All over the world, the preference for either two-party or multi-party system over one-party system is hinged on the necessity of opposition parties as catalysts for good governance in any given democratic setting.
Apart from serving as an alternative platform for acquisition of political power, the basic roles of the opposition in a democracy are to cooperate with a focused administration or ruling party in the delivery of good governance to the citizenry; and to prevent a ruling party from derailing or straying away from its mandate of delivering good governance to the people.
The implication of the foregoing is that the tools of the opposition in any given political setting are cooperation, constructive criticism and other lawful methods provided by the constitution.
The impact of the cooperation of the opposition as necessary performance-enhancement fillip was witnessed in the effective handling of the economic meltdown which occurred in America during the administration of President Bill Clinton; and lately in the efforts of the Buhari administration to win the terror war being fought in the North- East of Nigeria!
In the other clime, the results of the recent Brexit polls in Britain as well as the composition of the leadership of the 8th session of the National Assembly in Nigeria are instances of how the opposition can restrain a straying ruling party through lawful or constitutional methods.
In Ebonyi State, the inauguration of the David Nweze Umahi’s administration on May 29, 2015 coincided with the onset of the most inclement economic weather in the history of Ebonyi State, nay Nigeria.
The situation was one that reduced the hope of payment of wage or workers’ salaries to a mirage and the promises of capital projects to mere fantasy.
Umahi as a realist engaged the labour unions in Ebonyi in a roundtable discussion. An agreement was reached to bring the labour wages which were foisted on the new administra tion through political vendetta within the realm of feasibility to enable Umahi to do the projects he promised Ebonyi people.
The Divine Mandate administration of Governor Umahi hit the ground running investing every joule of its energy, the comfort of its top functionaries and every resource at its disposal in Umahi’s avowed bid to develop Ebonyi, a state where every sector competed for priority attention.
The result of the unsparing focus and commitment of Umahi administration to the delivery of good governance to Ebonyi people was that during his first 100 days in office, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. David Babachir Lawal, accompanied by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the national level as well as the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State, Hon. Ben Nwobashi, took a project inspection tour of Ebonyi State. In a frank confession, the SGF invited other governors to emulate Umahi’s style of delivering good governance.
At other subsequent project tours, other chieftains of APC at the federal level like the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole; and apolitical professionals like the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Assistant Inspector- General of Police in charge of zone 6 et cetera have continued to pour encomia on Umahi for the exceptional transformations witnessed in the road, agricultural, health, general infrastructure, economic, security, and other sectors which have turned Ebonyi State into tourists’ as well as investors’ destinations!
In like manner, Umahi had, at various fora, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the successes in the terror war, transparency, agricultural revolution etc.
I have refreshed our memories with the above instances to demonstrate that in the face of good governance as we have in Ebonyi under Umahi, the ideal role of the opposition is to cooperate with the ruling party to enable the government to consolidate on its achievements for the benefit of the masses which should be the paramount interest of every politician or political party.
At this juncture, it suffices to say that the reinvention of the blackmail industry in Ebonyi State by elements of a splinter group of the opposition APC led by one Eze Nwachukwu is both unpatriotic and condemnable.
They have penchant for denigrating APC leaders at national and state levels as well as federal government officials whose offences were that they commended the good projects of Umahi in Ebonyi.
It is unfair for APC leaders to post photoshopped pictures of footpaths and bamboo bridges in Ichele, Ado and Etenyi all in Benue State on the Internet and label them as “Roads in Ebonyi state” while they drive through and savour the well-paved concrete, illuminated and secured roads built by Umahi under the most inclement economic weather in the history of the state.
The veiled intention of some APC leaders to discredit the on-going democratisation of the local government system in Ebonyi under the pretext that the state legislature did not subject the bill for the amendment of Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission law to public hearing is an infantile lie which should be totally ignored.
The truth is that the invitation to the public hearing on the bill was well advertised on notice boards, through electronic media and escalated through various social media platforms. I was present during the well-attended public hearing which followed the constitutional procedures.
Anyone who has problems with the law should seek redress at the law courts and not on media platforms. From all indications, it is certain that in about two years in office, the administration of Umahi has through its people-centred policies, actions and projects distinguished the governor as a man who sought and acquired political power for the purpose of doing good to his people; vindicated his supporters; and earned Umahi commendations from even the opposition in Ebonyi State and the APC-led Federal Government.
•Eze is the Technical Assistant to the Governor of Ebonyi State on Social Media.