Where is the opposition party in Nigeria?
SIR: Opposition political parties and their representation at the legislative level are undeniably important components of any democratisation and good governance plan. Alas! That is not the circumstance in Nigeria, where the opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has failed miserably to rein in the excesses of the ruling All Progressives Congress, which has made Nigerians to be taken for granted.
Before APC assumed power from PDP, the national ruling party employed a bunch of political campaign smears against the PDP. For a fact, Nigerians voted for APC because of the party’s anti-corruption, anti-Boko Haram, pro-good administration, and pro-improvement of commoners’ living conditions campaign. Frighteningly, nothing is being changed to fulfill their campaign promises. Nowadays commoners are being killed daily, yet it appears that there is no political opponents that can come out and criticise the national ruling party as they did in 2011 and 2015.
However, when the then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan-led administration removed subsidy on petroleum products at that time, Nigerians bought petrol at the mere sum of N85 per liter compared to the Buhari-led administration, where petroleum is sold at N175 per liter. Surprisingly, President Muhammadu Buhari and his political engineers came out and protested in the streets with papers containing captions against the old price.
From all sides, the country faces multiple, unprecedented and daunting security challenges. With no apparent end in sight, many people in some sections of the country live in fear every day, waiting for the worst to happen.
We reckoned that by banding together, the opposition could checkmate the ruling party on all fronts, benefiting our people. Instead, they have abandoned Nigerian commoners to their fates, which is not supposed to be so. Even though this is not routine for the PDPs coming back to power, our people’s lives have become unpleasant due to widespread inflammation. There was no sense of direction. Food is difficult to get into an ordinary person’s stomach, and many people skip their three daily meals. Even twice has become difficult now.
Sadly, survival has become a privilege these days. Unfortunately, we are in this situation with all of our country’s resources at our disposal.
However, we cannot say that the current government is doing nothing about all these challenges because they are not doing anything revolutionary, especially now, when our people need it most.
Meanwhile, if there is a strong opposition party that consistently comes out and pressurises the national party about their assigned responsibilities of safeguarding the lives and property of all Nigerians, they would undoubtedly be more committed to living up to their campaign pledges.
Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani wrote from Galadima Mahmood Street, Kasuwar Kaji, Azare.