The Faces of Enugu Party Merchants and Their Collaborators: Their Roles in Murdering Opposition and Development In The State


In Nigeria today, democracy and conscientious leadership is under threat with the prevalence of weak and irresponsible leadership regimes all over the country and the role of opposition in a democracy is an under-studied subject and has not received adequate importance by researchers across the country.

This write up focuses on the bibliometric analysis of the role of opposition in democratic system, the implications of weak opposition, the actors and their role in underdeveloping the state. They say “freedom and responsible government dies when criticism ends”

The opposition is an unavoidable part of a democracy. And according to Schapiro, it is “an organized political group with the aims to oust the government in power and to replace it by one of its own choosing”. The opposition must be able to express their opinion, present alternative policy options and take part in the policy discussion and debates. It is often said that the principle of legitimate political opposition is one of the most fundamental components of liberal democracy. Real democracy is impossible without opposition.

One cannot think of a democratic set up without a healthy and vigilant opposition. So for the success of any democratic regime, an effective opposition must be able to perform its functions fearlessly and effectively. The opposition works for the rights of the people. History teaches us that freedom and development dies when criticism ends and that brings to question how self acclaimed opposition leaders in Enugu state contributed to the death of development and growth of Irresponsible leadership.

Just before the deregistration of political parties by the (INEC), there are 92 political parties in the country and it will shock you to know that these 92 political parties have their presence in Enugu state but not even a single day will you hear any of them engaging in discussion or debates about the state government’s policy formulation and its implementation, apart from the news of their internal leadership struggle. And one will ask, what is special about Enugu state politics, what is their voting power and also one would have expected that the huge presence of political parties in the state will amount to healthy and intellectual political debates or discussion among players.

Presently we have 18 political parties and as usual almost all of them have presence or representatives in the state. I called it representatives because apart from the party chairmen, about 15 out of the eighteen political parties don’t have any other executive outside their chairman. They shuttle between Enugu and Abuja shopping for the position of party chairmen. Abuja party leaders know them very well. They are well known merchants in the industry. It doesn’t matter to them the ideology or manifesto of the party, they must become a political party chairman in the state.

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They not only buy the product (political party) for themselves, they usually buy it for their apprentices. They have boys, they share political parties and they give them return at the end of the day, just as they also give return to owners of the wares (parties) there in Abuja. Every election year, they occupy the position of party chairmen or apply to contest for any of the elected positions in the state not really to participate in any real election but for the sole purpose of trading in this line of business. What are they selling, or which business are they into? That will be a discussion for another day.

In the part II of these series, I will be bringing to you, the many business opportunities for party chairmen in the state, how they operate, their identities and their role in murdering opposition and stalling meaningful development in the state.

Martins Chiedozie Ugwu
Former International President- All African Students. Former Country Representative Students World Assembly. And Secretary General of Africa Thinkers Union.

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