by Adetunji Adeniran
When I first wrote the article on the Abia State election tribunal’s judgement (or misjudgement), it was as if the whole world would crash. I received lots of feedback especially from APGA supporters and die-hard supporters of Mr. Otti. At the end, it appeared as if the Supreme Court Justices read that article before their pronouncement.
In the midst of dwindling oil prices and downward trend of the Naira, the All Progressive Congress-led Federal Government is yet to make the proverbial U-turn on its promises. If you recall at pre-election campaigns, the APC promised to revive the economy and make the US Dollar equal to Naira. It is not a crime to make promises, not fulfilling them is. According to the Holy Bible, it is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfil it. While APC is yet to and not in any way going to fulfil this promise, some Nigerians are waiting for a statement from the Presidency to openly apologise to Nigerians for what we are going through at the moment.
It is not incorrect to say that APC in its entirety is not to blame for this unresponsiveness. We should rather look inward and blame it on a lack of opposition party. We erroneously believe that since APC is now ruling, then PDP will be the voice of opposition. The truth is that while the APC was better equipped to rule in terms of its ideology and agenda, the PDP (accidental opposition) never got itself prepared to be an opposition. The house of PDP has been deserted long ago by the exit of her own children. And the emergence of Chief Ali Modu Sheriff as the NWC Chairman was the joke of the century. Currently, some prominent members of the party have also vowed to leave should Sheriff continue as chairman. Should Nigerians rely on a Party yet to get its onus together as the voice of the opposition?
Opposition is good in any form of governance. Without opposition, the governed will continue to groan under the ruling party. Don’t forget that APC was an opposition and it was easy for the people to elect APC when it was time for a change. On this premise, Nigerians need to unanimously mobilise and form a people-oriented opposition. An opposition with an ideology and blueprint that is people oriented. An opposition with focus and policies that can challenge unfavourable policies from the ruling party. The business of government is everybody’s business. It should not be left in the hands of a few. We don’t have to wait till when things get worse before we wake up. This is not the time to sit on the fence and become victims of circumstances.
Waiting to see your President fail is like waiting to see the country fails. The President was elected on the platform of a party but as soon as he became the C-in-C, He has ultimately become the President of ALL. As He rightly said, “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”.
The most formidable opposition we can have now is a joint voice of Nigerians from far and near coming together. There have been numerous national dramas since the current government came into power. First, it took almost a century before the President constituted his cabinet. Perhaps, if these Ministers had been sworn-in on time, the drama surrounding the passing of budget might not have arisen. In a bid to reclaim his image, the President ordered mass sacking of top officers of Budget and Planning office. All indications pointed to the fact that no meaningful rework was done on the 2016 budget as most of the expenditures were replica of what the previous administration did; where then is the change that Nigerians voted for?
There is no better time than now for Nigerians to speak up against anything that deviates from that which is normal. This is not the time to seek political appointments in the same government you contended with. Smaller parties such KOWA, SDP, NCP, Fresh Party, APS, Accord, APGA can come together and be the voice for ordinary Nigerians. These parties, not the People’s Democratic Party are the future of Nigeria’s opposition.
- Adetunji Adeniran is a writer and blogger at hopefieldnetwork.org and tweets @hopefield_net