It is unarguable that Femi has been a huge adversary of President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC. To have him exchange the PDP for the APC further gives weight to the belief that the elites would go to any length to remain relevant. Even if it means taking back their celebrated and glowing words.
Political defections mostly happen in our clime. As such, we cannot tell with certainty that the forebears of democracy would have handled the defection of supposedly high-profile politicians as we do.
Because of the defecting politician's political status and the need to make a political statement, the ruling political party frequently uses their President to welcome their newest acquisition.Therefore, Buhari welcomed Femi to the APC. He used executive time that is usually tight to carry out a political service that is not backed by the constitution.
Of the things the office of the president is meant for, welcoming and unavailing politicians to the ruling party is not one of them. This is a clear case of overreaching, one that has turned the presidency into an extension of party offices. Those before Buhari have indulged in this exercise. State governors are into it as well. A departure from this norm would have been nice to see.
Most party constitutions say that to belong to a party, one has to go to the ward level. Why did the defecting bigwigs not go to the ward level first? Because at the time they are unvailed by the president, they are not card carrying members. Otherwise, they would brandish it when being welcomed by the president.
Another thing that is most appropriate is for the party's national chairman and executives to welcome a defecting politician. By this way, clear political matters are kept and maintained within the scope of politics.
It is the open mixing of political issues with presidential duties that creates the impression that the president is for his party alone and not for every Nigerian. If we must deepen our democracy, we must strive to do things in ways that will make everyone inclusive.
The use of executive offices by elected officers to further political ends in the manner of welcoming defectors should be frowned at and discouraged. Though President Buhari met the tradition, he should at least work to change it.
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