• Fri. May 24th, 2024


Apr 29, 2024


There is hardly any politically enlightened Nigerian that does not hold the view that the poor economic and political growth of the country is traceable to equally poor leadership. This is especially so since 1979 when the nation embraced the American presidential system of democratic governance. The type of government has not failed in the US since 1789 when George Washington became inaugurated as the first president of the country.

Unfortunately, Nigeria copied the American government pattern without taking into account the components that guaranteed its success. For instance, the Democratic National Committee, DNC was formed in 1848 alongside the Democratic Party. The committee’s responsibilities include the formulation of strategies to ensure, not only the victory of the party at the polls through credible party primaries for choosing credible candidates but also to assist towards making the people of the country feel the positive impact of the party, especially after winning elections.

By constitutional provisions, if the Democratic Party wins the presidential election, the committee submits itself to control from the white house through the president. The same rule applies to the Republican Party with its own Republican National Committee, RNC. In other words, political organs in the US are made to have bodies that moderate the activities of political party members with a view to making sure that they are on the same page at all times in terms of party manifestos, organisations, fund raisings for campaigns, discipline of erring members and so on and so forth.

This 175-year-old structure of the Democratic Party has remained in force till date. Having considered his experience as the former Chairman of the Democratic party of Southern Carolina, Biden nominated Jammie Harrison for the position of the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2021. This was accepted by members of the committee, who later elected him to that position. Needless to say, that since its formation, the Democratic Party has continued to alternate governance of the US with the Republican Party with members joining either of them based on ideological principles and beliefs.


However, political parties in Nigeria appear to be operating without ideological and administrative structures. And this has remained the bane of democratic leadership in the country. Apart from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP with board of trustees that can be likened to the DNC of America, all the other parties are run with political party election contestants acting mainly in manners that are at variance with their political parties’ principles. People with bourgeoisie characters defect to political parties with socialist-inclinations and vice versa with ease. This is very unhealthy for political growth and development.

Organisationally speaking, none of the opposition political groups seem formidable enough to wrestle power from the ruling All Progressives’ Congress, APC come 2027, assuming the party’s performance ends up abysmally after four years. Even the APC is not better off in this regard. Dr. Abdulahi Ganduje, its national chairman is currently battling to save himself from being jailed for money laundering accusations leveled against him by his successor as governor of Kano state. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of LP in the 2023 election conducts himself as if he is not yet a member of Labour Party, LP while Labour party and the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC act as though the Labour Party has not come to terms with Obi’s presence in the organisation despite his strong showing during the last presidential election.

In Rivers State, it is difficult to understand where the people stand in the nation’s political equation. The immediate past governor of the state, Nyesom Wike aligns his ideology with that of the party. But yet, he campaigned against its presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. He did not end there. Wike is presently seen more as the leader of APC in the same state, especially after his appointment as the minister of the Federal capital territory, FCT by president Ahmed Bola Tinubu who rose to power through a different platform and ideology. He has continued to torment his successor with various forms of threats that can best be taken to mean that he is set to work with the APC in 2027 against his party in the state.

For the records, the PDP performed fairly well when it held sway (1999 – 2015) mainly because of its robust structure with men like late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Barnabas Gemade, Chief Tony Anenih and others as BoT chairmen at one point or the other. The party’s fortune crashed when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president (1999 – 2007) refused or failed to sustain the leadership style of the party when he took over as the first former president to function as its chairman of Board of Trustees.

In the final analysis, Nigeria cannot be dreaming of credible democratic leadership when the leadership at the political parties’ level faulty. Parties cannot conduct primary elections characterized with irregularities and rancour and expect good governance.

Meanwhile, Politicians and Nigerians generally must learn from what has just happened in the Republic of Senegal where a presidential election was conducted with Faye Bassirou of the opposition wing winning it without court litigations from fellow contestants.

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