Cross –Carpeting, Perceived Solution To Political Crisis In Nigeria


Cross –Carpeting, Perceived Solution To Political Crisis In Nigeria

By Olakunle Agboola


PARTY LOGOThe All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State, just warned the current governor of the state, Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose, not to join their party. Not that he requested to do that,he is a member of People’s Democratic Party, but cross-carpeting has always been known as a way of getting out of any political party’s harm’s way after stepping on toes.

Many people see nothing wrong in APC preempting the Governor in a matter of political importance.

The 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) recognises the right of politicians to change platforms but this has to be done within the province of the law.

Accordingly, sections 68(1) (g) and 109 (1) (g) of the constitution copiously guaranteed the right to decamp in event of factions or crisis.

As with most of Nigerian laws they didn’t prescribe a punishment if people decamp for frivolous reasons. This has to change.


There has always been a fluid movement of defeated politicians who are seeking relevance or who are desperate to achieve an ambition which their original party will not let them actualize . We have seen prominent politicians crossing over from one party to the other. In some instances, they have moved more than once for various reasons, ranging from perceived injustice, to the inability to take defeat in good faith. So, we had many politicians deflating to other party in which their ambition looks brighter. Well, in the face of it, it calls for concern, but a deeper look at the event would seem to be in the interest of the country.

Another major trend within the political landscape of our polity is that most politicians more often than not cry foul when a member of their party decamps to another party, but welcome with open arms members of another party who defect to theirs. An exemplification of this scenario was what played out with the defection of Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, to the PDP, who was elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2012 for a second tenure under the platform of the Labour Party (LP).This current trend in the political arena cut’s across all political parties as they all are culpable in this regard.

The phenomenon of decamping from one political party to the other which we have experienced lately does not portend well for a solid political culture of party loyalty to develop in Nigeria. it appears none of the parties currently has a distinct ideological framework to which its members subscribes as a matter of conviction…So, when we talk about a political culture, then we should be mindful  of ideological commitments to the party which is beyond inordinate ambition for political offices and gains from political positions.

In any advance democracy, political member doggedly stick with their party through thick and thin. They stay despite occasional or regular conflict within the party or with fellow party member. They don’t deflect even when the party has made mistake or loss of political power at the centre. There is a shared ideology of the parties which has strengthened their democracy. In the USA for instance, the Democratic Party generally represents liberal ideals, while the Republican Party commonly represents conservative ideals. Republican philosophy leans more towards individual freedom, rights and responsibilities. In contrast, Democrats attach greater importance to equality and social/community responsibility.  Democrats tend to favor equal rights for gay and lesbian couples e.g. the right to get married and adopt children. Republicans believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman so they do not support gay marriage or allowing them to adopt children.

The political parties in Nigeria will have to be structurally repositioned while the politicians themselves grow up to know that loyalty to a party is a matter of ideological conviction. They will have to re-examine their ideologies, like what is obtainable in other politically developed climes. So as to position themselves for relevance come 2019 and beyond.





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