Reporter : UCHE NDEKE
Some political stakeholders and analysts in Anambra State have condemned the rate at which politicians in the country defect from one political party to another. To this end they have called on political parties to re-organise their party manifestoes in order to have a definite ideology that would guide its leaders and members at all times.
Radio Nigeria spoke with the stakeholders on the political growth and development so far made by the nation as it celebrates her 60th Independence. Political parties are groups of people who come together with shared ideologies and sole goal of gaining power through elections.
The members are also expected to respect such ideologies and manifestoes that serve as the compass for the parties and the government formed by them. For instance, the personalities, who led the fight for the independence, including Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, were separated by their distinct ideologies, which assisted them in piloting the affairs of their various political groups.
However, recent events point to the fact that political parties in the country can no longer be identified by ideologies. This manifests in the spate of defections especially witnessed on the eve of elections and after polls, which see many politicians move to a new party with the mandate they get from their former party. The development, according to some respondents in Anambra State, has affected the growth and development of the political structures and adversely undermined the progress of the nation.
One of them, Mr. Okelo Madukife, says though the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended provided in section 61 that anyone who dumps a party to join another shall loose the position held, the clause which permits such to happen when a party is in crises remains controversial and needs to be specified.
Mr. Madukife, who is the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State, claims that the number of defectors often is not as high as reported but blames the alleged high rate of defection on media hype.
Another respondent and Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, while calling for an amendment of the lacuna in the constitution as regards to defection, says internal democracy within political parties will no doubt bring about the desired turn-around in the development of the country’s.
Mr. Nwobu while encouraging the people not to develop apathy due to the level decay in the system, calls on them to celebrate the country’s democracy as they look forward to a better time. A youth leader, Mr. Osita Ozallagba, expressed regret that the present crop of politicians lack the integrity needed to pilot the affairs of the nation, a situation which has set the country back.
A legal practitioner, Mr. Joseph Aghanti, cries out that politicians are more concerned about winning elections than developing ideologies that can address national challenges. The respondents call for synergy among Nigerians to turn around the negative political and socio-economic narratives of the country.