- Reconciling The Factions
WORTHY winners have emerged after the primaries conducted for the selection of the flag bearers of the major and ‘minor’ political parties.
Including the minor parties is not trite. The 2023 presidential election is shaping up to be a departure from the route taken since the restoration of democracy in 1999, which was largely based on the contest between duopolies. With new entrants snapping at the heels a brand political calculus is emerging and the dominant parties will be compelled to factor this in.
This strategic consideration is reflected in the calls to close ranks and the expansiveness being shown by the winners. Contested elections within political parties are inevitably keenly contested and often divisive. Political parties are not monolithic, as they evolve tendencies, factions, and sub-groups emerge. This is the nature of democracy and the right to expression.
The need for reconciliation was expressed most succinctly by a key player in the far from monolithic All Progressives Party (APC), the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Congratulating Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on his emergence as the presidential standard bearer of the APC, Aregbesola stated that “On behalf of my family and associates, I heartily congratulate you on this deserved victory. Congratulations”. This tone of reconciliation is an unambiguous testimony of the desire to close ranks and is reflected in the other congratulatory statements issued.
This is desirable and sensible. A flag bearer to present the case of the progressives has emerged and there must be a closing of ranks around the progressive banner. The forces of retrogression have not yet been vanquished and the country must avoid a return to the root causes of today’s discord and discontent.
The country needs a decisive progressive victory in next year’s elections. It can only be achieved when all hands are purposefully on deck. Nigeria today faces existential threats on a myriad of fronts. The progressives are best suited philosophically and by ideological orientation to present and implement positive solutions.
For example, the security situation is best tackled within the prism of the adoption of the prescription that “we must be tough on crime and tougher on the (root) causes of crime”. The country must jettison ephemeral jobless “growth” without development for real sustainable development based on the provision of living wages as a way of achieving “life more abundant” for the overwhelming majority of the population and their families and not just a few. In this regard, it must be accepted that macroeconomic stability is the only way to attain and sustain social justice. In addition, the trajectory of social intervention programs was pioneered in states controlled by progressives such as Osun, starting with the government headed by Rauf Aregbesola.
The list is endless. At a critical junction, the country needs a progressive government to maintain the momentum. It will be dangerous to, through acts of commission, hand over the reigns once regressively again to the conservatives.
We desire a vigorous campaign of enlightenment and wish the flag bearer of the cause of the progressives Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu a momentous and decisive electoral triumph next year.