• Opinion - Opinion
  • Updated: August 11, 2020

Party Defection: A Show Of Politicians' Selfish Ambitions, By Chukwuemeka Joseph

Party Defection: A Show Of Politicians' Selfish Ambitions, B

In Nigeria today, defection is one common term that is frequently used in the political space as we wake up almost every day to news of politicians announcing their defection from one political party to another.

The political space has experienced major defections that saw candidates jumping from one political party to another, just to get the opportunity to contest elections, escape corruption trials, amongst other reasons that are not in any way relating to party ideology or political beliefs of the candidate.

Edo/Ondo Scenario (Defection for Election Purposes)

In Edo state, for instance, the Sitting Governor Godwin Obaseki who got elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recently dumped the ruling party after he was disqualified from contesting at the party's Governorship primary election by the screening committee; the drama became messier after his main opposition at the election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the 2016 Governorship election became the candidate of the APC for the Governorship election billed for next month.

Another example of defection for election sake is the case of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State Ajayi  Agboola who dumped the APC to seek the Governorship ticket of the PDP. After failing to clinch PDP's ticket, the deputy Governor further dumped the party to join the former ruling party in the state Zenith Labour party (ZLP) where he finally clinched the ticket to contest at the state's Governorship polls.

Read Also: Defection: PDP Asks Dogara To Relinquish Position As Lawmaker

Looking at these defections, you will observe that a majority of Nigeria's politicians barely care about strategies and means to govern the people, instead, they care desperately about winning political seats even if it means jumping from one political party to another within short intervals.

Recently, the former speaker of the House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara announced his defection from the PDP to the APC; a party he left in 2018 to contest for the Senate on the platform of PDP.

Akpabio/Orji-Kalu Scenario (Defection for Immunity on Corruption Allegations)

The Duo of former Akwa Ibom and Abia state Governor Godswill Akpabio and who were elected as Governors under the umbrella of PDP during their tenure as Governors were earlier under investigation for corruption and fund diversion during their time as Governors are also sees                             

Akpabio was under investigation by the EFCC on accusations that he diverted over 100 billion Naira from Akwa Ibom state during his time as governor, while Orji Kalu was also on trial for an alleged 7.1bn fraud.

However, both of the past governor's corruption investigations and allegations seem to have been watered down after they both defected to the ruling party, where Kalu currently serves as a senator and Akpabio a minister.

This scenario makes it safe to say that some politicians defect from an opposition party to the ruling party to be granted immunity against corruption charges and allegation.

While Political Ideology is a certain set of ethical ideals, principles, doctrines, myths or symbols of a social movement, institution, class or large group that explains how society should work and offers some political and cultural blueprint for a certain social order, you will discover that majority of Nigerian politicians who are in the same party do not share the same principle, doctrine or ethical ides but are only coming together to unseat a particular government, as seen in the election that brought in President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 where politicians from different political parties teamed up to unseat his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan, or for other selfish interest.

Looking at how politicians move from one party to another on a very frequent bases, shows that Nigeria politicians are not a respecter of political ideologies and the people's choice as they barely put them into consideration before choosing to move from a particular party to another.

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