By Stephen Ubanna
Nigeria politicians appear not to have learnt anything from the United States t and the United Kingdom political class who had developed a lasting political culture which had had led to the formation of parties with subsisting ideologies.
Take for instance the United States, where the republican and Democrats parties had evolved over the years . The situation is the same in Britain, where the Liberal, Labour and Conservatives parties exist. Politicians in these countries, based on their ideology , had pitched their tent with the right party and have never had cause to decamp to party. It is not surprising why power had been oscillating between the major parties in these countries over the years. A recent case is Donald Trump, a Republican Presidential Candidate, who had contested the party Congress since 1968 but lost out. he had never tinkered with the option of leaving the party to the Democrats but remained to help rebuild the party. A t present , he is the Present of the US , elected under the platform of the Republican party. The situation is the same for politicians in the United Kingdom.
While in Nigeria, according to Okeke Ukachukwu, a political analysts, is different, politicians from the first Republic to the present dispensation have been known to jump from one political party to another once they lose election or not getting the desired patronage from their current party. Investigation by the Magazine shows that there is hardly no known politician who had never jumped boat.
The roll call shows that President Muhammadu Buhari, who was a one time member of the All Nigeriia People’s Party, ANPP, a party under which he contested the 2003 presidential election against the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2003 had dumped the party to form the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, when his Presidential ambition could not be realised in the party. ANPP.
Another major decampee, was Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state who started with AD in 1998 but power struggle in the party forced him and others out to form ACN, which later teamed up with CPC, ANPP and other parties to form All Progressive Congress, APC. The formation of the mega party to unseat Jonathan in the 2015 election has not stopped the movement from one party to the other by the political class.
The latest of the political heavy weights that had hit the air waves who had left the PDP, a party which he had joined from the Labour party, LP, in 2015, was Olusegun Mimiko, a former Governor of Ondo state. The former Ondo state governor appears to have lost out in the power equation in the party that he had resigned with the intention to return to the LP. Given reasons for his exit from the party, Mimiko, in a message to the party Chairman in the state justified his reason to leave the umbrella party to some ”well thought out personal decisions”. He was said to have resigned from the party on June 13, 2018, a day after June 12, 2018, celebration in the state. There are indications that he has planned to return to the LP with some former key members of his Administration in the state.
The party, according to sources, may not be willing to accept the former Ondo state governor back to the fold for cross carpeting to the PDP in 2014, when he was supposed to sustain the gains made by the party in the state .
If the statement of Mike Omotosho, Chairman, of LP, in Abuja, is anything to go by, Mimiko may find it difficult to find his way back to LP. Omotosho believes that the former Ondo state plan to return to the party having lost out in the power equation in the PDP, was basically to destabilise the current gains made by the party to reclaim and reposition it in the state. He stressed that Mimiko’s re-approach to the party to return has nothing to do with loyalty but to launder his sagging political image in the state. He was said to have told the party Congress, comprising of workers in the state that Mimiko cannot be trusted , . He was said to have made it clear to those care to listen that that the LP, is no longer a ”transit bus to strange political destinations, , particularly under the subterfuge of the likes of Mimiko”. This is bad news who had expected Omotosho and other LP leaders to welcome him back to the party with open arms, an indication that the former Ondo state governor may likely suffer a political set back in the state or be forced to resign from politics .
But a political associate of Mimiko who spoke to the Magazine on condition of annonymity said the LP leaders need not worry about the return of Mimiko to the party as he had not really made up his mind the party to join. According to him, the former PDP Chieftain is still holding consultations and would formally announce his new party soon but not secretly.
Also , on the list of Politicians who had been jumping boat was Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice president who has been jumping from PDP to APC and back to PDP. Many believes that Atiku’s major reason for jumping from one party to the other was because of his political ambition to rule Nigeria at all cost. He had contested the Presidential ticket of the PDP, twice but lost to both late Musa Yar’Adua and former President Goodluck Jonathan respectively. The aggrieved former Vice president was said to have left the party in anger and joined the APC. He had slugged it out at the party Presidential primaries, with president Muhammadu Buhari in 2014 in Lagos but lost to him.
He has returned back to the PDP, with an intention fly the flag of the party in 2019. The duo are not the only members of the Nigeria political class who had jumped boat in the recent time. The nPDP members, where the likes of Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and now minister of Transport belong to this class of politicians.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo who had resigned from the PDP,many not have joined another party for now, but indications are rife that he is instrumental for the formation of African Democratic Congress, ADC, one of the parties that had had been registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the recent time , ostensibly to wrest power from Buhari of the APC, IN 2019. With the interest shown in ADC, many believe that Obasanjo also has joined the ranks of the greedy political who are not after developing a sound political culture and ideologically political parties for the country but only interested in satisfying their own selfish interest.
Political analysts believe that unless Nigeria politicians learn to be bad losers and stop jumping from one party to the other when they their interest are no longer being protected in their current party, the trouble in Nigeria political horizon would continue, and hope of developing a sound political culture in the country would remain a mirage, they said.