THE VEGETABLE STATE OF OPPOSITION IN NIGERIA – A CONCERN FOR GENUINE LOVERS OF DEMOCRACY

UNDOUBTEDLY, the level of credible opposition has diminished in Nigeria. Today, what we have as the face of opposition are those labeled with gross misconduct notwithstanding they may be innocent. Our system is not yet advanced to understand that you are innocent until proven guilty. Rather, we practice a system whereby immediately you are declared guilty in the pages of any newspaper, if you are in the opposition, you are guilty until you prove your innocence. Even if a court of competent jurisdiction uphold your innocence, the citizens, especially the APC (Sai Bankruptcy) group would still assume you are corrupt. Any defense put up on your behalf would either regard you as one who approves corruption or a hater of the present administration, making any progressive discussion with them extremely difficult.

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For some time now, I took the   back seat – reading and assimilating various arguments ranging from why the state of the nation is in comatose – to the judicial invasion and subsequent accusation by the Judges how HE Rotimi Amaechi and other top APC leaders tried to manipulate the judges handling the election tribunal cases of Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Abia and other states and the denial from Mr Amaechi’s camp. It dawned on me that majority of Nigerians are not genuinely interested in the growth of this country including the fight against corruption. We are simply interested in paying lip service to any corruption allegation made against our party member, regional/zonal members but ready to escalate similar allegation if the person is from another party or another region. Two case studies come to mind: While some people share the latest allegation of Obanikoro and call him names, the same people defend with gusto the allegation against Amaechi. Woe betide anyone who tries to point out their prejudice mostly against the PDP members, the Igbos and other section of this country that did not vote for the present administration. Only then you will realize how densely their mindset operate – making it hard for anyone to understand their logic due to its abnormality. You begin to wonder if genuinely, they believe in their logic. You question their laid-back attitude towards the incompetence of this administration and their sheer nepotism in every selection ascribed to them. You ask if they worry how this administration has taken Nigeria to doldrums and their ability to reverse this unpleasant trend.

If we must be honest, the shallowness of this Sai Bankruptcy characters is highly infectious and understands how to control the discussion in polity. They have ensured that Nigerians in the opposition now discusses irrelevant issues like the cost of First Lady’s wardrobe instead of real efficiency benefit of President Buhari’s travel to Germany. They release #ISTANDWITHTINUBU flyer – the opposition would then discuss how Tinubu is finished instead of brainstorming on social media different strategies that add real value to the developement of Nigeria including conducting town hall meetings and inviting top economic experts to discuss how to rescue Nigeria from recession post-2019. In a country where both the government and it’s citizens do not understand the direction, Nigeria is heading; including the undeniable fact that nobody in this present government can accurately forecast the exchange rate for the next six weeks or when Nigeria is likely to exit recession, the opposition would have been firing left, right and centre with credible solutions on how they intend to make Nigeria great again. Tellingly, this administration’s incompetence has created a hotbed for the opposition to thrive. But the opposition cannot thrive because of the point explained above.

Ladies and Gentlemen, especially the ones still with conscience, rescuing Nigeria is a collective task. If you know deep down that Nigeria deserves better leaders, you are among the few counted. If you feel that Sai Bankruptcy is the best for us, you do not belong to this category. The men of conscience I understand are in the minority, but they should never allow their voices be submerged because they represent the voiceless and the future unborn. Is your silence in the face of maladministration contributing to the fracturing of our community? Stand up and be counted and refuse incompetence as our new measuring scale.  You are doing this for your future generation. Do not support the deliberate suffocation of opposition in Nigeria. That stone you cast away today may actually be the cornerstone holding the foundation tomorrow. No country practicing democracy has recorded significant progress without a viable opposition.

Permit me to end with this Hillary Clinton’s quote with mild modification: “What we have to do is to find a way to celebrate our diversity (not mediocrity) and debate our differences (not superiority of our region, religion or political parties) without fracturing our communities” Hillary Clinton.

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