Nigerians have witnessed some of the most despicable and atrocious acts of betrayals from some elected political office holders at all levels who have cross carpeted from the political parties that catapulted them to their political offices to the so-called ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party [PDP]. Unfortunately, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua has demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubts that he does not care a hoot about the sensibilities and feelings of a cross section of Nigerians who have persistently criticized the defection of these political office holders from their original political platforms that sponsored them to their current offices to the Peoples’ Democratic Party [PDP] in what has been described as ‘Bread and Butter’ political prostitution.
The implication of the continuous drive by the Peoples’ Democratic Party to compel by hook or crook all elected politicians from their original political parties to the Peoples’ Democratic Party is that the current administration from the top has a carefully coordinated plot to foist on corporate Nigeria a one party state and ultimately lead Nigeria to fascism or totalitarianism.
Unfortunately, the majority of Nigerians who stood in the sun in some of these states like Bauchi, Kebbi, Zamfara and Imo in 2007 to cast their votes for some of these highly unprincipled politicians to become Governors of these States are yet to mobilize themselves and demonstrate against these acts of betrayals and treacherous abandonment of the mandates of these electorates. Although some of these State Governors who have crossed over to Peoples’ Democratic Party like that of Imo State is believed strongly not to have won the election but was foisted on the people by the Maurice Iwu-led Independent National Electoral Commission who turned out as the most beneficiary of that contraption that was put up in the name of 2007 election in Imo State which produced Ikedi Ohakim, a man described rightly as an unknown political quantity prior to that so-called election which took place after the first Governorship and house of Assembly polls had taken place and the Governorship election results were annulled by the electoral commission illegally even while the results of the State House of Assembly election that took place simultaneously with that of the Governorship was left intact. Iwu’s brother was made the Secretary to the Imo State Government by Ohakim even as his daughter and son in-law bagged juicy appointments in the same administration.
The political environment of Nigeria is truly oozing with stench of tyranny and treachery made manifest through the ongoing arms twisting of these elected political office holders by President Umaru Musa Yar’adua-led Peoples’ Democratic Party to abandon their parties to embrace the Peoples’ Democratic Party and if care is not taken, Nigeria will sooner than later witness unprecedented social anarchy because if the people are forced against their will to illegally cross over to a particular party and that party uses its hold on power to retain the same category of unpopular and unprincipled politicians, then Democracy will be imperilled and headed for destruction. Is this what and where President Umaru Musa Yar’adua wants to lead Nigeria to? Why will a man who has turned out as Nigeria’s first so-called University trained Executive President participate in a scheme whose aim is to truncate and undermine Democracy? Is it that a person’s university degree does not help to shape the outlook or world view of the holder so much so that what matters is serving ones’ partisan interest above national interest as is being witnessed now with the wind of cross carpeting blowing across Nigeria under President Yar’adua where political office holders including elected legislators who are clearly banned by the constitution from abandoning their political platforms are moving massively to the Peoples’ Democratic Party, a party that has not delivered the democratic entitlements to Nigerians over the last decade?
Those who have lazily argued that these set of politicians who are crossing over to the Peoples’ Democratic Party have the human rights to so make their choice of the political association to belong, are dead wrong. It is immoral, illegal and unconstitutional for political office holders propelled and sponsored into offices by a particular political platform to midway into their tenure to abandon that party for the party in power at the Federal level for their selfish reasons. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly recognizes that candidates for political offices must be sponsored by particular political parties and going by the Supreme Court Judgment on the Rotimi Amaechi’s matter versus Celestine Omehia, it is clear that political parties that sponsor a candidate is ultimately sacrosanct. These set of unprincipled politicians have often pointed to the Supreme Court’s judgment that ruled that the then Vice President Atiku Abubakar could not be dismissed by the then President Obasanjo on the ground of abandonment of his original political platform for the newly formed Action Congress. But the case of Atiku versus the former president was different in form, shape and dimension with that of Rotimi Amaechi who was returned by the supreme court as the rightful candidate of the party that sponsored him because Atiku was de-registered by his political party through a deliberate scheme hatched by the then president to deny him a platform to contest the 2007 election because he [Atiku] kicked against the third term plot by the then president Obasanjo. Amaechi was substituted.
Thomas M. Franck in his piece titled LEGITIMACY AND THE DEMOCRATIC ENTITLEMENT carried as chapter one of the widely acclaimed political book titled ‘Democratic Governance and International Law’ co-edited by Gregory H. Fox and Brad R. Roth, warned that if such political misbehaviours like cross carpeting and abandoning the platforms and still clinging on to the mandates of the people illegally could spell doom for that nation involved. He wrote thus; ‘’In the World that emerged after the collapse of the fascist and communist ideologies, the principal cause of war has become unfairness and anomie. How the means of a good life are distributed among peoples and persons and whether people and persons are adequately consulted in the decisions that determine their life-prospects; these are the principal determinants of war and peace’’. How will these unprincipled executive defectors in these states explain to the electorate that they decided to abandon the political platforms that brought them to power and under which they canvassed for votes with solemn pledges to execute the programmes of these political parties meant to better the respective States? It’s shameful.
+Onwubiko heads the Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria.