By Ayodele Fagbohun
“Our own experience is that, those who form sectional or tribal political parties by whatever name called or who stand as independent candidates are invariably a few disgruntled party men who for some personal and mercenary reasons have fallen out with their parties or who have failed to ensure official nominations on the platforms of their parties and believe that they can whip up narrow sentiments of their tribes or clans to collect enough votes for victory at the polls.”
-Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late sage, and one of the authors of Nigerian Constitution.
The need for bi-party system in the national elections that is, presidential and National Assembly is more compelling and imperative more than hitherto, going by the extremely poor, dismal and lackluster outing of the so called large number of political parties that registered for the recently concluded elections.
In the second place, if Nigeria must enjoy a stable democracy as obtained in the British and American political systems, each with two predominant political parties, it stands to reason therefore, that the most suitable party system to ensure lasting peace, prudent management of scarce resources and stability in the country is the adoption of two-parties.
It follows that, the political elite and their mass followership should be galvanized to quickly evolve and fashion out two formidable parties viz, the ruling All Progressives’ Congress (APC) and the rival People’s Democratic Party (PDP), along two well known and generally acceptable opposing ideological leanings of the left and the right respectively.
If the searchlight is critically beamed on how the parties fared across the six geo political zones, the ruling APC was firmly in control of four zones as follows:
South West 2, 279,407
North Central 1,760,977
North East 1, 185, 458 and
North West 2,652,253
The rival main opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was effective in three zones namely:-
North Central, 162,087
North East 1,741,845 and
North West 2,329,540
The Labour Party (LP) in the distant third position in rank of performance in the last presidential/National Assembly elections held tenaciously its traditional strangle hold on South East 1,960,589 and South South 1,960,589 predominantly Igbo and its allied nationalities.
This was in consequence of religious bigotry; tribal or clannish primodial interest of LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, which is not augury for healthy development of democracy in the country.
Meanwhile, it is remarkable to note that, aside from APC and PDP, the other political parties are palpable insignificant ineffective, merely mushrooming the political landscape and sheer liabilities to the government and people of the country.
Again, it is unfortunate and sad commentary that LP bagged nebulous third place on the strength of fraudulent and spurious factor of sheer ethnicity and sectarianism which is antithetical to democracy and could spell doom for the whole country.
Mr Peter Obi, the so called latter day Christian sacerdotalist. He is irascible, irate Igbo irredentist. He lost his bid woefully to clinch his party, PDP primary election. Out of desperation being a veritable power monger and to curry cheap favour and votes from gullible, docile and complacent electorate, Obi willfully deserted PDP and found haven or safety net in the otiose and effete Labour Party (LP) that is never on ground, politically.
There and then, Obi flagrantly recruited army undesirable elements dubbed “Obedient” all over the place especially in Lagos the heart of Yorubaland and ignited mayhem, tribal and sectarian violence.
It is indeed lamentable and regrettable that Peter Obi and his fellow mischief makers and political gangsters freely exploited the abysmal weakness and ineptitude of the outgoing president Buhari’s administration rode high on the people’s discontent with some harsh and excruciating politics of the cabal, to win the hearts of the unwary for Obi’s self interest and ego.
Only the truth exalts a nation says the scriptures. The half truth, blatant falsehood, propaganda and sectarian violence freely sponsored on the social media and across the globe by Peter Obi and fellow travelers in crime will only fireback at the fullness of time.
Now, the die is cast. The history of political parties’ evolution dated back to Sir, Hugh Clifford’s constitution, 1922. The Legislative Council was expanded to 46 members, 10 who were Nigerians. Of these ten, four were elected member though not on strict party basis.
However, the reform heralded the first political party in Nigeria founded by Herbert Samuel Heelas Macaulay, a civil engineer, surveyor, journalist and politician rolled into one.
Subsequently some nationalist political parties viz:- NCNC, Action Group (AG); Northern Element Peoples’ Union (NEPU), NPC, etc emerged giving vent to active politics which culminated in self government for the three regional governments:- Western Region 1956; Eastern Region 1957 and Northern Region 1959; and eventual total independence for Nigeria on October 1 1960.
To the horror of every right thinking and concerned Nigerian, it was a sad melancholic interlude that the political parties’ structure and entire civilian rule were thrown into abeyance due to unfortunate protracted military incursion in our political administration.
It is now gargantum waste of public fund and precious time squandered to run these mushroom and frivolous parties which are virtually non-existent anywhere in the country except on the realm of fertile imagination of the exuberant youths and their indolent, lazy, greedy and unconscionable leaders.
Labour Party (LP) under the platform Peter Obi ran for presidency no doubt committed wrong doings in the conduct of the just concluded elections LP is a misnomer and must be constitutionally proscribed with immediate effect for its reckless and unguarded principle and practice of deleterious politics of Christian sect, tribe, hate, rancour, animosity and violence.
For healthy democracy and purposeful government to thrive and flourish in the land; harmony, peace, amity and unity, all hands must be on deck to ensure that territorial integrity of Nigerian nation must be respected and preserved as a secular state.
In this connection, all other mini-parties should not be recognized forthwith in presenting candidates for presidential and National Assembly elections.
Rather, they should be confined to their areas of operation to only contest for the local and state or regional elections where they rightly belong.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may reconsider any of the provincial parties for national elections if and when qualified and suitable on the field to sponsor viable and earnest candidates in the future elections.
The two formidable parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and rival, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) should brace up for the enormous challenges and arduous task inherent and confronting political parties in the civilized clime.
The era of jumping from one political party to the other like a fair weather politician, of bird of passage which is political venality, impropriety and immorality should be deplored and rigorously stamped out from our public life.
APC and PDP must evolve along two clear-cut ideological leanings of the left and the right to galvanize stable polity and serious earnest business.
The late sage, Awo had said it abundantly clear that our political leadership must as a rule, eschew sectional and tribal clannish politics in a bid to grow our democracy and to compare favourably to the advanced democracies.
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