The decision of four opposition political parties to fuse into the newly named All Peoples Congress, APC, which hopes to rescue the nation from descending into a one-party state ruled by the behemoth Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is heartening.
The formation of the new party, following a meeting by ten states governors of the various coalescing parties, namely the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, more than anything else, showed a semblance of seriousness and determination by them this time.
It is also noteworthy that their effort has a national outlook, with representation from different regions of the country. As stated in their communiqué, the governors, through Kashim Shettima of Borno State, said “having reviewed the situation in our country, we resolved that to rescue Nigeria is a task that must be done”.
Since the return to civil rule in 1999, our political history is replete with such mergers that was later torn asunder by unnecessary ego-tripping and disagreements over allocation of political offices. An instance was the unsuccessful merger of the ACN and CPC before the 2011 presidential election.
Many change-seeking Nigerians have long looked forward to a fruitful merging of political parties, with clear-cut vision to liberate the country from the shenanigans of the ruling party at the centre and offer a veritable alternative for socio-economic and political developments.
The idiosyncrasies of Nigerian politicians, which unmistakably are usually self-serving and narrow, give many a cause for concern. Since the black pot is familiar with the soot, the derision by the leviathan PDP regarding the merger is quite understandable.
It is therefore left for the opposition APC to shrug off the cynicism and give Nigerians a veritable alternative. Sadly, no political party since the defunct First Republic had any distinct ideological leaning or sustainable programmes for development. We believe that a virile opposition is the beauty of democracy. Rather than engage in name-calling, pettiness and unnecessary exchange of vitriol with the PDP, they should tackle the ruling party in a constructive criticisms and in a manner that gives the people positive options to what PDP has been offering since 1999.