PDP and the tightrope – Part 2
Continued from yesterday
In a democracy, the opposition is the platform to raise awareness among the people over specific issues of national importance and to raise levels of political consciousness among them.
It must constantly provide credible and objective alternatives to government programmes and policies and not just criticize for the sake of being heard or bringing the government down.
The opposition serves as the watchdog of the system and in some cases, it would proceed to form a shadow cabinet to exercise vigil over the performance of the government.
But what do we now have with PDP as the opposition party? Empty noises all over, of discordant tunes in political disarray, which in turn has turned the APC into a monster of sorts. The PDP dwells mostly in utter frivolities and cannot even drive and muster viable opposition, to critically engaging government agencies and parastatals on glaring inefficiencies and wastage
It is not gathering any political intelligence, for mass action and it is not familiar with or even engaging labour and civil society groups, nor partnering with the all-powerful Lagos-Ibadan axis of the media.
Labour has declared one or two strikes in the life of this regime without any whimper from the PDP, university teachers have been on strike for months now without a single collaborative action from the PDP and individual activists and analysts have become soft targets of the ruthless APC regime without any form of solidarity from the PDP. Is that an opposition party? Your guess is as good as mine!
What is the value of an opposition that has no single bite at all? Of what use is an opposition that does not even understand its own vital role in democracy? If the government is all too powerful to crush the opposition, the latter should be potent enough to cause a stir, either in the parliament, in the courts or on the streets, against the government and force it to adjust or exit, through mass movement and agitation. How can you effectively play the role of opposition in the luxury of your offices and mansions, and expect to be taken seriously? There will be no democratic warfare at all? And yet you want to wrest power?
Governor Nyesom Wike is busy destroying the house that he once helped to build, consumed with self and ego, with a heavy war chest bankrolled with crude oil windfall. Some say that Karma is the judge, now serving PDP with its own coin. The party is in a serious dilemma, not knowing what to do with Wike and his team since they cannot be expelled from the party whilst still openly professing loyalty and membership.
Yet, the Wike group remains in the PDP at its great peril because the internal battle is always worse than the external one. The situation of the opposition party seems delicate and precarious, in the present circumstance of events.
By all means, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar should not have contested the PDP presidential primary election. The issue at hand goes beyond having the presidential candidate and the Chairman come from the same Northern region, but rather the implication of the arrogance of the powerful monsters, which gives the wrong impression of non-relevance.
When things get to such a desperate time when a political party cannot uphold its own constitution, proffering the lame excuse of loss of power as the reason for the backward proposal for it to jettison zoning, then the such entity cannot be entrusted with the governance of a delicate nation like Nigeria. If while in the opposition a political party is so treacherous as to abandon its own constitution, what will it do with the Nigerian Constitution if entrusted with power?
Let the owners and handlers of the PDP wake up from their tiring slumber and take up the task of credible and viable opposition. That is what democracy is all about. We are now sick and tired of the same narrative from the ruling party. Let us hear the other side, and imbibe the golden words of Plato:
“The punishment of wise men who refuse to take part in the affairs of the government is to live under the government of the unwise men.”
Adegboruwa is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).