Political Harlotry Among Politicians

Would it ever be possible for the present day Nigerian politicians to think of the welfare of the citizens as opposed to their personal, selfish political interests?

I use the term “present day politicians” to contrast them with the politicians of old such as Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ozurumba Mbadiwe, Sam Mbakwe, Sir Michael Okpara, Akanu Ibiam, Chief Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Remi Fani-Kayode, the father of Femi Kayode, Pa Michael Ajasin, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Solomon Lar, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Alhaji Tafawa Belewa and a host of others who had put the interests of their people first above all other considerations.

In those good old days, these politicians cared and worked for the people, which was why there were massive developments in the three regions- Eastern, Western and Northern regions that made up the Nigerian nation.

In the Eastern region before the civil war, Zik and other Eastern politicians put the Southerners, at the forefront of education, technology and business, which was the reason many Southerners held top positions in Politics, Academia, Science, Technology, Industry and Business at that time in the country.

Leveraging on the business acumen of the Igbo people, Zik had built the Onitsha International Market, the largest in West Africa to accommodate the interests of his Igbo people, many of who were versatile businessmen/ women.

In the Western region,the Action Group-led government of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo encouraged  the Yorubas to embrace education by declaring education free for them. Awolowo’s free education policy, provided the leeway for the mass of educated Yorubas that were scattered in various top management positions in the country as at today. Every family in Yoruba land as at today, we heard, can boast of at least one graduate in addition to numerous professors. The region bestrides the Law and Banking professions in Nigeria like a Colossus.

Awolowo also encouraged industries to open up in the region by incorporating the Odua’s Group, which invested in various businesses, including Banking. Wema Bank is one of Awolowo’s surviving investments for the Yoruba Nation.

In the Northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Alhaji Tafawa Belewa held sway, working solely for the interests of the North. Even when he had every opportunity to become Prime Minister, Sir Bello preferred to be in his region. He stayed back in Kaduna as the premier of Northern Region where he worked assiduously to position the North to the top echelon of Nigerian politics. Sir Bello singlehandedly united the North, including the Middle Belt of Benue, Plateau, Kwara, Kogi, Nassarawa and others, and sealed them with glue, which is why till today, the region is still referred to as the Monolithic North, although, the middle belt recently made some feeble efforts to break out. He had brought the North together under one acronym, “AREWA”, protecting their business interests in a conglomerate, called, Arewa Group which spans, Banking (Arewa Bank), Textiles, Hides and Skins and many others.

But today, what do unprincipled Nigerian politicians do? Jump from one political party to another for selfish political reasons. Some of them had left PDP several times to other political parties, came back to PDP, left again for APC in much the same way prostitutes jump from one man to another, unmindful of the fact that they could contract dangerous diseases. I knew a particular politician who had left PDP four times, went to the APC, came back to PDP, romanced SDP for sometime, went back to APC, and after finding out that he could not make headway in APC, ran back to PDP, where he was made to start from the scratch.

They do it without shame as they were preoccupied with what they stand to gain from such parties. But they would come and tell you that there was no internal democracy in the parties they were leaving, or that the leaders were dictatorial, and so they had to go where they would operate unhindered and where they stand a chance of bringing the dividends of democracy to their people. In actual fact, they were porting to the parties where they could partake in the sharing of the spoils of office.

Critics for instance, believe that Senator Magnus Abe, a well -respected politician with his great intellectual capacity should not be seen  jumping from one party to another. News flew recently that he had gone back to APC and abandoned the SDP from where he contested the 2023 Governorship election.

Abe was a former minority leader under the APP in the Rivers State House of Assembly, a former commissioner, a one- time Secretary to the Rivers State Government and a former distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Imagine such an experienced and top ranking politician, leaving one party, coming back to the party, leaving it again, joining another party, and coming back to the party he abandoned!

Abe started with APP, left and joined PDP, he left PDP and joined APC. Being in constant loggerhead with Amaechi the leader of APC in the state, Abe left APC and joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP) under which he contested the 2023 Governorship election. He has again left SDP and come back to APC, a party which is now allegedly being used by the Minister of the FCT, Chief Nyesom Wike to maintain his hold on power in Rivers State and may use to fulfill his presidential political ambition as being rumored. Remember that 27 lawmakers loyal to the Minister had defected to the party from PDP. The 27 lawmakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly who defected were said to be preparing the ground for Wike to defect to APC.

Also, allegations are rife that the Minister is using the Caretaker Chairman of APC in Rivers State, Chief Tony Okocha to do a hatchet job for him in the state, which as they further alleged, was responsible for his influencing Okocha’s appointment           as  CTC Chairman. Okocha recently organized a thanksgiving service where he thanked President Tinubu and Minister Wike for making his double appointments as Chairman Caretaker Committee of Rivers State APC and Rivers State Representative in the NDDC Management Board possible. It was at that thanksgiving that the Minister was spotted with Senator Abe.

Okocha had since celebrated Abe’s coming back to the APC in glowing terms. In a statement he personally signed and circulated in social media platforms, Okocha eulogized Senator Abe thus: “Senator Abe is a full-blown and conscious and consenting adult. He is not a character to be led by the nose by anyone no matter how highly placed in Nigeria, Rivers State or anywhere else.

“Senator Abe has been very conspicuous in the political space of Rivers State. He had occupied positions of trust and responsibilities either as elected representative or appointed into very crucial offices in Rivers State at one time or the other, where he exuded capacity and intellectual confidence to the point of a role model.

“In an Assembly dominated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999, Senator Magnus Abe of the All Peoples Party (APP) was a vocal voice.

“Many spectators made their way to the Assembly auditorium gallery to listen to the upcoming Cicero, who became the Minority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“He thrilled his fans with sound reasoning and erudition so much so that the rule of not clapping in the Assembly auditorium gallery was sometimes unconsciously broken,” Okocha said, stressing that APC had welcomed him back to the party as he is a valued asset.

He enjoined him to bring to the fore his vast experience in party building as well as his profound commitment to the growth and development of Rivers State.

Abe, the 2023 governorship candidate of the SDP has been in serious rift with the  Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, the former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and even Tony Okocha himself.

Abe who attended Okocha’s thanksgiving with Wike, had in a statement he issued recently expressed joy over his reconciliation with Wike and other party stalwarts in the state.

Insinuations had been rife that his going back to APC is part of the orchestrated plots to prepare a soft landing for Wike anytime he decides to decamp in addition to the juicy appointments allegedly in store for him.

Senator Abe however, is not the only political bigwig jumping from one party to another in a politically decadent country such as Nigeria.

The immediate past Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi was once in the PDP before he defected to the APC under which he contested the Presidential primaries of the party in 2023, but unfortunately lost to Tinubu. Since then he had gone into political oblivion, appearing only intermittently during non- political programmes, like burials, weddings etc.

Okocha like Amaechi was in the PDP, he defected to APC and later had a stint with Magnus Abe in the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Calculating the political situation correctly, Okocha had abandoned Abe in SDP and went back to the APC and worked for Tinubu’s Presidential ambition. Fortunately, Tinubu won the Presidential election, rewarding Okocha by appointing him Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Rivers APC, through the influence of Wike. Wike was appointed Minister of the FCT by President Tinubu , a position he has been using to influence appointments of Rivers people into lucrative federal institutions. He was also said to have made the appointment of Okocha as Rivers State Representative in the NDDC Management Board possible.

Jumping from one political party to another is not the exclusive preserve of Rivers politicians. It pervades the whole country. Recently, news circulated that the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, an Imo state indigene had defected to the APC from PDP. Ihedioha contested the 2023 governorship election on the platform of PDP and won. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court overturned his victory, installing Hope Uzodinma in the Imo State Government House, thus cutting short Ihedioha’s reign. Like other Nigerian political crisscrossers, Ihedioha has gone to the APC where he thinks his political ambition can be fulfilled. He did it without any regard to the interest of the people of his constituency.

At the last count, FemiFani-Kayode, former Aviation Minister and prominent PDP member under President Jonathan regime, has switched parties two times, or more than that. He is also said to jump from one influential political figure to another. Not long ago, he came out very vociferously, attacking those he considers as President Tinubu’s enemies, including Peter Obi and even Nnamdi Kanu whom he once feted. Of recent, he had been in political limbo, rarely being heard in the political scene.

Compare this crop of politicians with the politicians of the old like Azikiwe who after his earlier trajectory in the NCNC, stayed with the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) throughout his political career, Solomon Lar who stayed with NPP, same for Sam Mbakwe and a few other South-Eastern politicians.

Awolowo stayed in the Unity party of Nigeria (UPN), using it to go very far in his political career. He never left UPN till his death.

These politicians worked for the people, which was why there were massive developments in the regions when they held sway.

Instead of building on the achievements of the past politicians, current Nigerian politicians have through primitive accumulation and stealing of the commonwealth, caused the collapse of the system, leading to mass poverty, hunger, deprivation and degradation in the land. Some people have called for a revolution, but any revolution carried out by the masses today would be violently put down by the Security agents who were working to save politicians, instead of working to save Nigeria. The top hierarchy of Security agents are benefitting heavily from the spoilt system.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button