Will a Two-party System Improve Democracy and Devt?

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Although Nigeria practices a multi-party system in her current political structure, some analysts believe a strict two-party system with different ideologies can help strengthen democracy and also promote overall development. Their thinking is that the party in opposition will keep the ruling party on its toes and hold it accountable to the people with constant monitoring, shadow cabinets and shadow reports, to ensure the latter delivers the dividends of democracy, while citizens will be free to choose or belong to either party based on personal preference. Do you agree to this two-party suggestion? If not, what do you recommend?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* Ordinarily one would have answered in the affirmative to you question but my fear is, Nigeria seems to have practiced all forms of government and applied all sorts of economic plans. We have had different economic programmes and strategies, yet none appears to be working out. I am constrained to say Yes. I want to believe that if the country is restructured into geo-political/geographic zones, as has been the clamour in the past years, it will bring light at the end of the tunnel. Remember that pre/post-independence Nigeria flourished under regional structural arrangement.
– Mr. Okechukwu Ikonne, Ogbor Oke-Ovoro Mbaise, Imo State

* It is time for INEC to stop registering new political parties and to reduce the mushroom parties to two to save cost and have strong opposition party that would check the ruling party in terms of governance. Two-party system will end much about political violence during and after elections. Soon 2019 will come; let us try two-party system then and see. After all we have done it before in 1993 elections. God bless Nigeria.
– Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State

* In our country Nigeria, yes. But there are hurdles to cross as mentioned in your introduction, like tribalism, sectionalism and above all religion. If we may ask, what are the developed nations succeeding? Simply because they believe and see everyone as equal and created in God’s image. Today, the people who criticise PMB the most are the ones who were shouting Sai Baba at the top of their voices before. Why did PMB choose only people of his tribe and religion to be his inner caucus in the first place? This was so that no one can challenge his authority.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* For me, restricting the number of political parties goes against the principle of democracy by narrowing choice. However, more stringent criteria should be introduced to weed out mushroom parties to a manageable number. Too many parties are set up for selfish and undemocratic reasons. As for the growth of democracy and development, the (a) part of Proverbs 29:4 says, “By justice, a king gives a country stability”.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* Even if their ideologies appear similar, a two-party political system for Nigeria has more advantages than disadvantages. Such a system will reduce the waste of scarce resources and make the business of politics a serious one, not for charlatans and potential looters. A strong opposition party is the best check on an errant ruling party and periodic shadow reports from the opposition party’s shadow cabinet will put any ruling administration on alert to avoid losing the trust and confidence of the electorate, which may end up in loss of votes at the next election. Although politics breeds strange bed-fellows, those who want to hold public political office will have to come to terms and compromise on working together for the common good, under the same umbrella, despite religious, ethnic or social differences. This will be good for Nigeria’s democracy and development.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

* I am saying an emphatic ‘No’ to a two-party system in Nigeria. Our society has advanced beyond that point. We should run our democracy with maturity. In vibrant democratic climes, multi-party democracy is the norm. We simply need strong leadership that abides by the Constitution!
– Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R. Associates, Apo, Abuja

* Having a two-party system is long overdue to save cost. After all, IBB introduced two parties system and heaven didn’t fall before he left office. Multi-party system is wasting resources for some unproductive parties that cannot win election inspite of money given to them to campaign for elective positions. Two-party system will bring strong opposition party that will make the ruling party to sit up for good governance where they are doing badly. Let us try two-party system in 2018 general elections and see how it would work out.
– Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* Two-party system is well overdue in Nigeria. Advanced countries wisely rely on two-party system and are getting very highly positive dividends. Economic, social, political e.t.c. advantages like better finances, security management, peace, unity, growth, development e.t.c are genuine gains therefrom. Too many parties waste economic, time, energy and scarce resources and manipulate situations selfishly, and cause heinous violence too. These stampede the country variously. We must avoid factors that derail or truncate our collective progress variously.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* The system (two-party) can only bring dichotomy along religious line. During the military era they had wanted to try the system but people opposed it. Now, with Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and killing sprees here and there, politicians will find an easy way to disunite the country. No development will be achieved where disunity exists. Instead, corruption, along religious, tribal, ethnic or cabal groups will surface unabated. Senators and House of Representatives members cart away millions monthly while thousands of retirees earn less than N10,000 monthly as pension; after many years of meritorious selfless service to the country. Please think about this.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* Yes, I quite agree that a two-party system is obviously better as that will truly improve our democracy and development across board. Too many cooks, they say, spoil the broth because disunity, lack of patriotism, disaffection, lack of focus, revenge, inciting violence, lawlessness e.t.c. are common attributes of a numerous party system. Advanced countries are doing away with too many parties to enhance good governance, development, delivery of dividends of democracy and genuine focus e.t.c. Demands of plenty system is responsible for our politicians’ selfishness and corruption as they want to recover all their inputs, should they lose, at all cost; often resorting to gory violence. It is time to face reality.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos

* Although there is the ingenuity of the Nigerian system to make nonsense of viable systems that worked in saner climes, I want to be circumspect in subscribing to two-party system of government since most Nigerians do not have ideological bent. As a matter of fact, Nigerian politicians must begin to have a clear-cut ideology before we begin to talk of party systems.
– Mr. Jideofor Paul Amaechi, Dept. of Languages, FCT COE, Zuba, Abuja

THE FEEDBACK

Yes, it will: 7
No, it won’t: 1
Others: 3
Radical tip: Ideology first!
Total no of respondents: 11
Male: 9
Female: 2
Highest location: Lagos (4)

Next Week: What Are Your Year-end Devt Expectations?
As year 2016 ends this month, many Nigerians still have various expectations concerning the country’s development process. While some want a speedier implementation process on the 17 SDGs, others want to see a ‘sacred cow’ top public official move from awaiting trial to real prison term. Some want an end to the Executive-Legislature face-off while others want the Nigerian economy back on track. Yet others want reduced unemployment and others want a faster 2017 Budget process. To you, what are your 2016 year-end development expectations?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (December 1 & Monday, December 5) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, December 8