Enigma of opposition without bound
• How Fayose’s letter to China undermines national interest
By SUNDAY ODIBASHI
POLITICAL actors in the country have persistently shown subtle anti-state dispositions in opposition politics. Humiliation of state authorities was rampant in the buildup to the 2015 general elections when the All Progressives Congress (APC) propaganda machine was on duty to ruin the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Hypothetically, blackmail, falsehood, intimidation, insult, were perceived as some of the noticeable trade mark of political communication from the opposition, when Alhaji Lai Mohammed, now Minister of Information and Culture, was National Publicity Secretary of the opposition APC.
In the current administration, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State has become repute for caustic criticism of the APC Government and President Muhammadu Buhari. It is observable that the opposition coming from the PDP Governor has not shown any improvement or paradigm shift from what the APC did to PDP in the past years.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Oliseh Metuh, toed similar political brinkmanship before he became placated through the prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on alleged N400 million received from the controversial $2.1 billion arms fund purportedly misappropriated by Sambo Dasuki.
There are indications that opposition politics in the country has, tentatively, become devoid of decorum or collective commitment to the promotion of national interest and national integration.
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Governor Fayose is conceived to have shown unrestrained zeal for extremist partisan power struggle, disregard for the country sovereignty and national pride in his letter to President Xi Jinping of China in attempt to demean President Muhammadu Buhari.
Apparently, the political culture shown by both the APC and PDP appears to be adulterated by instinct of unrestrained anger or obsession for political vengeance and political extremism. These phenomena have been causing seeming malady for the growth of democracy entangled in unrestrained freedom or injudicious utilization of immunity.
Generally, political actors are perceived to have shown notoriety for desecration of authorities of the state across board. The former President was at different times being ridiculed to be clueless by the opposition; the current President has been branded a tyrant; while performing national duties.
Fayose, in a seeming opposition without border, both in space and principles, attempted stoppage of $2 billion loan from the Chinese Government. The Ekiti State Governor, in his letter of April 12 to President Xi Jinping of China, protested inter alia: “I write as one of the major stakeholders in the project Nigeria, and a governor of one of the federating units making up Nigeria, to draw your attention to report that the Federal Government of Nigeria is on the verge of obtaining a $2 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of China. This $2 billion loan is part of the N1.84 trillion the Federal Government of Nigeria has proposed to borrow to finance the 2016 budget, which is yet to be signed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari owing to unending controversies between the Executive and Legislative arms of government.”
For whatever purpose, bi-lateral relations between countries in the international system is the sole responsibility of the Federal Government and not of any component federating unit or state. Apparently, Fayose’s letter was tantamount to undue inference with the federal powers or infringement on the powers of the President.
The Ekiti Governor further contended that, “while conceding that all nations, especially, developing ones need support to be able to grow because no nation is an island, I am constrained to inform you that if the future of Nigeria must be protected, the country does not need any loan at this time.” He thereafter, advocated that, “the government of China should be mindful of the fact that Nigerians, irrespective of their political and religious affiliations are totally opposed to increment of the country’s debt burden, which is already being serviced with 25 per cent of the Federal Government annual budget.”
Such ultra vires diplomatic communication reflects high sense of unpatriotism and unguarded attack on President Buhari.
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Buhari represented the symbol of the Nigerian State interacting with the Republic of China in that negotiation. The sovereign State of Nigeria negotiating with the sovereign State of China in that economic diplomacy. The President went there with the mandate of the Nigerian people and not on political party platform.
Moreover, the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, took the ridicule to higher pedestal, writing his own version of letter to the Government fo China, castigating Fayose.
Ironically, bi-lateral or multi-lateral diplomacy is not synonymous with political mercantilism. Diplomacy in the international system, whether political, economic or cultural, is preponderantly institutional machination through foreign affairs departments supervised by ministers or embassies/High Commissions supervised by ambassadors or high commissioners.
More so, diplomatic correspondence are more of negotiation, trade off and consensus building rather than warfare. Invariably, the attack on Faoyse by Gbajabiamila rendered no help to President Buhari.