Understanding the Season of Decamping, Defection and Confrontation

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Ignatius Muotoh writes that political defection or decamping have always been the trademark of Nigerian politicians, especially towards the end of each administration for selfish reasons and never in the defense of democracy

Amongst other definitions, politics is described as activities associated with governance of a country or a group. It is embedded in ideology which is a body of doctrine, myth, belief and so on. It guides an individual’s social movement.

With ideology as the heart, politics includes the activities associated with improving people’s lives.

It is very often said that politics is about power. And a political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a given society. Its objective is not to defraud, deceive or shortchange the electorate. But in some situations, that may be the case.

I’m going to begin by defining two key elements which is in the body and soul of politics. The two key elements according to a worldwide and acceptable concept, are the words-service and reward.

Service is said to be an act of helpful activity. It’s a help rendered. It aims to ease a burden on the people.

In other words, it is the action of helping or doing work for the people. In politics therefore, service may include the provision of utilities or commodities like water, electricity and gas as required or demanded by the public. Above all, and in most cases, the provider of such service, volunteers the service. It is not forced on the individual by the community.

Whereas reward, on the other hand, is something given or received in return or recompense for service, merit, or for hardship rendered. It could be a sum of money or an act or prize offered for service rendered.

The interesting link between these two key words is the absence or should be the absence of a violence act or words in rendering a service or accepting a reward for a voluntary act.

However, since service on its own is a voluntary act by a person to render a service to his community, reward is what one receives for services rendered.

The former is devoid of violence, while the later may, even though service rendered was voluntary, the renderer may feel shortchanged. And such instances, may lead to a dispute where reward for services rendered may be considered inadequate by the receiver.

However, one is yet to see where a man or a woman will fight, borrow, sell, steal, kill or cheat on others simply to serve his community. People do not go to war over allocation of work to be rendered. No one fights because he or she was excluded from performing a voluntary service. Please, if you know of one, let me know and I’ll eat my words.

Perhaps it’s logical to war over reward for service rendered. But illogical to war to render a service.

We are currently, witnessing a tsunami of political decamping from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and vice-versa in the ‘defense’ of democracy. Why is this happening?

I wonder if these movements in defense of our so called democracy are for real, or for other ulterior motives?

May I direct your attentions to the remuneration of our law makers in both the Senate and Representatives, in relation to the rest of the people, since such a picture might throw some light and assist in answering the question.

Is it not a fact that ‘if you must come for equity, you must come with clean hands’?

A closer look at the salaries and allowances for our legislators, is at best shocking and at worst, evil.

Certainly, it’s devoid of equity and definitely not in the defense of democracy. Their hands are not clean for equity.

May I now, draw your attention closer to specifics.

The United States of America gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017 was a whopping $19.4 trillion, and her economy, absorbed a minimum wage of $9.20cents/hour for her citizens during the same period.

Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the same period 2017, was $413.7 billion (estimated) while the minimum wage for her workers was a paltry N18,000 per month (approximately N75/hour which was equivalent to $0.20 cents/hour.

While a US member of the House of Representative pockets a monthly $1.43 million on salary and allowances, his Nigerian counterpart goes home with a monthly salary and allowances of $1.67million.

These comparisons are mind boggling and ‘ungodly’.

Now, we are all witnessing the ‘show of shame’ recently in the name of ‘Defending our Democracy’ and I beg to ask these questions.

‘Who wouldn’t defend this sort democracy if your take home cheque is $1.67 million monthly in a nation where the majority are hardly paid the miserable N18,000 monthly income ($52 approx.)?

I watched with amazement the legislators protesting at the gates of the National Assembly against the blockade into the House by hooded gangster (security men) and I did a ‘facepalm’ on the pathetic situation we have found ourselves.

Make no mistake about this. I’m not against the acts or protests by our legislators if such are carried out in good faith.

Again, my questions are.

Where were these legislators when President Buhari and his APC government, appointed exclusively his Fulani clan into the nation’s security services in contrary to the Federal Character principle as laid down in the constitution?

Where were these legislators when the same black hooded security men were aiding and abetting (and still do) the killings by the herdsmen in Benue, Plateau, Nassarawa and Enugu owing to their inactions?

Doubtless, some of these legislators may have verbally spoken against Buhari’s policies on security, but that’s not enough.

Why will these legislators, wait until their offices are blocked and their livelihoods threatened to react?

May I ask, is criticising this ‘show of shame’ by legislators indicative of a tacit support for this Buhari?

Our people should not be hoodwinked into believing that the two Houses are fighting in defense of democracy. These politicians (legislators and the presidency) are the same people, and in the same boat. Sucking and milking the treasury at the expense of poor Nigerians.

I will label these brouhaha and the so called protests in defense of democracy as a ruse.

And the 170 million Nigerians (less the members of the two Houses) must not fall for this.

Political defections or decamping have always been a trademark of Nigerian politicians most especially towards the end of each administration for selfish reasons and never in the defense of democracy.

Imagine for a brief moment, waking up to read that the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has announced to the bewildered House of Commons, that he crossed over from the Conservative Party to the Labour Party lead by Jeremy Corbyn.

Or to read in the Washington Post that the Republican Senate Leader Speaker Bob Ryan has crossed over to the Democratic Party.

Such news are not only inconceivable but unthinkable since ideological differences is the key to political leanings.

These politicians should stop deceiving Nigerians. And it’s high time the people should also stop falling into this trash.

Ignatius ‘Nat Muotoh, writes from Langley, United Kingdom