Project Examples

Why every adult Nigerian should join a political party

06 May 2022

Why every adult Nigerian should join a political party - Atedo N A Peterside CON


In my capacity as the President and Founder of Anap Foundation ( and the Convener of GoNigeria (, I have actively engaged Nigerian youths in recent months with the sole aim of convincing as many of them as possible to register, pick up their Permanent Voter's Cards (PVC) and get ready to vote in the 2023 General Elections.

I am excited at the possibility of many more Nigerian youths getting politically active between now and the 2023 General Elections and what that portends for Nigeria.

GoNigeria is an initiative of Anap Foundation. It started at the end of 2021 with 18 Advocates drawn from the 6 geopolitical zones. GoNigeria is a non-profit, non-partisan Movement dedicated to building a new voice for young people in Nigeria. It will remain true to its ideals.

An increasingly large number of youths have since come back to me, to say that they have registered online with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and done their biometrics and so they expect to pick up their PVCs soon. Others have complained about obstacles and frustrations surrounding biometric capture (in particular) at some INEC Centers; this should be monitored and escalated as necessary. 

Some other youths however stress that they want to go beyond collection of PVCs and actually get involved in party politics, but outside of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP). They argue that choosing between the two large political parties is akin to a choice between "the devil and the deep blue sea" (my sincere apologies to the APC/PDP members who are GoNigeria Advocates and the many other good people in APC/PDP who are themselves victims of Godfatherism).

Most Nigerians are deeply concerned about the state of our economy (high inflation and high unemployment) and also fear for their lives on account of the worsening security situation. Sadly, the poor economy aggravates the security situation and vice versa. It is also impossible to separate economics from politics. Perhaps many of us mistakenly concentrated on the economy for too long?

The new electoral act has significantly improved the probability that INEC can conduct proper elections. We must commend President Buhari, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and all others who contributed to bring this about. However, it is also true to point out that they have delivered very little else and so I disagree with those who expect them to midwife anything beyond their own departure come May 2023. The rest of us must seize the bull by the horns and overcome both voter apathy and the reluctance of many good people to get involved in party politics. Nobody is going to come from Mars or Jupiter to improve Nigerian political parties. If they remain defective, then they may consistently spew out bad choices.

I now believe that every adult Nigerian at home or abroad should join a political party. Our political parties will not improve on account of external pressure alone. Change must also come from within. It is difficult to improve a Club or Party that you do not belong to. If I believe this, then I also must practice it.

Influenced by recent data which confirms that more than 40% of Nigerians disapprove of APC and PDP, I decided to commission a quiet study of all the other 16 registered political parties with a view to joining one of them. I scored them in 7 broad areas, which felt pertinent: 


1) The Party Manifesto - how appropriate is it for Nigeria at this time?

2) The quality of the Party's National Leadership.

3) My own adjudged acceptability at the local/Ward Level of the Party.

4) The commitment and willingness of the Party leadership to practice internal democracy.

5) Are the Party's doors truly open to Nigerian youths who wish to claim their country back?

6) Are the Party's doors truly open to women leaders, or is it yet another male chauvinist enclave?

7) Is it a place where I feel truly welcome?


The above 7 pointers, after some deep reflection, led me to rank the 16 registered political parties outside of APC and PDP. Of course, there is a huge amount of work to be done before the Political Party that I join can become the Natural Challenger to APC and PDP, but like a good party member, I am prepared to roll up my sleeves and work hard to help uplift that political party nationwide.

Having taken this step, I will encourage other Nigerians to similarly seek membership and proactive participation in political parties where they will feel welcome and which will satisfy some set criteria, including priorities that I might have missed.

For those Nigerians who favour restructuring and/or a new Constitution, or even Separation, my plea is that you first think about voting into office, leaders who are better able to navigate those "waters" along with our present "waters", which include high unemployment, high inflation plus insecurity all around. The time for sitting on the fence is over. We did so previously and see where we are today. 2023 must be different. 




*Atedo N A Peterside CON is the President & Founder of Anap Foundation and the Founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.



Twitter: @AtedoPeterside