On his coming travels to France and New York for the United Nations General Assembly this month, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and his delegation will be sought out by the posse of lobbying companies advising Africa’s ever hopeful opposition parties.
Building the national opposition alliance in Nigeria
was much easier once six of the most powerful state governors had
defected from the PDP. They brought with them resources, political
networks and insider knowledge of how the governing party works and
fights its elections. But that pattern is unlikely to be repeated in
next month’s elections. Certainly in Côte
d’Ivoire and Guinea,
incumbent presidents Alassane Ouattara and Alpha Condé look set to
off their opponents. It’s more exciting in Burkina Faso, where Blaise
Compaoré was chased from power a year ago and his camp followers
being kept away from the elections.
Only in Tanzania is the
Chadema, copying part of the Buhari model before elections on 25
October. It has succeeded in wooing a former Prime Minister, Edward
Lowassa, with in-depth knowledge of the governing Chama cha Mapinduzi.
Sadly for Chadema, he doesn’t bring a Buhari-style reputation for
honesty. After Chadema’s adoption of Lowassa as its presidential
candidate, Wilbrod Slaa, one
of the opposition party’s founders,
resigned in protest. Previously Chadema had included Lowassa on a list
of politicians who merited investigation.