Democratic system of government since the 90’s, made prominent by the United States of America, has slowly but steadily pervaded the system of governance in many nations of the world. Suffice to say, some nations adopted a mixture of democracy and another system of government while some imbibed democratic system in its entirety.
As a nation created in 1914 and liberated from colonialism in 1960, Nigeria has at several periods in the past attempted with little or no success to usher in full democracy as her system of government. However, the peaceful handover of government from the military regime to a democratic government in 1999 seems to have broken the jinx. The 13years of democracy in this nation has slowly brought conviction to the hearts of her populace that it has come to stay. For those who witnessed the unconstitutional military regime shrouded in brutality, intimidation and unleashing of mayhem to supposed oppositions in broad day light will attest to the return democracy as the way forward to salvaging Nigeria from her many woes.
It is no fallacy stating that since 1999 Nigeria, not until the 2011 general election that witnessed a tsunami of unprecedented electoral victories by some opposition parties, has been under the control of one political party (The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP) both in the federal and State levels. In addition to other factors that may have retained PDP in power is the persistent prevalence of no formidable, powerful, and cohesive opposition party to match their political and financial clouts. Despite the many flaws of PDP, their cohesiveness cannot be easily shrugged off. Suffice to say, it is only normal for a person or group of persons standing with little or no opposition to regard him/them invincible and a god. Understanding democracy as a game of numbers, the cohesive and astute PDP, therefore, has utilized to its advantage the scattered and ever confused fragmented supposed opposition parties to consistently control this game for the 13 years democracy returned to the shores of this country.
Be as it may, the nation indirectly practiced one party system and the argument buttressed by the repeated decamping to PDP of several political office holders who contested and won their offices under the umbrella of a given opposition party. Just as a helpless doe watches its fawn possessed by a Lion, so these opposition parties look in dismay as it loses its members to the powerful and ruling party, PDP and out of cluelessness of how to redeem itself condescends to an appendage of the ruling party. The supposed oppositions’ helpless relinquish of their political rights over the period of 13years has stifled the enshrinement of true democracy in Nigeria, hence, birthing pseudo-democracy which has and will continue to be a bane to the complete revamping of this nation if not put to a halt. Conversely, it will only be unbiased to absorb the People’s Democratic Party of this dangerous trend because the party has never coerced an opposition to relinquish their rights. Politics is a game made for shrewd personalities and groups; hence, PDP has over the years beat the opposition parties to this game.
Considering the futile merger attempts of opposition parties in this country in the past, So many people took with a pinch of salt the well publicized merger negotiations between some opposition parties in the last few months. Alas! On the 6th of February 2013, the much anticipated merger came to fruition with the fusing of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) into a new umbrella of opposition party, All Progressive Congress (APC). For those who understand the essence and meaning of democracy, the birth of APC -irrespective of the ulterior motives of the persons involved- is a step to the right direction for the solidification and enrichment of democracy in Nigeria; hence, expunging the pseudo-democracy that has been in existence for 13years.
As a young and only supposed formidable opposition political party at present, however, personal interests, ego and self-aggrandizement should be subdued for the common good of that which they claim to represent. Nigerians are still sceptical of this new party, even though it has been long expected by many. It will be a pending political suicide if the members of this party project it solely as a means to wrestling power from the centre; hence, they should with no procrastination swing into action to bringing to our knowledge how APC emergence will foster a new, dynamic, economically revamped, and a true democratic Nigeria. It is pertinent to bring to the party members’ cognizance that Nigerians are mentally, socially, and physically exhausted from hearing empty rhetoric promises thus was made lucid in 2011 general election in which votes were casted not for “a party” but for “an individual as regards his/her pedigree irrespective of party affiliation. It will be egregious and too hasty to vilify or acclaim in high esteem All Progressive Congress (APC); the world and indeed Nigerians look forward in the weeks ahead to hearing the strategies that this party intend to explore to making the contents of their manifesto a reality to solving the myriads of challenges staring this nation to the face–should they get the people’s mandate.
To members of all political parties in this country, the good and resilient people of Nigeria have had enough of your churlish demeanor in office. With the power of our votes in 2011 general election, we buttressed the fact we can no more condone the ineptitude which most of you exude. For those politicians still basking in the euphoria of inane mannerism, sleaziness, and profligacy, the electoral hurricane that blew across this nation in 2011 will be a child’s play to what the good people of this nation will unleash come 2015. A word they say is enough for the wise but the wise becomes foolish when the word is treated with disdain.
Written by: Caesar Onuoha.