Creating a well-thought-out slogan that will capture the attention of the general public or electorate remains one of the key ways through which political parties across the world make a first statement of intent in any election.
Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world, has always been at the center-point focus of international observers each time election approaches. Regardless of whether it is presidential, governorship, National Assembly or council election, there seems to be a keen interest attached to it.
However, one party which appears to have swept virtually everybody away with their captivating slogan when it first took over power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 with its sumptuous ‘change’ slogan that created wide excitement from Nigerians, who have been craving for a true change, is the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The ‘change’ slogan by the APC, carved out from the Barack Obama’s victorious United State election in 2009, became a national anthem on the lips of most Nigerians irrespective of their background.
It was a key factor that paved way for a change of baton in the political history of Nigeria as APC’s presidential candidate, now the incumbent President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, defeated ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan, in one of Nigeria’s most keenly contested and participated elections ever.
Indeed, the ‘change’ philosophy paid off for the party as Nigerians celebrated in ecstasy for a new dawn in the country’s political arena and believing things would change for good.
A study done by KGB, Soviet Secret Police, posits that it takes at least the minimum 15-20 years to reform people’s mindset. To therefore assume any transformative political and socio-economic change is going to be easy, a walk in the park is to live in illusion.
There is no doubt that APC has tried its possible best to implement the ‘change’ philosophy which it promised Nigerians through the 2015 electioneering campaign as its manifestos. Now the party has spent three and half years in power, fighting corruption, encouraging entrepreneurship through the policy to buy ‘made in Nigeria’ products, creating a balance economy, encouraging agro-farming sector to truly diversify from dependency on crude oil exportation.
However, have Nigerians truly experienced the true ‘change’ they craved for in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC since the party took charge of affairs in the country in 2015?
As the 2019 general elections beckon, the party on Sunday, November 18, initiated another political slogan, ‘Next Level’, which has gotten tongues wagging in excitement and disbelief.
It is not yet seen which next level the party plans to take Nigeria to post-2019 polls, but then, it is believed that everything is designed for the interest of all Nigerians.
Will the ‘Next Level’ slogan also capture the mindset of Nigerians bitterly hungry and angry with the state economy in the country? This is putting into cognizance the fact that some Nigerians could hardly afford three square meals a day
In the words of President Muhammadu Buhari while unveiling of the ‘Next Level’ slogan, he said “Four years ago, we promised Nigerians real change – in what we do and how we do it. Nigerians sent a clear message in the last election, and our platform offered a new, ambitious plan for a secure, prosperous and corrupt-free country.
“We have worked hard to fulfill our promises – and while the road may have been difficult, over the last three and a half years, we have laid the foundations for a strong, stable and prosperous country for the majority of our people.
“The next four years will be quite significant for our country. Nigeria is faced with a choice to keep building a new Nigeria – making a break from its tainted past which favoured an opportunistic few. Our choices will shape us – our economic security and our future prosperity.
“Nigeria, more than ever before, needs a stable and people-focused government to move the agenda for our country forward. Join us on this journey to the Next Level of a prosperous, strong and stable Nigeria!”
Also, Director-General, Buhari Campaign Organisation, Rotimi Amaechi, said Nigerians should not lose focus on the administration of President Buhari and the ‘Next Level’ agenda that the APC has put in place ahead of the 2019 elections.
“What we are saying to Nigerians is that we will not lose focus. We are going to focus on infrastructure. We are dealing with roads, water, power and railways. We are also improving our seaports.
“We are saying to Nigerians, trust us. We promised change, now there’s a huge change in Nigeria. We are not going back to the economy where people just cart away funds.
“This is the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari is embarking on a 2019 elections campaign called the ‘Next Level’.”
Meanwhile, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Timi Frank, has urged Nigerians to reject the new slogan, Next Level, catch phrase for the 2019 General Elections by President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the APC.
“Their Change agenda has failed. The #Next Level agenda is fraudulent. The last three and a half years has proved they don’t have what it takes to chart a way forward for Nigeria. No man can give what he does not possess. They deceived Nigerians with Change agenda, which turned out to be a change in personal fortune for themselves and their cronies.”
In the same vein, the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation of former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, has described the campaign promises of President Muhammadu Buhari as next level propaganda.
“Our attention has been drawn to the launch of the so-called ‘next level’ campaign initiated today by President Buhari, and we congratulate them even as we make bold to ask one or two questions as part of our efforts to run an issue-based campaign,” the statement read.
“Anyone can make promises and indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) did make quite a number of promises which they either denied or did not fulfil, such as the promise to create 3 million jobs per annum and to equalise the value of the Naira with the dollar.
“The so-called ‘next level’ launch was an anti-climax in that it just exposed the fact that all that the Buhari government is promising Nigerians is more of the same. If the state of the average Nigerian has not improved in the last three and a half years, more of the same is obviously not what they need.
By and large, Nigerians are left with a choice to make between dinning with President Buhari’s ‘Next Level’ agenda or seeking a more progressive change ahead of the 2019 general elections.