Posted by News Express | 20 March 2016 | 2,635 times
Senate Minority Leader and former Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, has chided politicians who jump from one party to the other at the slightest opportunity, noting that the development is not healthy for the nation’s nascent democracy.
Akpabio, who was the guest lecturer at the 7th Convocation Ceremony of Odimegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, stated this while delivering a lecture titled “Ethics and Party Switching”.
According to the former governor, “In this period of uncertainty, many have lost their ethics. That is why every day you hear of people crossing from one political party to the other. People switch parties because their involvement in their former parties was at a superficial level, not ethical level – it had no depth of conviction.”
The federal lawmaker further noted: “We have too many journeymen and treasure-hunters in politics. We have many politicians, who watch the weather before they step into the murky waters of politics and set their sails. But what we need are politicians who are not affected by the winds of circumstances, but would set their sails the same way in bad or fair weather to arrive at the proper ethically conceived destination.”
According to Akpabio, “Those who switch parties always complain of one thing or the other as a reason for their defection, but we know that every such crossover is spurred by and motivated by self-interest.”
“It is unfortunate that a key attribute of political party formation has not been actualised in Nigeria yet. Political parties were supposed to be formed in democracies along ideological lines. Each political party ought to represent constellations of ideologies and philosophies based on the party members interpretation of democracy,” Akpabio said.
The former governor posited that “In America, for example, the Republican Party is conservative on social issues, while the Democratic Party is progressive on social issues. Republicans oppose increases to the minimum wage on the grounds that there is a need for business to keep costs low so that they can prosper and all Americans can have access to products and services. The Democratic Party supports increase to the minimum wage so that Americans can have more money and more spending power. “Republicans favour free trade. Democrats favour restrictions on trade to protect Americans. To summarise it, the Republicans’ interpretation of democracy is anchored on liberty (liberty for anyone to prosper and flourish according to his abilities).” Akpabio believes that “Government should not unduly hinder the human spirit, or free enterprise.”
“Therefore, let ethics drive our political processes and the treasure hunters would have no accommodation in politics,” he stressed.
•Photo shows Senator Akpabio.
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