by Soibi Ransom
First I would like to state that the habit of decamping from one party to another is not entirely inappropriate but it can be for good at times. In several countries we see politicians decamp from one party to another for good reasons but this article is centered on the bad mannerism of the decamping in Nigerian politics.
The Nigerian political system has become a game of sentimentalism, bias and self deceit. It brings into my head flashes of my childhood. As a young boy, my dad, a civil servant, wanted to buy a car, a car many would consider average, I so much did not like the car but when my dad bought it, I was elated, I tuned my mind and said it was a great car and comparable to a limousine. It also brings into my mind the footballing world, when Deco of FC Porto in a final against Mourinho’s team insulted Jose Mourinho and swore never to play under him only for Jose Mourinho to be appointed Porto’s manager in two weeks time and both became very good friends winning European and domestic title together. And finally it reminds me of when Luis Figo once swore never to join rivals Real Madrid from Barcelona only for him to force a transfer when a transfer bid of 50 million Euros was tabled. While it may not matter much playing for a rival team or appointing a rival manager or tuning a mindset of what we don’t like to what we like, it must be said that the issue of political prostitution and self centeredness has to end in Nigeria because it is becoming too boring and shameful for our eyes and to our ears. It is what Matthew Kukah decribed as ” the myownisation of Power” in his thesis.
Just recently the news that Prince Tonye Princewill of Labour party has decamped to the APC came with great amazement and at the same time expectation, amazement in the sense that one would think that Prince Tonye would be abit different and principled and given how he was betrayed by the different political platforms he has tried to run on, he would may be this time around choose to stick his foot in one lane and hope that it turns out in his favour rather than jump ship and follow any tract where he sees footprints. But in General I am not surprised because in Nigeria the political system is not built for societal changes, it isn’t built for public infrastructure, social infrastructure or economic infrastructure but built for position, relevance, fame, stomach, pocket and alert infrastructure of politicians, their families and well wishers anything outside that matters least to them. We have seen on different occasions in this country where a politician accuses another politician, labeling him all kinds of names, from corrupt, to insane, to clueless and any word you can find in the dictionary well suited to demean a man and later on praise him, deify him, eulogise him and paint him in the brightest and most attractive of rainbow colors.
We saw it first with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who in 2007 left the PDP to another party because of a personal fall out with the president then Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, he called PDP corrupt and band of robbers only to return in 2011 to pick the PDP form to run on the same platform he called corrupt years back. And when he lost the primaries he ran again and formed a coalition with the current ruling party made up of a large group of PDP members. Again it reminds me of the statement from Chief Edwin Clark after President Jonathan lost the 2015 election that Jonathan lacked the will to fight corruption, this same man who ate and dined with the President and defended him alot when he was in power and being abused by the Northerners, did Chief Clark not know about Jonathan’s lack of will to fight corruption? Did he publicly rebuke the ex- President when he was in Power? Why now that he has lost his seat? Why now? Why was it that after Jonathan lost the election newspapers carried that he was no longer having the same level of visitors he used to have and people now wait hours in the airport for Gen Buhari to arrive, it also reminds me of the friendship between President Buhari and Bola Tinubu, two opposite people just for the sake of ousting President Jonathan, President Buhari almost picked Bola Tinubu, a known corrupt politician for the sake of enhancing his chances had it not been for the intervention of some party members who said Muslim-Muslim ticket would not work in Nigeria given the suspicion of islamisation by the christian community in the country. It also reminds me of Chief Barrister Nyesom Wike and his now sworn enemy Hon Rotimi Amaechi who after his dear Amaechi was overlooked for the Governorship flag bearer role when he had won the PDP primaries, in Chief Obasanjo’s K- leg saga, went to Ghana to bring back his friend and motivate him to fight the decision in the supreme court to oust the then Governor, Chief Celestine Omehia, but fast forward the years, Rotimi Amaechi and Wike are now sworn enemies, bashing each other in the press and this same Celestine Omehia, who Wike helped remove as Governor is now seen parading around Chief Wike just for the sake of contracts and relevance through positions and other benefits. It brings into my mind Chief Fani Kayode who was seriously blasting President Jonathan in his speeches and all of a sudden stopped when he was offerd a job as the Spokesman for the Jonathan campaign. Do I go on to mention the Obanikoro and Tinubu case, and other of such cases, I would not end my thesis if I do. Today you see Governor Fayose bombing President Buhari and APC but come 2019 he may run as a Vice to someone in that party and when it does happen you will see the height of our political deceitfulness. It makes me wonder why the common man must kill himself and take risks to steal a ballot box and speak out or do a sit in or a public protest to defend the interest of these callous people. If there is any lesson to be learned in Nigerian politics it is do not kill yourself to save a politicians career, do not risk your life, or your comfort because they dont care about you. They do not care about your life or your walfare. Politics is about feeding the stomach, the ego and the pocket of our politicians and not about good leadership or governance. As President Obasanjo once put it ” Fani Kayode is my boy, if you give him food he will sing and dance for you, he is my boy a very smart boy”. The disagreements between politicians is never about principle it is a fight to ensure that no one stops their choppings or relevance, it is never a fight of integrity but for continued bank alert. We all have to be careful and not take our political class for god, they will never make permanent enemies, they don’t mind reconciling with the devil just for the sake of position, stomach and pocket infrastructure, so my dear friends and citizens please be Wise!!!