Have you wondered why the business of corn roasting gradually disappeared from major highways and streets in the country?
What about fruits like mangoes, cashews, pears, guavas and other vegetables that are only available at certain time of the season.
The availability of the above mentioned crops are seasonal because they can not be preserved or hoarded so as to enable an all-season availability. Suffix to say that they are majorly perishables that are grown during the raining seasons and harvested before the advent of dry season.
When various opposition political parties on several occasions attempted, though unsuccessfully, to unseat the then ruling PDP in the country, they went into merger and came up with the party APC, that eventually unseated the then complacent ruling party.
The formation of APC(a party made up of many mushroom political parties) made several PDP led state governments to buckle up and kept them on their toes as they were bombarded with both constructive and ‘destructive’ criticisms.
However, the reverse is the case in Enugu state as the party has made itself look more or less like a seasonal political party that comes alive only during the season of elections and electioneering.
While the PDP led state governments of the state has continued to wobble and fumble in her act of governance, one would have expected a vibrant and issue based politicking from the APC. But no!! They have all gone into hibernation.
The last general election brought to the fore, the fact that some of the acclaimed party faithfuls and candidates of the APC are nothing but core businessmen solely out for profit maximization. This they manifested in their lacklustre approach to the campaigns and run up to the election. While the few with genuine intent put up spirited efforts during the campaigns, others had theirs cut shot by the court allegedly engineered by the the state government.
Others who, from their countenance and general conduct never genuinely intended to vie for political office under the APC, sat back and had their eyes fixated on the party’s campaign funds. The poo literally hit the ceiling when the leadership of the two warring factions fought over who controls the presidential campaign funds.
Is it not a mockery of opposition politics that since the end of last election, no statement has been issued both from the two factions that are laying claims to the party leadership in the state?
One would have expected an intensified criticisms on the backdrop of the insecurity that have been ravaging the state.
One would have expected total condemnation over the ruling party’s palpable knack for loans and indebtedness to the dying pensioners.
A vibrant opposition party keeps the ruling party on its toes and in so doing, convince the electorates that they have a better goodies to offer the masses.
An Indian politician Amartya Sen said : “Famines are easy to prevent if there is a serious effort to do so, and a democratic government, facing elections and criticisms from opposition parties and independent newspapers, cannot help but make such an effort.
Not surprisingly, while India continued to have famines under British rule right up to independence… they disappeared suddenly with the establishment of a multiparty democracy and… a free press and an active political opposition constitute the best early-warning system a country threaten by famines can have.”
It’s regrettable that to the APC in Enugu state, opposition comes into play only during election and campaign periods.
They have now gone dormant to ‘reactivate’ few months to the next election.
Then you will witness yet another fire brigade approach to campaigns.
Party offices will be dusted and repainted and cobwebs removed from leaders portraits. They are the proverbial crops that come alive only during it’s season. They have successfully made themselves appear opportunistic in the sense that they want to reap where they didn’t sow.
The PDP at federal level despite losing the election has been unrelenting in their business of opposition politics.
But I’m optimistic that a rebirth of opposition politics in the state is underway. Opposition isn’t entirely meant to unseat the ruling party, but to help ensure the availability of good governance to the masses.
Odoh Ugochukwu writes from Enugu Ezike.