By Ayomikun Olagoroye Ibrahim and Zainab Jimoh Omoronike
Chameleons cannot be predicted as they can change their colour at any time. Nigerian politics at one time or the other has continued to witness the presence of these chameleons that change parties the way chameleon change colours. Below are some notable facts surrounding this claim:
On the 24th July, 2018, 15 members of the Senate and 36 members from the House of Representatives defected from the All Progressive Congress Party (APC) which is the current ruling party to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Three days after, The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki also officially announced his defection from the All Progressive Congress (APC) to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). With this, he became the first senate president of Nigeria to leave his party while in office.
Some Governors who rode into power through the All Progressives Congress (APC) perfected moves by defecting to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Among the governors in this category are; AbdulFatah Ahmed (Kwara State); Samuel Ortom (Benue State); and Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto State). In the same vein, some state assembly members also followed this defection trail; a situation that might probably put the All Progressives Congress stalwarts on tension and an unfavorable condition in the upcoming 2019 general election.
Nigeria citizens have begins to wonder the real intention of these ‘chameleon’ politicians who has turned defection into clothes that can be changed anytime to suit a particular event. It is however convincing as it is quite unsure if these politicians are pursuing this political aspirations in the interest of the masses or for their own selfish interest.
Earlier, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had been the ‘toast of all’ based on the confidence reposed in them by the masses, but it seems this glory is fading away just three years into the administration of the APC-led federal government. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) lost the interest of the people during the 2015 general as a result of what is tagged 16 years of misrule.
As the 2019 general election approaches, many Nigerians, opinion leaders and political stakeholders are of the view that the election will be keenly contested between the candidates of the two leading parties; APC and PDP. The incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari, is seeking reelection into office on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while the PDP is fielding a one-time Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Also, other contestants in the presidential race are; Mr. Eniola Ojaguni of Alliance for Democracy; Donald Duke of Social Democratic Party; Kingsley Moghalu of Young Progressive Party; Obiageli Ezekwesili of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria; Fela Durotoye of Allaince for New Nigeria; Omoyele Sowore of African Action Congress; Tope Fasua of Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party; Eunice Atuejide of National Interest Party; Olusegun Mimiko of Zenith Labour Party; Adeshina Fagbenro Bryon of Kowa Party; Chike Ukaegbu of Advanced Allied Party; Obadiah Mailafa of African Democratic Congress; Ahmed Buhari of Sustainable National Party; and finally, Alhaji Usman Ibrahim of National Rescue.
The irony of Nigerian politics is that these same politicians who cross-carpeted from PDP to APC in the wake of 2015 general elections, claiming that the then ruling party was full of corrupt politicians, are now defecting back to the party they once labeled negatively. The whole citizens have now been left in a state of confusion as these politicians keep defecting from one party to another on different election occasions.
The Nigerian citizens should be able to make a reasonable decision from these various alternatives. The people should vote based on the fact and go for the candidates that will make life convenient for them as they must have promised. The elected candidates should however fulfill all the promises that must have been stated in the manifesto. It is only through this that we would experience a peaceful and reasonable governance of the country. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should ensure that the election is free and fair that the people’s choice becomes the next President.