Anyone with a cursory understanding of Nigerian politics knows that Nigeria is yet to have a viable opposition party. Since the return to democracy in 1999, the prominent opposition parties have either been established by individuals who see politics as a vehicle to attain power, or by individuals who are spurred by a sense of duty but lack the necessary savvy to survive in a corrupt country like Nigeria. At present Nigeria has over 50 dormant and semi-dormant political parties that suddenly become active when elections are around the corner.
Some of these parties do not have offices or even an official presence in the local governments and at the grassroots where their impact should be felt. Instead, they only have a presence in the nation’s capital, Abuja. Some of these mushroom parties are so terrible, they are literally a one-man establishment founded to create the illusion of a robust opposition against the ruling party.
The ongoing crisis in the Accord party is one that has exposed the imbalance and impunity in these political parties. The Accord Party in the South West (with the exception of Oyo) has called for the removal of its National Chairman for two grievous reasons. One, the Chairman unilaterally took the National Assembly to court without recourse to other members of the party. It also alleged that the National Chairman received money from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to pay the rent of the party’s national headquarters which should have been the sole responsibility of party members.
These two accusations are threatening the continued progress of the party. It also shows how shallow the party’s actual organisational structure and financing is. If Accord Party is being indirectly financed by the APC, what’s the assurance that the APC will not influence the party’s decision during elections?
This among others has hampered the growth of opposition politics in Nigeria. The situation in Accord exists in other parties too. INEC is advised to look into this issue and take the necessary step to save these parties from serving as an extension of the ruling parties to help salvage the nation.