‘Unlike PDP, how we would have treated Saraki, Kwakwanso, other defectors’
The recent wave of defections on Nigeria’s political landscape does not project the ideals that political parties are for the good of the public, Remi Sonaiya of the KOWA Party has said,
The retired professor aimed at the All Progressives Congress administration of President Muhammdu Buhari, saying it raises fear of domination of other Nigerian groups by one section through the appointments made by the president.
Ms Sonaiya, the presidential standard of KOWA Party in the 2015 general elections, spoke on Friday morning in a telephone interview with CAMPUS REPORTER.
The wave of defections started two weeks ago with scores of federal lawmakers left the All Progressives Congress for the Peoples Democratic Party (and the African Democratic Congress). The quartet of Senate President Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom and Kwara State Governor Abdufatai Ahmed have also exited the ruling party for PDP, which they earlier dumped in 2014.
Virtually all political office holders and their supporters in Kwara State followed Mr Saraki to return to the PDP. However, the PDP establishment and supporters before the Saraki camp returned switched to the APC, saying they could not work with the Senate President.
“One doesn’t see it as a service to the people,” said Ms Sonaiya, reacting to the defections. “(It’s) just their career in politics and desperation about being close to the source of power.”
“What have the big parties done for you?” She asked rhetorically.
Asked whether the defectors would have been welcomed in KOWA if they had chosen the party, she explained that they would be accepted but treated like normal members.
“In Kowa, we are not ready to inherit political baggage that is not ours to carry. Having said that, anyone can join after all the name of the party implies that.
“We scrutinize who we want to represent us. Let them go and join like anybody else. There should be no funfair about anyone as we don’t play big man politics in KOWA Party,” she said.
On vote buying, which was widely reported in last governorship election in Ekiti State, she said, “I don’t believe such monies are from individuals. Those monies are from state coffers. This is public money that those in power have access to. I don’t even have such money not to talk of spending it. I believe in working towards a sustainable system.
“The money ought to be used to build infrastructures, fund education and security is the one being frittered away.”
Speaking on the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, she described the government as ‘no-brain’ one.
She said: “Everyone knows that this administration is not doing well. People are complaining as the spending power is going down. The fact says that Nigerians are not doing well.
“Security operatives coming from one part of the country. It doesn’t give confidence to the generality of the public. Appointments should be by on merit. Merit in terms of character and qualifications.”
Ms Sonaiya contested the 2015 Presidential election, receiving 13,076 to finish 12th.