Politicians in Nigeria often join the winning camp because they want their bread buttered. That isn't about to change.
But Musiliu Obanikoro will soon be swapping PDP for APC, barring a last minute miracle.
Obanikoro’s defection has been the subject of intense social media chatter.
“How could he?” most persons have asked.
As a former governorship candidate on the platform of the PDP in recent political seasons; and as a minister in the sacked Goodluck Jonathan administration, no one expected Obanikoro to jump ship so soon.
But he will.
“Musiliu Obanikoro’s decision to join the APC irritates and saddens me”, said former Aviation minister, Femi Fani- Kayode, who has had no problems dumping one political party for another in the last couple of years.
Fani-Kayode and Obanikoro once shared prison walls for allegedly benefiting from proceeds of corruption.
“I say this because I have always loved him and I care. You cannot fight evil by joining it. You cannot bring light by entering the darkness. You cannot find joy by partaking in the bread of sorrows,” Fani-Kayode waxed.
He had more lamentations up his sleeves:
“You cannot run away in the heat of battle. You must have the courage of your convictions. Where is your honour? Where is your strength? Where is your dignity? Where is your self-respect? Where is your sense of self-worth?
“You and I are royalty. We are Princes and Kings and children of the living God. We were taught and brought up to fight to the end and never to bow to the enemy.”
Fani-Kayode must be living in a different planet from the rest of us.
To use 'dignity, self-respect and self-worth' in the same sentence with a Nigerian politician, was a stretch.
And Fani-Kayode should know. He’s as erratic and unfaithful as they come.
The former aviation minister had no qualms dumping the PDP for the APC and back to the PDP, before accepting a plum job in then President Jonathan’s electioneering campaign.
Former Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, has also just defected to the APC from the PDP, citing all kinds of laughable reasons for his decision.
Former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, has also fled the PDP for the APC.
Oil tycoon, Ifeanyi Ubah and Senator Andy Ubah, are now APC members; dumping PDP like hot coal.
This week, the latest high profile defection featured Senator John Owan Enoh who represents the Cross River central senatorial district in the upper legislative chamber.
And let’s not forget Florence Ita-Giwa (aka Mama Bakassi) and Victor Ndoma-Egba who are now APC members, leaving the PDP in the lurch.
Several lawmakers across the States and at the center, have swelled the ranks of the APC by dumping the opposition.
Do not cry for the PDP, though, because it’s only going to get worse with the next general elections barely two years away.
And besides, defection is the norm around here.
It’s always been that way.
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The governing party at the center gets to receive several members from the biggest opposition party, leaving the latter severely weakened and bare.
It points to an ideology deficit in our politics. It points to a character deficit as well.
We run a winner-takes-all political system where the loser immediately joins the winner in a mad scramble for the national cake and survival.
With 24 States in its kitty, the APC is Nigeria’s biggest political party at the moment.
The APC also controls the center. Its numerical advantage and size means that the APC is the beautiful bride at this time.
For the average Nigerian politician, what matters is which party has the key to the nation’s vaults at a given period.
It really is that simple.
For most politicians, swapping the opposition for the governing camp is also a tactic aimed at evading the long arm of the law.
It is believed that prosecutors and anti-graft agencies won’t go after you once you pitch tent with the party at the center.
Former government officials who have corruption cases hanging round their necks, see the APC as a convenient canopy to evade prosecution.
So, here’s the thing—the PDP is going to get weaker and weaker as we march toward 2019.
On the contrary, the APC is going to get stronger. Forget all you’ve read elsewhere, other so called mega parties and possible mergers will crumble or head into the next general elections, paper thin and looking for money to survive.
The APC will probably emerge from 2019, a bigger and even more dominant party.
The gale of defection will only hit top gear as we head into the next round of elections.
What we run here is an “anywhere belle face” political system.
Our politicians are really that shameless and there’s nothing we can do about it.