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University don says new wave of party defections have selfish motives

2015-04-08 10:15
A picture shows presidential campaign posters of Nigerian President and candidate to his re-election for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) Goodluck Jonathan and leading opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate Mohamma ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

Abuja - A Political Science lecturer, Professor Abdulhameed Ujo, says the new wave of defections from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) is triggered by personal interest.

Ujo, who is a professor of Political Science at the University of Abuja, stated this while speaking with the media on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said that the defectors were acting on some sense of self-preservation following the PDP’s loss to the APC in the March 28 presidential election.

"Our politics is not based on ideology but simply based on personal interest.

"So, when the interest can no longer be protected in a party, what follows is mass defection to the ruling party where that interest is likely to be safeguarded.

"This is exactly what is happening and it has continued in this country for a very long time," Ujo said.

The PDP lost several prominent members to the APC in states like Jigawa, Kwara, Kebbi, Gombe, Edo and Benue over the weekend.

Prominent among the defectors are the Deputy Governor of Jigawa, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud, and the PDP candidate in the 2012 governorship election in Edo, Charles Arhiavbere.

A former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, also resigned from the PDP in Benue, although he is yet to join another party.

Ujo said that with this development, the APC was likely to become the dominant party in the country for a long time to come.

Also read: Mass defection hits Plateau as dep. gov, others join APC

"I see the APC becoming the new dominant party as was the case with the PDP before now.

"The Nigeria law permits the existence of many political parties, but in practice only few parties can win elections over time.

"That is what happened before and that is what is likely to happen now with APC having secured power at the centre,’’ he said.

Ujo said that the APC’s victory in the presidential polls was likely to trigger a bandwagon effect in the April 11 Governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.

According to him, many states were likely to elect APC candidates as governors in order not to be in the opposition to the Federal Government.

"So, there are tendencies like that in our polity. It is obvious that some people, even political parties, will tend to move toward the winning party.

"But there is also the possibility of certain people who are not likely to move. They are those who think they will enjoy the benefits of being in the opposition.

"This is because some opposition party members also enjoy some elements of recognition, especially lawmakers at the state and federal levels," Ujo said. 

Read more on: nigeria  |  defections  |  2015 elections

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