The buzzword word “the more the merrier” best describes what is going in the Nigerian political space.
This expression was first recorded in 1530, when it was put as “The more the merrier; the fewer, the better fare” (meaning “with fewer there would be more to eat”), an observation that made its way into numerous proverb collections.
The phrase is also used sarcastically when an unwanted person is invited or invites himself to the party.
This goes with popular adage “too many cooks spoil the broth”.
If too many people try to control, influence, or work on something, the final product will be worse as a result.
It is within these contending issues that we shall examine what is happening in the Nigerian political space.
Less then six moth to the 2019 general election a clear picture is now emerging of those that are likely going to contest for the highest office in the land.
As at last count there were no less then 46 candidates across the registered political parties who have indicated their intentions to wrestle power from the current incumbent President Mohammad Buhari.
Ordinarily the number should not be a concern to any one because that is the beauty of democracy “the more the merrier.” It accommodates all shades of opinions by providing every one level play ground to express their opinions and partake in all political activities including the right to stand for elections and the right to vote and be voted for”.
However when the process becomes over crowded and un wealthy the system may need to apply some rules to guide the process. But this should not be done in such a way to deliberately exclude other from the process.
The APC may have blocked other entrants to the race by giving the incumbent President the first right of refusal.
The has also decided to adopt the direct primaries for selection of their Presidential candidates all believing that the popularity, President Buhari enjoys will scare any interested parties to play the spoiler during the presidential primaries.
If this plays well for the APC, the PDP are not that fortunate as the splinter groups that left the party during the 2015 elections are rushing back home to their old party to play another spoiler just like they did in the last election.
The question to ask is how healthy is this for the electoral process and growth of our democracy?
If the process allows members to decamp from one political party to another at will without consequences, simply because their interest could not be accommodated then there will always be serious infringements in the way we select our leaders.
It is clear from the fore going, there will be no easy fix to this problem as long as the political parties use the lacuna in the political process to woo political opponents in order to increase their political chances of wining an election.
Inec or the National assembly must come up with rules, regulations or legislation to correct the lacuna, anything short of that will be recipe for a political crisis that may threaten our nascent democracy.
What we are witnessing in the assembly regarding who should be their leaders is an eye opener, when processes were allowed to be determined by the operators without clear guidelines.
“ A stich in time saves many”.