By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba* (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nigerians may not have voted for a Unity Government but that is what it has and it may not be a bad thing. As people take swipe at our latest whipping boys, Ike Ekweremadu and David Mark, it is worthy of note that the twin did nothing illegal. They acted in accordance with the laws of the land and according to parliamentary rules. They saw the opposing football team swarming at their goal line to push their team to a woeful defeat and sneaked to the midfield hoping for a stray ball. They got their wish and raced down and scored. Why is anybody blaming them? Is the goal of the tournament not to win?
APC merely snatched defeat out of the mouth of victory.
All the above hyperbole apart here are some reason why the Unity Government (UG) may be good for Nigeria:
- . Nigeria’s original three regions (North, East, and West) is still hugely alive and worked well as long as it lasted. In the first years of independence Nigeria had the kind of government not unlike what we have now. NPC formed a coalition government with a junior party NCNC. NCNC had strong Western Nigerian politicians such AS TOS Benson and they held strong positions in the government and made sure that no section was neglected. This is what is at play in the senate.
2 . This strange arrangement did not violet the will of the people as both the presidency and House are strongly in the hands of the winners of the election. The senate is the only place where opposition has a strong hand. A complete takeover of all arms of government by a party may be a possession of absolute power which we understand corrupts absolutely. Especially at the hands of a young party less than a year old. The senate now provides a small check and balance.
3. The question has been asked: Who is the Leader of Opposition? The question is appropriate because the Majority Leader is David Mark a PDP member. And the Deputy Senate President is Ike Ekweremadu a PDP member also. The Minority Leader is a constitutional office. PDP will have to appoint a Minority Leader. His/her name will surface shortly. We are getting ahead of ourselves by asking the question now.
4. People have suggested that both Mark and Ekweremadu ought to join APC. This suggestion is untenable because they hold dearly the beliefs of PDP (whatever that is). Their presence in APC is actually to oppose or rather to provide input into APC communications. To provide alternative viewpoints. It is a unique but who says that Africans cannot invent a political model? This could be our contribution to political democratic development to be copied later by other countries.
5. We shall also point out that the need for representation of the former Eastern Region in Buhari Administration had bothered both APC and PDP. Why can we not be thankful to Mr. Mark and Ekweremadu for providing a clever solution? Given that it was done legally and in the open? Would it not have been worse if they pretended to be APC while they are indeed PDP in APC clothing? In this arrangement we know who they are and what they are.
It is amazing that APC is not getting blamed for all this. The coach that left a team’s flank wide open for the exploitation of the other team should be blamed not the coach that saw the opening and exploited it. APC still has enough strength to make the changes it wants to make, we just have to give the party some time. This might also serve as a warning that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
Onye ndi iro gbara gburugburu n’eche ndu ya nche mgbe nile (Those surrounded by enemies must demonstrate eternal vigilance)
* Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba lives in Boston, Massachusetts, US