ABUJA: Nigeria’s main opposition party has unveiled what it hopes will be a blueprint for winning power when voters in Africa’s most populous nation go to the polls to elect a new president and parliament.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), which is expected to run President Goodluck Jonathan’s ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) close in next year’s vote, called the manifesto a “Road Map to a New Nigeria.”
The 10-point plan, which prioritizes the fight against corruption, tackling insecurity, and creating jobs, was unveiled at the party’s first national conference, which concluded in Abuja on Thursday.
Party spokesman Lai Mohammed said the roadmap was drawn up after a survey and as a result was “what Nigerians need.”
But the PDP was scathing in its response, while some political commentators said the document offered little alternative to policies previously proposed by the current government.
Mohammed’s opposite number in the ruling party, Olisa Metuh dismissed it as an anti-democratic rebels’ charter which was a “roadmap to anarchy.”
“The manifesto lacks character, depth and completely addressed no issue,” he said on peoplesdemocraticparty.com.ng.
Political scientist Nwolise Osisioma said: “I cannot see any difference between the APC and PDP because both of them do not have any ideological differences.”
Osisioma, from the University of Ibadan in southwestern Nigeria, blamed the similarities on the fact that dozens of former PDP governors and lawmakers had recently defected to the APC.
“They are two sides of the same coin,” he told AFP.