The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, says the Peoples Democratic Party must offer competitive ideas rather than propaganda in order to remain relevant as the country’s major opposition party.
Odinkalu said having lost power to the All Progressives Congress based on its failure to deliver good governance, the party should “follow the path of competitive ideas.”
The NHRC boss said this in an article entitled, ‘Nigeria and the search for politics based on ideas,’ published by The Cable on Tuesday.
He said, “The outcome of the 2015 general elections makes the possibility of a different kind of politics built on ideas possible in Nigeria. To achieve this, citizens and political formations must seize the opportunity offered to put forward more competitive ideas for organising power. As the ruling party for the past 16 years, the PDP could dispense material incentives as it willed.
“Without easy access to either cash or coercion since its defeat in the election and unable anymore to make these the centre of its appeal to the country, the only course now open to the former ruling party as it seeks to rebuild itself in opposition must be to pursue the path of ideas.”
Odinkalu said the PDP government was noted for economic wastage and foisted its policies on the poor masses.
He said the PDP government suppressed the will of the masses and that was why it lost in the general elections.
He added, “In the general elections of 2015, Nigeria for the first time replaced a ruling party through the ballot box. Until now, the ruling party at the centre had always been able to foist an outcome on the country through a brutal combination of cash, cronyism, coercion and cynicism.
“Together, this toxic combination almost invariably made any effort at discovering the will of the people meaningless. As a country, we always managed to find needful jurisprudence to cover up this reality and grant it a modicum of judicial legitimacy.”