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Monday, 23 September 2013

Nigeria Politics 101

Until you understand fully how enlightened self interest can push politicians to take stands ordinarily they would not accept. And how the wisdom of staying in the corridors of power (or the gates of power) instead of the mansions of the powerless can go a long way into forcing political marriages of convenience.
Only then would it dawn on you that contrary to the assumptions most of us ordinary, uninformed, non politicians hold, these politicians think through every action before they stake their allegiance.

Recently several informed commentators, many of them with ears to the ground have been trying to unravel the real horsetrading that led to the emergence of the All Progressive Congress (APC). And what has led that party which started on a wobbly state to grow strong and stronger, while its perceived nemesis the PDP is growing weaker. Was it love for Nigeria or anger towards the PDP, or just the quest for power. This is because the APC as constituted has some of the strangest political bedfellows in the history of Nigeria.
And talking about history. This is the first time in the history of Nigeria that the map of political coalition is being drawn from the South West to the North. This two regions have never had any coalition and have never agreed in political principle before. What could be responsible for this. Is it that the South West has moved away from their progressive enclave, embracing conservatism towards the centre, or is it that the North is shirking its conservative garb to lean towards progressivism? Or better still, the two groups have lost their traditional ideological bases and embraced a hybrid political system known as Nigerianism, devoid of ideological leanings?
Since independence, we have witnessed a North and East political marriage of convenience. We had the NPC/NCNC after independence, we also had the NPN/NPP during the second republic. We have also had the NCNC/AG which led to the formation of UPGA,( a political arrangement many say was Nigeria's best opportunity to turn the fortunes of Nigeria for good, but was sacrificed on the alter of self.) but never a North/ West agreement.
To what extent can this new political alignment get to. Does it have what it will take to mount the quality opposition that is badly needed to strengthen this democratic experiment? Will efforts be made to make it more appealing to people outside this two regions especially the South East and the South South so it can have the spread needed to claim a national party status?
I still believe that the quality of our democracy will depend on the quality of democracy within the political parties.


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