Political defections in Nigeria, causes and consequences
By Simon Abah
There is an alarming rise in organised political defections in Nigeria.
Although she is being hyped as the giant of Africa, the democracy in Nigeria is not practised like in countries such as Ghana, Sierra Leone, Botswana, Tanzania, Liberia, Senegal and Zambia with stable democracies.
Nigeria’s version is a guided democracy and a democracy for the few.
What are the reasons for the surge in defections? Turncoats complain about the absence of internal democracy in their parties and of political witch-hunt by political gladiators.
Do you agree with the beliefs of these defectors?
Particularly since no mention is made about the developmental interests of Nigeria as reasons for changing sides.
Isn’t it weird to see politicians castigate a political party at sunset only to defect to same party at sunrise?
Winston Churchill was once a Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) but he died as a Conservative party man.
He never returned to his former party Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems).
We heard that Ronald Reagan toyed with being a Democratic Party member for a brief period but died holding on to the beliefs of the Republican Party.
Defecting once in a life time was enough for him.
I like the style of some of these people in other climes, after all dialogue is thoughts which are not absolute and final and one cannot be one-hundred-per cent idealistic all of the time, smart politicians whilst holding on to their directorial beliefs also appreciate differing views and perspectives and sometimes must bow to superior arguments.
But the bending down to superior arguments must not make one throw away all of his values.
That is the problem with politicians in Nigeria. The end must justify the means.
The wellbeing of a minority matter more than the interests of a starving majority.
Nigeria is under siege by the disrespects of a lackluster few.
Many people I have conversed with have strong feelings about this and they do not see any alternative forms of action.
Some have chosen not to discuss political matters because they believe nothing will ever change in Nigeria.
Others have confessed to taking their entire family-members out if the country during electioneering periods, only to return after elections due to the capriciousness of politics in Nigeria.
What do you see as the goals of these political-Quislings? Could it be for securities, relevance? Should politics be a matter of life and death?
In the first republic, the NCNC party of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe criticised The Action Group party of Chief Obafemi Awolowo for coaxing its members on the floor of the Western House of Parliament to join the latter even though it (NCNC) was poised to control the house and form a government.
Historians say that the claim by the NCNC is not true as it (NCNC) only won Lagos but not the entire old Western region and that the Action Group only wooed candidates who won elections to represent town unions and cultural groups so as to have a majority because the party structures then unlike now was not firmly established.
And besides the Action Group was an unknown party at the time and entered local election for the first time.
They were even independent candidates who won election to parliament on the strength of their character.
The essence of coalition to form governments as is done in Israel from the 1960s up until now is different from the renunciation of party principles, beliefs for other parties in Nigeria.
Without a doubt, political figures achieve their goals easily in Nigeria.
The larger populations are poorly educated in the mind to demand for accountability and they lack the financial and emotional stamina to pour out on the street to protest against drolleries hindering growth and development.
You cannot blame them; people who are financially disempowered operate from a position of weakness.
Do you know the agenda of defectors and do defections have any positive impact on government? Aspirations are good but not ambitions without a winning game plan.
It is clear for all to see that their objectives are without a true North, a captain of a ship misses his way without a true North.
The political defectors easily fall prey to the urgent instead of the important. And the urgent is to massage egos and be relevant.
Who you know in Nigeria’s political scene is more important than “what you do,” than of adding value.
These ambiguities create a system of “survival of the fittest” as seen every day with ill-bred power plays, territory scuffles, and trickeries that hinder progress.
Leadership is contextual, and politics is competitive but these lots fear opposition and so cannot compete.
They want to be in the winning teams always. They probably have never heard of the word Bathos.
All very good writers suffer from writer’s block, so why should politicians fear defeat.
The journey and not the destination should be the primary focus of the politician.
As they party in the hall of shame, bold risks aren’t taken to help end poverty, to build institutions, infrastructure, and human capacity in fragile states, like Nigeria as preached again and again by the World Bank Group.
Nigerians do not know which party is Right and Left Wing – or what the terms mean?
Which party is for the citizens and aspires to support those who cannot support themselves, the party of dreamers that believe in equality to redeploy opportunities and wealth?
Where is the party that makes laws that protect women, children, the disabled community and against all forms of discrimination.
Show us one party that believes not only in economic freedom but promotes it with clear cut policies. Should we then applaud adults who love to dance like teenagers?
But for the oil in the Niger Delta, some of these defectors wouldn’t be in politics. Nigeria’s type of democracy doesn’t require deep-thinkers to solve problems.
Play hard as much as they like and the IOCs will generate all of the money so the politicians can share.
After which they dig wells for water in communities’ and construct roads and document it for Nigerians to see, all of these in the 21st century.
The drudgery of office is a hard sell but the directing of policies from an Olympian height is an easy sell.
Why do Nigerian politicians love to eat first even when it is an age long aphorism that, “leaders eat last?”
Credit: The Guardian