By Efio-Ita Nyok| 23 March 2015| 00:08 am
Nigeria has witnessed four republics since her supposed independence from colonialist Britain in 1960, namely, First Republic(1963 – 1967), Second Republic (1979 – 1983), Third Republic (1993), and Fourth Republic (1999 – present). The fourth republic is obviously sixteen years young: It is a nascent democracy.
The fourth republic which came on board in 1999 as a respite from General Sani Abacha's reign of terror in every sense of the word, had been characterised by the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) been the ruling party, as there have been pockets of opposition parties like the All Nigeria's Peoples Party(ANPP), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) and the like.
Despite the presence of these opposition political parties, there have never been a viable, real or solid opposition to the ruling PDP, not the unparalleled soundness of its ideology. That is to say, the so called Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), being the only cock that crowed, had continued almost unchallenged hitherto. Again, these opposition parties could be said to have never assumed the status of a true national opposition to the PDP. At best, they were regional oppositions.
But, the tide changed its course when the All Progressives Congress(APC) evolved, with the merger of the erstwhile Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Alliance for Democracy (AD), into a mega opposition party! If we agree that the beauty of political opposition or dissent is to allow for check and balances in the sociopolitical system, we would readily consent that with the advent of the APC in 2014, Nigeria ceased to become a one party state, where impunity was the order of the day for absence of opposition.
For instance, the opposition APC compelled the ruling PDP to deal, though quite reluctantly, a heavy blow to the insurgency in the northeast of the country in barely five weeks after mysteriously failing to do so after six years! A sect of religious fanatics whose main objective could not be articulated clearly was beginning to cause Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, a huge embarrassment in the global scene as the military, which had had global reputation were seen to be too afraid to even engaged a set of misguided hoodlums.
Through the viability of Nigeria's opposition, the truth in the incapability of the Minister of Economy and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was made public property as well as the jamboree of looting the national treasury blind was divulged to the Nigerian public through the instrumentality of the opposition.
These and many more, constitute the vital areas where the opposition in the fourth republic have succeeded. However, given these and many more positive credentials, it becomes ironic when one cannot creditably vote such an opposition into power. Why should not the APC be given the chance to lead this country in the direction of 'change' it purports? Why cannot Nigerians give Buhari a chance? The reasons are glaring.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has a three point agenda: to deal with the rising challenge of insecurity in the country, challenge endemic corruption, and salvage a comatose economy. As plausible as this agenda is, the weakness with this vision has been that the hierarchy of the APC, including its presidential flag bearer, Muhammadu Buhari, has not been able to tell Nigerians 'how' they intend to achieve these lofty anticipations.
In standard management practices, corporate bodies and institutions are seen to clearly articulate what is popularly referred to as their Vision statements and mission statements. In the former, what is intended to be done is expressly defined, whereas in the latter, one is educated on how the vision will be achieved. The APC has told us their vision statement but has failed to inform us on their mission statement. And that is not a system that that a population of over 170 million humans should cede their destiny to. We are sure to hit the rock!
It's advisable to continue wooing the PDP, not neglecting the fundamental role of the APC. But, to enthrone the APC without a clear cut genius of actualising the dreams of a better Nigeria being articulated is catastrophic to say the least. The APC should be left at the level of the opposition to the PDP for the overall interest of Nigerians.