Letter To The The Editor: Democracy And Defections

Anytime I get to read about how our politicians cross-carpet from one party to another, I feel greatly troubled and unhappy for two reasons. First, it shows the level of indiscipline in the polity. Second, it gives one the impression that our journey into the enthronement of good governance and sustainable development is becoming a…”
Moroti Olatujoye
September 7, 2018 10:36 am

Anytime I get to read about how our politicians cross-carpet from one party to another, I feel greatly troubled and unhappy for two reasons.

First, it shows the level of indiscipline in the polity. Second, it gives one the impression that our journey into the enthronement of good governance and sustainable development is becoming a mirage.

Perhaps, more than ever before in the annals of the country, the last few weeks have witnessed a litany of defections from one party to another which makes it difficult for one to sit down and adduce any sound justification for such actions.

The law only says that a legislator must be sponsored by a political party, but silent on what becomes of him or her if he or she defects. Law does not specify clearly that elected officials should vacate their positions when they defect to other parties.

The constitution is silent on the fate of members of the executive who decamp too, as we have been seeing. The constitutional provisions, as they are presently are one sided. The central role of political parties to democratic governance cannot be overemphasised.  Parties are veritable platforms for mobilisation by ensuring that state institution works.

Defection impedes development, as defectors merely negotiate access to power. It brings forth retrogression and multiplies setbacks in a democracy and distrust in the minds of voters. Vibrant democracy requires active, objectives and fearless opposition to keep the government in power on its toes and constantly under check for better performance.

The politics of bread and butter, stomach infrastructure and survival of the fittest which is being practiced in the country must be jettisoned. Politics for now portend backwardness and not too good for national development.

A lasting solution is a combination of many efforts, first is through constitutional amendment that could make all the defectors to lose their seats, executive officers inclusive. Not only that the electorate should stop celebrating defectors.

The Independent National Electoral Commission should increase advocacy in this regard, political parties should also imbibe internal democracy and discipline. Lastly, Nigerians deserve better governance and leadership in 2019 and beyond.

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