CALMING THE STORM AND WORKING WITH THE OPPOSITION

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opposition cooperationAfter the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, the opportunity to have a formidable leadership under the new APC government presented itself when the PDP candidate willingly conceded defeat. Yet, the new party handlers failed to calm the storm, sue for peace and utilize the opportunity to get the good will from all quarters, especially the last administration. They failed to create a sustainable bridge to work with the opposition politicians.

2016 was one of the most heated campaign years in the history of the United States of America. Both the Republican and the Democrat candidates washed their dirtiest underwear in public. President Donald Trump would employ the most vulgar terms to describe his opponent, Hilary Clinton and her principal supporter, President Barack Obama. Hilary Clinton did not also spare much in employing humiliating adjectives for describing Donald Trump. However, once the election was ended and the final verdict was given by the Electoral College, both parties sheathed their swords. In an unexpected turn for many observers, during his victory speech, Donald Trump praised his opponent, Hilary Clinton. He described her in the kindest words as caring mother and civil icon. After his inauguration, he retained fifty of President Obama’s officers in order to sustain the growth initiated by Obama, who he faulted as incompetent during the campaign.

Abraham Lincoln understood the tact in working with opposition when he said: do I not destroy my enemies when I make them friends. It could be said that the elements in the past administration in Nigeria are all corrupt and irredeemable demons, deserving no friendly relationship otherwise they ‘chop the yams again’. There has been a consistent stream of the media presentations about the billions and zillions of naira and dollars that were allegedly looted by elements in the past administration. Still it appears to some that the corruption fight is a targeted clampdown on the opposition, using all security apparatus in the nation, in order to subdue the ‘irredeemably corrupt PDP demons, abi na yam eaters dem dey call am’.

However, Dale Carnegie says, if you want to gather honey, don’t strike the bees. This means, if you want to get the best cooperation from people, even your opposition, do not focus on the negative. Your inability to see the good in other people remains an inability, a weakness, and not a strength. Though there are undeniable cases of corruption, the past administration recorded commendable economic development in foreign investments, agriculture, banking, management of Niger-Delta and other sectors of the nation. These strides could have been recognized and sustained, yet the new administration chose to focus on the negative. It assumes the place of the vulture that focuses on dead meat (faults of other administration), instead of searching live meat (good developments to build upon).

We are faced with the result of focusing on dead meat, as we battle recession, but it is not too late to adopt the administrative principles of Abraham Lincoln: do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.