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Party loyalty, national unity in Nigerian politics

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CONFLICTING interests had been a big challenge to man but falling short of sagacity in final choice commits him permanently into prison of his own conscience. Nigeria country had seen much if not all from her political custodians- the political elites and politicians in the battle for supreme control of state power using political party platform to drive their ambition.

Party politicking is an integral part of a political culture and countries like Nigeria and others with trait of democracy cannot deny the essence of political parties in their overall governance system. The headache is; inability of the politicians to draw a line between what stands as parochial interest against national interest once a certain political party gets hold of the realm of power.

George Washington’s popularity as  former American president endures into  time and not many in this generation can easily tell the party he belonged. Mahatma Ghandi envisioned a great India free from western influence but not hinged on party delineations. Back in Africa, Kwame Nkrumah will forever be remembered in Ghana not because his party dominated rule in the old Gold Coast but for leading Ghana away from colonial grip to economic prosperity. Though in South Africa, Nelson Mandela used African National Congress (ANC), as a platform to breakdown the strangle hold of apartheid, his’ was more of a movement calling for black’s unity in the struggle to dismantle apartheid in the Orange country than pure partisan politicking.  His ideologies remain beacon of light not only to South Africa but African continent and the rest of the world. Since his exit from power and eventual death, the same ANC party under Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and currently Ramaphosa leaderships has put the country in nothing less than  reverse journey from hope to despair.

Apparently, while some of these great men may have risen to power through party platforms, they moved beyond party lines to engage in the task of national development. The successes they recorded launched them into immortal fame in history.

In Nigeria today, priority in governance policies has been circumvented to first meet needs along party lines before any consideration of national interests. The Rochas Okorocha, Uche Nwosu on one part and National Chairman, APC, Adams Oshiomohle and Imo citizens on another part saga, during the APC guber primaries including post gubernatorial election face off between APC’s leaderships and Okorocha exposed serious flaws in political behaviours of some Nigerian politicians and questions whether their loyalty lies to their party or state.

The shutting out of lawmakers from the National Assembly chambers by lawless security personnel acting the script of party lampooned the level of compromise patriotism has gone for political gains. The Wike, Amaechi battles of Rivers State’s control that has cost loss of lives and destroyed hard built infrastructure in the process, while political actors from both sides of the divide applaud their victories at the expense of state development.

No more than national disgrace could be borne than the prolonged insurgency in the north that had cost so many lives and property. Such internal conflict claiming both civilian lives and that of fine officers of the Nigerian military who should ordinarily engage in fighting off external aggressions against the country is a spat on our national values and shame to political class that sparked this conflagration with no ideas how to quench it.

Currently, Nigeria is in a new democratic phase with President Muhammadu Buhari taking off his second term with new ministerial appointments. The ministers designate who had been engaged a 2-day ministerial retreat aimed at building a strong platform for synergy and teamwork, acquainting the appointees with roadmap for delivery of government’s priorities and next level agenda, 2019-2023; a programme that ended yesterday.

The critical questions are, who has the interests of Nigeria at heart than the lucres of power and easy wealth amongst them? Can citizens hope for anything different?

The optimists would say yes and indeed nothing is wrong with positive dispositions, especially, given the president’s hopeful directive. “Honourable Ministers- designate, you will be responsible for the implementation of various programmes and policies in your various ministries.” The difficult poser still remains ‘what new to expect with a number of names in the current cabinet list  still coming from the first term team list.  Not that there is anything bad with second call. In fact, it facilitates bringing experience to bear in the business of governance. But, If the current state of the country as it affects ordinary Nigerian is all what they can offer in the past four years, what magic still remains in their kitty to deliver on their expectations in the next four years?

This group of people in the government team should first of all understand the inherent benefit in teamwork, learn to take responsibilities. They should exhibit magnanimity in keeping with their primary assignment of serving the country than running the party’s errand alone.

Invariably, the ministers designate and all other members of the government’s cabinet should see the business of governance as a collective task than partisan show of power. The president seems to understand this more clearly with this charge, “you’re in office to assist and advise the president in running the affairs of Nigeria. A great privilege to be called to serve and you must grasp the chance with two hands and put in your best efforts.”

Government earns respect of the masses when its  policies reflect the wishes and aspirations of the common people. Given that these ordinary masses constitute majority of the total population in the demography.

The ruling party should be ready to separate party programmes with that of national government. The idea of party leadership meddling with state policies should be done away with for more effective development strides anchored on synergy. Nigerians are not interested any more on which party rules the country for the next 16 or 60 years, what they are interested in is who will lead them out of the trajectories of hunger and extreme poverty.

It will mean very little for any party to fly its flag in show of raw power while lowering the national flag through the promotion of backwardness. The Nigerian politicians should be losing weight thinking on how to salvage the country and put it on observable growing path. Only viable policies from the executive and good understanding of policy- direction of the government can change the dark clouds overwhelming the sociopolitical climes.

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