APC is Not Serious at All, They have Left the Field for Jonathan -Prof.Akin Oyebode

Prof. Akin Oyebode, a Professor of International Law at the University of Lagos, UNILAG. He looks at 2015 and how APC is busy criticising TAN and the Presidency rather than conduct early primaries, and go ahead to present a formidable Presidential candidate with enough time to campaign before the elections:

The purpose of the opposition is to put the ruling party in check. But the opposition the APC has suffered a lot from defections. Do you think it has the capacity to keep the PDP in line in 2015?
I’m not a prophet. APC has suffered a lot of haemorrhage because of its failure to get its acts together. Ideologically, the APC looks confused. It looks like the PDP called by another name. There must be a clear-cut distinction between the ruling party and the opposition. In Nigeria now, it is quite easy to belong to one party in the morning, switch to another during lunch, and when you are having dinner, you change to another. 

Nigerians generally look at the personalities not the parties. They vote for persons. Look at a party like APC; five months to the presidential elections, there is no candidate. APC is not serious. A party that is formidable and credible should have presented Nigeria with an alternative candidate. The party has left the field for Jonathan.And if care is not taken, Jonathan will have a landslide return to Aso Rock, despite his lapses and ineffectiveness. 

People call him clueless. But Nigerians generally say clueless or no clueless, at least better the devil you know than the one you are yet to meet... 

The parties in opposition have not gotten their acts together. By now, we ought to have had a broad national democratic coalition. Not just the APC. You bring Accord, DPP, even APGA, so that you have a broad national coalition because of the elections. But there is nothing like that in the offing, and I am not sure in the political landscape whether we are going to have the type of thing we are talking about. It’s only five months left. Who is APC candidate? I don’t know the APC candidate. And I can’t vote for somebody I don’t know. What I am saying is that for us to have a virile democracy, as we say in Nigeria, there must be the opposition winning power.

Ghana has had it three times, that is why Ghanaian democracy is more robust, more thoroughbred and a wholesome experiment than Nigeria’s. In a place like Ghana, imperative of the right to choose is recognized. Where the people’s right to choose is foreclosed, you can’t talk of a democratic system. 

But we have to blame those who are in the opposition for failing to rise to the occasion. By default, the APC may lose the next presidential election. So, we are going to have more of the same, however optimistic they are, however, romanticizing their prospect. I am a realist and I am not impressed by the opposition, not because I admire the PDP either, because the PDP, for me, is an aggregation of incompatibles who just have one mission – to exploit Nigeria.

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