In the past two weeks Nigerians have been treated to various dramas as some political office holders defect from one political party to the other. Most of the drama is between politicians defecting from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The gale of defections started penultimate week, when about 14 APC Senators and 37 APC House of Representatives members defected to the PDP. This has since been followed by defections to the PDP by Senate President Bukola Saraki and the governor of Kwara State, Abdulfattah Ahmed, and all but one member of the Kwara State House of Assembly; the governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambawal and some Sokoto State House of Assembly members; defection of governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom and some members of the state House of Assembly; defection of Kano State deputy governor, Professor Hafiz Abubakar among others.
It has not been one-way traffic of defections, as APC also ‘harvested’ from the season of defections. The senator representing Ebonyi South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Sonni Ogbuoji, and an ex-Minister of State for Power and Steel, Goddy Ogbaga and 13 others have defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress in Ebonyi State, while all things being equal the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, and Senate Minority Leader, Chief Godswill Akpabio is expected to be received today in Ikot Ekpene, by APC national and state leaders as the ‘newest catch’ of the party from the opposition PDP.
While the jury is still out there on the legality or other wise of the defection of elected officials from one party to another, suffice to say that most of the defectors have not given any indication which showed that they are defecting in the interest of the people despite their claims that they are defecting after “consulting with their supporters and constituents.”
Their defections are based on ‘stomach infrastructure’ of a different variety. It is about their tickets for the next election. They are not defecting because Nigerians are getting poorer everyday while the politicians are getting richer; they are not defecting over lack of pipe-borne water in their constituencies; they are not defecting over the poor state of education in the country; they are not defeating because they believe that their new party will care more about the welfare of Nigerians. They are motivated by their selfish desires to continue to remain in corridors of power for their personal aggrandizement. They are defecting because their parties at the outset lacked ideological foundation. Most of the parties are mere aggregation of political office seekers who have no common agenda on how to run the country.
The lack of ideology is the tragedy of our politics since 1999. An ideology is a collection of ideas or beliefs shared by a group of people. It may be a connected set of ideas, or a style of thought, or a world-view.
There are two main types of ideologies: political ideologies, and epistemological ideologies. Political ideologies are sets of ethical ideas about how a country should be run. Epistemological ideologies are sets of ideas about the philosophy, the Universe, and how people should make decisions. Here we are concerned with political ideology.
In other climes most political parties base their political actions and programmes on an ideology. A political ideology is a certain ethical set of values, principles, doctrines, myths, or symbols of a social movement, institution, or class, which explains how society should work. It offers a political and cultural blueprint for a certain social order. A political ideology largely concerns itself with how to allocate power and to what ends it should be used. Some parties follow a certain ideology very closely, while others may take broad inspiration from a group of related ideologies without specifically embracing any one of them.
Politics without ideology is akin to politics without principle that is classified among the seven sins in the world by Mahatma Gandhi. It is politicians who lack principle that drop their political platform at the drop of the hat because of what they will get rather than what the people would gain. In Nigeria this type of politics is influenced also by fear of destitution. Some politicians out of fear of destitution are ready to do anything to remain in power. Politics has become their second address; they have no other identifiable means of livelihood beyond being in politics and close to the corridors of power so that they can survive materially. They have desecrated politics with their fear of destitution and insatiable greed. This ‘any where the stomach face’ politicians are the problem of Nigeria and they have no shame.
These politicians at the corridors of power who lack ideologically leaning and thus stand for nothing and everything, should be kicked out of our political system for the country to move forward. And it is only Nigerians that have the Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) that can make this possible in the next general elections. It is not enough to hide behind social media platforms to condemn the ignominy in our politics, while disregarding the instruments for social and political change like the PVC through our negligence. It is time to stop rewarding politicians without principle swith our votes.
– Aluta Continua