The Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) national chairman and its presidential candidate in the February 23 elections, Mr Tope Fasua, has stated that lack sincerity of purpose and dishonesty were the major reasons collaborations among parties to oust the APC during the last general elections were unsuccessful.
The economist and development expert said some of those that were in some sorts of pact to dislodge the ruling APC were the relationship for selfish reasons and were therefore not wholesome in the struggle.
“The only way any alliance will work is total transparency. Don’t try to shaft each other. If people are trying to shaft each other and play politics the way politics is played, by being smart, it will not work. You have to be totally transparent; put all your cards on the table and be ready to accept whatever the final result is.”
Further, he regretted that coming together to form a coalition against the APC may not have been necessary since the parties either lacked basic ideologies or were altogether not prepared to engage the ruling party positively before the electorate.
“You know in the animal kingdom, if the lions want to hunt and it is the migration season, what they do is they try to separate one. When you separate one, you take him down. They are usually confused when so many of them are rushing. But when they separate one, you can easily blackmail them, if it was in politics.
For example, someone like (Kingsley) Moghalu was very strong; he was trying his best. I wouldn’t have minded if a Moghalu emerged. But it would be very easy for them to take him down. If the status quo was really scared and you gave them only one person and before you know, that person runs into an accident, what do you do?
“Or whether real or imagined, someone cooks up a figure, even if he had impeccable records, you just see a letterhead comes out and some sort of transaction and his signature is there. Somebody had probably forged it. It comes out on social media to bring him down”, he said.
According to him, this was equally demonstrated during the debate which he said was poorly organised and pre-determined by the organisers.
“Mind you, the big parties never came for debates. If you look at the debates, the first one was the one that Channels and the BON messed up because they built it totally around the APC and PDP and then, grudgingly included three other parties.
“You cannot predetermine in a democracy. So, at the end of the day, those major parties disappointed them. They ended up with three people. In 2011, we had 11 people debating under Jonathan that we lampooned, castigated and called names. We now found a scenario where things had gone from bad to worse.
“The other debate we had at the TVC, it was myself, Sowore, Kingsley, Donald Duke, Sani and one more person. I think we were six. If all of these people had come out to be one person, that means we will have one person on the rostrum. Atiku(Abubakar) and(President Muhammadu) Buhari would not have come to the debate. So, that we had strong debate was because there were many people on the table.”
However, he disagreed with those calling for the pruning of the numbers of political parties in Nigeria, despite describing it as an irritation.
“Nigerians should not be irritated by the number of parties and candidates. Against the enormities of crisis in Nigeria, it’s better you live with that irritation. Let’s try and solve those problems.
“Out of 73 candidates for Presidency, about 53 stepped down. About 20 stepped down for Buhari two days before and about 40 had stepped down for Atiku sometime back in their Conference of United Political Parties (CUPP). At the end of the day, we were not up to 20 who were really serious and who did not step down for anybody.