Defection or carpet crossing is a common feature of Nigeria’s multi-party democracy. The scattering of the brooms is indeed a good riddance to bad rubbish.
The mass defection of lawmakers from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and others on Tuesday in the National Assembly did not come as a surprise. It was long expected. The defection of 14 APC senators and 33 House of Representatives members to the PDP shows that the foundation of the APC edifice is seriously shaking. On Wednesday, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State dramatically defected from the APC to the PDP. More defections from the ruling behemoth to the PDP are likely to occur in the days ahead. Nigerians are keenly watching the defection drama in APC.
Defection or carpet-crossing is a common feature of Nigeria’s multi-party democracy. The scattering of the brooms is indeed a good riddance to bad rubbish. It is good for our democracy. It appears the broom has lost its cleansing aura. Participants in a democracy should be allowed to have choices and which party to belong. The framers of the 1999 Nigerian constitution (as amended) foresaw the make-up of the average Nigerian politicians and inserted in the constitution the carpet-crossing clause.
They knew that impunity will always rear its ugly head in our political parties. They knew from the onset that our parties would be characterized by lack of internal democracy and the rule of the thumb. They also knew that one man will always control our political parties and because of these factors, some party members would always be aggrieved and feel like moving to another party, hence the constitution allowed carpet-crossing or defection if the party in question is afflicted with crisis.
The impunity in APC has even surpassed the one exhibited by the PDP before it was dethroned in 2015 by the new master and oga at the top, the APC. The APC nationwide congresses and national convention held recently were trailed with impunity and imposition of candidates. This invariably led to factionalization in the party. The self-inflicted divisions in the party are real. Those leaving the APC in droves to other political parties have genuine reasons to do so. Their action is covered by the extant 1999 Constitution. While the defection fever is still inflicting devastating blows on the APC, the party’s leadership appears to have been chasing shadows, grandstanding and talking condescendingly. The party leaders’ stance does not help matters. It does not attract sympathy from onlookers.
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Worryingly, the party is not remorseful. It is still of boasting of winning the 2019 elections. But election is not won by words of mouth. It is won by votes. Words do not cast votes, human being do. In fact, the arrogance of APC leadership will further worsen its precarious situation. The new leadership is doing more harm to the party by its command post utterances. The language of party politics should be civil, dialogic and conciliatory. The language of brute force belongs to the military. The APC leadership is like that man in our folklores, who is pursuing a rat while his house is on fire. The APC loss is the PDP gain. The law of karma is at work. What the APC sowed is what it is reaping bountifully. Since the leadership of the party is not losing sleep over its political misfortune, Nigerians will not lose sleep either. The looming fall of APC is long foretold and all things are working in fulfillment of that divine prophecy. History will always be on the side of victims of any bad and dysfunctional system. Nigerians have suffered under the watch of the brooms. The saying that history repeats itself is a true reflection of the Nigerian political situation. Like the woman, who married two husbands, we are in a better position to tell which of them is better. Let Nigerians get their voters cards and future in 2019. Time is fast running out. The era of propaganda is gone. Covering our eyes with wool cannot perform the magic. Threats of thunder and brimstone cannot work this time around. Nigerians should get ready to reclaim their land and manifest destiny. Those who have not got their PVCs should endeavour to do so without further delay. The PVC is the only power you have to elect into office leaders of your choice. Never sell it for a pot of soup as was the case in the July 14 Ekiti State gubernatorial election. The era of amala politics is over.
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Adeosun: Speak now or resign
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, is in a hot soup now following the allegation that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exempt certificate she had was obtained from either Oluwole or Jankra markets.
In other words, the exempt certificate in her custody was faked and not original. Yet it passed the eagle eyes of our DSS and others that carried out background checks on her before she scaled through the screening at the Senate before becoming a minister of the Federal republic of Nigeria.
Another dimension to the saga is that Adeosun graduated at the age of 22 which qualified her for participating in the NYSC and not an exemption. Adeosun has distinguished herself well since her appointment as the finance minister. Her presentations and accent are impeccable. But the exempt certificate saga is one troubled spot she should either come clean or fall.
Her silence on the matter is not helpful. The silence of the Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, is not good as well. The silence of the Federal Government on the issue is like a cover up.
The best option for Adeosun is to muster the moral strength and tell Nigerians the truth of the matter so that it can be closed
once and for all. If she cannot speak on the issue, the best thing for her is to resign. This is one ugly matter that is still hanging on the neck of the change government, which is fighting corruption. The anti-corruption government should please help us say the truth in the Adeosun exempt certificate saga, whether it is genuine or not.
Caging the watchdog
Political leaders are always afraid of the media. It is not a disease of developing countries alone. Even the United States President Donald Trump loathes the media. Leaders hate the press just because of its watchdog functions.
That is why Plato banned poets (read journalists) in his ideal Republic. The APC government has not hidden its morbid fear of the media. It has tried through sundry bills to muzzle the freedom of the press which is guaranteed by the 1999 constitution.
It has attempted to muzzle the social media and it failed. Its latest attempt to gag the press is the obnoxious “Press Council Bill” before the National Assembly. The bill is unconstitutional, anti-people and against free speech and freedom of the press. It is a subtle attempt to cage the press, the watchdog of the society. Nigerians must resist the anti-people bill. The bill should be thrown to the trash bin because it is against democratic tenets and the rule of law.