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What Is Government Of National Unity?

THE politicians are at it again. Winners and losers are coalescing into a platform called government of national unity, all to ensure they get value for themselves.

Forty-four of the country’s 63 registered political parties, most of which Nigerians cannot remember their name, before the elections lined up behind President Goodluck Jonathan, hoping to share from the spoils of electoral victory.

The quest for a government of national unity is an extension of the politician’s search for relevance. Where would the opposition be in the next four years? Who would provide the heat that should keep government on its toes to achieve landmarks that will free Nigeria from poverty and the pervading corruption that most have managed to make a part of governments?

It is time to despoil the country again. It is the most important matter now. Usually, there is a long queue of people fit for service in all areas. In government, competence is not readily an outstanding quality, as many of those who are parading experience and their achievements in other sphere would soon discover.

A government of national unity normally is used after a war to appease the losing parties, so that they do not think it is a winner takes all affair. In the context of the just concluded election, it could be an appeasement too, but more possibly, a way of splitting the ranks of the parties that are contesting the election results at the tribunals.

The offer is too enticing for politicians who want to recover their investments in the elections. They would not waste a minute to consider that it could incite their parties to a death journey.

On paper, the Action Congress of Nigeria and the Congress for Progressive Change,  which are the leading opposition parties, are against joining President Jonathan’s government. That is their official positions now.

Few would be surprised if prominent members of both parties start dumping their convictions to join the action. They will have enough reasons for the move.

In 1979 when the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, and the Nigeria Peoples Party, NPP, formed a similar alliance, it only served to farm out ministerial places and board appointments to members of both parties and President Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari counted on the numbers to get easy passage of his bills at the National Assembly.

When the alliance broke down, some NPP ministers refused to leave the government and that marked the beginning of troubles for the party and its dwindling control of its members.

Chief Bola Ige’s decision to join President Olusegun Obasanjo government in 1999 is still held as the issue that finally broke the spine of the Alliance for Democracy, which won all the governorship seats in the South West in 1999,  but lost all but Lagos in 2007.

Politicians should spare us all the distractions. There is a lot of work to be done to improve the conditions of Nigerians, they should get on with it fast.

A government of national unity is the quickest way to take a step towards the one party state that Nigerians have resisted at every election – and the loss of any chance that the country will make any progress soon.


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