Political opposition is an essential component of every democratic society. Opposition parties help to make the leadership institution competitive, thereby contributing to the acceleration of the rate of development. As a practice, opposition parties are supposed to offer superior alternatives that will help improve the wellbeing of citizens in a defined society. No matter how acceptable a ruling political party may be, the important place of the opposition is neither discarded by parties outside power nor ignored by the incumbent administration.
Due to sheer lack of knowledge of the workings of opposition politics, most political oppositions in developing countries have never grown beyond mere suspicions and insult of incumbent political leaders. For instance, Mallam El Rufai was widely reported to have called President Jonathan a scumbag. Is this political opposition? When they fail to gain power, frustration sets in. This is quickly followed by sabotage in some cases and incitement of the electorates in others. A frustrated politician is worse than a terrorist. The post-election violence in 2011 and current security challenges in the northern parts of the country are closely linked to the activities of the opposition.
Owing to the poor political culture of the opposition, they resorted to cutting their own noses in order to slight Nigeria’s face. This was part of a grand design to unsettle the presidency of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Unfortunately for them, the conspiracy snowballed into a monster they could not tame after their treachery started hunting them. They quickly resorted to using the mess they have created as a platform with which to wrest power from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). This led to serious security challenges in the northern part of the country. Scores of people, properties, and businesses were targeted by insurgents.
This precarious security situation was worsened by the ferocious desire of a section of northern elite to take back the Nigerian presidency by any means possible. It explains the initial lukewarm attitude of some northern state governors in the fight against terror in their areas of administration. The opposition, notably ACN quickly took advantage of this development to gather woods to nail Goodluck Jonathan’s coffin. The ACN was buoyed by the demeanor of some PDP governors who openly dined with the opposition in order to advance their personal interests.
Owing, perhaps to the activities of fifth columnists in the presidency, the decision by the federal government to declare a State of Emergency in some northern states was leaked to the public well ahead of the official proclamation by the President Goodluck Jonathan on the 16th of May, 2013. As expected, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was the first to oppose the idea, not necessarily for the good of the nation, but simply to mislead unsuspecting Nigerians of northern extraction.
Immediately after the president made the declaration, which affected Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe; the ACN responded quickly by urging the National Assembly not to support it. To their shame, the NASS took side with the presidency. By this decision, the NASS has proven that not everything that comes out of the opposition is messianic. In a statement by its spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed before the NASS debate, the ACN had said that the decision of the president lacked “original thinking.” What is the “original thinking” as it concerns State of Emergency? Dismantling all political structures in the states affected by the State of Emergency. In an ideal democratic setting, can this opinion be said to be superior to that of President Jonathan?
It is very sad that the opposition, out of frustration has now resorted to pushing the president to put on military uniforms. This is most unexpected of an opposition that claims to have a better heart than the ruling PDP. The governors of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe have all come out to support the State of Emergency because they are the ones wearing the shoes. They are therefore in a better position to either accept or reject the presidential declaration of State of Emergency in their states. The question on the lips of many Nigeria now is: why is the ACN crying more than the bereaved? The answer is simple. They are desperate and want to have power by all means. The ACN should not take Nigerians, especially those from the northern axis for fools.
It is worthy of note that ACN is a major partner in the yet to be registered All Progressive Congress (APC). Many Nigerians now believe that the poor quality opposition by the ACN has destroyed the foundation of the mega opposition party. There is no way it can be repaired. The CPC and ANPP are now standing on the side of truth. It is now very clear that all the ACN is interested in is grabbing power and not how the people feel. Nobody who has suffered loss of lives, investments, or properties due to the actions of insurgents in the north will oppose the declaration of State of Emergency in that part of the country. The actions of ACN have shown that it hates the truth. A party that hates the truth cannot defend the electorates.