In good politics, defections must be as a result of change in ideological principle of the politician. A Political Ideology is the perceived and believed route towards achieving a good society. For example, Liberalism and Socialism are the two most ancient and principal ideologies that had influenced Politics and Political Party formations. Liberalism strongly believes that the market forces should determine who gets what, how and when in society. Therefore Capitalism is the instrument to achieve the good society; thus, government or the state does not partake in the production and distribution of goods and services. This is why you hear people say government has no business in business. But Socialism believes that the government or state has a role to play in the production and distribution of goods and services in the society. Its instrument is the bureaucracy or the workforce of the state. So in Politics, it is left to the individual to chose the ideology that tallies with his or her vision of a good state and this is what informs joining or voting for a particular political party. Defection therefore can occur when the political party begins to deviate from its ideological stand or principle. In these cases of Nigerian political party defections, it has nothing to do with part deviations from ideological principle. This is proven by the reasons for defection as indicated above. Those reasons are thoroughly selfish, not ideological.
The primary effort of the Nigerian politician is political power for economic power. With this power he or she is able to cause trouble in his or her locality, recruit cult boys and girls, buys guns and ammunitions for them, pay them monthly, ensure that in that locality they are the only ones with meaningful life to live. They ensure that after paying workers’ salaries as government, all the other funds should go for capital projects where they can easily make money by cheating the people through over inflation of contract prices, poor jobs or non-performance at all and the money shared among themselves. The Nigerian politician is a total illiterate, stranger and abuser of what is Politics. It is not about age, so whether it is “too-young-to run” or “too-old-to-run” the result is likely going to be the same. It is also not about tribe or gender.
Therefore the solution to Nigeria’s political leadership mess is to first of all totally ignore the current crop of political leadership, raise a new set of political leaders who know what politics is and how to go about it for the common good of the society. Such leaders must have integrity, intellectualism, patriotism and the fear of God with which they can insist that the right things must be done.
Okachikwu Dibia, Abuja