Tinubu's Appointments: The Risks Of Party-Based Government of National Unity.


Against the backdrop of a general perception of the good that government of national unity portends, it has inherent within it slippery peels. It is more like the proverbial Greek trojan horse.

On the one hand, government of national unity is usually appealing in Parliamentary democratic set ups across the world, because of the way the Parliament is structured to override the Executives. Actually, in Parliamentary democratic system, the authority lies in the Parliament. Not the Executive arm. That is why a simple "Vote of no Confidence" usually leads to early resignation of the Prime Minister, and followed by snap or general elections.

But the dynamics are quite different in Presidential democratic system. The authority of State resides with the Executive arm. And elections are at known intervals. In our own situation, four yearly. This is what Nigeria currently practices. It is the major reason why government of national unity based on Opposition parties is utterly a no no for the health of our government, party and nation.

With the heterogenous nature of our country and citizens, we have often taunted the ideas of government of national unity without actually distinguishing which we meant to refer to. Or better still, confused it with the involvement of opposition parties in the incoming government. This issue has gained serious traction within public and media spaces recently, as we all await President Tinubu to form his government. I dare to safely assume that, what Tinubu actually intended when he spoke of a government of national competence, is not to imply the bringing of people from other opposition parties to run his APC government. This suffices to equally safely adduce that, what he meant is to bring competent Nigerians of all ethnic considerations and religious or ideological leanings into his government as long as you have the intellectual capacity and political experience to bring value to the affairs of the State under his leadership.

Permit me to escalate this issue briefly, to bring to the fore why it has become a public notion amongst Nigerians that President Tinubu will be involving the opposition. It is basically against the backdrop of the roles played by the G5 Governors led by former Governor Nyesom Wike in our victory. Also contributing to this general perception, is the anticipated cooperative role from Kwankwaso and NNPP. It is another factor that has fueled this clamour. Let me proceed to demystify this issue.

Presidential democracy is basically competitive and tenured in nature. It is based on an "all or none law". Sort of winner takes all approach or mentality. But before you conclude, there is a reason why it is so. And these reasons sharply account for why government of national unity, based on political parties, is not the way to go.

Firstly, every political party within a Presidential Democratic system is wired on a different ideological strand, thus basically aiming to frustrate the ruling government by presenting a different alternative to the people. Never seeing anything good in the government of the day is like the creed and call to duty of opposition parties. This means that they will not support all or most policies of the current government. They will mobilize the people to see your government in bad light at all cost. And in this direction, the media comes very handy. We saw its climax in the Buhari days from the PDP and other opposition parties.

Secondly, they will never bring their best ideas to the table to help you. This is because they weren't formed to advance your own cause or interests, but that of their own political parties and leaders. When you manage to succeed as a government at the end of the day- that is if they allow you, the President and his team or our party cannot claim the glory of our government's achievements solely, as they would always emphasize and make the public case, that their ideas too was what you used. In essence, we will have to share our glories with them.

On the flip side, such a system or government breeds a seething resentment amongst loyal Party men, eggheads and technocrats who would feel sidelined after working so hard to deliver victory ab-initio. These party faithfuls will nurse their hurts and fold their hands by the sidelines in the next elections. It usually leads to anti party activities within the ranks and files of the party in the next cycles of election. This rebellion or revolt could deplete the fortunes of the ruling party and sitting President no doubt.

Let us not take the fundamental flaw of the arrangement of government of national unity for granted; which is that you can never trust the opposition, their intentions and leaders. No matter how cooperative they may seem, they will come into your sphere, understand you from within, corrupt your ideas, loyal men and plans if given the opportunity, and finally defeat you or undermine your success in the next elections. Let us use the last National Assembly leadership election as an example to buttress this point further. 

In the negotiations preceding the election of the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, it was not news that President Tinubu continued to make overtures to Kwankwaso and his NNPP Senators. He even had series of meeting with Tinubu on this and other broader issues within and outside the country. What happened at the end of the day is the first betrayal I hope was not lost on our President and party leaders; all Kwankwaso/NNPP Senators voted for Senator YARI as against the entrenched position of our President Tinubu and APC for Akpabio to emerge. Also not to lose sight of, is the witch-hunting of APC loyalists in Kano and vindictive demolitions of structures purported to have links with former Governor Ganduje, who is a core loyalist of President Tinubu, whose critical role in winning us almost a million vote in the Presidential election is publicly documented. This ruthless vendetta at such an early stage is a grave warning and disrespect to our President Tinubu from the Kwankwaso and NNPP camp. Are these the kinds of persons and party we are even considering to harbour in a government of national unity?

This is a clear affront and early warning sign to H.E President Tinubu, whom as an experienced leader understands that, there is no way to find the mind's constructions on the face, according to William Shakespare, except in the actions of men. This first realization should make it clear that we must be careful with the idea of government of national unity with respect to incorporating opposition parties. This can be done to involve all component Units of Nigeria no doubt, but not by incorporating other opposition political parties-whom definitely have their own designs-into the scheme of things and our folds. 

Any opposition party or opposition political leader who actually wishes or deserves to work with our President in the government should be asked to first resign from his current party and decamp into the APC, to be so recognized and appointed. We cannot take chances on this critical matter in the formation of President Tinubu's Cabinet and other appointments consideration.

The truth is that we have all the eggheads needed to reengineer and turn around Nigeria within the APC fold. It is us that understand the ideal Progressive values. It is us loyal party men that have toiled over time in the trenches, since the AC/ACN/APC days, who actually understand the fundamental principles that wrought our political party into existence. It is us who should be at the forefront to execute the egalitarian society so conceived around these ideals and principles, as rightly espoused by our Renewed Hope contract with the Nigerian Citizens. Looking beyond us and our party to recruit persons outside the APC will be the first seed that may sew our future troubles. Obviously, we believe in the sacred wisdom of our dear President Tinubu and other party leaders to guide us through this urgent issue of national and party importance. On this trajectory, we cannot fail nor falter. 


Former member of APC PCC, ICC 2023 and 
National Coordinator, TINUBU DOOR-2-DOOR AMBASSADORS TD-DA writes from Abuja


@ asipita_muluku

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