I want to begin this piece by amply congratulating all the three executive governors, members of the national and state assemblies, as well as other politicians who dumped the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) to seek “greener pastures” in other political parties especially the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, where many Nigeria citizens have been murdered under controversial circumstances, chose to run away having seen a red card dangling before him for failure in governance from acute angles. Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state is had no option than to recoil into his shield from the ignominy of overzealous ambition, wishing occupation of a non-vacant position. But Governor Abdultafah Ahmad’s case seems to be worse because at above forty, politics should be played beyond the spoon-fed.
All of them, however, have done well because no condition is permanent. It is only change that is constant. Human beings have to move from one point to the other, from an idea to another, from group to group and from experience to another, to qualify being called the Homo-sapien. They are tired of sweeping with the broom under the raining season. In Nigeria, dumping of party at will is commonplace. After all, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees freedom of association. And it does not matter what it takes a Nigerian politician; jumping from a party to another party is as common as changing clothes since Nigeria began to witness stability in democratic governance. It is even easier to say that political prostitution in Nigeria literally connotes dumping or jumping to parties.
Lest I be late in narrating an experience in an effort to pinch my take on the political jumpers, I will like to begin with this. A friend lived with his wife’s brother since the in-law was in his nonage. I must confess that it was only a patient man that can endure him. And his wife, who was definitely more patient that he was, always felt for him, even as she had no option than to stick to the byword that blood is thicker than water. Many of times, my friend had made up his mind to throw the in-law out of his house. It was really irritating to have around him who had two eyes, two ears and a human brain but behaved like a nonhuman. The in-law was summarily a thorn on his flesh.
But the wife would plead with him. Her wonderful expression was always that the brother was a big bone hanging in between her throat which she could neither vomit nor swallow. On the day the boy finally, though peacefully, left the house, his children felt it, but it was like the house was cleansed of dirt. He was a human being and that is why children felt his absence. Even my friend’s wife and he could feel the living spirits in them. But their neighbours who often heard his wife’s voice when the in-law was still with them noticed a difference and praised God for relieving them. Yet, some began to tell different stories. Events have shown that the political jumpers have been thorns in Nigeria’s governance and only a patient patriot has had the guts to tolerate them. Former President Obasanjo definitely could have never borne the political emasculation of governance.
Another likeness is a small farm a neighbour kept in the village. Rats and snakes visited it always. In fact, it was later discovered that they made burrows within the farm where they hid what they could not finish overnight. Despite the insecticide applied, they proved stubborn as they kept away for just few days and returned with more destructive attacks. It was like each time they were attacked, the more of them returned. The neighbour later lost interest and stopped the farming. Today, no sign of rats or snakes is found in the place. It is likened to thieves who abandon where there is no hope of getting anything.
Like the prodigal son who was allowed to feed fat in comfort and luxury, only to realize that it is not possible to eat one’s cake and still have it. Opportunities are easy to grab by opportunists. A lot of Nigerian politicians are mere opportunists. A lot are ever ready to mortgage anything moral for immorality. Although it is the truth that the cardinal point of politics is permanent interest, parochialism and overzealousness are yet integrated in our local politics as against international standard. When voluptuous avarice and selfishness are allowed to overpower democratic norms and stagger autonomous loyalty in a government, then the system cannot make headway.
Looking at the profiles of most of those, if not all, who dumped the APC, one can easily conclude that they are people who have lost substance in Nigerian politics. They are creating stories, staging dramas and holding the cracking branch for safety. They are claiming that the executive arm of government is not sharing “juicy” positions with them. They are dodging justice by running away or frustrating court proceedings over issues they are linked to. They are not ready to relinquish power. Instead, they are ready to dine with the devil to remain in power. Some who have gone up in Nigerian politics on mere ancestral credit have preferred to go for the spoilt.
In the simplest term, they have dumped the APC because there is nothing to share; there is nothing to steal in the government, at least not the Kleptomaniac type. Imagine such highly acclaimed politrickers becoming dramatists, making caricature of the Shakespearean drama of the moving trees in order to avert justice. It is clear that these politicians called n-PDP joined the APC in the first place not for the purpose of entrenching good governance. They joined the APC for the sole aim of benefiting from “juicy appointments”, not even the ordinary appointments. Yes, they have proven that they did not join the APC for national interest, not even for the interest of the immediate constituencies they claim to represent.
What is becoming clearer with this development is that some Nigerian politicians are bereft of political ideologies. They are politicians by chance. They actually have nothing, virtually nothing to offer the people of Nigeria. Their interest is to programme Nigerians against themselves, so they can continue to plunder the nation. They want to live above the law. They detest to be checked. What does it tell of a politician who was once championing a PDP or APC course, one who was extolling Goodluck Jonathan’s government or President Buhari’s switch over to the next party overnight?
And Nigerians, being so gullible, celebrate and justify these shameless people. Nigerians foolishly gather to rejoice for these anti-democratic people basically on ethnic, religious or fragmental sentiments. Nigerians join them to please them and not for any justifiable unselfish bases. Can’t Nigerians be more reasonable than this? It is very possible that those who jumped out of the APC will jump back in due course, having seen that they cannot be welcomed by their people, especially in the north. It is possible that APC’s top critics like defeated Ekiti governor, Ayo Fayose may abandon PDP for the APC, for his personal interests. And if that happens and he is welcomed by the APC, then there is no morality anymore in Nigeria politics.
Most of these defectors are doomed because they cannot go to their constituencies. This is the era of the highest political deception in Nigeria. Some have deceived their colleagues. Some have been deceived and are regretting. And ultimately their hope, the PDP, is in coma, nay under a time bomb that will explode immediately after its expected Presidential primaries. Then, the final burial ceremony for the PDP will be done. But before then, it seems to be a good omen for the APC that the Judases in its fold have been offloaded.
Muhammad Ajah is an advocate of humanity, peace and good governance in Abuja. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.