Waiting for Nigeria’s third political party
By Akpo Ometan
Given that the Nigerian constitution today only allows for political parties to be the vehicles through which intending office holders make their pitch for office, then the practical reality is that aspiring office holders must find and work through the political parties that are known to law.
At the moment in the country, the two dominant political parties are the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. However, there is widespread disaffection by the general public as to the ability of the two parties to solve the problems of the country.
Other political parties have been registered and are still in the process but more often than not, they barely scratch the surface of the votes roll. What this therefore requires is the imperative of pushing for a solid third party that can connect with the people at the base and drive strongly for electoral leverage and power. The country waits.
One of the challenges that has to be overcome by the third major party is finance. Nigeria is a large country and the political culture over the years has been heavily monetised. But that should not detain a properly programmed and trusted band of political mobilisers as long as they have street credibility, basic goodwill and solid organisational acumen. After all, in this same nation, aspirants that had no shoes growing up or could not afford to personally pay for their nomination forms, have been sworn into office. There is really nothing stopping the third major party but itself.
So the party has to come down and rigorously assess what it is bringing to the table. It must run with ideas. It must insist on credibility. It must identify with the people and be their champion. It must be their party. That is the way it will then be trusted. And accepted.
INEC Chairman, Professor Yakubu