A cross section of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Worldwide (NIDOWW) have blamed the slow growth of the nation’s democracy on frivolous defection to another party by the political class.
The Diasporas spoke in a teleconference interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to mark the 2021 Democracy Day by the Nigerians living abroad.
Dr Henry Oguine, a Nigerian based in Europe, who decried ‘cross carpeting’ by politicians said it often exposed weaknesses of the 1999 constitution.
According to him, politicians, especially governors when elected on platform of a political party ought to uphold their party manifesto.
Oguine said, “a governor that defects from one political party to another should automatically lose his position before doing so.
“It is sad that no state in Nigeria has a constitution, what they have are state laws under federating units, of which states are supposed to have constitutions.
“State governors are supposedly chief security-officers of their states, but as the constitution is, a governor cannot issue command to a Police recruit without the recruit seeking authorisation from his the Divisional Police Officer (DPO).
“The DPO then asks from a Police Commissioner, who in turn asks the Inspector-General of Police in Abuja, so it boils down to review of our constitution to curb defection.”
He suggested that the constitution should be reviewed to make way forward, not just to check excesses of public officials but also to ensure accountability in governance.
Similarly, a Nigerian-based in Dallas-Texas, Dr Richard Nwachukwu, Secretary General, Organisation of Nigerian Nations (ONN) said that tackling defection would move Nigeria forward.
“Defection, particularly by governors is totally uncalled for, because it makes mockery of our nation’s democracy.
“This defection must be tackled by the constitution; if you want to move from your political party to another one, you must resign or have another election.
“If your electorates support you under the political platform you wish to contest, then you should not defect unilaterally with the mandate electorates had given without their consent.
“Leaving electorates in the cold do not make sense; we do not have to abolish the constitution to do that right, the constitution can be amended to achieve that,” Nwachukwu said.
Meanwhile, Dr Chibuzor Ubochi, Chairman of NIDO-UK South, stressed the need for amendment of the constitution, to ensure effective checks and balances in governance processes.
Ubochi said: “Nigeria economy is still subsistence and we believe what electorates need is basically food and security, therefore the need for the political class to review their ideologies.
“Their ideologies in public office should reflect what is best to meet needs of helpless citizens, like unemployed, pensioners, truck pushers and those not having what to eat.
“Governors should, therefore, think about providing basic amenities before considering their selfish moves to defect from one political party to another,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the teleconference was initiated by Mr Obed Monago, Chairman of NIDO-Americas.
NIDOWW comprised of Nigerians in Diaspora organisation chapters in Europe, Americas, Asia, Oceania and Africa, which harnessed and galvanised professional and financial resources of Nigerian citizens across continents to promote their fatherland. (NAN)