CSOs caution politicians over defection, desperation

CSOs caution politicians over defection, desperation
Samson Itodo

Some Civil Society Organisations on Tuesday in Abuja said politicians cross-carpeting from one political party to another was out of desperation.

Some of the CSOs who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria unanimously agreed that in an ideal political environment, political parties have ideologies which attract politicians to join.

Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement Africa, said the recent defections by politicians should, however, not be a surprise to many political discerning Nigerians.

Itodo said: “Primarily, defection depends on political actors that lack principle, ideology and values.

“When people don’t have principles, values or ideologies, what you get is people moving from post to post in search of sense of direction.

“So they go to this party, and if it is not protecting their interest, they move to another political party.”

Itodo said that the defection was about politicians shifting allegiance not based on fair principle, but on self-interest.

He said that such an act was indeed a sad thing to the nation’s political system.

Itodo said that defections were already affecting youth candidacy, adding that the level witnessed so far had its implications.

He said: “Someone, who has not worked for a political party, who has not paid his dues, who has not been a member of the political party, but decides to defect, is accorded eminence.”

For Esther Uzoma, Alternate Chairperson, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, the defections, while not healthy, may however, not be all bad.

According to her, the defections were indicative of the fact that the country enjoyed a vibrant democratic system.

Uzoma said: “On the one hand, it indicates a vibrant democracy, while on the other hand, it also indicates a political system that is totally devoid of ideological persuasion.

“So, moving towards 2019, we get the impression that these are just politicians trying to seize power.

“It is not that they are trying to convince the electorate about a particular ideology or providing particular answer to the Nigerian question.”

Similarly, Frank Tietie, Executive Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights, said the defections were a reflection of desperation by some politicians.

Tiete said: “Unfortunately, they are without ideological basis and as such it becomes worrisome.

“We are in a situation where politicians began to engage in permutations, rather than actual political education.

“Certainly, this will affect women and youth candidacy, because the odds have always been against them, especially due to money politics.”

Tietie added that even with the enactment of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run law, there was still not much hope for young people.

He said: “This is because the question has now become they are now too poor to run, as they don’t have the necessary resources to battle with some old political players.”

According to him, the way forward is for the people to realise that the ultimate political power is resident in them as they are the ones who control real political power.

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