By Farooq Kperogi
Although the court judgement “sacking” Ebonyi State governor David Umahi and his deputy on account of their post-election defection to APC will probably not stand the test of legal appeal (because of executive immunity), I love it and hope it will stand.
I think it should be unconstitutional for politicians to seek votes on the platform of one political party and then defect to another after their election. It’ just plain, vulgar political treachery against their voters.
In a 2012 ruling, the Supreme Court voided the election of a House of Representatives member from Ondo State for post-election political party change. I hope the same legal logic will apply to defecting governors in spite of their constitutional immunity from consequences for legal infractions.
It’s obvious that Umahi would never have been elected governor of Ebonyi if he had run on the platform of APC. APC has enormous reputational problems in the Southeast, and no one can legitimately win a governorship election there.
The ease and casualness with which elected politicians hop from one party to the other in Nigeria is truly unsettling. It has ensured that there’s no difference between the political parties.
Up to 90 percent (perhaps more) of former PDP chairmen are now in APC—and will go back to PDP should the party win back power in 2023.
In fact, Abdullahi Adamu, a former two-term PDP governor of Nasarawa State who was also Secretary of PDP’s Board of Trustees, is favored to emerge as APC’s chairman this year.
I know politicians are an immoral, conscienceless bunch, but their perpetual “crosstitution” (as South Africans call defection, which is a blend of “crossing” and “prostitution,” implying that elected officials who switch political parties are political prostitutes) is bad for the growth of democracy in Nigeria.
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