GAME OF THRONES | Nigeria: The Scramble for the ‘Iron Throne’

by on October 14, 2014

By Charles Aborishade

“The most important highlight of Ribadu’s “new path” as with the likes of Mimiko and Peter Obi is the gradual acceptance of a one-party state in the country. I think this is an opportune time to reflect on the principles of a one-party state in general and a parliamentary system of government in particular.”


There are millions of living creatures submerged in the belly of the sea but one striking figure is the persistence of the water lilies to stay afloat the sea and sway with the glory of the waves.

The water lilies triumph against all turbulent turmoil to peak at their glory upon the sea surface. But let’s be quickly reminded this has made it a prime target for the pot of soup.

The Nigerian political sphere has sprouted characters that stood against all odds—national and regional leadership—to stamp their relevance upon the consciousness of all.

While we celebrate their strength of individuality and their impact in politics and governance, there is an emerging trend in the socio-political set-up in our run-up to 2015 that needs to be highlighted.

The water lily characters of our polity – Peter Obi and Olusegun Mimiko – have instructive lessons to teach us. Soon after handing over as Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi declined his office as the Board of Trustees Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance while Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, at the twilight of his two-term administration ditched his local empire in Ondo and pitched his tent with the current custodians of Nigeria’s “Iron Throne” center of governance – the PDP.

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The earlier metaphor of the water lilies and their destined end in a pot of soup comes handy here. Do we really have an opposition party in Nigeria? What really are the ideals of such parties?

The charade in Adamawa in recent history and how Ribadu hastily dumped the APC for the PDP does not only lend credence to the popularity of the PDP but also brings to question the ideals of the APC. In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Ribadu said:
“I know how difficult it may be for you to come to terms with my defection to another party. But I must assure you that it’s a carefully considered decision for which I do not wish to hurt anyone’s feeling.

“My defection shouldn’t be seen as an initiation of political antagonism with my good friends in another party. I still hold them in high esteem, and even where there are marked differences, I believe there are decorous and honourable ways of resolving them. So, kindly disregard any statement said to be by me attacking the personality of any politician since my defection. I’ll never allow myself to be drawn into such disrespectful exchange.

“As for my next step in this political struggle, this would be made known in due time. For now, I wish to assure you that my defection is in pursuit of a good cause, and never out of any selfish interests as portrayed by a section.

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“Thanks for bearing with me on this decision, and for those who have been in solidarity with my struggles and still giving me the benefits of the doubt, I’m most grateful. I’ll never let you down on this new path.”

The most important highlight of Ribadu’s “new path” as with the likes of Mimiko and Peter Obi is the gradual acceptance of a one-party state in the country. I think this is an opportune time to reflect on the principles of a one-party state in general and a parliamentary system of government in particular.

Since the advent of the fourth republic, Nigeria has seen a number of political parties’ metamorphosis; we have witnessed cross-carpeting and prodigal re-entries of politicians, but somehow, the PDP has remained the shielding platform (call it umbrella) for all and sundry. There is hardly any political party without a membership proportion drawn from the PDP.

The opponents of a one-party state are quick to point out its tendency to be manipulated for tyrannical use.

But the words of Karl Marx’s associate, Hegel are very instructive here: on the dialectical progression of ideas, whereby an original situation or idea or thesis exists, an antithesis develops in opposition to this, the two are resolved into a “synthesis’, which becomes the new thesis.

Basically, this is saying; in every idea or thesis an antithesis exists sure enough to disrupt the prevailing order so as to form a new idea or a synthesis.

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The synthesis of government is fast catching up on us and the time is apt to start considering this option.

Even if the PDP becomes a mega-structure of governance, our history is replete with cases of disruptive ideas within the same political party. The aim of such is the achievement of a synthetic idea, which the PDP has been able to achieve over the years, but we can hardly say the same of other parties. The resolution of the emerging contradictions therefore might just be a situation where the scramble for who controls the “Iron Throne” center rests in the domain of the PDP for the next few decades. It is unlikely that the APC and other opposition parties would let this happen. But time will tell.


Charles Aborishade is a trained Historian and social media consultant. He writes exclusively for BREAKING TIMES every Tuesday in the column, Game of Thrones. He can be followed on Twitter at @SeeWilhelms

The opinions expressed by columnists in the published feature – Game of Thrones do not reflect the “OPINION and or “POLICY” of BREAKING TIMES as an online news media publishing establishment. Words on this page remain at all times, the literary expression of the writers’ creative imagination

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