In this part of the world, the unanimity about politics being by and large a dirty game is largely invalidation-proof. Lots of Nigerians, perhaps you too, dread the arena of acquisition and exertion of political power. The cliché “Politics is a dirty game” serves as a proposition of caution to those who would conceive or are weighing their chances of success in a field where the fittest survives. If the honourable, conscientious calibre of Nigerians persist in jilting politics and instigating others to do same, who then would deliver the exigent national change from the womb of today and tomorrow? In as much as such school of school is obviously marred with fears and unfounded bases, of profounder concern to this piece is the manner in which dramatis personae in Nigerian politics fight for survival through cross-carpeting. In contrast to the almost nationwide delight with yesterday’s defections, the contention herein is that the event telltales a worrisome problem in Nigeria’s political hemisphere alongside the poor quality of most of its political cast.
Since the dawn of democracy in 1999, inter-party migration has featured, affording politicians the leeway to file for divorce from political parties which are, by their judgment, unconducive for them and cleave to ones which are supposedly full of prospects. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s implicit defection to All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of 2015 elections; former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar’s move to the then Action Congress (AC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and back and move again to APC and now back; Senate President Bukola Saraki’s move from PDP to APC and loud whispers that a return is imminent; and most recently, the cross-carpetting of 14 senators and 37 representatives from the ruling APC to PDP/other political parties respectively. These wave of defections neither portrays dynamism in Nigerian politics in a good light nor underlines the political acumen of those involved, but rather exposes the scarcity of any predominant Nigeria-centered ideology in the politicking process. Put differently, egocentrism has displaced nationalism,
Furthermore, author Stephen Covey once argued that man-made creatures are created first mentally and then physically. Thus, what is without is often an accurate reflection of what is within. The paltry returns Nigeria and Nigerians receive on virtually every front somewhat point to the misplaced priorities of most political parties and politicians. On one hand, political parties seem to be solely preoccupied with securing power in exclusion of pragmatically promoting the sustainable prosperity of Nigeria and its citizenry. The gulf between their mantras and activities in government is so wide, hence their ideologies wane. Forgetfulness of modeling those core values either creates pandemonium within or attracts egoistic politicians to them. Like attracts like! And on the other, persons who politick to put personal interests above national interest crowd the political leadership space. Driven by fattening their assets, boosting egos and remaining in power, they defect frequently. If such actions are claimed to be resorted to for the wellbeing of the people, why are their constituencies and a greater area of this country (both human and material) still reeking of neglect and poverty? The problem is not the party but the leader. Fortunately, these happenings make Nigerians privy to the substance of these politicians.
Finally, these fresh defections dominating the news sphere should trigger in the average, right-thinking Nigerian a realization of how far we are from where we desire to be, not the adroitness or smartness of any politician. Unknown to the defectors, those steps enriches Nigerians with information about their political content and worth. To be candid, the details viewed in an objective fashion are disturbingly uninspiring.