OPPOSITION PARTIES, POWER ALTERNATION AND VENDETTA POLITICS IN NIGERIA: A KALEIDOSCOPIC VIEW
Keywords:Democracy, Kaleidoscopic View, Opposition Parties, Power Alternation, Vendetta Politics
The thrust of this paper revolves around a critical examination of the place of opposition parties in Nigerian politics, the budding phenomenon of political power alternation, with a dismal reality of vendetta politics emerging. This becomes very crucial as democracy without a virile opposition party has been explained as autocracy. So, to talk of absence of virile opposition parties in a democratic polity as Nigeria is to signal a sense of political retrogression or at any rate, ossification. But it is not just the presence of opposition parties that satisfies the standards of global democracy; what really matters is whether these parties are muzzled or whipped into subordination. This becomes worse when an incumbent party loses power and finds itself in the opposition bracket; a situation of mass defection from that party to the now ruling party becomes commonplace simply because of the fear of retributional or vendetta actions often meted out on those ‘on the other side’. In undertaking this study, the research deployed the Social Disorganization Theory and the Exploratory design methodology. In the final analysis, the research established that vendetta politics will not only weaken opposition parties in Nigeria and gradually make the polity a serial one-party state but would make political power contestations a do-or-die matrix. Therefore, the study recommended legal protection of members of opposition parties, the depersonalization of anti-corruption agencies so that they remain truly independent of any form of political interference.
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