The 10th National Assembly: What The APC Must Do

The 10th National Assembly: What The APC Must Do

By: Mazi Ejimofor Opara

Minority is the spice of democracy, as their say provides dimensions that shape the polity in ways that ensure socio-political equilibrium. More often than not, minority views are treated as ills coming from angstful persons who are constantly distraught by the system they wish were under their control. True as this may appear, it is not exactly the whole picture of minority representation in a democracy. Minority is a reminder that power is an oscillating pendulum that swings back and forth no matter how slowly, power cannot keep a constant direction at all times. Thus, a minority opinion today, can become the meta trend tomorrow.

The President himself (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) is a perfect exemplar of the diffusive nature of power especially for one who stays true to the course without caving in to the political rave of the moment. Having spent his first decade in post-military Nigeria political circle in opposition, or if you like, minority politics, he is not the class of President who should be taught “minority management” in politics. Again, I must State, not all political minorities are political oppositions. However, a political minority can for reasons related to unabated political strain be radicalized to a fierce opposition that may eventually stand up to the power juggernaut irrespective of how powerful it may appear.

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These facts are time tested, and those who know how to deploy facts would agree with me that in consolidating power, it is easier when minority interests are catered for. In this instance, power sharing against the minority should strictly be hinged on divergence, and not malicious intentions that accentuate our fault lines. This is where inclusivity comes to bare as a prime political formulae for nation building.

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The southeast within the closer APC political consideration stands as a minority in spite of her place as an important strand of the Nigerian tripod. This should, however, not be the case if our understanding of minority is divergence and not opposition. Regardless of the political choices of the region, it is important that the interest of over 60 million Igbos scattered across the country be protected and projected in the spirit of political inclusion.

The decision to zone Principal offices of the National Assembly in ways that suggest the marginalization of 60 million Igbo Nigerians is in bad taste and does not deserve the support of any pan Nigerian thinker. While the Southeast is relegated to the Deputy Speakership position, the Northwest has been tipped for the Speakership of the 10th Federal House of Representatives and the Deputy Senate President of the 10th Senate. There is no better way of denying the “minority” their way and their say within a Political party that supposedly places National interest above political patronage.

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I see a good opportunity for National cohesion and healing being, yet again, frittered away on the alter of political correctness. Nigeria and our governance structure must be seen to be above board, as every national party must strive to represent and put the National interest forward. My thesis is that the 10th National Assembly be allowed to rise up to the occasion at this critical time in our history. The APC should show some sensitivity, however underserving, to critical issues of inclusion and establish itself as a true Progressive party.

Mazi Ejimofor Opara is the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)

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