Will there be another merger of political parties in 2023?


By Muazu Muazu

The reality in Nigeria today is that we do not have a normal party system. Things are becoming dissimilar and our politicians keep changing their attitudes and behaviors. What we are seeing today are notorious and tarnished political parties. Thus, 2023 would be an acid test for the political parties and the politicians.

Our political parties and those who claim to be leading us have failed woefully to adhere to democratic principles but surrender to the whimsical needs of tainted situations. Our political parties are not bothered by the upsurge or barrage of criticisms by the masses. The belief is that a leopard will never change its spots.

The defection of the three giant politicians- Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and Senator Bukola Saraki before the 2019 general elections as well as the recent defection of Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, from APC to PDP, as well as his counterpart of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, from PDP to APC, are events of interest in the history of Nigerian politics.

Since the return of democracy from 1999 to date, another real politics would be played in 2023 elections. The last time a dramatic politics was played dated back to the Obasanjo’s third term attempt that was jettisoned, dumped, and eventually killed in 2007. A similar intriguing politics was also played in 2015, when an incumbent president lost the election for the first time in Nigeria.

A one-party system or rule in politics is a great danger to democracy. It portends hiccups, pitfalls,  dangers, and problems. This is why after 16 years of PDP dominance in Nigerian politics, the formation of another mega opposition party was welcomed in 2013. It is healthy for a democracy to have a strong opposition. And that was what brought down the PDP then.

In November 2013, five governors from the G7opted to join APC, which posed the biggest threat to the ruling party PDP. The five governors who were at loggerheads with PDP leadership crossed the rubicon after prolonged deliberations and consultations. The governors were Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano state, Murtala Inyako of Adamawa state, Rotimi Amechi of Rivers State, and Abdulfatah Ahmad of Kwara state. Even before the merger that gave birth to APC, the governors had demonstrated their opposition to overbearing practices in the PDP, under the appellation New PDP (nPDP) headed by Abubakar Baraje.

Recently, the deputy governor of Ondo state defected to the PDP. Another PDP member in the Senate, Senator Elisha Isyaku Abbo, also defected to the ruling APC. The lingering APC crisis that snowballed and culminated with the dissolution of the National Working Committee by the National Executive Committee is quite perilous to the ruling party. We look forward to seeing what will happen before the party’s convention and beyond. Also, the hidden agenda and the sealed deal reached between Mr. Buhari and the Jagaban seem not to be feasible considering the unfolding situation at the moment.

The last elections of Edo and Ondo states were litmus tests to the two giant parties in 2020. The two parties must understand that glory lies not in falling but in rising every time we fall. And time is always ripe to do right.

The two leading parties have since formed committees that will reconcile their members and lead them to victory in 2023. At the moment, understanding the political terrain would be a great advantage to both sides.

Muazu is a public commentator. He can be reached at muazumj@gmail.com.

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