the Nigerian people. One would have thought that it would be a slogan to would help to change the perception which Nigerian have about them or even something that shows soberness and remorse, or has an emotional appeal.
The PDP’s former slogan ‘power to the people’ sounds great, even though power was never with the people. It was for some people, not all. I do not think that the change of slogan is what the PDP needs to get votes and win the 2019 Presidential elections; they need to change Nigeria’s perception about them. It was not the slogan that got APC into power. Slogan does not win elections, not in Nigeria.