Political parties are not secret cult groups with binding initiation to stitch together come what may. This is why politicians can decide to pitch tent with any political party of their choice without fear.
We’ve seen politicians defecting to other parties because they believed the new party has what it takes to deliver them and achieve their political goals.
What’s however surprising is the unnecessary dust raised by the defection of Barr. Natasha Akpoti from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to the main opposition Peoples Party (PDP). Surprisingly, the noise is coming from the members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State.
While some became overnight advisers and said Akpoti has made the biggest political mistake by defecting to PDP, a top government appointee of the state stated publicly that Akpoti will know the real politics in 2023. These set of people would have celebrated the same person and coined a name for her if she joins the ruling party, their camp. These are the same people who celebrated every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the name of defection to APC. Why the sudden change of tone? Did Akpoti seek their advice and opinions over her political decisions?
More surprising is the “real politics” they promised to show Natasha Akpoti in 2023 when she picks the PDP ticket. Real politics in what perspective?
The “real politics” played by the same people in 2019 that led to the gruesome murder of her promising supporter, Ojo Enesi, the burning of her party secretariat in Lokoja, the burning of her supporters’ houses, and the physical assault on her at the state capital are not worthy to be proud of and played again if these are “the real politics” they want to perfect in 2023.
Akpoti’s entrance into PDP has clearly shown she wouldn’t be the usual victim of 2019 elections, the bigger and formidable platform she joins will not make her be at the receiving end unlike the several injustices melted at her and her supporters in 2019 elections when she was a third-force in SDP.
Whatever Akpoti chooses to contest, she may likely face someone from the camp of the current government, we should be mature enough to engage in issue-based campaign, we should be mature enough to market the candidates to the people based on their antecedents and not the power-drunk and war song of “whoever votes for oppositions should be attacked.”
We must realize that it will no be Natasha Akpoti vs whoever the power that be is anointing, it will be PDP vs APC, and if tit is paid for tat in the 2023 election, it might be more than the horrendous political crisis of 2007 that left the land in ruin.
Political crisis has never brought any good, there will be no victor, we will all bear the human and infrastructural losses which will never be replaced.
Those warming up to face Akpoti in 2023 should be honourable enough to choose the path of peace for the sake of the vulnerable and defenceless people they want to represent who will be the victims of any sponsored violence.