A ubiquitous yet crass aspect of Nigerian politics is the incessant decamping of politicians to other political parties after or during the election period. For example, Nigeria witnessed a mass decamping when some governors, senators and House of Representatives members had an exodus from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to join the newly formed APC in 2014.
This mass event portrays a lack of political ideology among Nigerian politicians. There has been corrosion in the proposed new ideals the party stands for and has led the party to return to the status quo: the former ruling party, PDP.
A political ideology is a set of ideas, beliefs, values, and opinions exhibiting a recurring pattern that competes deliberately as well as unintentionally over providing plans of action for public policy making in an attempt to justify, explain, contest, or change the social and political arrangements and processes of a political community.
A set of ideas, written or verbal that creates a blueprint for strategy making to elucidate or replace a country or region’s social and political layout is called a Political Ideology.
Since the nationalist movement pre-independence saw individuals who stood up against the colonialists to fight for the country’s independence, all other ones pale seriously in comparison. Herbert Macaulay, who instituted the first political party in Nigerian history, Eyo Ita, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, and S.L Akintola, amongst others, were credited for spearheading the movement to gain independence from the British.
However, the current crop of politicians in the fourth Republic is governed by their innate desires instead of channelling the concerns of the electorate who elected them to their positions. The ideal goal of any political system is to be in the progress of the average citizen, a concept which is very alien to current politicians.
People switch parties at will because it’s the only chance in which they can come into power. Even as this is done, the excesses performed in the former party are also accepted later as there’s no significant change in the behaviour of the said politician. Blatant corruption continues regardless of the side the individual is on.
The current situation has led to a weak or absent opposition against the ruling party. As a result, any idea propagated by the ruling party is rarely challenged or scrutinised as opposition members go out in droves into the ruling party. It’s a big shame on the contemporary politicians riding on the coat tails of the electorate into power, neglecting all their promises and then decamping to the opposition as it suits them.
Lack of political ideology has weakened internal democracy, fractured political parties, unnecessary cross carpeting among lawmakers and even internal squabbles amongst members of the same political party. The trickle-down effect of all these has led to instability in the country across all facets and general hardship in the lives of the citizens.