OBI IN THE SEASON OF DEFECTIONS
In recent weeks, its been politics of defection all over the country and all the political parties have had their own share of defection one way or the other but it seems the ruling party, People's Democratic Party are benefiting from this recent development.
I was bewildered when the news of the latest defection hit the media, political analyst are yet to come to terms with Governor Olusegun Mimiko's defection from Labour party (LP) the platform he used to win the governor ship election in Ondo state after a Court ruling in his favour in February 2009 and was re elected in October 2012 for a second term, making him the first Ondo State governor to win a second term election.
This time around it is a known Son of Ndi Igbo, (Igbo people) the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Dr Peter Obi, the controversial former governor of Anambra State who many tagged the cat with nine lives during his reign in the government house at Awka from 18th March 2006 though impeachment and political miscalculations made him lose his sit twice as governor but each time it happened Court rulings were always in his favour. He was re elected as governor for a second term in february 2010 to February 2014.
Observers may not be surprised with his latest defection to to PDP because he was accused severally of hobnobbing with the ruling party during his reign as governor of Anambra State.
Also in APGA we saw similar defection earlier in August when member representing Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency in the House Of Representatives, Uche Ekwunife dumped All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for the People's Democratic Party (PDP) along with other APGA House of Representative members, from August 2014 till date we have witnessed series of defection that kept mouth wagging.
This latest development of defection is a contrast compared to what was obtained in the First Republic when major political parties of the era like Action Group (AG) Northern People's Congress (NPC) National Council Of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) had a clear cut ideology which they pursued, even in the Second Republic the five major parties also had definite ideologies which they pursued fervently, the Third Republic where the country experimented a two party system Social Democratic Party (SDP) and The National Republican Convention (NRC) saw a great distinction in policies and ideologies. Political analyst and historians posited it was the last time political parties operated along ideological lines.
When the Transition from Military rule to Civilians in 1998 kicked off, we saw the emergence of three major Political Parties, People's Democratic Party (PDP) Alliance For Democracy (AD) and All People's Party (APP), many believed these parties were formed with out clear cut ideological policies which has made defection to be an every day affair.
The list of politicians that has defected from one party to another in this current regime is alarming, many attribute this defection to the level of desperation of the politicians in pursuing an elective post. Prominent among these politicians are, Muhammadu Buhari: Former military head of State and three times presidential aspirant, two times with All Nigeria's People's party (ANPP) 2003 and 2007 and once with the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which he founded in 2011. He is currently a member of All Progressive Congress (APC) which was formed through the merger of four political parties, Congress For Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress (AC), All Nigeria's People's Party (ANPP) and a faction of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in February 6th 2013 in anticipation of February 2015 general election. General Buhari is also aspiring to contest for the fourth time in the February 2015 Presidential election under APC.
Atiku Abubakar: Former Vice president of Nigeria, May 1999 to May 2007. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has been a Presidential aspirant since 2007, in pursuing the highest sit in the land he had moved from PDP to the defunct Action Congress AC back to PDP and now in APC and is also a presidential aspirant in the forth coming February 2015 election
Owelle Rochas Okorocha: The controversial governor of Imo State who won the hardly contested governorship election in Imo State in 2011 under All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) had been in almost all the Political Parties in Nigeria and also a one time Presidential aspirant, Governor Okorocha surprised everybody February last year when he took his supporters from a faction of APGA he won the governor ship election in 2011 and defected to the new All Progressive Congress (APC).
Rotimi Amaechi: The controversial governor who became governor of Rivers State through Court ruling in October 2007 after he was controversially substituted before the election also joined the train of politicians that defected to APC late last year after an irreconcilable differences with the presidency that lasted for months amidst conflicts and tension that almost consumed Rivers state.
Rabiu Kwakwanso: became governor of Kano State in 1999 but lost his re election in 2003, in 2011 he was re elected for a second term as governor of Kano State.
Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso who left the ruling party PDP to APC said he left PDP because neither the presidency nor the party leadership of the party had never shown any modicum of respect to him or his office as governor.
Chief Tom Ikimi: former minister of Foreign Affairs under the late General Abacha was the foundation member and board of trustees of the defunct All People's Party (APP) in 1999, in September 2001 he defected to People's democratic Party (PDP) in 2006 he was among the foundation members of the defunct Action Congress, he led AC to win the governorship elections in 2007 and also in 2012. Ikimi was also saddled with the responsibility of heading the Merger Steering Committee of the defunct AC, ANPP, CPC and a faction of APGA that coalesced into APC. He fell out with the leaders of the APC following his inability to clinch the party's chairmanship position and defected to PDP in August 2014
Nuhu Ribadu: The pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, was the presidential flag bearer of the defunct Action Congress in the 2011 presidential election, also defected to PDP August this year and attributed his defection in the pursuit of a "good cause" and not out of selfish desires.
While some politicians attribute their defection to lack of internal democracy and intimidation in their party, others attribute their own to lack of followership of their parties outside the shores of their region and need a party with a large followership outside their region to be able to achieve their mission.
Most politicians defect to other parties because of selfish interest, why will Mimiko who contested and won election twice under Labour party defect to PDP that gave him sleepless nights as governor of Ogun State?
Some political observers cited pressure at the top while others attributed it to political relevance.
Peter Obi's case was borne out of political relevance because his former party APGA does not exist at the centre and may not be able achieve his mission at the centre, to be able to be relevant and functional in the country, he had to align himself with the ruling party (PDP).
This series of defection is not good for our democracy, many will agree that the defection of politicians in this dispensation especially in the last three months merely reflects the level of desperation for political relevance in pursuit of public office, we have been hearing internal grumblings from politicians because of the recent endorsements of some politicians from their political parties as their consensus candidate, politicians whose parties will not favour them in the forth coming primaries in all the political parties to choose their flag bearers in all the elective posts in the forth coming election will also defect to other parties before the general election next year. Whatever the case, our politicians are not states men and does not believe in party ideologies, they are just power drunk.
Written by Unjoerated Onwukeme.