The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, has called on the National Assembly to make it illegal for elected officeholders to defect from one political party to another in the ongoing constitutional amendment.
The CNPP Secretary General, Willy Ezugwu, in a statement on Wednesday, said the call became necessary due to the “worrisome trend” of defections by elected public officeholders.
Mr Ezugwu also explained that the amendment would help entrench democracy, engender social justice and improve the confidence of the electorates in the democratic process.
According to him, the elected officeholders should resign when they defect to another party in order to maintain “Ideology in Politics”
“Where is the place of ideology in politics? Is politics about personal interest above the interest of the people we hold power in trust on their behalf?”
“How can the voters continue to have confidence in the electoral system and our democracy when people they entrusted to represent them abandon them halfway into their tenure for personal gains?
“For Nigeria to develop, her electoral process must be safeguarded and the confidence of the people guaranteed to reduce voter apathy during periodic and rescheduled elections.
“At the least, it is immortal for a person duly elected on the platform of a political party to defect to another without first resigning. It is akin to robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“Nigeria must at this time begin to make a conscious effort to promote politics of ideology for the lives of the masses to have a meaning.
“The national assembly should, therefore, use the opportunity provided by the current plan to further amend the 1999 constitution to outlaw the act of defection to any party while in office without first resigning as there is the urgent need to end the now irritating political prostitution in the country.
“We are all aware that the current trend of defections is about protecting one’s loots and scheming to take vintage positions ahead of the forthcoming generation elections for mundane gains.
“Today all that is required is for a corrupt politician to change parties to either evade prosecution, end ongoing prosecution or to slow it down for a soft landing verdict.
“The world is watching and the current trend will further worsen the country’s position on the global corruption perception index and we can get this remedied during the ongoing constitution amendment process.”