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Capacity And Leadership: Factors Behind The Slippery Political Path To 2023 In Nigeria

The Oasis Reporters

August 16, 2021

By Col. Gora Albehu Dauda (rtd)

The prognosis does not appear to inspire hope as the journey to 2023 begins. Dark ominous clouds are hanging very low and a storm also appears to be building as the winds are beginning to blow while gathering speed. The possibility of a violent tsunami cannot be dismissed as we trudge on towards 2023.

The dramatis personae are very much like identical twins. One of the twins, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP held political power for 16 of the 60 years she had deluded herself to hold power but then the internal contradictions within PDP informed a series of defections to the APC.

The APC went on to wrestle power and we are now over 6 years into the APC era. The truth remains that nothing essentially is any different between the 2 political parties for it was actually not new bottles accommodating new wines but old wines in what looked like new bottles which have now been proven to have been old therefore those who expected change of any kind have largely been left disappointed.

At the center of all the crises in the 2 political contraptions moving around in the toga and garb of political parties is the quality of LEADERSHIP. Leadership means many things to many folks therefore they apply different standards to assessing it.

To some of us, leadership is about capacity, charisma and much more importantly, the ability to produce results favourable to the Party. The old thinking that those in leadership positions have held tenaciously to the belief that they are in office for 2 terms whether they are able to deliver or not is the wrongest of thoughts ever.

What is the justification for remaining in a position when clearly one has failed? If some of these characters have anything called self pride or love for their political parties, such on their own without being prodded, should have thrown in the towel for the party to move on.

But no, they will not choose that path of HONOUR. They will rather remain until they have rocked the party long enough, as to ensure that huge gullies and not cracks have developed enough to weaken the party.

Some of these characters are ready to go before the Courts to defend their right to remain in their positions even without any record of performance.

Surely the Constitutions may not have intended that office holders remain in their positions even if the political party failed to perform during elections. The Constitutions of the political parties must come clean to state that the moment any leadership fails in an election, such a leadership must resign otherwise they will continue advancing the argument that they have not expended their term. Remaining in a political office in my humble view should be conditional, based on delivering constituencies during elections.

I heard during an AIT television chat where a staunch supporter of the National Chairman of the main opposition political party mounted a strong defence of that Chairman who is determined to remain in his position in spite of a record of failures during his watch. With such an attitude, how can such an opposition party led by a failed leadership, wrestle power from the political party in power. It has been so embarrassing that without going to the polls the main opposition political party has lost 3 State governors who defected to the party in power.

Surely such an embarrassing development could not have been possible under a good and effective leader. How can it possibly be explained away?

This position is not only peculiar to the National Political Party Chairmen as the same sit-tight virus has been transmitted down to the States and further down the line to the Wards. In the case of the opposition party under focus, executive positions are held as if they are the personal estates of the individuals holding them. Illegalities unimaginable are being orchestrated to ensure they hold on to power even if against the wishes of party members.

In Kaduna State for example, the old war horses will not mind if the opposition party scatters unless and until they continue to hold on to their positions. At the highest level the Chairman of the main opposition political party has technically been a stooge of a former Caretaker Chairman, always ready to do his bidding which is why the party lost power in the State. If things do not change, and quickly, I am afraid if the opposition stands a chance of regaining power if elections do hold in 2023.

The fact remains that no individual no matter how affluent can ever be bigger than a political party. Sadly in Nigeria some of these selfish individuals are carrying themselves about as such. The political parties have therefore been pocketed by these individuals who delight in turbaning Excos to do their biddings. When the tide of politics fails to flow in their direction, they quickly migrate to another political party.

For some time now talks of forming a new political party have been thick in the air but no such thinking has brought any such political party to light. The fear remains that even if a new political party was formed, it will be peopled by the same individuals responsible for failure elsewhere. The tale of resistance to change also afflicts the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC which is why the goal post is serially changed at the convenience of the party bigwigs.

Nothing is sacrosanct in the politics of Nigeria which is why the country is adrift for lack of a purposeful and focused leadership. The road to 2023 for all intents and purposes is therefore as slippery as ever. If the myriad of problems afflicting the political parties are successfully resolved without much acrimony, then 2023 could still be a possibility otherwise I see a cataclysmic implosion within the political platforms in which case the thought of 2023 may well be just a dream.

Written by Col. Gora Albehu Dauda (rtd).

Col. Dauda writes from Kaduna, north west Nigeria.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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