Funso Doherty, the gubernatorial candidate for the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) in Lagos State, emphasized the pivotal role of opposition quality in shaping the outcomes of democracy.
Doherty disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Arise Television, adding that the effectiveness of democracy hinges significantly on the quality of opposition and its ability to engage the ruling government actively.
“When you look across Africa, you don’t see a shortage of democracies but a shortage of outcomes,” Doherty said during the interview. “One of the critical levers for good or poor outcomes from democracy is the quality of the opposition and the ability to have an opposition that engages the government.”
Reflecting on the essence of a robust opposition within the political landscape of Lagos, Doherty said, “It is absolutely critical. Democracy is not synonymous with good outcomes for the people. It is how you operate the democracy that will determine whether you get good or poor outcomes.”
Furthermore, the ADC gubernatorial candidate lamented the common trend in Nigerian politics, where losing candidates often lose interest once electoral challenges are exhausted. “Opposition parties are critical because that way, you hold the government to account, and whoever is in the seat cannot have a free hand, and you are adding value to things,” Doherty said. “It enriches the system, makes it more robust, and ultimately leads us to a situation where all these so-called dividends of democracy come within reach.”
He also stressed the significance of sustained opposition, rooted in rational engagement rather than emotional reactions. “From my perspective as an opposition politician, it allows people to see what you stand for, who you are, how you think, and what your values are.”
He noted that such consistent engagement ensures government accountability, prevents those in power from having unrestrained control, and ultimately enhances the system’s robustness.