A former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has raised the alarm over the gale of defections across the political divide, warning that such actions were capable of derailing the country’s democracy
Tukur, who is Nigeria’s Ambassador-at-large and Chairman of the Board of Nigeria Railway Corporation, expressed misgivings on the state of instability in political parties in Nigeria, especially with unrestrained manner of movement of politicians from one party to the other.
He said the trend which has already been making mockery of Nigeria’s politics, was capable of derailing democracy if something urgent was not done about it.
Tukur spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at his private residence, when some PDP youth leaders from the North-Central, led by Mr. Yalla Ibrahim, paid him a private visit.
The elder statesman said he personally took exception to what he described as the “ongoing bastardisation of party system in Nigeria in which case, political players switch camps at will, while portraying themselves as cheap, desperate, insatiable and inordinately ambitious”.
Tukur said this action could only take place in Nigeria where he said some politicians were ready to sacrifice their integrity, morals and self-confidence.
He said it was time leaders of political parties began to prevent what he described as “moral bankruptcy” among members and politicians in general against the background of perceived lack of tolerance and endurance in conduct by the political actors.
He said, “These days, we have politicians who had had stints with all existing parties by simple desperation to push their nebulous political ambitions. This is not good for democracy and it is totally unacceptable.
“Why would politicians not stay to help in building his party, but must be on constant drive to prostitute with available parties in the name of ambition. What kind of ambition would not make our politicians to demonstrate maturity, Integrity, dignity, patience and contentment?
“We say we are building democracy and we want it to be strong. Can we do that by being just lousy and opportunistic? Can we really build democracy by creating political platforms for personal interests and self-aggrandizement?
“Will democracy ever grow in Nigeria when we the players don’t allow enough time and space for the political parties to grow? I am saddened by this trend and I feel it must stop!”
In what could be a veiled reference to the development in his home state of Adamawa, where some defectors have applied for waiver to enable them contest the governorship primaries on the platform of PDP, Tukur warned against granting such waivers, adding that such action would not help in building loyalty among politicians.
Apart from this, he said most of the defectors believe that they are better off than those they meet on ground in their new party.
The ex-PDP national chairman added that it would amount to bequeathing wrong political values and ideas to the upcoming generation, when a defector from a party begins to apply for waiver for the purpose of seeking political office and not to work for the promotion and progress of the party.