Political prostitution is a stumbling block to political development and entrenchment of democratic process.In Katsina, the issue is now on the rise as the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari seems to be working round the clock to pursue some PDP heavyweights to pitch tent with APC which is perceived by many observers as a counter to the threat posed by the APC AKIDA to his reelection bid. AKIDA is a faction formed by some prominent APC stalwarts such as Sada Ilu, Dr. Usman Bugaje et al.
Prior to the 2015 general election, it was some agrieved members- the so-called G-7 that left the PDP for the then opposition, APC. Their defection played a key role in the victory of APC. Since then, APC have been recieving decampees batch upon batch. In Katsina state, People like the business mogul,Dahiru Mangal; Sen. Ibrahim ida, Former Speaker Gwajogwajo, Musa Adamu Funtua, Gen. M.I Tsiga have all swap PDP for the ruling APC. Recently Bature Umar Masari and now Abubakar Shu’aibu Solo among others, have found their way in to the APC. The wave of defections has cause panic among PDP members.
There were insinuations that some of those that decamped to the APC have done so to escape corruption charges. Whether this is true or not is immaterial. The surprising thing is when the people that were tagged as corrupt are received with fanfare and ostentatious gatherings to celebrate their defection to the ‘Change’ party. This is a betrayal of trust since the APC came to power on the change mantra which has anti-corruption war as the frontburner on it’s campaign manifesto. A thin line now separate the two parties as we can see the yesterday’s devils are beginning to replace the ‘saints”.
Umar Tata, a gubernatorial aspirant under the opposition People’s Democratic Party have recently wrote an open letter admonishing the leadership of PDP in Katsina south zone against the purported attempt by Bature Umar Masari who recently cross- carpete to the ruling APC, to join him in his new political abode. Being a member and aspirant, is natural for Tata to feel threatened by this development which prompted him to raise the alarm. However, Tata should know better that such move is a norm within the Nigeria’s political landscape.
Reasons for defection:
The increase in cross carpeting in our body polity is a pointer to the inherent dearth of strong leadership in our political parties which are bereft of clear cut ideology.
The spate of crosscarpeting makes
one to wonder weather the parties were founded by people of the same ideological conviction or were just a gathering of predators whose driving force is to capture political power and appropriate state’s resources in their own selfish Interest. Ideology based politics and principles have been systematic expunged in the present democratic dispensation. What we have is a specie of politicians so mindful of their private interest that they are mindless of the common good of all.
Because of the near absense of ideology, politicians are simply out looking for any platform where their interest could be met. That was why in 2014, when Tata was schemed out at the party’s primary election, he defected to APGA where he contest and lost before he eventually return to his darling PDP. This explain the kind of leadership we have today in the country. Most of our politicians are bereft of democratic values that they are synonymous with prostitutes that are ready to bedmate every party that can satisfy their lust for power.
Another factor for the defection is the uncertainty surrounding the issue of getting ticket. Shema may likely determine who gets what in the nominations since he’s the one controlling the party. Most of the party leaders are struggling to earn a living; they have no money and allegedly spent several months without a stipend. Those that suppose to finance the party are waiting to see the direction where Shema is tilting before making the next move. That’s why everybody is afraid to dish out his money. The PDP is lacking in financiers because they are skeptical about the prospect of spending money in an unsecured political climate.This made cross carpeting more easier since many can not endure ”poverty”.
The Nigerian politician is akin to a prostitute, at least in his loyalty which can be shift as interest dictate. A politician tends to be where he can invest less and reap more. It does not matter which camp is. Politics is a game of interest and therefore, politicians move to where their interest could be better protected . The question of morality- right or wrong is immaterial. Just as prostitute switch bed so also does politicians shift camp. It is very hard to find a politician who has never jump ship in his career. In fact, cross carpeting has now became a permanent feature of Nigeria’s democracy.
A word for the defectors:
My question to the defectors are: Is it that you can not withstand the rigours that come with opposition? Is it the lure of material gains or was it for personal interest. I know that politics is a game of interest and loyalty to a politician is just like pieces on a chessboard which can be push and withdrawn as interest permit. Those that crossover is within their constitutional right and political calculations. I can’t blame them for that but what puzzle me is how do one reconcile with the moral bargage?
Here are the people whom the then opposition APC tagged as corrupt but today the governor has been doing anything possible to cajole them.When they succumbed to his lure, they are welcome with an open arm as if they are now born again. My questions to His Excellency are; when did these people became born again? Are they still ”thieves”- (since they were then considered as such) or were they forgiven since they now crossover to the temple of ”saints”? was it all a propaganda when you said the people are thieves all in an attempt climb on to the mantle of power?
Experience show that even those that left for APC may returned home(PDP) if their expectations are not met. Other aggrieved members may likely move to the PDP when the election period draw closer and their chance of securing party ticket became unattainable. It’s against this background that i hardly criticise politician simply because he change party.
The way heavyweight are leaving the opposition to join the APC is alarming.The movement does not augur well for democratic consolidation. Katsina state need a vibrant opposition which is near impossible with the rate of defections to the ruling APC.
Much as the PDP want to dethrone masari come 2019, that would not be feasible if there is no better alternative in place. The Party need to field a competent and sellable opponent if at all they want to defeat the incumbent.
It is easy to ascribe all sort of adjectives to the cross-carpeters; opportunist, betrayers and whatnot but the reality is, the defection is a big blow to the opposition. If decampment could cost the then ruling party what more now that the party is in opposition?
Its time for the opposition to put their house in order. If the Party could suffer such a serious blow when they were in power, i foresee even more greater threat now that they are in opposition; with no enough money and machinery of power to help actualise their ambition to wrestle power from Masari. It is a herculean task but not insurmountable.
Allah raya Jihar Katsina