In this piece, octogenarian and All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart in Lagos State Pa Remi Williams examines the implication of carpet crossing for the polity.
Carpet crossing as a phenomenon has eaten deep into Nigeria’s political system. That is why it deserves special attention to root it out. But it is not new in Nigeria. The only dimension is that it is now done with ulterior motive and impunity.
For example, one can loot the government’s treasury and take refuge by crossing to the party in power. Painfully, there is no evidence of party discipline. The slogan: ‘No permanent friend, no permanent enemy. Only permanent interest’ has become the order of the day.
Let me go back memory lane. In the First Republic, Nigeria adopted the Westminster system of government, also known as bicameralism. In the Second Republic, it fell in love with the American presidential system of government, which has remained with us since. But now we are veering towards a two-party system.
The reason is not far-fetched. Because we operate winner-takes all system, once your party is not in the government, you will not partake in the sharing in the allocation of values – appointments and projects.
Yet, the idea of a two-party system is not so. It is that the opposition keeps the government in power on its toes by giving out constructive criticisms. That is their responsibility. So much so that they too could one day take over the government, if the one in power does not…