In about 24 months, Nigerians will once again convey at the poll stations to elect their representatives. To seize the reins of government from the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), some politicians have been canvassing for the formation of a mega-party with broad-based national representation.
The logic is sound — a fragmented opposition can not withstand the formidable force of the PDP, however; the current Nigerian sociopolitical climate will most certainly prove this is not only a waste of time but ineffectual against the PDP.
The logic is fraught with several unrealistic assumptions; the institutions required for this to happen are not on ground or severely compromised in status.
The only way a mega party will be successful is to expect the following: free and fair elections; imaprtial security forces; unbiased and competent INEC (electoral agency); and election petition tribunals manned by objective and incorruptible judges. These will create a level playing field for elections come 2011. But these can’t happen within 24 months.
However, can the opposition can still go ahead and create a mega party for all I care, but they must invest significant resources into public awareness — the voting public is the key if the PDP is to be unseated, not the creation of a mega party.
To prime the electorate over the next 24 months shouldn’t be a difficult task — the current PDP-led government has nothing to show for their time in office. And even if the president decides to wake up and assume a supernatural strength today, the global economic crisis is bound to damp his efforts.
The coming election is really for the PDP to lose if the opposition is ready to work where it matters — at the grassroots. This is the time for the creation of a mass movement and public enlightenment
campaign in Nigeria. This is time for change. When the people are well primed, they become empowered and will work to ensure their votes are counted. They will be ready to resist fraud at the polling stations.
Quoting Abba Kyari whose Guardian article is a must-read: “Public enlightenment, not mega party”
There is no royal ride to success. The people properly enlightened, educated, mobilised and adequately led will reject and revolt against a situation that has all but enslaved them and condemned them to poverty. Sardines do not applaud their can.
I’m most certainly in total agreement!