Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress busied themselves last week with mutual diatribes over the proposed national conference. While APC said the 11 states under its control would not participate in the national conference, PDP retorted that organisers of the dialogue would be pleased to miss the opposition party. But both parties goofed.
Every opportunity to discuss offers a platform for struggle against an unwanted political system – or struggle for its control. No one should really jettison an opportunity to discuss, particularly, in a democracy.
Yet, PDP did not exhibit a thoughtful approach to the situation.
President Goodluck Jonathan had said while announcing the national conference that it was in recognition of the “suggestions over the years by well-meaning Nigerians on the need for a national dialogue on the future of our beloved country,” adding, “When there are issues that stoke tension and bring about friction, it makes perfect sense for the interested parties to come together to discuss.” A political party that produced such a president should not be making statements that exacerbate the already widespread impression that the planned national dialogue is meant for only some people to rubber stamp certain narrow political ambitions.