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Monday, 11 April 2011

MY FEAR FOR THE OPPOSITION


MY FEAR FOR THE OPPOSITION

by Bright Iheanacho on Monday, April 11, 2011 at 3:09am
The excitement and euphoria of the preliminary results of the National Assembly polls is everywhere - within Nigeria and outside. The joy of the masses is fulfilling; their voices can now be heard; their rights are protected; their collected senses are not insulted; their wishes have prevailed; they have asked the right questions and have responded accordingly. It is exciting to see the crop of shameless representatives "so-called", packing to leave the assembly for newly elected persons to take over. For once, we are expecting balanced representation and legislation.

What a dream to be fulfilled in our lifetime. All thanks to the executive. The man from Otuoke, who having the state's might, have decided not to wield it unjustly but the allow the populace choose themselves. Goodbye to do-or-die politics; goodbye to politics of the generals by the generals and for the generals; goodbye to fradulent elections by the military in either military or civilian clothes. Welcome to true democracy.

In a these excitement, my fears have remained unabated. Albeit in a different dimension, I fear for the opposition. I fear because a sizable chunck of the opposition are PDP members in opposition platforms. These politicians have either failed at the primaries or have been unjustly substituted. They are PDP members in effect and will cross-carpet in the course of time. This is not new. In 2007, we had Atiku Abubakar under ACN umbrella, Ikedi Ohakim (Imo governor) under PPA, Theodore Orji (Abia governor) under PPA, they have all rejoined the PDP. This does not represent the opposition we crave for. Unfortunately, cross-carpeting is a thriving business among our politicians with a high turnover at each political dispensation.

I have another fear for the opposition - lack of internal democracy. The ease of imposition of candidates whithin the opposition is alarming. Their internal democracy is not in the spot light because every effort have been geared towards rooting out those "shameless democrats and so-called representatives". However, if the current trend continues and the opposition becomes formidable, we might be witnessing a worse party than the current PDP.

I fear we might not develop another round of enthusiasm to correct any ill when this opposition we have trusted so much disappoints us. It is important that we tell them to get the acts right even now. It is important they know that we will mind their conduct even at the party levels. It is important they know we did not choose them to return to the PDP within months. It is important for them not to insult our collective trust in them. It is important that they truly represent the wind of change which they have promised and which we have believed expectedly. It is important we have an opposition and not an annex of the PDP or a different version of the PDP. It is also important that the opposition develops a manifesto which all aspirants under their platform will represent.

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