Desperate Nigerian citizens who may have conclusively decided to vote-in a “messianic” candidate come 2019 general election, needfully have to reconsider their stand. Politicians in Nigeria have steadily been involved in morbid defections from one political party to the other ostensibly for greed and egocentric interests at the detriment of the electorate. The political class has so far failed to understand that it’s being manipulated by the Fulani oligarchy, which has produced the likes of the so-called leading opposition presidential candidate in the country. Nigerian politicians are all inconsistent and unrepentantly self-serving and that is why the craze in the institutionalized “capitalist” flight in the system. Their fundamental ambition is to stuff their pockets and various bank accounts both locally and internationally, with looted funds.
Politicians, at the convenience of their defections, employ the usage of defense mechanism, to trade blames against their perceived political enemies or opponents to boast their ego and integrity. These immoral defectors shamelessly fault others for their misfortunes and failures. They ride on the crest of the so-called “hate speech” to ridicule and expose the short comings of their opponents. Rather than humbly accepting their failures and effect corrections, they resort to character assassination. This is synonymous with a student who instead of consciously studying hard to pass his/her examinations, will apportion blames for carry-overs to the lecturer. Defectors in Nigeria, most often consist of losers, liars, gypsies and corrupt egocentrics. They hardly make meaningful impact in the lives of the people who they claim to represent. Their constituents are dotted with abandoned projects if there exists any, throughout their tenures. They blatantly change positions whenever the pendulum swings, for personal gains.
A defector politically, is one who abandons a particular political party for another, primarily for political convenience and relevance. This is mostly pronounced amongst political parties with tainted ideologies, lack of integrity and self-worth. Such individuals keep gallivanting from one political party to the other when they envision disadvantageous intrigues and overtures. Rather than recognising the declared winner and aligning with such to provide good governance/democratic dividends, the next option is to recklessly abandon his/her party for another, for crass interests. Political defectors, according to Mba in 2011, are usually regarded as political prostitutes, who have no principles, morality, conscience and lacking in political ideology, to champion the cause of leadership for the well-being of the society and the political development of the country. Corroborating this assertion, Ademola in 2009, stated that political/party defection is a symptom of malaise in Nigeria’s democratic system, evidenced by the bankruptcy of political beliefs, policies and ideas. Again being manifested as politicians of opposing parties, they are scheming to join opposition parties purely for self-aggrandizement and greed.
Political ideology is essentially, the driving force of political actions that pointedly explains the behavior, belief, reputation and the image of a political party. It clearly states the cause it champions and how best to achieve it. More over, the public must be on the know of it’s expectations when a particular party is voted into power. Everything is explicitly itemized and defined. Before a politician gets enlisted in any particular party as a member, he/she must have to explore such parties ideologies, to be able to choose that which suitably aligns with his/her beliefs. In the absence of this very important ingredient, such an individual can form a political party with a definitive ideology when there exists a constitutional backing. Joining a political party is like embarking on life imprisonment while leaving such a party must be based purely on issues of principle and not personal ambition. For instance, in party A where Mr. B and Mr. C have primary contests in an election and Mr. B emerges as the winner, it is morally obligated that Mr. C has to team up with the winner to vigorously campaign for votes in a scheduled election. Reason being that the two party aspirants share a common ideological principle. But in a scenario where Mr. C which lost out in the primaries, succeeds in joining an opposition party to sabotage the polices of his party, such amounts to ridicule and moral bankruptcy. The primary motive behind such an action will be adjudged as selfish and not the overriding interest of the people.
Education teaches that a political party is an organization of people who came together in order to gain legitimate control of a state authority (Ujam 2008). What brings this group of people together is basically an ideology and not just to emerge victorious in an election. But the alarming political prostitution of Nigerian politicians grossly bastardize the very essence of such a noble experiment, thereby confirming the fact that Nigeria has not really grasped the unique definition of party politics. Such political parties names like “communist party”, “socialist party”, “labour party”, etcetera, easily showcase the kind of government it will install should they gain access to power. The present ideology of the Republican Party in the United States of America which hinges on “American Conversativism”, is quite symbolic of President Trump’s slogan of ”America First”. Moreover, the Republican ideology supports lower taxation, free market capitalism, free enterprise, strong national defense, gun rights, deregulation and restriction on labor union activities. Adding to the advocation for economic politics, the Republican Party is socially conservative and seeks to uphold traditional values based on largely Judeo-Christian ethics (Wikipedia.org). The above listed, are President Trump’s representation of an administration. Security is tightened at US borders, Jerusalem has regained it’s full status of being the Israeli capital city, Same-sex marriage law has been reversed. The Democrats major ideology on the other hands, centres on political equality, economic and social liberalism. Adhering to these ideological principles, the first African American President to have emerged, was a democrat. Gay marriage was legalized. The democrats even got most of their support from low income earners and labourers. The democrats were adjudged less hawkish than their republican counterparts. Barack Obama was not much concerned with the national security concerns of the Americans. With these well defined ideologies, defections were essentially made impossible.
The Nigerian political parties have their ideologies very poorly defined and are only paper work exercises. The two major parties – All Progressive Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are perfect examples of such amorphous parties. PDP has clearly documented national conservative, social conservative and economic liberalised polices. Much have disappointedly not been done relating to these beliefs when the party was in power. There is absolutely no tangible economic liberalism in Nigeria, particularly within the so-called Niger Delta area where the PDP led government established Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to address the dire needs of oil producing States/communities. Though it came on stream many years back, it has woefully failed to revert to 50% – 50% Federal to State governments revenue allocation agreement. Regarding social media and national conservativism policy during Olusegun Obasanjo government, Biafrans in Northern Nigeria became victims of 2001 Sharia induced massacres. He did nothing about it. In Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s admiration, national security/terrorism related issues were heightened. This crop of Nigerian politicians even lack belief in the political administration of the country. They do not comprehend the full import behind the concept of political ideology.
And unlike what obtains elsewhere, Nigerian political ideologies lack the clout to forestall this disgusting party membership defections. What Nigeria is presently grappling with is jaundiced and compromised pool of political parties, with structurally debased culture that seems to relegate the people’s need to the background because of greed (Offor 2017). The height of selfish interest, lack of integrity, political prostitution and arrant desperation for power, were the driving forces that compelled the present presidential flagbearer of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) cum a founding member, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in 2007, to shamelessly defect to Action Group (AG) in 2006, towards the tail end of his second tenure as a Vice President. He may have probably, participated with others who conceptualized the PDP ideologies. He was a member of Social Democratic Party (SDP) before his defection in 1999 to run with Olusegun Obasanjo. The humiliating and disgusting story of his prostitution was rife. When Atiku Abubakar eventually lost to late Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua of the PDP in 2007, he went back to the PDP in the year 2009 where he contested with Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in the primaries in 2011 and lost out. On the 2nd of February 2014, Atiku yet defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC), to support his Fulani Islamist brother, late Muhammadu Buhari who clinched the 2015 presidential election victory against Dr. Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP. Late 2017, Atiku Abubakar defected back from APC to PDP, giving the same complaint he gave when he earlier left PDP for APC. The comical aspect of the story is that when he defected to APC in 2013, thirsty seven (37) members of the house of representatives, eleven (11) Senators followed suit. As he also defected back to APC in 2017, fourteen (14) Senators and thirty seven (37) House of Representative members left with him in 2018 to the PDP. Notably, all defectors were lawmakers from the Northern part of Nigeria. Close watchers of political developments will really understand the scenario at play. The popular will of the people to rightly choose their leaders via the ballots, is not the determinant factor in Nigeria organized elections but the number of State Governors and constituent representatives that are party loyalists which of course, will influence the course/outcome of election results.
As Nigerians await the upcoming general elections in 2019, Remi Adekoya, a Nigerian Political analyst, echoed, “roughly two-third of the country’s thirty six (36) governors are currently affiliated with the APC. It should be noted that prior to the 2015 general elections, five governors who defected to APC, contributed to the defeat of former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in his re-election bid. This is their pattern of politics with conscienceless defections.
In other words, the same Fulani oligarchy that installed late Muhammadu Buhari is presently defecting to PDP to facilitate Atiku Abubakar’s victory in 2019. Before the 2015 general elections, it should be noted, that Buhari was the most accepted Northern politician since the late Ahmadu Bello. He brazenly displayed his covert and overt fanatical Jihadistic drive like Ahmadu Bello. In 2001, he bluntly stated “I will continue to show openly and inside of me, the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria. God willing, we will not stop the agitation for total implementation of Sharia in the country”. In 1964, Ahmadu Bello pointedly made similar statement, “this country called Nigeria is an inheritance to us from our great grandfather, Uthman Dan Fodio. We shall not resist power and we shall conquer the minorities of the North till we reach the sea and treat them like conquered territory”. No wonder then, the Fulani herdsmen became ferocious upon Buhari’s inauguration as Nigeria’s President in 2015.
To David Ortom, the Executive Governor of Benue State who defected from APC to PDP on the basis that Muhammadu Buhari flatly failed to address the murderous killings orchestrated by Fulani killer herdsmen in his State, it is certain that the seemingly suspended killing will heightenly resume when the current PDP presidential flagbearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, gets elected in the upcoming general election. The entire Islamic world believed that the late Buhari would islamise Nigeria and that prompted the campaign manager, David Axelrod, to former United States President, Barack Obama, to be detailed to Nigeria for all necessary assistance required by the campaign team of Muhammadu Buhari of the APC. Unfortunately, Buhari did not live to accomplish that mandate hence the contractual agreement with a Sudanese nationale called Jubril Aminu Al-Sudani, presently impersonating Buhari in Aso Rock as the Nigerian President. It has been observed however, that the impostor lacks the clout to execute the Islamisation agenda and that is why all the Northern leaders who supported the late Buhari, are presently throwing their weight behind Atiku Abubakar. In the words of Engineer Buha Galadima, “in any role I played in making Buhari whom he was, I apologize. If it was money or position that any of us wanted, we could have gotten it”. What actually is it that they wanted? Is it the betterment of Nigeria? No! They wanted immediate Islamisation of Nigeria. Atiku Abubakar who has been contesting in elections since 2007 just like the late Buhari did before 2015, did not contest against Buhari in 2015, neither did he contest during the PDP primaries of that year. Rather, he abandoned Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, his party man in PDP, and defected to APC in 2014, to assist his Fulani Muslim brother to achieve victory. This was secretly plotted and executed in line with their Islamisation agenda for Nigeria.
Most times, political parties do offer automatic tickets to their members to forestall defection. The party members in power can heavily finance the party as an inducement for membership loyalty. Nigerians under such jaundiced political arrangements, will always remain politically pauperised. Men who are grossly deficient in stability and consistency can never ever provide good and profitable governance. Atiku is a man who immediately commenced contesting for the highest political seat in the land as soon as he stepped down from the office as a Vice President. He is a desperate Nigerian, that is hungry for power by every means imaginable, at the detriment of his integrity. It is the same desperation for evil change that brought Buhari to power that is urging Atiku on to clinch power who would eventually turn up to be worse than Buhari (Nnamdi Kanu).
In organisational leadership training, ability to handle pressure is evaluated but Atiku Abubakar and his other fellow political defectors, gallivant from one political party to the other, shamelessly giving deluded reasons why their abandoned party (APC) is presently in disarray. It is pitiable that Nigerians are willing and prepared to cast their ballots for a man who blatantly lacks shame and morality. This is a man that cannot freely travel to the United States of America based on his involvement in Jefferson William’s bribery and money laundering scandal. The umbrella logo of the PDP is probably meant to shield and accommodate corrupt politicians with the burning desire of heightened looting of public funds.
The late Buhari was extra corrupt and a glaring political prostitute like Atiku. He too ran for the presidency with All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2003. In 2007, he ran again on the platform of the party but lost. Then in 2011, he switched camp by running under the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), but lost to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. In 2014, he defected to the APC and eventually won the presidential seat. What is really amusing about the All Progressive Congress (APC), is the inherent political ideology which is completely a ruse. The party stated that it epitomizes federalism, progressivism, social liberalism and social democracy. Even a stark illiterate will laugh to scorn, the APC amateurish fallacy. Federalism cannot be, when a serving governor could be bluntly molested in his own State by federal agents without any recourse to the law. Progressivism should aptly mean setting a country as in the case of Nigeria and APC led government, on the path of progress. But has this claim bettered Nigeria since Buhari’s administration came on stream? Social liberalism cannot be, when there exists official sponsorship and promotion of terrorism through the instrumentality of Fulani killer herdsmen and the criminal clampdown of armless, peaceful and innocent civilian protesters by the military and police. There is absolute disrespect to court orders by the government. Social democracy is yet another deception. Political ideologies exist only on paper. The broom logo (symbol) of the ruling APC literally connotes an instrument of sweeping away corruption. Has this experientially been the case why there exists hyper-corruption in the country on daily routine? The importation of an impostor called Jubril Aminu Al-Sudani into the country to impersonate the late Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s President is another criminal case at hand.
Despite the image that the ruling APC connotes, the above are nomadically carried out in Nigeria. Hardly is there any singular Nigerian politician who has not been caught in this maladious web of defection across political parties. There are versed in inventing lies and deception to hoodwink the gullible on their reasons for such an action. According to Offor in 2017, Nigerian political class is led more by the quest for the stomach rather than leaving behind a reputable legacy. Moreover, when these defections are incessantly undertaken, there arises a question whether the problem lies with the politicians or with their parties. These defections display despicable chameleonic character of the Nigerian politicians (Offor 2017). They shamelessly castigate political parties at sunset only to facilitate their defection bids to same parties at sunrise (Abah 2017). To them, the end justifies the means so it does not really matter if they bomb a polling unit to quench their taste for power. Practically, Nigerian political parties have many similarities than differences. Visible differences exit only in their names. Irrational and unenlightened Nigerians do not vote along party ideology but on ethnicity and the popularity of the candidate. Party campaigns through the castigation of opponents are not educative to the masses on their manifestos. They with display doubts and give long lists of promises that lack capacity of fulfillment. Political parties are supposedly meant to give checks to the policies of their members in power for effective representation of respective ideologies. Parties primarily win elections for the purposes of sharing the so-called “national cake” and nothing else.
Most pathetic amongst them all is the fact that the constitution of Nigeria is compromised. It forbids party defection in section 68 (1g) which clearly stipulates that “a Senate or a member of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat if he being a person whose election was sponsored by a political party, and decamps to another before the expiration of the period for which that office was elected” (FRN Constitution 1999). The concluding part of the foregoing section offers an escape route to politicians to defect since “divisions” are certain in the Nigerian political experiment. Every politician therefore can defect at random on the facade of division or internal crisis of the parties.
Defection makes caricature of democracy and disparages the spirit of the opposition as well as democratic consolidation in the country (Offor 2017). Democracies cannot be considered consolidated when no significant national, social, economic, political or institutional actors invest significant resources in an attempt to achieve their objectives through the creation of non-democratic regime. One of the outstanding elements of democratic consolidation is smooth transition from one administration to another. Party defection has negative impact in the process of democratic consolidation under unwarranted situation of plethora of defections among legislators, governors, deputies and other party members (Mbah 2013). Politicians who are itching to rule in a democracy have not allowed democracy to flourish in the country. Through the spate of defection (decamping), they obstruct the will of the people. Defection from opposition party to ruling party fully explains the primacy of political power in Nigeria. This is because possession of state power leads directly to economic power and being in custody of power structure, determines the allocation/distribution of economic resources and political awards. Exclusion from position is unfortunately, very costly (Dudley 1968).
In Nigeria, the youth will want to loot his/her portion of the treasury if given the opportunity to administer as the President. This is usually their general assertion. And the more striking reason why not everyone should be enthrusted with the responsibility of leadership hinges squarely on this evil. The word “patriotism” originates from a Latin word “patrica” which means fatherly. In other words, when your father gives you a training, he expects you to provide for him when he becomes well advanced in age. Patriotism means love for your own country. If your country makes provision of basic life necessities, you definitely are expected to render selfless services in return. In Nigeria, reverse is rather the case. Nigeria is a country that steals and stifles the prospects of her citizens. Our lands are abundantly blessed with diverse kinds of resources but students graduate from school to assume riders of tricycles and engage in various menial jobs to make ends meet. Only remembered by these politicians during campaigns with grinding machines and other demeaning promises. Nigerians steal as an institutionalized culture as the opportunity shows up. Nigeria is a country that runs a capitalist system of democracy which promotes unhealthy competition. Nobody has the love of the country at heart.
When the Bible said some have eyes but cannot see, ears but cannot hear, it clearly was referring to the inhabitants of the geographical location called Nigeria. Albert Einstein even called Nigerians insane because “they keep doing the same thing, the same way while expecting a different result”. Nigerian politics have witnessed myriads of senseless defection of politicians since the first republican democratic experiment till date. Nigerians have been voting, hoping against hope for the intervention of a messiah. A faulty foundation that will successfully carry a building has no other remedy than total destruction and eventual reconstruction. Tafewa Balewa was rigged into power by the British, thus laying a dysfunctional foundation. The only way to pass an immediate and effective message to defiant manufacturing company is for the customers to clinically boycott it’s products. Through that mass action, the dissatisfaction of the people is unmistakably registered, thereby prompting the arrival of “new brands” in the market. With your participation in Nigeria organized elections, you are wittingly empowering the status quo and nothing changes with that. Boycott the elections as a sure way of registering your disgust for all the evils associated with Nigeria. Nigeria is a mistake that must be corrected by the people who take definitive actions for their future and that of generations yet unborn.
“Experience is definitely the best teacher”.
Enough of this malady!
A word is enough for the wise!!
Boycott the elections!!!
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media