In view of the gale of defections from one political formation (debatable as to whether they are actually political parties in the modern interpretation) to another, there is an unexpected silver lining. This is the emergence of a path to the re-establishment of real political parties in the widely acknowledged modern sense of the term.
The genesis lies of course within the carnage caused by the military incursion into Nigeria’s political landscape. Pre-1966, the country, had vibrant political parties, based on democratic centralism and mass participation. The membership vigorously intervened at the grassroots and had a significant, at times decisive input into the policies and direction of the party. No one actually ‘owned’ a party because the ethos of democratic centralism was key.
A modern political party operates on this nexus. Democratic centralism as an operating base ensures the subordination of individuals, groups, interests, factions and tendencies to the overall control of the central organs of the party. Where this is not the case, anarchy looms. The perfidy of the Saraki group is a clear indication of the grave consequences of jettisoning the concept of democratic centralism. For this reason, all progressives must heave a sigh of relief at the departure of Saraki and his collaborators from the All Progressives Congress (APC). Frankly it had taking far too long. Nevertheless, valuable lessons must be learnt from the sordid interregnum of a carefully choreographed undermining (not just a rebellion) of the position of the party. The tragic-comedy was well foretold. For as an outstanding one time United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt insightfully observed,”In politics, nothing happens by accidents. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.
The lessons learnt must be incorporated. In the national Assembly henceforth the country is moving into formal trench type cohabitation. The national assembly leadership is now secured in the hands of an opposition leadership, at variance with the success of the executive branch. The illustrious sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo actually foresaw all of what is now happening. In his last recorded observations before he passed on, Chief Awolowo postulated about the thesis and the anti-thesis, a situation whereby the progressives and the conservatives will separate into two distinct ideological camps. For these reasons, the present leadership of the APC must use this opportunity to build a cohesive, political party anchored on the promotion of progressive policies which will be of benefit to the many and not a privileged, pampered elite.
Focusing On The Issues
This newspaper, as part of its public service and advocacy, has done a synopsis of what can pass for the statement of intention of Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, the All Progressives Congress’ flag bearer in the impending Osun State governorship election. We hope that all the candidates will avail us of an opportunity to carry their manifestoes in the weeks ahead.
It is fundamentally important for the development of the state to have issues based campaigns rather than vacuous sloganeering. People still remember decades on the thoughtfully packaged four cardinal principles of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) at the onset of the second republic.
In the State of Osun, current governor Aregbesola’s six point agenda also set the marker for what has become a successful tenure in office.
Manifestoes matter, for they provide a critically necessary roadmap for the future. We also call for debates amongst the candidates in order for the electorate to make a discerning assessment of what is on offer. Osun State deserves the best and an issues focused campaign is the way to get it.