– The Sun News
GRAND OPPOSITION

The grand opposition coalition

Robert Obioha

When aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Buba Galadima announced the formation of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), last week, it was certain that more things would follow in the days ahead. And the inauguration of the Coalition of Unity Political Parties (CUPP) on Monday, July 9, an amalgam of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 38 political parties was one of the fallouts of the implosion in APC.

The APC is just dismissing the disintegration only to its own peril. Some of the political parties that formed the grand coalition were Action Alliance (AA), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Africa Democratic Party (ADP), Action Democratic Party (ADP), Democratic Alternative (DA), and National Conscience Party (NCP). The new coalition, which may transmute to a government of national unity, according to those behind it, intends to field and support a single presidential candidate for the 2019 presidential election.

It may extend the gesture to gubernatorial candidates. The mission of the coalition is to enthrone a true democrat who will save the country from the APC misrule. Without doubt, some other political parties are likely to join the opposition alliance in the weeks ahead. Although the APC leadership is maintaining a bold face as if nothing has happened, but the reality is that the party might have lost some sleep over the development.

The party’s grandstanding and stonewalling cannot save the day. The earlier it realized it the better. There are many reasons why the opposition camp would swell before the 2019 election. There is great disenchantment in the land. There is hunger and poverty. There is pervasive insecurity and mass killing of many Nigerians by herdsmen. The number of unemployed Nigerians is rising on a daily basis.

The graduate factories are producing more and more every year and the army of unemployed graduates is swelling. The insurgency in the North-East is yet to abate contrary to the Federal Government’s claims that it has technically decimated the sect. The country is so much divided along ethnic and religious lines. There is widening alienation in the ruling party’s camp.

The ruling party has alienated other Nigerians by their actions and utterances that do not offer hope in a land of plenty human and material resources. The APC house is utterly divided. And a house divided against itself can never stand. There is lack of internal democracy in the party. The continuous hounding of the opposition elements as the 2019 poll approaches shows that our democracy is degenerating and needs to be overhauled.

The so-called war against graft of the ruling party is highly selective and deployed to gag the opposition and witch-hunt perceived political enemies. That is why the corruption war is failing. What the coalition is doing is good for our democracy. What is happening now is like self-auditing and self-censorship among the political class. We need more of it for our democracy to develop.

We are gradually moving towards a two-party state. Under a two-party state, if party ‘A’ fails to deliver on its promises, the electorate will try party ‘B’. Nigerians want the political class to get serious with governance. Nigerians want responsive government and selfless politicians who will cater for the general good of the citizenry.

What those in the coalition and those in the ruling party must do now is to resolve to return the nation to true democratic governance where the human rights of the citizens must be respected by the government and its institutions, including the security agents. Institutions of government should not be used to intimidate the citizens they ought to protect. America and other advanced democracies the world over are working because they have strong institutions and not strong men. African democracy is wobbling because the continent parades strong men in power, including those that have encouraged sit-tightism through unconstitutional tenure elongation. Africa’s democracy is tainted by nepotism, corruption and dictatorial tendencies. The reign of strong men should be jettisoned in preference for strong government institutions.

We need a strong and fearless judiciary and pro-people legislature. For our democracy to work, the judiciary must be independent. The welfare of the people and overall development of the country must be prioritized. If the grand opposition can offer Nigerians true democracy, let it be.

Siege on Ekiti

The deployment of 36,000 security agents to is partisan and uncalled for. What the police

provide security for one gubernatorial election is like laying a siege on the state. If the Federal Government can deploy such large consignment of security men for Ekiti poll alone, why can’t it deploy more of such security men to combat the herdsmen menace in Benue and other states in the North-Central geo-political zone? It appears there is more to such security deployment than providing security. While the two main political parties for the Ekiti poll, PDP and APC have accused each other of plans to rig the election, the heavy presence of the security agents, mainly controlled by the Federal Government shows that ‘federal might’ may be used in the election. The Wednesday disruption of the PDP rally at Ekiti Government House, and reported brutalization of Governor Ayo Fayose by the police is reprehensible.

The dastard incident which has gone viral highly demonstrates the abuse of federal might. It is an invitation to anarchy. Governor Fayose’s bruised body had seemingly punctured police defence. The action of the police did on Wednesday to Fayose and his supporters portends danger for the Ekiti poll and subsequent polls in the country.

Presidential Order 6

The Presidential Order 6, which will enable the Federal Government to confiscate the ass ets of those who are suspected to have acquired them with the proceeds of corruption, while they are still investigated, is wrong headed. Apart from being open to abuse by those in power, it intends to usurp the powers of the legislature and the judiciary. Since we have enough laws to fight corruption and which the EFCC, the ICPC and other anti-graft agencies have deployed in the war, adding the executive order 6 to the list of such laws is uncalled for. The executive order can also be used to punish perceived political enemies of this administration and anybody the administration does not like his face. The order, which is similar to Decree 2 of 1984, is draconian, unconstitutional and anti-people. Let the government drop it forthwith.

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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

Writer and editor.

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