FEATURE ARTICLE

Thursday, July 18, 2019
[email protected]
Ilisan, Ogun State, Nigeria
THE POLITICS OF INTERNAL COHESION: THE TASK BEFORE PRESIDENT BUHARI AND THE APC LEADERS

he need for an effective representation and leadership of the people by political gladiators, most especially South-east zonal leaders in the National Assembly, as well as ministerial appointees of the federal government cannot be over emphasized. Effective representation whether within the state or national institution, must be bold and people oriented.

Currently, some leaders of the APC in the South-South and South-East zones of Nigeria have been blaming the electorates in those regions of the country for not voting massively for the APC ruling party, and therefore should not expect any substantial democratic dividend including key legislative offices from the ruling party. This presumption is antithetic to stabilized democratic polity.

One of the tenets of a free society is the ability of citizens to freely choose through voting, their preferred representative candidates. This free choice, is devoid of intimidation or coercion. And the result of this exercise whether favoring a party or not, cannot become a yardstick for a victorious party to victimize the voters who cast their votes based on their conscience and individual perspectives of the party or candidates of those parties. Therefore to conceive policies or strategies that will undermine the interest and the welfare of the so called"hardyvoters" are not acceptable in most civilized climes.

Intolerance of the winning party or vindication of its successful candidate against the group or people perceived to be on the wrong side of the administration in power, establishes reinforced intransigence and fosters disequilibrium and disdain of the ruling leadership. This malady again creates hostility and lack of support to the government in power.

Voters do have their conscience, and if the result of an election do not favor a political party, the best strategy for that political party is to design policies that will convince the people to embrace the party and its political leadership. Blaming the general population or punishing the people because they voted other-wise is counter-productive.

It is better and easier to convince the people to embrace your political party when they see and experience the track record of your party being manifested or clearly shown in the number of developmental achievements, such as health, education or infrastructural development that manifests in the lives of the generality of the people.

For a President, Governor or any elected official taking an umbrage on the people for not voting in that leader's expectation is like turning a flowing river to go up hill. In a democracy, leaders emerge by the will of the people which is by majority votes. But minorities within a democracies are not punished because they did not vote in certain direction. Sagacious political leaders know that power belongs to God, which is manifested in the people and election losers today, might become election winners tomorrow,

For APC leaders such as RotimiAmechi, RochasOkorocha and Orji UzorKalu to be blaming the South East voters for not giving President Buhari very high percentage vote, is not the best way to address the issue, rather they should strategize and encourage the ruling party to accelerate infrastructural and economic development of the area in order to get genuine support of the people.

As for the presidency of 2023, the South East as a zone in the six geo political regions of the country stands on a high moral ground to clinch the presidency before any other zone, because the region had been sidelined in the race of providing the presidency since the end of the civil war. Moreover as it noted, power belongs to God and He gives it to whom he wishes. Therefore presidential aspirants from this zone must begin to live above board, and be bold,and assertive, when speaking on national issues. These leaders must begin to build bridges carrying their people along and allaying the fears of other Nigerians to the fact that a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction will transform the nation, and fast track its development to join India, Korea and Singapore among other Newly Industrializing Countries (NICs) of the world

Anger and frustration as some leaders sometimes exhibit on their non-conforming constituents is not the right way. You need your political base as well as your friends across the nation to succeed.

Finally the acclaimed business, and 'can do spirit' of the Igbo man which has not been allowed to manifest at the highest level of leadership in the country, needs to be given a chance, and be tested. And until the Nigerian voters give this dream a chance, the country might continue to wobble. Our final thought on this matter is that every ethnic group in Nigeria has the potential to lead, and the moment all people are given the opportunity in an inclusive government, the better for the entire nation. Countrymen, the time to develop our nation is now. Let there be peace.

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