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2019: Nigerians decry gale of defections

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National Assembly

• Accuse Politicians Of Pursing Selfish Agenda

Apparently worried by the gale of defections rocking the polity, especially between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the National Assembly as 2019 elections draw near, Nigerians have condemned the action, describing it as selfish agenda of the politicians that would do Nigerians no good.

Speaking to The Guardian on the issue, a Resource person at the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ), Benin City Study Centre, Mr. Peter Iyeke, described the defections as self-serving by greedy politicians, who lack principle and patriotism.

Iyeke, who emphasised that the defections is for selfish reason said: “What we are witnessing today in Nigerian politics is alien in the world of politics.”He said the action is alarming, discouraging and of no value to Nigerians and inimical for the nation’s democracy. Also speaking in Owerri, Imo State Capital, an elder statesman Agbakwuru Hezekiah and a businessman, Vitalis Diala, condemned the action. Hezekiah warned against the bad image defection gives to the defectors and the negative image outside the country.

His words: “It is a behaviour with dual directions. It could be on one’s personal and general interest.“In terms of general interest, the present governance pattern in the country appears not to favour the masses. The defectors didn’t do so in the interest of the masses. If it were for the people’s interest, they would have embraced their party’s ideology.

“Where it is regrettable is that politicians speak with two sides of their mouth. It is highly regrettable that top politicians cannot provide the dividends of democracy we are clamouring for.”
But to a resident of Lokoja, Mike Abu, defection is normal in politics especially in the Nigerian clime, where politics is not defined by ideology.
“I consider the recent defections by politicians as a healthy development in view of the fact that those dumping one party for another as the case may be are doing so because their aspirations and that of their constituents are not being met by their former parties.

“So for me, it is normal if it will enable the people to have a government that would be concerned about their welfare. It would make political parties to be conscious of the promises they made during campaigns.”He said another advantage is that it will help to entrench internal democracy, as it would engender respect for internal democracy because those who left the PDP for the APC see themselves as progressives that have been sidelined.

A businessman, Mr Adeola Odudele,  told The Guardian: “All those changing parties are doing so because they are convinced that they would not be able to get their parties tickets to either contest to return to the seats they are presently occupying or to contest any other position of their choices.

According to a Jos-based electrician, Mr. Shedrack Mbanafor, defectors are self-centred and want only their personal interests to be protected. He said the politicians don’t care about the people whenever they are taking any decision, forgetting that the people voted them into power.He said that if the defectors were ready to repent and do good things, he would vote for them, adding however, that he was disappointed in them for changing political parties like slippers.

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