10 days from today, the entire democratic world, indeed, should be celebrating 800 years of the signing of the Magna Carta by king John of England. Even though the notion of democracy and in fact representative democracy had existed before amidst the Greeks, democracy as we have it today is owed to that single document which went on to serve as the foundational background for the American revolution, the French revolution, and as a matter of remoteness, Africa’s struggle for independence. This sacred and sacrosanct document that we all owe our democratic rights and claims to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, was a product of political opposition led by the barons against their unpopular king demanding for the limitation of the powers of the king, the non-exclusiveness of monopoly rights to the economy and more welfare for themselves and by extension the people they represented.
Without the Magna Carta, what we would have today is a replica of what vice president Osinbajo would have witnessed in Sudan during the week or more precisely, Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. Nigeria’s experience of a 16 year misrule cannot be blamed entirely on PDP as a party but also on the unavailability of a viable opposition figure ready to take up the mantle of leadership until the merger that formed APC. In the same vein, leaving APC without a formidable opposition structure would be attempting to solve the same problem with the same method and expecting a different result. I have since learnt from Barack Obama, that sincerity of purpose does not always translate salva veritate into a realisation of intended results.
Lots of Nigerians have identified the task ahead for the new administration without a recourse to the task ahead for the new opposition. The APC did not become the ruling party today on a platter of gold. This is undebatable. They had to demand for the right to attain power in the name of securing a better welfare of the people, howbeit, in an environment of incompetence, nonchalance and ultimate confusion. There were a lot of loopholes the APC could leverage on in playing the role of the opposition. It is difficult to unseat an incumbent President, it is however next to impossible to unseat a performing one. Buhari seems to be a performing president. GEJ could not even be seen to be performing or was ‘successfully’ painted as nonperforming. The task for the opposition is therefore no longer the difficult/ambitious task of unseating an incumbent but now the arduous task of constructively criticizing a performing president in the name of seeking the welfare of the people.
During the course of the week, a fellow Nigerian suggested on twitter that APC had better form their own opposition as it doesn’t seem PDP is ready. It is not surprising that a few Nigerians are beginning to drift towards this position as it seems that the PDP are not aware that as much as there are expectations from the APC, there are also expectations from the PDP as the opposition. Because the task for the opposition is a different one to that of the APC, the methodology has to be different. The use of propagandas, fabrications, and name calling being adopted by PDP twitter overlords only paint PDP in a worse light than they are currently being seen. That APC’s shoes are too big for PDP is debatable. However, with the likes of Gov. Fayose, Olisa Metuh, Uche Secondus handling the PDP structure while the likes of Anenih, Muazu and even GEJ are relegated with David Mark joining his colleagues on the floor to chant the ayes and the nays, Doubting PDP’s capacity is not out of order.
A political party requires more energy, focus and organisation as an opposition than as a ruling party. If PDP has been unseated for lack of these as a ruling party, what kind of opposition should we expect. It’s to this effect that the likes of SDP, ACCORD and KOWA, if they are really serious can rise up to fill in the vacuum that nature so desperately abhors.
With a gain of momentum from the states, they can soon metamorphose into a voice of the opposition should PDP refuse the right of first refusal.
As a matter of fact, now is their opportunity, Let them take it.
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