There should be a law against this unwholesome practice of receiving the mandate of one party, and taking it to support the fortunes of another political party.
Take a good look at those elected officials who have left the People’s Democratic party to join the All Progressives Congress, and what you see is politics of self and self alone in action.
Uzodinma was not elected by the voters in a credible election. He was imposed by the APC government. That is why the people of Imo State derogativly refer to him as ‘ the Supreme Court Governor’. Uzodinma’s defection to APC is a repayment of a debt to his benefactors.
Dave Umahi of Ebonyin was unhappy that PDP would not consider the idea of zoning the 2023 Presidential ticket to the South East. While APC gave the impression that it was willing to usher in an Igbo Presidency in 2023, the PDP insisted on its traditional open National Convention during which candidates from any part of the country can compete in an open democratic election.
Governor Umahi who is completing his second term in office, and cannot run again felt the only way for him to progress politically is to defect to a party where he could be considered for President or perhaps Vice President.
Prospecting for gold has turned Zamfara State into the wild wild West on the watch of Matawale. The governor himself has become the state’s Chief goldsmith, surreptitiously helping himself to the state’s rich mineral resource.
It appears that Matawale’s business rivals exposed the governors’s dirty deals to the Buhari administration who promptly offered the governor an offer he couldn’t refuse; EFCC probe or decamp to APC.
Additionally, Matawale’s membership of the People’s Democratic party was made more uncomfortable by criticism from his colleagues in the PDP. Governors from the oil producing states in particular challenged the governor to throw Zamfara gold into the National coffers as they are compelled to donate their oil to be shared nationally.
As he himself expressed several times, under those circumstances, Matawale felt more at home in APC than in PDP.
Governor Ayade’s case is no less pathetic. The embattled governor of Crossriver State ran afoul of PDP leaders of the state who accused him of autocratic tendencies.
It was alleged that the Governor’s aides wrote lists of party executives and candidates instead of conduction democratic elections.
Party members across the State rejected this dictatorial approach and a rift soon developed between the people and their governor. Finding it increasingly difficult to control the party structure Ayade felt he had no use for the PDP, and sought an alternative in the APC.
In addition,as in Matawale’s case prospect of an EFCC probe played a role in Ayade’s decision to embrace APC.
There had been wide spread insinuations that many of the governors’s pet projects were in fact phantom projects. Word had it that Ayade secured Federal Government funds for State agriculture and infrastructure development, but made funds available for personal private use. It appears that like the Zamfara State governor, Professor Ayade had to make a choice between EFCC and defection to APC.
Each of the PDP governors who defected to APC is running away from debilitating personal problems. Their cross over is a matter of expediency, not principle.
Their party and the people who gave them the opportunity to become leader of their State are powerless at this point in time to help them. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for the citizens of the state and for Nigeria, the ruling party is always ready to offer shelter to dissidents.
Nigerans will remember the outrageous declaration of Comrade Oshiomole, the one time National Chairman of APC who shamelessly offered his party as a refuge for protection against the law of the land.
President Muhammadu Buhari is leader of APC, and inspite of his proclamations of innocence, the welcome he is willing to extend to people with questionable character is evidence that the Oshiomole plan has become APC party policy.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) will go to any length to Biff up its membership. It is particularly determined to surpass the People’s Democratic party (PDP) in the governorship count. Note that before Ayade’s defection, APC could not claim to be a National party, as it had no governor in the South South geopolitical zone.
The defection of people to the ruling APC party is a reflection of the desperate times we live in. Principles and morality are fast becoming luxuries that people can hardly afford !
How else can one explain going to become a member of a political Party that has plunged Nigeria into the worst state of insecurity it has ever experienced during peace time. What is the attraction to a party that is unable to stem the tide of the Nation’s economic collapse ? And what could possibly endear anyone to a political Party headed by an ultra tribalist; a man who through his appointments , actions and utterances has no compulsion to change his image of President, not of Nigeria, but President of the Muslim North.
Unfortunately, defection from party to party has become a norm in Nigerian politics, especially at the approach of general elections. These recent defections could therefore be perceived as a prelude to 2023.
Political Party membership usually becomes stable after National elections. Many of the defectors to APC are likely to shuttle back to PDP once PDP is back in power. What is more worrying today is whether there will be a Nigeria tomorrow.
Adetokunbo Pearse, PhD. Public Affairs Analyst, PDP Stakeholder.