Election is the procedure that allows members of an organization or community to choose representatives who will hold positions of authority within it. The most important elections select the leaders of local, state, and national governments. The chance to decide who will govern at these levels serves as an opportunity for the public to make choices about the policies, programs, and future directions of government action.
In Nigeria, reverse is the case as the last election in 2011 was characterized with violence. Crisis arose because the people believed the elections were rigged. They “emanated from cooked figures for Jonathan from Kaduna as well as announcement of rigged elections from South giving PDP illegal majority”
There was an high rate of crises in the northern part of Nigeria as cars were being burnt in Jos and Kaduna while a Police Station was burnt in Bauchi Road, in Jos. In Kano, a house belonging to the former Speaker of the House of Representatives was burnt. In Kaduna Gidan Gayu Police Station was razed by fire including Mr Biggs bye-pass. In Yola, a crowd of mostly young men besieged traders at the Jimeta modern market to indicate their displeasure, burning posters of Mr Jonathan and that of the Adamawa state governor, Murtala Nyako as they also took to the street chanting, Buhari “mu ke so, ba mu so hanni.” This means ‘it is Buhari we want, we don’t want an unbeliever.’ Buhari protesters “do not believe the election conducted was fair as a result of that, they started the crisis which was later calmed by Operetion Starau afer the governor of the state declared a curfew immediately”. Properties worth several hundred thousand of naira are estimated to have been lost, as arsonist touched properties in the wake of the protest. All these crises sprigged-up as a result of the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan under a political party called The Peoples Democratic Party (P.D.P).
Nan Ball sees political parties by their common aim and objectives. He sees political party either single or incorporation with other political parties. Formation of political alliances in Nigeria resembles every fine idea that has been mooted in this land – usually they’re fine on paper but weak at execution and implementation. Good ideas in Nigeria, as if we are cursed, usually end with predictable result of pitiable failures. Vision 2020 sounds good – visionary, radical and progressive in concept and on paper but we are weak at implementation.
Since the colonial epoch to date, Nigeria has adopted the multi-party system. The multi-party system allows more than two political parties to operate in political democracy. It is on record that the first attempt to impose a two-party system on the polity by the General Ibrahim Babangida military regime failed woefully with the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election. Nigeria’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious frameworks scientifically support multi-party system. Since the politics of the Fourth Republic jumpstarted, multi-partism has grown a great deal. Starting with three political parties in 1998, today, there are well over political parties in the country. However, this large sum of parties has not helped the course of democracy as anticipated. Rather, most of the parties have been identified corrupt practices. However, majority of them are not operational, and have since gone to sleep.
The last time Nigeria tried a two-party political set up, it worked. The last time Ghana tried a two party system; it worked and is still working.
The United Kingdom has almost forever lived with same, while the United States and France are the two other countries that have institutionalized the two strong political party system. In all the countries mentioned above, it does not absolutely mean that there do not exist other extreme political parties or independent candidacies. Far from it, in the places we are talking about, the appearance of two-party political set up happened by evolution. It could happen here whether tribally, regionally or religiously motivated.
For vision 20: 2020 to make a difference in Nigeria’s quest for socio-economic and political development, the political parties in the country should reinvent themselves. Severe parties whether in power or not must begin to fine their ideologies for national development, fine-tuned their manifestoes and party programmes just like the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Manifestoes and Party programmes must be instruments of mobilization. Parties that are unable to survive with the task of ideological and responsible national politics can as well disband into more serious parties and they should all be limited to two. We want to see parties that will campaign around issues of fiscal federalism, federalism where power is devolve from the centre to the units, issues of the national question and how to resolve the internal contradictions. Parties with responsible and responsive foreign policy ideas, national defence and internal security ideas should begin to emerge in the national scene and be given the mandate to rule as February 2015 election may be answer to change we have all been waiting for. This is imperative for vision 20: 2020 to have a head-start in societal advancement.
AKINFOLARIN AKINWALE V.