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A Resultant Effect In The Absence Of Structured Political Ideology by Victor Okonjo.



The sixteenth President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, (1809-1865) defined democracy as “The government of the people, by the people and for the people”. Politics on the other hand is the science of promoting ones political belief with a view to influence public service and government decisions in a state. Therefore, a country can only have the fullness of democratic advancement when it has attained political maturity. However, if politics is not well managed, it will impede the tenets of democratic ethics and ethos of our society. One major trend that has become a regular practice in our political domain is the incessant defection of politicians from one political party to another. This practice is indeed becoming an impediment to our democracy. It is a matter of fact that incessant and unwarranted political defection is due to nonexistence of formidable and structured ideology. A political movement that is not founded or driven by feasible ideology will be deficient in their force of compatibility. Consequently, it gives room for politics of defection at the detriment of our democracy. The politics of defection has serious negative impact on our democracy and governance. With Nigeria as a case study, it has been observed that some politicians defect from one political party to another for the wrong reasons and it is obviously to promote selfish ambition and cheap propaganda thus, the politics of defection becomes a routine ritual. Unfortunately, as earlier mentioned, this trend inhibits the advancement of democracy and good governance. It is imperative to know that our present political dispensation lacks the political wherewithal to sustain the desired nature of democracy at the level of its maximum in which a major cause can be attributed to regular defection in politics. Defection in politics makes the political arena look like a market square or may be a “political market” where politicians move from one political party to another to trade their non selfless ambition. It has made politics have a pyridine shift in focusing on democratic development and good governance, which in turn is a misplaced priority. The advocacy for an improved and developed democratic society should be the campaign of a responsible political process. This should be so because the relativity between politics and democracy is directly proportional. Politics of defection is indeed a questioning factor on the role of political ideology (only if it exists). According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, ninth edition, ideology is defined as “A set of ideas that an economic or political system is based on or a set of beliefs, especially one held by a particular group that influences the way people behave”. Therefore, political ideology is a set of beliefs upheld and rooted in a political movement in order to influence public service and governance. Furthermore, no matter the political ideology of any political party, the adherence to democratic norms is a collective goal. The fundamental aspects of our democracy have to be respectfully sustained by political adherents and their ideologies in line with the rule of law. In our dear country Nigeria, the unwarranted and incessant defection from political party to another by politicians is questionable and inconsistent with the 1999 constitution. The constitution clearly explains the stage political defection is deemed appropriate before the law and that is simply when ones political party is in crisis or at a level of critical disintegration due to conflicting circumstances. On the contrary, some politicians still continue to involve in the routine ritual of political defection even when their political party is stable and crisis free. This will amount to outright disobedience and total disregard to the rule of law that binds on the land. Consequently, if this is left unchecked and discouraged, it will cause gradual and unpalatable complications in our democratic system most especially in government affairs. For a country to experience an effective and functioning democracy, political stability must be attained. Conclusively, politics of defection is not the best way to promote neither good governance nor the less democracy rather an avenue to promote politics of deceit, recycling incompetent and corrupt individuals in government, and to exploit the weaknesses of our fragile democratic system. A matured political system exalts democratic values and allows the reign of unbiased democracy. Such cannot come into play if our political institutions are not rooted on a feasible ideological formation. Finally, a true democrat will be faithful enough to work assiduously in building the capacity of a formidable political structure driven by purpose and vision rather than give in to unnecessary political defection. Politics of defection expresses the sign of a premature political system and a failed political will to defend political ideology without sentiment. Therefore, the negative impact and its attendant effects associated with politics of defection on our democracy cannot be underestimated.


Victor Okonjo wrote in via okonjovico@gmail.com

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