The existence or election of a third force does not guarantee a political change. If it does, then Nigeria should have changed since 1959. Nigeria had PDP and AC as major parties and APP as an alternative third force, APP managed to have some states but the states were not any different from the rest which indicates that if they took over the central government, they probably won’t be any different either.

The election and coalition of the Conservatives and the Liberal-Democrats to form the government of UK’s David Cameron which pushed aside the grand old Labour Party did not make UK any better, it infact plunged it downwards into Brexit which they have not recovered from till date. Where are the Liberal-Democrats the British tried as an alternative party in the scheme of things today? Nowhere! Because the people became more disappointed.

The emergence of UKIP did not change the UK either and UKIP is literally extinct now as well. These are developed political climes, how much more a developing system like Nigeria’s. In the end, the people eventually go back to the major parties they know to solve their problems. The Greeks switched parties till all their 3 political parties tasted the Seat of Government in their quest to seek a way out of their economic crisis. As they changed, the worse their situation became not until the government of Germany led Europe to bail them out.
Now, if an alternative party or a third political force guarantees even the slightest change, then how come countries like the US and UK with 2 perennial parties (Democrats/Republicans and Labour/Conservatives, respectively) and China with just 1 party are more prosperous and keep developing at unassailable pace? The point is, its not about trying a new party, it is about the citizens and people in government to bring about change. The political will to do, regardless of party is what brings change. As bad as PDP may sound, the Late Yar’Adua was a distinguished breed because of political will.
If the old leaders we complain about join the alternative parties, what difference does it make? It is old wine in new wine skin, will we then say it would still be safe to vote the alternative parties just because its not APC/PDP by name? We will always have the right people in the wrong parties and the right parties with the wrong people, that’s politics. But until the right people fight their way in the right parties and not chicken-out by forming or joining an unpopular party with the aim to be an alternative third force, political change will remain far-fetched. The right people must stop making themselves local champions in minor parties.
Even the incumbent President as popular as he was could not attain power as a third force, it took the coalition of other major parties to dislodge a major party, the PDP; which was enough. The minor parties were sidelined and not invited to the deal, which speaks a lot. As at now, the numerous minor parties in Nigeria are competing against each other to be a third force, thus giving the major parties the time and leverage to solidify their dominance even more.
With the emergence of the Presidential Candidate of the other major party – the PDP, all attention shifted drastically from the desirable candidates in the minor parties. This speaks a lot as well that striving to be an alternative third force is a lonely walk in the desert no matter the potential a candidate offers, and a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Written by Bolu-Michael Biyi. 

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