A chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Bitrus Kaze, said the nation’s political parties lack ideology, and are just mere platforms used to stand for elections.
Kaze disclosed this in an exclusive chat with newsmen in Jos, while reacting to the wave of defections from PDP to APC.
“I’m not really sure if our parties are founded on very clearly defined principles, or simply that our parties are mere platforms, I mean no ideologies.
“When you speak of Republicans in the United States of America for example, they are conservative, they are more pro-life, they are more of nationalists; on the other hand the Democrats are globalists, liberalists, they are not necessarily people who believe in the choices of individuals.
“For instance if you are pregnant and you decide to keep the baby, fine, if you chose to discharge the baby it’s okay with them. Those are ideas that clearly separate Democrats and Republicans in the United States of America,” he explained.
“Coming to Nigeria, if you take the constitution of the PDP and that of the APC, take their manifesto and ours, and also of other parties, you begin to wonder what is the clear belief.
“Nigerians have not come to terms with politics of ideology yet. What appeals to us at this time, is really to align with any government in power, and believe it or not, that has a way of controlling the conduct of politicians.
“When PDP held sway, many people were decamping from the opposition parties to PDP, now it is no longer PDP, many people are attracted to the APC, simply because it is in power.
“I begin to get this sense and feeler, that some people that are leaving PDP into the APC, may have one corruption case or the other against them. Because they do not see the current Federal Government’s pursuing corruption cases within its fold, as much as it is doing within the fold of the opposition.”
According to him, the citizenry in return see politicians as a mobile Automated Teller Machine (ATM), rather than public office holders.
“People see politics as a business here, not an issue of service; we are not service oriented yet.
“A few people may think of it as service, but in fairness to politicians in this country, even the citizenry think it is just an opportunity, and they see you more like a mobile ATM, rather than a political office holder and a public servant.
“However, if you are in a party that has been affected by internal crisis, and you have been waiting for more than a year, and there seems to be no end to the crisis; the temptation is for you to find a platform, and begin to acclimatize in the new platform before the election period comes and that’s another reason.
“Whereas, there are issues of ideology and fear, but truly there are genuine issues of genuine platform within which, we can run for an election.
The former lawmaker who represented Jos South/Jos East Constituency further stated that, “Nigeria has not reached the stage for independent or zero party candidacy, so you really cannot blame people if their own platform doesn’t seem to have any headway.
“It will take sometime as we mature on the basis of ideology, especially on these kinds of occurrences.
“It is countries like the United States of America that ideology matters, but back here, they really don’t matter. You just have a platform and that’s all,” he stressed.