Femi Ogbonnikan in Lagos
Against the backdrop of the newly registered five political parties by INEC during the week, the exercise has come under scathing criticism as it has been observed as a likely tendency to kill democracy in the nation’s polity.
Pioneer national chairman of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and the chairman, Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fasehun, at the weekend in Lagos, disclosed that the mothers of democracy, Great Britain, United States of America (USA) and France, where Nigeria copied its system of government from, do not practise multi-party system.
According to him, multi-party system will kill democracy, instead, it should encourage it.
“INEC, being a corrupt agency, registered some of them. There was a time INEC registered 40 political parties. So, essentially, multi-party system is not necessarily a democratic system”, said Fasehun.
On his involvement in the formation of a new party, Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), the OPC leader stated that the party has come into being, that it is not a new platform and it was registered to take part in the last 2015 general elections.
“I have sympathy for the GPN because I think the two major political parties (APC and PDP) in Nigeria have collapsed and you will require a middleman that will be truly democratic to save Nigeria from collapse.
“We have Orji Uzor Kalu, Donald Duke, Senator Joseph Waku, Mohammed Gwazo and a host of others at the first meeting. I was the only Yoruba person from the South-west. The GPN is not standing on rooftops, making unnecessary noises about who is there and who is not”, said the OPC leader.
On the calls for restructuring, Fasehun noted that if the country cannot run a truly federal system of government, that it is advisable to revisit the recommendations of the last national conference which a white paper is yet to be issued over it, and are gathering dust on the shelves, to re-emphasise positions of the various segments of the country, so that Nigeria can have a true Federal system.
“Agitation for a federal system is similar to agitation for true restructuring. I don’t think anybody has a right to pull Nigeria back. Lord Lugard who brought us together in 1914 and even made recommendations. He said Nigeria should be together for 100 years. In other words, we have passed that rope in 2014. 100 years over the bar recommended have matured. So, I don’t think anybody has a right to recommend a break-up now, until we do another 100 years. If we fail to do another 100 years and Nigeria fails to define a truly democratic restructuring then, we can break up.
“There is hardly any country in the world that does not have ethnic agitations. So, Nigeria is not in an embarrassing situation. It is what should happen in a country, that is fast growing”, said Fasehun.