Senator Godswill Akpabio has formally defected from the opposition PDP to the governing APC as you read this.
As is the norm during “big defections” of this nature, an entire stadium was rented, artistes were recruited to perform, logistic arrangements were of a grand scale and the event was broadcast live on national TV!
All for a defection from one political party to the other!! You would have been forgiven for thinking it was some crusade happening right inside the Ikot Ekpene Township on a work day, because it really was some huge crowd out there in the sun.
Let’s do some conservative estimate since you asked. It cost N5million an hour for your event to be broadcast live on ChannelsTV. The defection party was broadcast for some 4 hours and counting. Artistes are hired for between N3million to N5million and they were quite a few at the defection party. Huge sums also go to offsetting the bills of the DeeJay and compere. The APC has just spent millions of taxpayers’ money to welcome a politician into its fold.
The frightening thing about it all is that this isn’t a first in Nigerian politics. Millions go down the drain every other day on political rallies from the north to the south of the poorest country on God’s planet.Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto State put together a grand rally to announce his defection to the PDP. In Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose commissioned a live broadcast as he invited governors and a former president to see a newly constructed bridge.
When it comes to splurging tax payers money on meaningless political rallies, the two major political parties in the land often try to do outdo the other.
Akwa Ibom is one of Nigeria’s richest States thanks to its oil wells. But like elsewhere across the country, a chunk of the Akwa Ibom population live below the poverty line. At the end of today’s grand defection rally, all the governors, government officials and politicians from the APC will file out of that stadium, happy with themselves and still boasting plenty riches, but the poor people of Akwa Ibom will return to their homes, wondering where the next meal will come from.
And what happens when Akpabio dumps the APC tomorrow for the PDP or some other party? Another grand defection party? At whose expense exactly? Your guess is as good as ours.