The APC was a somewhat formidable opposition to the PDP, especially after it was formed in February 2013. This subsequently led to the party winning the 2015 election, with the “change” mantra being its major campaign slogan. All this is history, and the country has moved on since then.
It is, however, unfortunate but not surprising that in a country like Nigeria, there has been almost no opposition to the current government. While I might no be a strong advocate of opposition, I believe in constructive criticism and not what the likes of our award-winning senator cum musician are doing in the national assembly.
The only credible opposition to a government or party is the electorates – the so-called ordinary citizens of Nigeria. If you are wondering how I came to this conclusion, try to Google the list of “dignitaries” that attended former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida’s daughter’s wedding. Jagaba, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was pictured attending the ceremony of a man accused of killing his political mentor – MKO Abiola, sitting beside who was supposed to be his arch political rival – former President Jonathan.
The only result that can come out of such an association is how Nigeria and Nigerians can be dragged deeper into the dungeon of suffering and poverty. It is, therefore, time for Nigeria and Nigerians to stop the blame game and the winning. Instead, let us criticize and oppose our “rulers,” asking questions and holding them accountable, as this is the only opposition that would give us the change we want if we want any at all.
Be an active part of the polity or let hoodlums and touts decide your future and that of your unborn children and grandchildren.
As area father would say, #ourmumudondo
The run-up to the 2015 presidential election was indeed an interesting period. The struggle for PVC, the intrigues and campaigns that divided the nation into progressives versus transformationists (supporters of the status-quo), media coverage, the election postponement, the election proper, card reader woes, counting of votes and final announcement of results. Nigerians were really interested in the outcome of this election.
Just like recent American and British elections, Nigerian 2015 Presidential election was largely influenced by new media – the Internet and social media platforms & sites (Leuschner 2012, IET 2016). Nigeria’s improving tele-density accounts for an estimated 16 million Twitter/Facebook users so far (Internet World Stats 2016). Political discussions on these new media are so ubiquitous, little wonder Nigeria is better rated than the US and the UK in the use of social media for politics (Jackson 2016). Thus the viability and preference of the new media cannot be over-emphasized.
There are 40 registered parties, 14 of which participated in the 2015 presidential elections (INEC 2016). Indeed the election result concurs with earlier held elections to show our bi-partisanship Votes distribution was as usual skewed in favour of only 2 parties while the other 12 parties polled negligible votes. This should not necessarily be so. It is not a hopeless situation for the small fries, the new media is here to stay and it’s egalitarian platform guarantees success to any political party with a holistic combination of presentable candidates, appropriate manifesto and robust IT strategy.
Taking a cue from the just concluded 2016 American elections we learn that:
1. Any publicity is good publicity. Just be in the limelight. The news & social media unwittingly created more attention for Donald Trump. Even those that were obviously for the wrong reasons were skillfully maneuvered by the Trump camp.
2. There exists a grand distrust for career politicians by the electorate. Such was the story of the unpopular Trump who triumphed over Hillary because Americans were tired of liars, sorry I meant to say politicians. They just are the same, aren’t they? Always talking from all sides of their mouths; upholding today what they vehemently opposed yesterday.
What’s more, allegiances change. Nigerians are largely after good governance. The PDP was booted out for abysmal performance and so can the APC. Who says if KOWA or APGA have the right combinations that they can’t win the next presidential elections?
Now is the time for all to act. Let us make electioneering more interesting in Nigeria and by so doing, up the ante in the quality of elected officials irrespective of their party affiliations.