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Editorial

Ideologies, Decampings, And Defections in Nigerian Politics

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Nigerian politics and decampings

The recent spat of cross-carpeting, decampings and defections by our political parties in Nigeria, got me really thinking about the issues of ideologies, principles and values in our national polity.

So why do we have politicians criss-crossing back and forth between political party lines? It looks like political parties in Nigeria, and other African nations, don’t have clear cut ideologies and expressive messages that identify them.

Because of the country’s tribal, religious, geographical and ethnocentric perculiarities, political parties tend to be driven by personalities as opposed to ideologies.

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Do we really have political ideologies in Nigeria and other African countries?. Do we have men and women who understand ethics, values and principles in our political space today?.

A Political ideology is commonly defined as a certain ethical set of values, principles, doctrines, myths or symbols of a social movement, institution, or class which explains how society should work.

The emphasis here I believe is ethical, values, principles and doctrines. These are the components which should drive the functionality and operations of a political party and people in leadership positions.

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In more advanced political climates for example, political parties are defined by their ideologies, or manifestos as they are refered to in Nigeria. So, if a Democract, for example, is speaking with you, you have an idea of where he or she stands on the current issues on the nation’s political front-burner.

With the trend in our political space since 2014, and the way and manner political parties operate and the apparent lack of internal democracy suggests otherwise.

It has become glearing that when a politician Cross carpet’s, or defects, as they say in Nigeria, he or she usually moves with numerous numbers of individuals and loyalists to the other party that he or she is moving to.

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Indeed political parties can be seen as important democratic institutions responsible for the formulation of policies and platforms for the delivery of effective governance.

The political parties are then expected to implement these policies that reflect the ideology of the party through their elected representatives. Be that as it may, we find a totally different scenereo in Nigeria. Here, moving from one political party to another is quite common and seen as a way of gaining some undue advantage

In a recent opinion poll, Nigerians have expressed their disaffection with political parties, most of which are seen as personality-driven and lacking in internal democracy. The emerging political alliances seem to be based mostly on individual agreements among political leaders, and do not necessarily reflect disagreements in policies or ideology.

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Moving away from the thought of lack of Ideologies and internal democracy, are the issues of conflict resolution in our political institutions. Conflict resolution mechanism must be a recurent decimal of human management and social existence.

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As long as human engagements and interactions are concerned, be they socio-political, economic or domestic, there are bound to be issues of disagreement of some sort.

The strength of leadership therefore lies in its ability to manage and control crisis. Thereby reducing any perceived negative impact of the conflict to the barest minimum.

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Our political parties and political actors have consistently displayed lack of ideologies, values, principles and doctrines by the way they resolve conflicts and internal party ranglings or misunderstandings.

For in stance, the past few weeks has been quiet interesting in Cross River State. For those of us that have been keenly watching the unfolding political drama in the state, it feels very much like Déjà vu.

The state has been reeling from what many have referred to as a gale of defections that seems to be threatening the structures that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had built.

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If, you ask me, I think the core issue of the defection of Governor Ben Ayade from PDP to APC, and others who had left the party before now, apart from the lack of political ideology and internal democracy, is the issue of leadership failure. You may not agree with that, you don’t have to. Of course you are entitled to your own opinion.

Like they say, everything rises and falls with leadership. I sincerely think that If the leadership of the People’s Democratic party in Cross River State had been more proactive in managing its internal crisis the current confusion in the state would have been nibed in the bud.

Be that as it may, the fact still remains that we need true leaders with nationalistic tendencies in our political institutions. Leaders who are driven by ideologies, values and principles of true democracy. We need leaders who are passionate about building an egalitarian society where peace, justice and equity reigns supreme.

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All leadership is influence they say. True leadership provides a compelling vision and direction for its followers.

Let’s face the facts, what legacy really, is this current political leadership in Nigeria passing onto the next generation.? Is it self-centeredness, lack of direction and sincerity of purpose, corruption, nepotism, tribalism, confusion and lack of accountability.?
Think about it.

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