• Tuesday, December 05, 2023
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Power, constructive opposition and Nigerian political elite


There are numerous lessons to be learned from developed nations. Primary among these is simply that power isn’t an end but a means to an end. This is where several underdeveloped, undemocratic, under-democratic and quasi-democratic nations miss the bus. In Nigeria, the overriding aim of politicians and political parties seems to be the quest for power for the sake of it; power as a means of advancing personal agendas and goals. In Nigeria, both the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition are guilty of this.

Currently, Nigeria wallows in myriad of socio-economic and political problems (mostly created by Nigerians) and the urgency and gravity of the situation demands that candidates for elected office make key issues the focus of their campaigns. The current system of making vague promises of the usual ‘good roads, affordable health care, constant power supply’ ceases to be acceptable. Concrete policies anchored firmly on clear policy platforms and backed by detailed analysis of the situation, execution strategies and policy redesign agendas need to be clearly spelt out in party manifestoes.

Several real issues and questions that should be addressed by candidates when seeking office (and which they could also dwell upon in their quiet moments) include, among other pertinent questions:

• If they win … will they facilitate the return to optimal production levels for existing refineries and the building of new ones and a means of plugging the subsidy sink hole?

• How do they plan to tackle the gargantuan unemployment rate in the country?

• Do they consider the current civil service (at state and federal levels) adequate for planning and execution of government policy?

• Will they take the bold step of pruning the cost of governance – from the inutile MDAs to the bloated cabinets and the greedy legislative arm, etc?

• Will the disgraceful government ‘security votes’ and prosecution immunity be scrapped?

I find it also alarming the opposition are not seriously examining issues such as these and proffering solutions as a means of selling their party to the electorate. Rather, there’s a whole lot of hullabaloo about wresting POWER from the PDP. If I may ask, once power is ‘wrested’ from the PDP, what happens next? What will replace the status quo?